This website is dedicated to Arthur L. Bensen's vision of a theme park where visitors could see American history come to life before their eyes -

Frontier Town, North Hudson, NY

This is the inside of the Frontier Town brochure which I used to pour over incessantly. Click on the picture for a full-size rendition (~500K JPG)
Frontier Town is closed - in fact, the last time that Frontier Town was open was during the summer of 1998. Since it closed for the season that year it has not re-opened. (See the History of Frontier Town link below for more information.) And, barring a miracle, it will probably never open again BUT, as you can see below, there is a group forming to possibly bring off such a miracle.

This website celebrates what was, through the memories of those who visited, and worked, there.

Special Announcement - 1 September 2013
I have cleaned and re-enabled the History, Passing of an Era and Picture Galleries pages. Not all the picture galleries have been cleaned yet so you will not find all the links working but I cleaned what I feel is a representative sampling of pictures of Frontier Town through the years. As I get time I will try to get more pages enabled.
Special Announcement - 31 August 2013
This website was hacked and some javascript code was embedded in every html file. I don't know what the javascript actually did but I have removed it from this page. I suspect that the hacker might have gained access through the free guestbook program I was using so I have removed that. I am disabling all the links from this page to other pages on the site until / if I get the time to clean them also. I have cleaned the embedded javascript out of the past guestbook entries pages and the past updates page so those two links do still work. If / as I get time to clean more pages I will re-enable links and make a note of what pages are available here.
Update for 17 March 2013
I started this website in 1998. When I first created the website, the official Frontier Town website was still on the Internet, but within a few months it was gone. My website seemed to be the only presence that Frontier Town had on the web. I felt a responsibility to keep the memory of this wonderful, magical place alive.

The web has changed since then. Today it seems that everyone and their brother are on Facebook. There are a couple of Frontier Town groups on Facebook that allow people to share their memories of Frontier Town better than this website ever did.

I have also changed since then. Between work and family, I just do not have the time to continually add to this website as I have in the past. So, I feel I should let everyone who comes to this site know that:

  • I am not actively updating this website. I may, from time to time, add some more content but currently I have no plans to. If you return to this website in the future, you can look at the date on the "Update for" line above to see if I have done anything since the last time you visited. All changes that I have made to the website since the fall of 2003 are recorded on the "Past Updates" page. Unfortunately, how the website grew in its first five years of life are not documented.
  • I had always made it a point to answer every email that was sent to me. I no longer have the time to do that. I am sorry if some of you have written to me and I have not responded - I'm sorry to say you probably won't hear from me. Know that I do read every email I get.

Over the years visitors to this site have provided me with some wonderful content that is not available elsewhere (as far as I know). That content is available here and I will keep the website accessible so that people can always remember how great a place Frontier Town really was. And I will check the guest book at least one a week to accept entries for anyone who wants to leave one.

Thanks to all the visitors to this site - past, present and future - who remember that truly unique place called Frontier Town.

End of Update
My name is Steve Gross. I grew up in northern Vermont during the sixties. Art Bensen opened Frontier Town on July 4, 1952. My first visit came ten years later, prompted by the Magic Tom television show on CFCF-TV out of Montreal. For the next ten years, my family and I would make a trip to Frontier Town each summer.
Though anyone could buy a paper announcing that they had captured an outlaw, I was lucky enough on a couple of my visits to be in the right place at the right time and be chosen to actually catch a stagecoach robber. This is a picture of me at the trial of that robber from our 1967 visit.
Each year I would get to take one friend with me to Frontier Town. Through the years I took a number of different friends but one in particular came for a number of years. He and I created a 'Frontier Town Club'. I wrote to Art Bensen to tell him about the club. I still have the letter Mr. Bensen sent me in reply.
I think that 1971 was the last year my family went to Frontier Town. After graduating from high school in 1974, I took one solo trip to Frontier Town. I did not go back again until 1990, when I took my wife to see this place that had meant so much to me as a kid.
Kids today do not have the exposure to westerns that we did in the sixties. Think of all the television shows that portrayed the west - 'Gunsmoke', 'Bonanza', 'Rawhide', 'Death Valley Days', 'The Big Valley', etc. And local television played a lot more western movies - John Wayne, Roy Rogers - than syndicated programming in those days.
I took my kids to Frontier Town in 1996 and 1997, though I don't think it meant as much to them as it did to me thirty years earlier. Here is a picture of my kids and me in front of the blockhouse from our 1996 trip.

Frontier Town as it existed for 52 years is gone. The contents of the park were auctioned on 9 & 10 October 2004 and the land that the park sits on was auctioned in two parcels on 21 October 2004. One parcel contains the A-Frame, and the purchaser has stated that he plans to resell it at some point. The other parcel contains the park itself, and the purchaser has not made his intentions for the land known. (I got this information from an article that appeared in the Plattsburgh Press Republican on 26 October 2004.) Panther Mountain Water Park retained two undeveloped parcels. The New York Times contained an article on 18 October 2004 that said the following:

Mr. Delafrange [Ken Delafrange, president of PMWP] will retain a sliver of the property, which includes a gas station and a hotel, and he hopes to do something with it." I'm 59 years old and to play cowboys and Indians for a living isn't the worst thing in the world."

Over the summer of 2007, Panther Mountain Water Park lost its appeal of the tax sale by Essex County, allowing the winners of the auction to take possesion of the land. It remains to be seen what they will do now that they have title to it.

I received the following post in the spring of 2011. It is from one of the organizers of a movement to have Frontier Town re-opened as an historic landmark. Here is his post (slightly edited) from the guest book:

I was only five when Frontier Town closed. I don't remember much, aside from the train robbers , but one thing that I do remember is the happiness that I had whenever I was there. I was even friends with Sheriff Goat! He always told me, "Work hard, be a man of your word, be strong." I live by these words to this day. Sheriff Goat had a great impact on my life, may he rest in peace. Someday we'll see each other again in the presence of our Savior. Anywho, there is currently an organization being formed and a plan being created to bring Frontier Town back. We have even contacted local town supervisors, state senators, and senators to D.C. People love this place. Petitions are being hung up all over the area so that people can sign to show their support. We are on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/home.php?sk=group_183127821732831&ap=1 and we have a website. We would love for as many people as possible to be part of this. People love Frontier Town! Now it's time that we do something about it!

-Caleb Bauer

I have added a link to their site to the Links page.

I would be glad to hear from anyone who has news of Frontier Town, or who has memories they would like to share. You can contact me at FrontierTownFan@hotmail.com.

I love to get pictures from visitors to this website. I also occasionally get requests from people who are writing articles or papers about Frontier Town who would like to include pictures from this website. For that reason, I would ask that if you send me picture(s), please include a copyright/use statement or a statement that you consider your contribution to be "Public Domain."

I bought the sign pictured to the left at the Frontier Town contents liquidation auction at Gokey's Trading Post in North Hudson on 9 October 2004. It appears as if it might have originally been at the bottom of a larger sign, as the top of this sign is rough cut and not beveled like its other sides. Now, however, it graces the door that leads from my dining room to my living room - I only wish that Frontier Town really were on the other side of the door.
Past Updates Where to see some of Frontier Town today
Park Map Daily Park Schedule Movies of Frontier Town
Memories Guest Book Forum
Picture Galleries History of Frontier Town The Passing of an Era
Airpark The People of Frontier Town Links
Frontier Town Day
The page's count says that you are visitor number
This site is not associated with Frontier Town but is the personal endeavor of Steve Gross.