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Parking Lot Series: Galilee State ParkGalilee State Park Narragansett, Rhode Island

After finding this late-1950s image, the Rhode Island Civil Defense Department truck and the background both looked familiar. It turns out that two and a half years ago, another picture taken at the same location of the rear portion of this parking lot was posted here.

At the time the following information was a part of that feature: “Today’s Parking Lot Series image takes us to a parking lot in Galilee State Park located in the Village of Galilee in the southernmost part of Narragansett, Rhode Island. The nearby Sand Hill Cove Beach has been re-named the Salty Brine State Beach and is now a part of the Rhode Island State Parks.”

“Some type of an event of public interest was taking place at the pier located in the far-left top of the photo. This view gives us a good look at the cars and trucks in the rear of the parking lot. The picture was taken back in the period during the days of the “Cold War,” as the Rhode Island Civil Defense Department was out in full force with a large van and a duck boat.”

The photo was found via where Tim MacGregor posted it. Share with us what you find of interest in this photograph courtesy of the Providence Public Library. View other photos in the Parking Lot Series here.


26 responses to “Parking Lot Series: Galilee State ParkGalilee State Park Narragansett, Rhode Island

    • Specifically a Sky Hawk, powered by a 289 four barrel. Only other Hawk hardtop that year was the Golden Hawk, but it had small fins and a 352 Packard V8.

      Power Hawks (259 2 and 4 barrel) and Flight Hawks (flathead six) were finless like the Sky Hawks, but they were not pillarless hardtops (I would call them sedans, but that term was reserved for non-Hawk models that year).

  1. Up front that would be a ’56 Studebaker Sky Hawk (vs Golden Hawk with fins), a ’55 DeSoto Fireflite Sportsman, a ’58 Ford Fairlane Club Victoria, a ’55 Ford Customline Tudor, a ’53 Ford Customline Fordor, a ’56 Ford Country Squire, a ’54 Pontiac Chieftain sedan, and perhaps a ’51-ish Chrysler. The Nash in the aisle is a ’51 Ambassador.

    Of some interest in the group of cars seen to the right of the Nash, 2nd car in, far side, a ’58 Olds 88 Fiesta wagon; 7th car in, this side a ’58 Buick Estate Wagon, 11 cars in, just past the ’57 DeSoto, possibly a ’56 T-bird. Further down that row, a mid-‘50s Nash coupe with another seen “above” it. Seen above that, facing the water is a black ’58 or ’59 Continental and another one in white seen above the Buick Estate Wagon. Four cars to the left of that a ’57 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special

    I see nothing newer than 1959 models

    • I’m glad that you were able to correctly identify the 5th car down in the front row as a ‘53 Customline Fordor as I initially thought that it might be a Hudson only the grill didn’t match so I was hoping that someone would know the right make and model and you did as that appears exactly what it is – so I thank you.

  2. Note the preponderance of higher-end cars plus the number of wagons and convertibles, as you might expect yacht owners to drive.

  3. “Some type of an event of public interest was taking place…” This could be the yearly “Blessing of the Fleet” or either a swordfish or tuna fishing tournament.

  4. What an interesting variety of rolling stock – not all Ford & GM products. The one that has me completely buffaloed is the 5-window coupe in front of the house trailer. It looks like a ’46 or there about Dodge, Chevrolet or brethren. But what appears to be parking lights mounted on the top of the front fenders throws me. Any experts that can identify the coupe?

    • TERRYM,

      Think you’re correct that the coupe is a post-war DODGE with a flow into door front fender. Both CHRYSLER & DeSOTO had the same type fenders, but their side moldings were different from this car.

      Could be a flaw in the photograph, rather than a parking light.

      The 1942 to ’47 PACKARD Clipper cars had similar flow into door fenders, but this isn’t a PACKARD.


    • Karl,

      It’s in the other picture of this location posted a few years ago.

      Go to the above 1st paragraph and click on the last few words of the 2nd sentence. This will bring you to the posting with the duck boat from a few years ago.


  5. You featured another great “Parking Lot Series” of this place May 10, 2017. In the photo, there is a duck boat with the Civil Defense logo. There also appears the (same?) exhibit bus with the CD logo. I am guessing that because this was during the cold war era, (people were building underground bomb shelters) there were periodic educational events. Anyway, thanks for another great post!

  6. The semi truck in the upper right corner, is a late 50’s IH R190 pulling what looks like a 24ft(?) Fruehauf trailer. Maybe a Ford pickup behind. Not sure what the other pickup is, another IH, maybe, and not much on the CD van, except seeing it gives me the creeps. As a kid, we didn’t know what was going on, but our parents were sure nervous. It’s a good thing we never needed those vans.

    • I’m going to say the other dark colored pickup is a ’56 or newer Studebaker (more pronounced forward hood bulge than earlier 2R series).

  7. I know this area well having made visits there since the 1950s.
    The beach South of this parking lot was the Galilee State Beach which was renamed the Salty Brine Beach.
    The next state beach East of the Salty Brine Beach was the Sand Hill Cove Beach which was renamed the Roger Wheeler State Beach, not the Salty Brine Beach. Once a year, near this parking lot, is The Blessing of the Fleet event which attracts many people. One has to get there early.

    • well, this was before domestic quality started a rapid decline and people began to realize that a Beetle or a Datsun or Toyota sedan had much more to offer in that respect. Many of you might remember the Datsun 510 in the US market had a 1.6L SOHC engine, 4 speed synchro or 3-speed auto, disk brakes, and 4 wheel independent suspension, a real hoot for car aficionados! But that was just a part of the foreign car onslaught. Buddy came back from Viet nam and bought a Toyota pickup in 68 I think, because it was conveniently small and had a lot of features. However, long drives to places like Death Valley cramped his over 6ft. frame up, but he still loved it. Similar things were happening to motorcycles by this time as well. Interesting age and the Big 3 finally realized much later that they we being out played. The competition did them good.

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