This Rare Footage Of A New York Theme Park Will Have You Longing For The Past

Taking a getaway up to the Adirondacks is something many of our residents make a point to do each and every summer. But this annual event isn’t a new tradition for New Yorkers! Heading north for a family vacation meant a weekend of making memories, and for many of us those memories included unforgettable days spent at Frontier Town.

Anyone currently experiencing grand old flashbacks? Opening in 1952, the Wild West theme park saw over 40,000 visitors. Frontier Town was founded by Arthur Bensen, a New Yorker who had always longed to create an amusement park that would offer visitors the chance to step back into time and experience the old Wild West. While the unique park would go on to see millions of visitors and was unlike anything the Adirondacks had ever seen, it made its peak during the 1960s and 1970s.

We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:

Captured by YouTube user mcoates, you can refresh old memories and get a taste of what Frontier Town was like during its heyday.

Bringing old Western life all the way up to the East Coast, Frontier Town featured a variety of Wild West attractions that truly made for a one-of-a-kind experience. Those who came to the park had the chance to see old horse and buggies, bucking broncos at the rodeo and even take a ride on a steam locomotive! Frontier Town was made up of a Indian Village, Pioneer Village and Prairie Junction that was set up to resemble an old Western Main Street. Twice a day you could enjoy the rodeo, where even the kids were allowed to take part in events. And if that wasn’t exciting enough, the park also had other fun events that took place throughout the day like stagecoach robberies, their Pony Express and even shoot outs between robbers! It was certainly a thrilling way to step into the past.

Above you can get a more detailed peak inside of Frontier Town during the 1950’s, provided by akane411 on YouTube.

Sadly as unbelievable of a place as Frontier Town was, it was unable to keep people interested. As time went on more extravagant amusement parks came to be and took attention away from this little Adirondack gem. Troubles began for the park during the 1980s and by 1983 Bensen would go on to sell the park. Frontier Town would remain closed until 1989 when it would reopen with slight revamping that ended up not being enough to save the park. By 1998 the park closed its doors forever and eventually would be taken over by the county after taxes went unpaid. Slowly but surely being taken over by nature and crumbling to ruins, the park still sits abandoned off of Route 9 in Schroon Lake. Over the years there have been talks of hoping to bring the old park back to life again, while others wish for it to be completely demolished over worries that it could be filled with asbestos and dangers of collapsing buildings.

So, did you ever have the pleasure of enjoying Frontier Town before it turned into abandoned ruins? We’d love for you to share your memories, stories and photos with us in the comment section! To reminisce on other pieces of our childhoods, read about how Everyone In New York Should See What’s Inside The Gates Of This Abandoned Zoo.