Frontierland, New York

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Ed Lecuyer:
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Frontierland, New York has been converted from the pre-July 2008 WW&F Discussion Forum.
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Bruce Wilson wrote:
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A posting on the Edaville Railroad discussion forum (posted by MB Farr on October 1, 2006) states the following..."Frontierland operated continuously up in the Adirondacks near Elizabethtown, NY until it foundered in the late 1980's. After a sucession of owners tried with limited openings it has finally closed for good about 3 years ago. The land is going to be used for condominium development (sigh). There was indeed a short gage railroad used at Frontierland for many years. As a youngster I remember how the train was "held up" by bandits and we had to track them down and shoot them with cap guns. The remaining Frontierland equipment is being sold with periodic announcements in the local paper. I'm not sure whom you should contact though."

Mr. Farr provided this response to my request for information regarding the construction of six passenger cars at Edaville Railroad in the 1950's, for use at the two foot gage Frontierland railroad.

From my involvement as a volunteer with South Carver Rail (at Edaville) in 1997 - 1998, I remember Paul H. and Rick K. discussing the possibility that trucks from these coaches might still exist and be available for sale, maybe even re-use at Edaville.

Unfortunately, I never heard anymore about this equipment and am curious if any reader of this forum might have details.

Recently, I have found three different postcard images of the train at Frontierland. Little detail of the coaches are evident. One view shows a truss rod coming through the end sill and I wonder if old Bridgton flatcars may have been used as the platform upon which the excursion carbodies were constructed...?

Steve Gross replied:
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It's actually Frontier Town, not Frontierland.  I maintain a website dedicated to Frontier Town - http://www.frontiertown.net.  There was indeed a two foot guage railroad at Frontier Town from 1955 until it closed in 1998.  Originally it ran steam, but in the 1990s it was running either diesel or gasoline, I'm not sure which, locomotives "dressed up" to look like steam.  The railroad equipment was sold in three lots at auction in October of 2004.  I know that one locomotive and three coaches spent time at Adirondack Animal Land as I saw it there (there are pictures on my website).  Another went to Champlain Valley Transportation Museum.  I had heard that the third went to a farm that had been offering horse pulled railcar rides and were now powerizing.  I have seen one site on the web that says the original steam locomotive is now at Erie Canal Village, Rome, NY.  I have also seen notices on the web from time to time that various pieces of the equipment have been up for sale.

- Steve

Steve Klare replied:
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I remember the train at Frontier Town. When I was little my family vacationed at a camp up in the Adirondacks, and one day we rode over to Frontier Town.

So here I am, all of five years old riding the train, when it comes to a an abrupt stop. Some bad looking hombres in cowboy hats and bandana masks climb aboard for the mandatory train robbery. One of 'em points his shootin' arn' right at me....

..and I spat on him! -a big juicy splatter running right down the front of his shirt. He looked down, he looked up back at me with this kind of shocked expression...obviously this was not in the script.

If he was twenty that day, I judge him to be sixty now. He probably still remembers the little bastard on the train that day, but when you come down to it, he WAS pointing a gun at me.

-and my parents never took us there again!

...Ah!, Memories!

jwhoughton replied:
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Steve

Great story - gave me a good laugh.  Those memories of our youth are great (sometimes)!  Thanks for sharing.

John

Steve Klare replied:
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Thanks, John.

Here's hoping in the event somebody ever points a gun at me again I have the sense not to spit on them. Odds are the next time the gun will be real and the "bad guy" won't be some kid home from college working a summer job.

...I bet he never pointed that gun at a kid again, though! (Or at least had the sense to stand outside the typical kid splash zone...)

My own is about to turn five..I bet he'd do it too!

Say! Any relation to Al Houghton, the fellow that built the new caboose up at SR&RL? The man's such a craftsman he's really more of an artist!

jwhoughton replied:
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Steve,

No relation to Al that I know of.  I live in California, and parents were from Ohio.  Our family was/is small. So it's unlikely.  I'd like to see a picture(s) of his caboose - I'll check their website to see if there is a picture posted.

Most of us with young boys could imagine (or have experienced) an incident like you described happening!

John

Steve Klare replied:
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Al is an extremely skilled modelmaker and a good carpenter too. His models have won quite a few awards. I seem to recall a 1/2 inch scale SR&RL long caboose of his which won the Model Railroader Model of the Month Award which when I saw it up close and personal it was like you could almost hear the crew inside it was so realistic. So he decided to build a copy of 556 full sized and they numbered it 559 to fit in the series. Now both of them are on the rails up in Phillips.

Mike Fox replied:
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If you didn't know otherwise, you would think that caboose is original. Very skilled indeed.
Mike

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