Nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, Frontier Town, an abandoned theme park in New York, has faded from the public’s memory. Once a thriving Wild West attraction, it now stands in ruins, serving as a haunting tribute to a bygone era.
Arthur Bensen, a phone technician from Staten Island, envisioned and brought Frontier Town to life in 1952. This unique park, unlike any other in Upstate New York, boasted attractions such as Pioneer Village, Prairie Junction, an Indian Village, a rodeo arena, and a narrow gauge railroad. For over four decades, it entertained visitors with trick riders, bucking broncos, horses, buggies, and staged bandit shootouts.
Decline and Closure
However, financial troubles plagued Frontier Town by the mid-1980s. A diminishing interest in Westerns and the emergence of larger theme parks in sunnier climates led to a decline in attendance. Despite a brief revival following refinancing and reopening, the park ultimately shuttered its doors for good in 1998.
Since its closure, Frontier Town has succumbed to decay, with its structures gradually reclaimed by nature. The once lively park now stands as a silent, eerie landscape of rusted memories and crumbling buildings. The chapel, trading post, frontier kitchen, schoolhouse, and other Wild West structures stand empty, their once-vibrant facades now faded and worn.
In recent years, safety concerns have prompted calls to demolish the remnants of Frontier Town. However, the site was ultimately purchased by New York State and transformed into a state-run campground. Today, it provides campsites, picnic areas, and trails for biking and equestrian activities. Some of these trails wind through the original theme park’s remains, offering a poignant glimpse into the past.
Although Frontier Town may be a forgotten relic, its spirit endures. As visitors explore the campground and encounter the remnants of the old theme park, they are reminded of a time when the Wild West came alive in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains.