Dancing Pavilion, Penobscot Park, Searsport, ca. 1910
Penobscot Park, opposite Sears Island, was quite an attraction in the early 1900s. A persuasive advertisement in the Republican-Journal in July 1910 read: "The only public bathing and boating place in Waldo County. Come and try one of D. R. White's FAMOUS SHORE DINNERS. Large dancing pavilion with good music. Swings, ball grounds, bathing, boating and fishing. We guarantee to please." The Bangor and Aroostook Railroad developed Penobscot Park shortly after it opened its Northern Seaport Line to Searsport in 1905. At the time Sears Island was owned by a syndicate of men who were prominent in the railroad company and planned to develop a resort on the island. The Bar Point House, dance pavilion, merry-go-rounds, and a shore dinner for 50 cents a plate attracted summer people as well as local residents. The dances drew bands from outside as well as within Waldo County. In this photograph dancers are waiting for the Marine Band from Greenville to start playing. Penobscot Park was closed during World War I but reopened for seven more years in 1920.