Saturday, April 16, 2016

Frontier City, Somewhere USA

I found today's slides featuring a humble Western-themed amusement park years ago... they are dated "June, 1961", but that's all the info I really have about them. To some degree they qualify as "Mystery Slides".

As you can see, this first image at least gives us a name - "Frontier City". It's just generic enough to be of little use! There is still a park called Frontier City in Oklahoma City; I don't think this is that park. There was another Frontier City in Onstead, Michigan. Well... maybe. But I believe that the park shown in today's photos was near Virginia Beach, Virginia. 

The Frontier City in Virginia opened in 1961 on 26 glorious acres, and featured a paddlewheel steamer, a stockade, a Longhorn Saloon (hey, that's the name of the saloon in this photo!), an Indian village, a steam train, and a stage coach. I love the quaint "mom and pop" appearance of this place.

I guess that's the Indian Village? Or part of it, anyway. "Snake Dancers" were listed as one of the thrilling attractions; as a kid I would have insisted on seeing them! They'd better not be using any rubber snakes.

Fort Dodge - a civilized refuge in the middle of the wilderness! As for visiting Boot Hill... we'll all get there soon enough.

This stage coach looks charmingly home made, its simple design betraying its plywood construction. You know what? Once you were on board, it was probably just as much fun as fancier versions found elsewhere.

After opening to some success, attendance began to suffer, and by 1965 - only four short years after opening - the owners sold the land to make way for an apartment complex. I would imagine that that would make these photos pretty rare.


walterworld said...

Long live (I wish) Frontier City!

TokyoMagic! said...

I want to visit Frontier City! That looks like a pretty small stage coach. I think those are miniature ponies which are giving the illusion that it is bigger. It looks like there is a larger (and more authentic looking) stage coach in the background of that same shot. I wonder if that was just a prop, or if it was ever hooked up to horses and used as an attraction?

TokyoMagic! said...

Are those guys down the road in that second pic getting ready to arm wrestle? Churn butter? Or just "roll out the barrel"?

Major Pepperidge said...

walterworld, this one didn't last long! Such a bummer.

TokyoMagic!, the other stagecoach does look a little fancier, but still crude compared to the Disneyland (and Knott's) versions, which looked like they were right out of a movie. Just a guess, but maybe they used them both on busy days.

TokyoMagic! again, those guys are going to thumb wrestle!

TokyoMagic! said...

Okay, I've been gone all day and now upon taking a third look at these, my attention goes back again to that second pic. The ORIGINAL BERRY STAND is just down that road!

Thumb wrestling, huh? I bet you're right. And I bet they're having a barrel of fun. Waaaa, waa!