Once upon a time, there was a magic portal to an extraordinary realm
where adventure and playtime merged across a vast landscape of fairy tales incarnated.
This portal was, in reality, a mere ticket booth.
And the extraordinary realm beyond that ticket booth was the independently owned
family amusement park known as King's Castle Land* of Whitman, Massachusetts.
Over four generations, King's Castle Land hosted and fostered the imaginations of youngsters and the young at heart.
Through this coloring activity website, we hope to recapture just a bit of that magic and share it with the world.
*Not to be confused with more famous amusement parks such as Maryland's Enchanted Forest, New York's Story Town,
New Hampshire's Story Land, or the Storyland franchise!
A complete history of King's Castle Land is difficult to come by.
The story goes, around 1946, a fellow by the name of Joe King put up roadside attractions
alongside his King's Restaurant on Bedford Street, part of Rt. 18 through Whitman, Massachusetts.
Rt. 18 was a big deal circa the late 40s, the dawning of the great travel era,
when station wagons and road trips were fast becoming an integral part of the American lifestyle.
Bedford Street was a hot-spot on the way to Paragon Park and Nantasket Beach.
Not far from King's Restaurant was the famous Toll House Inn,
where the recipe for chocolate chip cookies originated in Ruth Wakefield's kitchen about 10 years earlier.
Rt. 18 bustled with tourists.
Property owners like Joe King planned to offer those tourists a unique hospitality.
Joe had bigger ideas than his neighbors.
He wanted to stand out from the heritage related attractions like the Toll House Inn
and Peaceful Meadows Ice Cream Farm, and so flanked King's Restaurant with big, colorful displays
of life-size models based on famous fairy tales and nursery rhymes.
Indeed, the property and its wonders would remain a hallmark of Whitman, Massachusetts, for over four decades, but just what King's Restaurant was like during the 50s and 60s is a mystery nowadays.
There are only a couple of photographs from this era making the rounds on the internet - and not much else to go on.
What we do know is that, sometime in 1967, there was a fellow named Clarence Whitney,
the owner of a little toy store, appropriately called Hideaway Toys.
Clarence was eager to change his "hideaway" image when he found out the King's Restaurant property was for sale
and eagarly acquired the 2.5 acres including its famous attractions.
By decade's end, Clarence and his family expanded the premises to 5 acres,
supplanting the dining experience succinctly with a whole new "Castle Land" family theme park!
...and plenty more.
Thanks to Clarence's rebuilding and rebranding, Joe King's old fire-breathing dragon became more famous than ever.
King's Castle Land and Toy Store hosted families from far and wide across America.
By the time my brother and I (about us) were cutting our teeth, King's Castle Land had expanded to 7 acres.
Circa 1970s, King's Castle Land was the consummate childhood paradise - and only minutes from our home.
Needless to say, we visited King's Castle Land often - and enjoyed it immensely!
It was bad enough, entering our early teenage years, leaving behind our appreciation for King's Castle Land,
but worse still - Clarence wasn't getting any younger and times, they were-a-changin'.
As the 1980s pressed on, King's Castle Land grew no more. Rather, it started shrinking. Decaying.
The King's Castle Toy Store, once considered the best in the area, fell by the wayside among new corporate chains
who had no interest in maintaining a full scale amusement park.
Tourism waned and nobody seemed to care about King's Castle Land anymore.
One fateful day, the glorious dragon's flame went out, never to burn again.
In its last throes of death, the old boy saw the toy store's brief resurrection as a video games arcade
before the entire property was demolished and bulldozed in favor of a Super Stop&Shop in 1994.
Here's a link to another video
interview with Clarence Whitney
the owner of King's Castle Land and Toy Store !
(We're unable to embed the video into this page)
We make Coloring Books and Printable Download Pages!
Free Samples, Right This Way!
You can find more photos of King's Castle Land (and submit your own, if you have some!)
on Instagram @kings_castle_land_whitman_ma
The surviving pictures you'll find are real gems that give you just a hint of what King's Castle Land was like!
And Now... here's a word from our sponsor!
Just kidding! It's us again!
We just want to make sure you know where to get
Free Samples, Right This Way!
We hope you enjoy our growing line-up of coloring books suitable for kids, adults, families and friends!