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George Dodge: creator of Paragon Park

Not much is known about George A. Dodge, and no photographs or paintings of him are known to exist. Dodge spent his childhood in poverty and, according to Hull historian John Galluzzo, made a fair fortune as a whaling captain, spending much of it to build Paragon Park. He planned the park in 1904 and opened it the following year. The park incorporated the cultures Dodge experienced as a sailor, including gondolas and gondoliers from Italy. In 1905, he told the Hull Beacon: “I intend to give New Englanders a park that they will be proud of.” In the musical, Dodge is portrayed by Scott Wahle, who visited the park as a child and remembers the thrills and the rides. “Dodge was a big thinker,” Wahle said. “That comes through the script loud and clear. I want to do justice to this fellow who lived.”