The view depicts the Park as seen from an imaginary vantage point to the north, with Canobie Lake in the middle ground and the cities of the Merrimack Valley in the far distance. Though a roller coaster is clearly visible at center left, the Park was at the time largely given over to more sedate pleasures: boating and bathing in the lake, strolling in the gardens, games on the baseball diamond, and (I assume) dining and dancing in the pavilions. In the background can be seen the regional trolley lines connecting the park with the thriving industrial centers of Haverhill, Lawrence, Lowell and Nashua, for whose populace the Park was built. The vivid chromolithographic color, the pleasing natural setting, and the wealth of enlivening detail combine to make this a most appealing image.
The view is extremely rare: I find no institutional holdings in OCLC, amd neither Antique Map Price Record nor Rare Book Hub list any examples having appeared on the antiquarian market.
Canobie Lake Park
The Park opened in the Summer of 1902 along Salem, New Hampshire’s Canobie Lake. It was developed by the Hudson, Pelham & Salem Railways (HP&S) as a means of generating additional passenger business for its new trolley line to Salem (Such “trolley parks” were a common marketing tool used by rail and trolley companies in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.) In 1912 the HP&S merged with other companies to form the Massachusetts Northeast Street Railway Company (MNSR), which established Salem as the hub of its operations. It was the MNSR which published this promotional view of the Park.
“In its early years, the park was known for its flower gardens, promenades and gentle attractions. After the decline of trolley as a mode of travel, the park declined in popularity, culminating in the park’s closure on St. Patrick’s Day in 1929. In 1931, the park was auctioned off with the intent to subdivide the land into residential lots. Patrick J. Holland, a construction contractor from Ireland, bought the property for US$17,000. He and his workers restored the park with new gardens, attractions, and modern electricity. In 1932, the park reopened, three years after its initial closure. Its popularity recovered, and the Yankee Cannonball was installed, becoming one of the park’s most popular attractions for decades. Holland died in 1943, leaving the park with his wife and son, who continued to own the park until 1958. The park is now currently owned by three families; they purchased the park in 1958, continued operating the park ever since, and still operate the park today.” (Wikipedia)
George H. Walker & Co.
The view was produced by the great lithographic firm of George H. Walker at the behest of the MSRC. Established in 1880 George H. Walker & Co. “was the last important lithographic firm to be established in Boston in the nineteenth century” (Pierce and Slautterback). An advertisement in the 1882 Boston Business Directory describes the firm as “publishers and lithographers” doing “engraving in all its branches, map engraving and photo-lithographing.” (Reps) Among other output, Walker issued atlases of Massachusetts and of Essex County, numerous maps of Boston and its metropolitan area, and promotional birds-eye views of Boston, Edgartown, Bar Harbor, Lake Winnipesaukee, Mount Washington and elsewhere. All are sought after for their vibrant use of color, enlivening details and considerable documentary value.
Not in OCLC or Reps, Views and Viewmakers of Urban America (though in fairness I’m not sure this would have qualified in Reps’ eyes as a city view).