‘Custer Cars’ were a popular ride at Shrewsbury amusement park


‘Custer Cars’ were a popular ride at Shrewsbury amusement park
A multitude of visitors enjoyed the Custer Cars ride at White City Amusement Park in Shrewsbury until the 1950s.

SHREWSBURY – From 1905 until it closed in 1960, the White City Amusement Park was a very popular destination for people throughout New England. One of the many rides that the park featured was the “Custer Cars.” These, as can be seen in the photograph, were small contraptions that went around a track. Just when this ride was in operation was unknown until recent times. 

Due to the discovery of a set of blueprints printed in 1930 (when the “new” Route 9 was due to be constructed), we can see that the Custer Car ride was located just about where the current Route 9 entrance to White City Plaza is today. 

In the photograph, taken in the late 1940s, we have Beatrice Tebo sitting on one of the cars. The photo was taken by Jesse McKee―the two were enjoying an outing at the park. They met while he was in the Army, stationed at Fort Devens. They later married and ended up living on South Quinsigamond Avenue, close by the park. 

The Custer Cars themselves must have been removed during a 1950s renovation when a Kiddie Land took over the spot in the park. The name Custer Cars, it turns out, was due to the creator of the vehicles, a young man named Levitt Custer, who actually had a patent for an airplane component in 1912 at the age of 24!  He invented the Custer Cars a few years later and they became a huge hit for amusement parks.

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