Memories of Whalom Park
Resident Care Director
Reflections Program Director
Director of Marketing
Activity & Volunteer Director
8 West Main Street
Groton, MA 01450
p: 978-448-4122 f: 978-448-4133
When it first opened in 1893, Whalom Park was a traditional Englishstyle park of gardens and walking paths, created by a streetcar operator
in Leominster and Fitchburg as a way to lure riders on weekends. Its
carousel, with fofty-eight hand-carved animals, was installed in 1914.
Animal exhibits, summer stock theater, and a dance hall arrived. The
first roller coaster was built in the 1920s. After World War II, with
the added excitement of skee-ball, arcades, a funhouse, and bumper
cars, Whalom thrived. The park was iconic in Massachusetts. Saturday morning commercials would call out to kids (to call out to their
parents) to “Come to Whalom Park for a whale of a time!” They had
their own jingle and the commercials ran often on TV and radio.
If you need excitement, then come for the fun!
Whalom Park, it’s for everyone!
Amusement rides! And water slides!
Whalom Park, it’s family sized!
Picnic’s and good times! Rides, games, and shows!
Whalom’s got it! C’mon let’s gooooooo!
Great for the family! It’s one of a kind!
Whalom Paaaark . . . for a whale of a time!
Whalom Park was the thirteenth oldest amusement park in the U.S. before it
closed in 2000, and the second oldest of all remaining trolley parks at the time,
credited with 107 years in operation.
In addition to the Looff carousel, Whalom Park had an
all-star line up of traditional
classic rides, tilt-a-whirl,
tumble bug, scrambler, ferris wheel, an Allan Herschell
Looper (restored and now
at Knoebels Grove in PA),
octopus, satellite jets. Their
train was a Allan Herschell
iron horse, Bisch Rocco
flying scooters, Hrubetz
continued back page
the monthly newsletter for rivercourt residences
The residents of Reflections enjoy the beautiful mantle decor that Robin Fadden has been
kind enough to create. For the next few months we have the Patriotic theme going. Can’t
wait to see what she has planned for August!
Reflections: Art Projects
The residents worked on Stars for our Troops community service project. Stars are cut then put in
plastic sealable bags with the verse, “Please carry me
as a reminder you are not forgotten.” Over 150 stars
were packaged for distribution to the Bedford VA
hospital and local vets.
Bill Ryan was given a star by one of the
residents who worked on the project.
In, Out, and About
The monthly luncheon was at
Devens Grill—full plates then full
On an afternoon van ride we came
upon the Storybook Cottage in
May’s bowling trip to Harvard Lanes—
Dr. Mary had the winning score, an 86!
Volunteer Appreciation Reception
A large group of our volunteers were able to join us
for a reception to applaud and thank them for all the
programs made possible because of their time given.
We are fortunate to have many church volunteers,
canine visitors, “friendly visitors,” an accordion
musician, a BINGO caller, a “chaperone” for Indian
Hill as well a number of high school students regularly volunteering their time for community service.
Our community is richer because of this dedicated
group and our appreciation is endless.
Spanish guitarist, George Parker played for our Cinco
de Mayo celebration.
Bob and Pat enjoyed the nachos and sangria during
our social while Jerry C. toasted the day with blessings to all amigos!
Exploring the Area
Groton Historical Society & Museum
172 Main St. 978-448-0092
400 Littleton Rd.,
Gibbet Hill Barn, Trails, and Restaurant
61 Lowell Rd.
Fitchburg Art Museum,
free passes available at front desk
Carter Myseum of Groton History
Lone Lane 617-823-5757
The Natural Market
148 Main St. 978-448-5075
134 Main St. 978-855-7562
The Herb Lyceum (New American)
368 Main St. 978-448-6499
Filhos Cucina (Italian)
235 Main St. 978-448-5664
Main St. Café
(Friday Night Entertainment )
159 Main St. 978-448-9634
It has been thirty-six years since I recited the Florence
Nightingale pledge at my graduation. The last line in
the pledge says, “With loyalty I will endeavor to devote
myself to the welfare of those committed to my care.”
