Totem Pole Collection

One of the most beautiful, and certainly most popular "trolley" parks in New England, Norumbega Park opened in 1897 in Auburndale (a village of Newton) Massachusetts and closed for good on Labor Day weekend 1963.

In 1930, the Great Steel Theater at Norumbega was converted into the Totem Pole Ballroom.

Although there were more than a hundred ballrooms within driving distance of Boston, MA, the Totem Pole was universally acknowledged as one of the largest and certainly the most elegant.

In Addition to the Bob Bachelder house band, many famous touring swing bands appeared at the Totem Pole, including Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Harry James, the Tommy Dorsey, and Lawrence Welk. Frank Sinatra sang at the Totem Pole, as did Dinah Shore, Frankie Laine, the Four Lads and the Von Trapp Family. Often, bands were broadcast nationally over the NBC, ABC, and CBS radio networks.

Norumbega Park Totem Pole Poster

Photographs from the Totem Pole

JHDB Interview with Roger Farrington

Roger Farrington is the son of former Norumbega Park and Totem Pole Ballroom owner Doug Farrington.

Doug Farrington, Founder of Totem Pole

Audio from the Totem Pole

The Totem Pole Ballroom was host to many famous artists over the years. The JHDB collection includes music by Glenn Miller and Joni James.

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Remembering the Totem Pole Ballroom