From Chris Carr:
I grew up in Beverly Mass and as a young boy I went there alot. As a
kid I would go to a daytime summer camp in Essex called Camp Mitchman. Every
friday they had "mystery day" we would go to amusement parks around the north
shore, Canobie lake, Pleasure Island in Wakefield Mass ect... Kiddietown
was so fun and so close and easy to get to. I loved the Ferris wheel and
the carousel, and all the booths that you could play games at. The North
Shore Shopping center "as was called back then" was really cool before they
re did it. At christmas time it was awesome to see the tall wooden soldiers
outside the stores. It seemed sooooooo cold in the winter if you walked down
the center open air strip that separated the two side of stores the wind
seemed to whip all the time if you were walking from store to store. This
site is great it really brings back great memories i had as a young kid.
Life seemed so simple back then. Being a kid was so fun and places like this
made it even more fun.
Anyone have old pictures they can post. I would love to see them. I have
fun memories of Kiddie Towne and Kiddie Land in Saugus Ma. also.
I grew up in East Boston and every now and then mom would take me
to North Shore Shopping Center as it was called back then in the early 60's.
I spent many happy times at Kiddie Town and I was sorry when it got taken
down. I remember the Easter Bunny, a real rabbit, would be outside one of
the stores, Jordan Marsh I think, at Easter time and we got to go and see
From Bryan Lagos
I was born in 1966, so my memories of Kiddie Towne were from the view of
a young child. As a matter of fact, the memories were non-existant.
That is, until I awoke from a dream yesterday with a vision in my mind of
a small amusement park on the grounds of the Northshore mall. I was
sure it was real, but as the day wore on, I grew more and more convinced
that it was only a dream. I called my mother today and had to ask if
it had been real -- and to my amazement, she told me it was! A rather
lengthy search on the internet lead me here. The pictures are great and are
helping to jog a few more distant childhood memories. Thankyou.
From Dennis DiGiovanni:
I have many fond memories of Kiddie Towne, but the best of all is one
day my parents took me to an old favorite, Kiddie Ranch in Saugus, MA.
When we arrived, we found what was left of Kiddie Ranch being loaded up on
trucks and trailers. Of course, I started to cry to see my beloved amusement
park gone. My father quickly got back on RT.1 north and we later arrived
at Kiddie Towne in the North Shore Shopping Center. It was my first
visit of many to follow for a few years to come. It was Kiddie Ranch
but even BETTER! I rode my first Ferris Wheel there where I was terrified
but loved it. I think other than the coaster, my brother's and my favorite
ride was the small "bullet's" as we used to call them. That was the
ride that looked like black bullets that went around on a up and down track
at what we thought was "high speed" Fun, Fun, Fun... Wish I could
be there all over again.
Dennis DiGiovanni, Salem, NH (formally of Wakefield, MA)
From Tom Zalewski:
Throughout the time of my life at Kiddie Towne 1964 through 1968,
there existed a day of excitement and trepidation…this was “Nickel Day”
or Wednesday. All rides (with the exception of a brief experimental
period) were five cents; and since a large number of employees were basically
lazy and let the rides go for long periods of time, this was a great deal
for the public, and provided immeasurable entertainment for the employees.
In order to ensure safety and consistency of operation, Izzy (the owner)
had every ride safety checked and ‘lubricated’ each Wednesday and Saturday.
The term “lubrication” is somewhat misleading. The word ‘lubrication”
almost conjures subliminal feelings of a French term having to do with something
much more romantic than crawling under, over and through amusement park
rides, or climbing the towers of the Ferris Wheel with a grease gun in one
hand and a mouth full of cloth rages at 7 a.m. The spectrum of lubricants
and solvents used would later provide fertile ground for the creation of
For years, Wednesday meant starting the day at 6:30 a.m. (or 7 a.m.
if you were really good at your job), starting ticket sales and the rides
at 9:00 a.m. and working ‘til close at 9 or 10 p.m. as well as “helping
close” until 11 p.m. This, in large part, may explain why Izzy hired
young, Polish, or starving college-age employees.
Although Wednesdays were long and bordered on the brink of controlled
chaos, I think most employees enjoyed the electricity generated by hordes
of sugar-infused children and viewing the terror they instilled in their
parents. Precautions could, and usually were, in place to ensure
the safety of the public and the employees. Such precautions were
not always obvious to the casual observed – for example, the umbrella by
the Ferris Wheel was not to shield the operator from the sun as much as it
was to shield the operator from “kiddies” full of hot dogs, hamburgers and
cotton candy spinning around 50 feet above; there was also a first aid kit
someplace in the office if needed.
One year, Wednesday fell on the Fourth of July, and the park remained
open until midnight. I can’t help but think there were a fortunate
few patrons lucky enough to be riding on the Ferris wheel when the North
Shore shopping center had its annual fireworks display. From where
I stood, they sounded great!
A belated “thank you” to Izzy Yodlin who hired me and a grateful “thank
you” to the patrons and employees of Kiddie Towne who provided me with
the experience and memories of a lifetime. I would also like to say
“thank you” to Charlene and Doug, who helped dredge up my memories of the
1501 Turner Street
Fairbanks, AK 99701
A memory from Johnny Wowk:
I started working at Kidde Towne after school when I was 15. Izzie Yodlin
was a good man and had an eye for talent...that's why he hired me,lol. The
crew were a good bunch of people to work with and eventualy I learned how
to operate all the rides...Merry-Go-Round,Boats,Flying Planes,Bullet/Zipper,Whip,
etc, on rare occasion the GO-Carts. But the the most important was the FERRIS
WHEEL. When I learned how to operate the Ferris Wheel I felt like a big shot....
I had conguered KIDDIE TOWNE!! One of the best things about working there
was playing the Pinball Machines. I swear I spent all my pay or nearly all
of it on those awesome pinball machines, they were the good ones, the ten
cent & 5 cent games and you could beat them, not like the ones today.
We all played them and played for highest score. When we ran out of cash
Douglas would come by and open up the back and give us free games....he was
good like that. The Shopping Center was open then (No Roof) and when it snowed
some of us would get hired by the Shopping Center to shovel and use small
gas powered plows to clean snow away from the store fronts and push it into
open grates in the floor to waiting dump trucks underneath the mall in the
tunnel to haul away. Break times we would go to the Holiday Lanes Bowling
Alley where Barnes & Nobles is now or to Peter Pan's Coffee Shop over
by Tom Macan's shoes in the Shopping Center (all 3 gone now)We knew all the
good places to eat at the Shopping Center like the cafe in JJ Newbury's,
China Sails, Brigham's, or the hang out...Peter Pan's with the Juke Box at
every table and the waitress with the short skirt and hot legs. At Christmas
Time the Shopping Center would put up all kinds of decorations and Jordan
Marsh had the best decorations of any store in the Center, I would walk through
all 3 floors just to look. Yes Kiddie Towne brings back a lot of good memories
for me in a time when things were simple and people appreciated what they
had around them.
From Deb O.
Just wanted to give you a kuddos for the article on Kiddietowne! I
remember that so well like it was yesterday.
My Dad whose been gone 24 years would bring me there especially on a
Wednesday evening long ago '61 - '66 and it certainly is a wonderful memory.
I also remember the soldiers at Christmas time and how the center was
Oh how I could go on but thank you for bringing me back.
A former Kiddietowne lover!
From Laura Davis:
I have many fond memories of Kiddie Towne. From my mother bringing myself
and my friends for a treat (even when money was tight with the GE on strike)
to my bringing my younger siblings to have fun while mom was shopping.
It was a win-win, we had fun and she had peace and quiet for a little while.
In fact, my first kiss was there while they were riding the carousel. I
wish it had still been there for my kids, and there today for the grandsons.
From Ray Kohut:
How many of you former KiddieTowne employees or as we would be known today
as associates can tell me what took place early Sunday mornings at KT while
the rest of you were sleeping.Yes Doug you were sleeping and so was Ross.Another
small trivia question for those of you that were still around in the early
70's......What caused the damage to the big Merry ? We had to replace 1 upper
Some other names that come to mind Kevin Doyle and there was
someone living with Gary over in Nahant,I remember him well but I can't remember
his name.I was about 17 or 18 and it was around 72/73 and there was a girl
that painted all the horses on the big merry I think here name was Chris.
I always looked forward to the spring and getting the call that
we are going to start getting the park together.It was always a great feeling,it
represented the start of summer,seeing friends that you might not have seen
all winter and all those other things that went along with good ole KT and
Some of the employees that were at KT in 72 73
Iam sorry that I can't remeber all of you but you know
who you are and I hope that your time at KT was as
good for you as it was for those that went through
before you.I have so many memories of KT and all of
them are great.Yes Doug even those of you.
To Izzy a very big THANK YOU!
Brian Santa Paula
From John R. Campbell
Thanks for the link to this site and thanks for the memories.
My memories of Kiddie Towne come mostly after the move to the blacktop.
I lived in Salem from 1960 to 1967 and spent hours on the little "hand-car"
ride. I must have been born a train nut. The boats were on, the carousel
and airplanes too, but the hand-car was MY ride. I must have put in 1000's
of laps on that little track.
Was there anything that the North Shore Center didn't have?
Amusment park, food, clothes, pets, toys, bakery, chapel; eat your heart
out, big malls. Bring back the good old days.
John R. Campbell
From Shirley Sullivan:
Kiddie Towne was a family place for many children,as well as the employee's,who
really learned a lot from Izzy,who treated us like family.I was 15
years old working
at kiddie town where I met many friends and formed friendships
memories that I have not experienced anywhere else .
We were a special group of friends ,who always got along,worked together,
played pinball,(some of us much better at it than others)the guys always
felt they could beat the girls
and sadly for them we beat them now and then.It's too bad that today's
youth isn't able
to experience the kind of fun and happy times we shared.
I wonder if Izzy had any idea the influence he had on us all. Thanks
Izzy, I think I can speak
for most of us when I say we looked up to you with love.
From Elaine (Zalewski) Wozny:
I'm enjoying this site!!! It brings back so many
memories of the best
job any teen could have - rainy days playing pinball, cold days huddled
in the office, our after hours adventures, working with a great group
of people & Izzy's words of wisdom. I feel bad for those who haven't
the experience & the memories.
Thanks for the website.
Elaine (Zalewski) Wozny
From Mary (Parsons) Sulzer :
My cousin recently sent me an article online concerning how
you were trying to get old alumni who worked at KiddieTowne at the
NorthShore Shopping Center together. While I did not work there, I
wanted to share with you many fond memories of time spent there.
My family lived on Buttonwood Lane, which is up behind Chandler's
Ice Cream. I have no memories of the original KiddieTowne, but definitely
remember the one located next to Stop 'n Shop. I loved the little
boats and other kiddie rides, but once you got to be 10 years old,
nothing would do but the ferris wheel (where we were warned about rocking
the cars, but did so anyway), and another ride that was like the ferris
wheel, but it was orange and shaped like oval cages. And of course the
whip! Nobody had weak stomachs in my crew, so we would try to make them
whirl as fast as possible. I do remember being there with friends unsupervised,
so it's true that it really was a different world back in 1969.
I remember reading at 14 that KiddieTowne was going to be torn
down and felt very disappointed and upset as it had been the scene of
many happy times as a child. We could go to Salem Willows' amusement Park,
but it wasnot the same as having one close to home.
I also felt badly when the Shopping Center was enclosed in 1978.
Prior to that, it was very or! iginal with it's open-air middle courtyard,
especially festive when decorated with giant "Nutcracker Soldiers" at
Christmastime. Then all the stores like Newberry's, Kresge's,
Liggett's Drugstore, and Jordan Marsh went out of business, and
what's replaced it can't compare in style and character at all.
I live in Maynard now and only make it up to Peabody to see
friends and family sporadically. But the
fond memories will always remain.
Thanks for a great article.
Mary (Parsons) Sulzer
Peabody High, Class of '77
From Betsy Murphy:
My name is Betsy and I live in Salem, MA. I'm 38 years old,
born in '67, and my grandfather, Alexandre Gagnon, used to take me to
Kiddie Towne on a regular basis when I was little.
I just read the article about your reunion in today's Salem
Evening News, and I was inspired to write to you just because.
I have vivid memories of being at the top of the ferris wheel,
looking out over the vast expanse (as it was then) of the shopping center,
feeling like I was on top of the very world itself. I remember the
water ride, and remember worrying that the pirhannas would get me if
I put my fingers in the water (I spent the ride looking over the edge,
looking for the fish!)
I remember being very upset as a six-year old to find that the
park was closed and that I could no longer go there with my Pepere -
instead we started spending more time at the Salem Willows playing Skeeball
and riding the Tilt-a-whirl.
What a blast from the past this article was, bringing back memories
of the shopping center as it was over 30 years ago, with the open air
mall and the live Nativity scenes every December. I remember milking
a cow there as a first-grader, winning a red ribbon for having the second
most amount in my glass after learning how to milk a cow - and how scary
that was, considering the cow was about 8 times my size!
Thank you for all that you did back then, and for helping bring
the memories back for one of your former kiddie customers!!
Please email your memories
to Charlene Dolan
We will only print them with your approval.