I tried every day to accomplish this. My career has
allowed me to care for others in many different aspects:
civilian hospitals, the United States Air Force, consulting, long term care facilities, home care, and senior
living facilities. I am grateful and humbled by the
opportunities that have been given to me. On the advice
of my orthopedic surgeon and the support of my husband, retirement has come sooner than expected. The
last few words of the pledge “committed to my care” are
the heart and soul of who I am. Because of my present
health issues I cannot fully commit myself and for that
I am truly saddened. My surgery is in July and after my
recuperation my husband and I, with Sadie
and Gretchen, with
travel the United States,
Canada, and Alaska
in our motor home for
the next couple of years.
Please know that you
will always be in my
thoughts and prayers. I
promise to stay in touch.
Staff Profile: Chase Hertog
Chase Hertog was born October
29, 1990 in Minneapolis Minnesota. He is the youngest of three
children with a brother Jacob
and sister Hannah.
Chase and his family moved to
Groton in 2000. Chase graduated from Groton-Dunstable
High in 2010, and attended Middlesex Community College
receiving a certificate in business and support in 2013.
Chase started at RiverCourt volunteering in 2005 and
was hired in March 2009 as a dining room server. He
assumes the “ambassador” role while serving the many
outside groups coming to our community for their lunch
meetings such as the woman’s auxiliary and area senior
In addition, Chase volunteers at Lowell General in the
mail room and has become a valued member of the team
there as well.
In his spare time Chase shares he enjoys mowing lawns,
swimming in the family pool, and hanging out with his
Chase has enjoyed some “solo” trips to South Carolina
visiting cousins and looks forward to more in the future
with his next goal to visit Minnesota.
Always with a ready smile and sincere greeting, knowing
all his “customers” preferences Chase is a valued member of our RiverCourt dining room team.
Sue at the Phoenix Restaurant in Shirley treated us
like royalty on our recent Ladies Lunch Out. The
sandwiches were too big to finish but somehow we
managed room for the ice cream with chocolate sauce.
Music, movement, relaxation along with
creating and appreciating art are regular
programs with their popularity growing.
This month our resident assistants will be
joining the Powerful 3 music and therapy
group along with the activity staff now that
we have all have gone through training. The
drums circle continues a favorite!
Resident Profile: Bob and Pat Whittemore
AAA tours around the States.
Experiences of their
travels are one of many
things to learn from
Bob and Pat. Not
only their own but
of the many visitors
they guided for nine
years as escorts for
Bob and Pat met in high school in Lowell and frequented
the Rainbow and DeMolay church dances. They married in 1950 and raised three children, Donna, David,
and Donald at their home on Long Pond in Tewksbury.
Pat shares, she took tap dancing lessons early on “as a
kid.” She would take up that interest again in her 60s.
Continuing into her 80s, Pat only stopped because her
teacher “retired.” If she can find a class for seniors in
the Groton area she’d be back on the tap floor.
Pat worked for years as a floral designer in a local shop
while the kids were in school and then for Middlesex
Bank for a number of years until her retirement.
Bob worked as an electrical engineer for Mass. Electric,
retiring after forty-two years of service. Bob started
carving in his 40s after taking a class in the art and
realized he had a liking and keen eye for the craft.
Indeed, Bob’s works are a true artists’ quality, not only
for the carving but the detailed and realistic painting
of his pieces. From birds, bears, and ducks to people
and Santas, his works are gallery-worthy!
Bob and Pat both retired at sixty-two and continued
their love of traveling, visiting China just a few years
ago. Thirty years of travel have taken them to Europe,
Russia, on many river and Caribbean cruises, as well as
all over our fifty states.
Bob and Pat moved to RiverCourt March 28, and
immediately joined in with our art classes, music programs, museum trips, ladies lunch, and can always be
found “taking up the hat” at our many theme parties.
Between their travels and Bob’s artistry this activity
director is already thinking of a couple of new programs for all our residents to appreciate. Thanks for
joining us and for your additions to our community
Bob and Pat!
Margaret (Josie) Dubois
Dorothy (Peggy) Braat
A life without love is like a year without
Assisted & Independent Living
Our recent theme day took us to Italy
where we feasted on a menu from soup
to cake of some creative Italian dishes.
Rick, Liz and Jess went all out with
a pasta fagioli soup, Caprese salad a
penne with peas and prosciutto, veal
saltimbocca, sautéed chicken with
artichokes and for dessert we were
treated to Cassata cake made by Mrs.
G, (Frances). Deliciosa!! After lunch
it was the red team against the yellow
playing Bocce. We enjoyed Italian ices
after all that energy was spent with
some tough competitors. The Italian
“Crooner” Mark serenaded us before
dinner with so many favorites including, That’s Amore.
Special Events and Entertainment at
Eyewitness to the events of April 19, 1775....... Wed, June 3, 2:30 pm
Pianist, Steve Staines........................................... Thu, June 4, 2:30 pm
Men’s Lunch Out........................................................ Fri, June 5, noon
Country Singer, Tim Barrett............................... Tue, June 9, 2:30 pm
ZUMBA with Sharon............................... Thu, June 11 & 25, 2:30 pm
Piano Student Recitals...................................... Sun, June 14, 2:00 pm
The Traveling Boutique.....................................Mon, June 15, 1–4 pm
Silent Movie Night with Richard Hughes......Wed, June 17, 6:45 pm
Bach’s Lunch at Indian Hill............................Thu, June 18, 11:45 am
Polish Theme Day:
Music of the Eastern Sound Group............. Thu, June 18, 3:00 pm
Special Polish Dinner................................... Thu, June 18, 5:30 pm
Ladies Lunch Out..................................................... Fri, June 19, noon
Annual Strawberry Festival..................................Sat, June 20, 2–4pm
A Closer Look at Poland with Ron................. Tue, June 23, 10:30 am
Harpist, Rebecca Swett......................................Tue,. June 23, 2:30 pm
Watercolor Class with Denise....................... Wed, June 24, 10:30 am
Pianist, Dick Sawyer............................................ Fri, June 26, 2:30 pm
Birthday Party with Joe Foster..........................Tue, June 30, 2:30 pm
Summer is upon us! I am sure that many of us were
feeling as if warmer days were not approaching fast
enough! One thing that I would like to point out that
is extremely important during these hot summer
days is HYDRATION. Many of us do not realize just
how important it is to drink fluids, preferably water
to stay ahead of dehydration. This is especially important for our elderly population because they are more
susceptible to dehydration, which if left untreated can
lead to much more serious complications.
A recent study conducted by the University of Chicago Medical Center found that 40 percent of
heat-related fatalities in the U.S. were among people
over 65. Dehydration is also one of the top ten causes
of hospitalizations in the United States (www.aplaceformom.com).
Dehydration is caused by several different things;
the first is simply from lack of adequate fluid intake.
Other causes include sweating which we all too often
fail to realize just how much fluid we lose in the summer months, through sweat. Some medications such
as diuretics or more commonly called the “water pill”
can also cause dehydration if you are not drinking
enough while taking it. And of course vomiting or
diarrhea also account for fluid loss which often can
result in dehydration.
Symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth and
tongue as well as feeling like your saliva is thick.
Headaches, fever, dark or deep colored urine, cramping in the arms or legs, weakness or a general feeling of
being tired, dizziness, and the inability to urinate are
also some of the common symptoms of dehydration.
The Wellness Clinic is held
every Friday at 1:00 p.m.
in the Wellness Office on
the first floor.
–Nicole Young R.N., CDP
With this being said fluid intake is key! Healthy older
adults should aim to drink 1.5–2 liters, which is 6–8
glasses of liquid intake per day. You should try and
avoid beverages such as soda, tea and coffee as they
contain caffeine which acts as a diuretic causing you
to lose more fluid.
A common concern I have heard several residents
verbalize when talking about increasing fluid intake
is that drinking more unfortunately results in more
frequent hurried trips to the bathroom to urinate!
While I can understand the inconvenience of the
extra bathroom trips, as well as issues with incontinence, it is still very important to make sure we are
drinking enough in these warmer weather months. If
this is a concern please come and speak with me and
we can brainstorm some ideas to help alleviate these
concerns. So while we are enjoying these warmer
months please treat yourself to a tall glass of water
and have a great summer!
Also, a reminder that if you have any health related
questions or concerns that are not of an urgent matter
please take advantage of Wellness Fridays and make
an appointment by calling the concierge today! I have
also put out several new brochures outside the Wellness Office on various health related topics. Please
feel free to come down and help yourselves!
We celebrated our nurses during National
Nurses Week with an ice cream sundae
social. That brought out the crowd to honor
our dedicated team including (L–R) Kim
Landi, Reflections Program nurse, Nicole
Young, Wellness nurse, and Sharon Amadon, Resident Care director joined by a
very appreciative Mimi McKenna.
continued from page 1
paratrooper, Mangels whip, and atop them all, the PTC
Philadephia Toboggan (Coasters) Co., ca. 1940 Flying Comet roller coaster, a figure eight double out-back
designed by Vernon Keenan. It was demolished in 2006.
The Whalom Park Circa 1909 Charles I. D. Looff Menagerie Carousel was sold off piece-by-piece on April 15,
2000. Whalom is the last grand American “Golden Age”
carousel to be broken up at auction and sold off figureby-figure. Other grand historic carousels have been to
auction since, but all have sold intact.
Many of our residents and staff hold memories of Whalom Park, from company outings and school trips, to
family picnics all with a favorite ride or area of the park
Lois W. shares, “I remember my first time going on the
rollercoaster. By the end of the ride I was on the floor
hugging my friends’ legs. I said never again Tina, and
don’t you tell a soul!”
Anna G. recalls, “I used to take the bus from Ayer with
my sister-in-law to Whalom to go roller skating.”
Bessie S. chuckles now, but “On my eighteenth birthday,
I went to Whalom Park and went on the rollercoaster. It
was a rickety old wooden thing. When I got off I lost my
lunch. I have never been on a rollercoaster since.”
Like so many other small amusement parks at the turn
of the century, Whalom began as a weekend destination
for streetcar riders. Quickly the park developed into a
recreational gathering place with an abundance of rides,
food vendors and first-rate entertainment. Sadly, with the
combination of poor management and the emergence of
big theme parks, Whalom would begin to decline in the
late twentytieth century. The Park eventually closed its
gates for the last time in the fall of 2000.
Today the thirty acre site of the former park has been
developed into a 240 unit condominium community.
Things change, nothing stays the same and life goes on.
Thank goodness for our memories.
Welcome New Residents
Dorothy (Dottie) Roach
Wendall and Lou Finneault
Joel and Bets Searcy
Welcome New Employees
Lauren McCaig–lead concierge
Mary Schroth–Reflections porter
These words and many
others like it were shared
about Julia Pitre. Julia truly is
the example of a worthy, employee of
Julia is exceptional at her job, more than a team
player. She takes on every challenge, every change.
She is very professional and she makes the residents’ needs
her utmost priority. As a team player she is a go-to person. You
can always count on her. She adapts to changes and challenges
all the time. She is someone you always look forward to working with,
always smiling and willing to extend herself.
She goes out of her way to help other employees. For example when one washing
machine was broken (in one area) she called to ask if she could do any of the laundry for us.
Congratulations and thank you Julia!
Employee of the Month