The History of Lake Pearl Wrentham
Lake Pearl was originally known as Whiting’s Pond, named after the Whiting family, who operated a mill there starting in the late seventeenth century.
During the mid-nineteenth century, the George family purchased land east of the lake and ran a park there. Known as George’s Park, it attracted people from all over the area.
In 1885, William Enegren, who owned and operated a bakery business in Franklin, used monies from the sale of the land and building of the Franklin establishment to purchase George’s Park. He relocated his business there and sold baked goods to summer visitors. William Energen’s daughter, Pearl, who was just a toddler, died shortly after the move to Wrentham. William renamed the park as Lake Pearl Park in her honor.
To all who visited, Lake Pearl was known as a place with towering pine trees, famous coconut cakes, and other refreshments including ice cream made from ice that had been cut from the lake in winter and stored in the icehouse until the start of the summer. In the first year of operation, an outing was held on Labor Day, and the tradition of outings at Lake Pearl had begun.
By 1910, many changes had taken place: a 40-foot power launch, a merry-go-round, boats and canoes, a dance pavilion, a 500 seat dining pavilion, the first outdoor silent movies, and a bathing beach. People came from near and far to visit the park. The New York and New Hampshire Railroad serviced the park and Milford, Attleboro, & Woonsocket Street Railway Company ran a streetcar to the park.
By 1920, the war’s end had brought new events, and business was on the upswing. Admission was now charged for the dance hall and park. Autos and trucks replaced streetcars. And refrigeration ended the era of the icehouse.
In the 1930’s and 1940’s, dancing was at its most popular. The ballroom at the park was now known as the King Philip Ballroom. It attracted famous big bands, including Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Glenn Miller, and even Frank Sinatra.
The Hurricane of 1938 caused changed that were really the start of the present-day look of Lake Pearl Park. The loss of many trees meant sunshine where there had only been shade before. Grass grew, flowers were cultivated, and a new type of park was in the making.
As the years passed, Lake Pearl Park continued to grow. In the 1980’s, Lake Pearl was a popular site for corporate outings and weddings.
The park was sold in 1998 to the new owners, Mr. Joseph J. Lorusso and family. Mr. Lorusso made many improvements to the grounds and ballroom, such as crystal chandeliers, Roman columns, and a Victorian tent by the lake that is used for outings, weddings and special occasions. The dance terrace was replaced with walkways and fountains, and a vast array of flowers were planted throughout the property.
Weddings are still the most popular event at Lake Pearl Wrentham, along with corporate meetings and social events. The management and staff hope you will enjoy your visit to Lake Pearl Wrentham. We want to add your pleasant memories to the long tradition of fine cuisine, happy celebrations, and friendly service that form the ongoing history of Lake Pearl.
Lake Pearl Wrentham, through direct contributions and sponsorship and through the contributions of the Lorusso family and the Lorusso family of companies supports the local community through a variety of causes.