Frontier Town

12/25/2014 2 albums Share: , , Album RSS
During the golden age of small amusement parks, thousands came to the carefully crafted theme park, Frontier Town. Opened July 4th 1952, the Adirondack attraction provided local seasonal employment and supported related service industries such as motels, gas stations, and restaurants. Frontier Town was a link in a chain of small theme parks that drew families to the area.

Arthur Benson did not intend Frontier Town to be a wild west theme park. From his book "Adirondack Mountain Adventure":

"Things were shaping up pretty well as opening day approached, but one serious problem arose. I had ordered frontier costumes in New York City for our ladies and Daniel Boone costumes for our men. The ladies' costumes showed up all right, but we never did receive the men's costumes. Realizing that we could not greet our visitors in street clothes, Ed Ovensen made a hasty trip to Glens Falls and came back with cowboy outfits for all of the men. We made cowboys out of six North Hudson lads who although they were familiar with work horses, knew nothing about riding horses."

The Wild West park featured cowboys and Indians, train robberies and rodeos until it closed the first time in the mid-1980s. By the 1990's, the historically based attraction included authentic industries from North Hudson's past, such as Roth's Forge and sawmill, as a part of its display.

Panther Mountain Water Park bought it in 1989 from a Long Island bank. It remained open until 1998, when Panther Mountain closed it, citing declining attendance. Essex County took it for back taxes in 2004.

Leonard Singer of Rockland County paid $210,000 for most of Frontier Town at the Essex County tax sale in October 2004. Singer got the Frontier Town motel, restaurant and Western town buildings of the park, 85 acres, assessed at $1.3 million. The other Frontier Town purchaser was George Moore of Keeseville, who got the A-frame entrance building and parking lot for $130,000. Moore said he bought the 50-acre parcel for resale, maybe as the site of a future restaurant or truck stop. In the years since nothing has materialized on the property, and it has remained a constant sticking point in the area. It was auctioned again in 2014, causing controversy when the county rejected George Moore's $49,500 bid for the remaining parcel he did not already own, electing to sell it to the town in hopes of bringing economic growth to the area. The county wishes to use it for business and recreation purposes, citing a lack of developable land in the area. The town ultimately voted not to purchase the property, and may put it on the auction block again.

Most of the fun decorations and artifacts were auctioned in 2004 leaving only the major structures, quickly deteriorating in the elements.



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