Saturday, January 10, 2015

Frontier Town - Ocean City, Maryland - August 1960

Today's photos are from Frontier Town, located near Ocean City, Maryland (circa 1960). I've shared some photos of this little western town before… take a look HERE if you are interested; you'll find out a bit more about the place, too.

These were in rough shape… just generally dirty, and some looked like they might have mold on them. I'm not sure it was worth the time I spent trying to clean them up, but it's too late now! Here's the entrance marquee, which is pretty modest, though I like the realistic cowboy and horse.

Here's a stretch of town that includes the jail (where you could take hilarious pictures of your loved ones behind bars); the blacksmith - I think you can just see the smith at his forge in the shadows ("The Forge in the Shadows", hey, that's going to be the title of my new fantasy novel about dragons and trolls and junk); and to our right, the dreaded dentist, displaying a giant tooth, which just makes me think about extractions without novocaine. OUCH.

This large town square looks just perfect for gun fights, fist fights, stunt shows, hangings, and dance-offs. Oh, it's ON! Or you can just go to the chapel if you don't like to dance.

If you want to catch the next stage out of town, you need to come to Cactus Canyon. While you're there, why not take a photo with Pecos Bill? He's mighty neighborly. In the distance you can see a conestoga wagon, and what appears to be a train depot. There was a little train at Frontier Town, so that must be what we're looking at.

The last two pictures are of the stage coach. I always love a good stage coach! The other photos have shown a landscape that was rather flat and featureless, so I appreciate the effort that they went to to pile up dirt into some miniature mountains (you might call them "hills"). Let the weeds grow on them, and voila! Those cacti are interesting. If you look to the right, you can see a second stage coach in the distance.

Either this coach has stopped for a photo, or maybe the driver would occasionally halt to point out something interesting nearby. Whatever that might be, we sure can't see it.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Frontier Town!


Alonzo P Hawk said...

Great pics Major! I love western theme parks, ghost towns, tourist traps etc. But then westerns are my favorite kind of Movies.

One thing always puzzled me was how a sign of or(in this case) a replica of a "toof" would intice one to sit done in a chair and get some pre-novacaine extractions. Ouchie. Dr. Rusty Pliers DDS.

K. Martinez said...

Whether you thought it was worth the time or not to clean them, I'm glad you did. You did a beautiful job! I love them thar "hills" and cacti in the stage coach images which seem to be of the homemade variety. Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...


The effort was well worth it, if for no other reason than to discover Frontier Town is still a going concern. And judging from the photo gallery, the guests provide the "talent" part of the Wild West Show - guns, and all.

And can anyone else figure out just exactly what is written on the sign above Pecos Bill and Grandma-? "Trading 'Tales'-? with Pecos Bill at Frontier Town...."

Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Alonzo, I wonder how many little western-style parks are still around compared to the 1950’s? I can’t imagine having a tooth extracted without novacaine, but on the other hand, I once had a broken tooth, and it hurt so bad that I wanted it out no matter what!

K. Martinez, at a certain point I kind of gave up…. “Good enough!”. But they look OK. Those cacti are weird, aren’t they? Not even the typical saguaro you might see in a low-budget movie.

Nanook, boy, I read some reviews of Frontier Town, which is also used as a campground, and MAN, there are some real horror stories! Makes me not want to camp there, anyway. I am away from my home computer, but it looks like the sign says, “Trading Yarns with Pecos Bill”.

Chuck said...

Pecos Bill was well-known for his collection of tweed worsted.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

I wonder if old Pecos Bill is kin with Handsome Brady and Whiskey Bill.

I’ll bet there are a lot of folk who look at photos of that old sign with the same fondness as we do toward the old Disneyland sign.

Chuck said...

I was thinking the same thing about Pecos Bill, but can't find any confirmation. I have found a couple of other photos of him, and he seems to be similar to, but a little less detailed than, Claude Bell's work. I think we can safely say he was inspired by Whisky Bill and Handsome Brady, though.

Nancy said...

Very cool pictures! It always amazes me to see such sparse attendance and they are still able to stay viable.

Thanks for taking the time to fix 'em up and post 'em. That Pecos Bill sure does get around, doesnt he! :-)

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Chuck, I don’t know if you’ll see this or not, but your mentioning of Claude Bell caused me to get on a bit of a Claude Bell bunny trail (you know how the internet can be). Anyway, in the course of my wonderings I found out that the Whiskey Bill was not Whiskey “Bill” at all. His real name is Whiskey “Jim”. Whiskey Bill was a mistake made on some signage, and it caught on, but that was never his name at any point. Mr. Knott always called him Whiskey Jim. Sorry about that.