Sunday, March 14, 2021

Frontier Land (NC)

When you google the words "Frontier Land", you know you're going to get a ton of hits for Disney's more famous namesake land of frontiering, but you will also get a few for North Carolina's own, and now unfortunately defunct, Cherokee theme park. And like the wonderfully designed old brochure that I found this weekend states, there's lots of "action, adventure, and glamour (glamour?!) just exploding with excitement!" I honestly can't think of anything less glamorous than the old west, but seeing those 3 lovely Daisy Mae's in the brochure, well, I guess I've just been proven wrong again! This looks like it was a fun place, (lots of home movies on youtube as well for those curious to see more), including a wood burning train excursion, gondola sky ride, Indian dances and battle re-enactments, and more. Ever been there? Send a comment!


Craftypants Carol said...

Yeah those flintstone style skirts are real glamorous.

Tbh I was hoping for some hotdog action

Mr. Cavin said...

Cool. I have not ever been there.

It's interesting looking at the other attractions on the back of the brochure, though. Over my childhood I think I visited about seventy percent of that stuff. I've been to Cherokee and Maggie Valley dozens of times, Tweetsie Railroad, the Indian Village, Grandfather and Lookout Mountains, Blowing and Chimney Rocks, the Caverns. Even the places that were honest-to-god natural wonders were also festooned with decorative kitsch and concrete statuary like any good roadside attraction. Regrettably, I never made it to Rock City. Or even to Ghost Town in the Sky, which I'm surprised wasn't mentioned here. Maybe there was a feud? I'm also surprised The Land of Oz isn't mentioned, though that might have come a little later. Oz was the one I liked best when I was a kid. I never made it to Frontierland, but it's hard to imagine it had anything Tweetsie didn't also offer. Surely coonskin caps and rubber tomahawks were sold at both.

I have a good friend who used to regularly frequent the Harrah's casino ECBI (the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians) built in its place. But I've never been there, either.

Man, that whole border area--in both states and on either side of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park--was just chock-a-block with tourist stuff in the seventies. From Maggie Valley and Biltmore Estates in the east, to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge in Tennessee (I've never been to Dollywood, either, but I bought an awful lot of fireworks just down the road from there). Families like mine either went to western NC or the beach for our yearly summer vacations. Sometimes both.

One last note: It's strange to see Old Salem listed here. It's a whole different thing. Firstly, it's hours east of all the rest of this (especially back when every speed limit was 55), located in the middle of the NC Piedmont. It's the historical Moravian settlement that got subsumed as the nearby city of Winston, the county seat, got rich manufacturing RJR cigarettes. Old Salem was a boring old school field trip probably four different times throughout my years in elementary and middle school. It's the kind of preserved historical site, but also immersive theater, where workers dress up as old timey folks and churn butter and blow glass. I remember saving my money up and spending it in Ye Olde General Store on old man candy like sassafras sticks and birch licorice or whatever. Well, and the world famous cookies, of course.

Mr. Karswell said...

I’ve been to Gatlinburg and Dollywood, to me it’s pretty much comparable to Branson and Silver Dollar City, both places are great fun and have lots of entertainment value, (both old and new), though I definitely miss the mid century kitsch factor that a lot of these places maintained throughout most of my own childhood.

Check the cafeteria for insane foods!

Brian Barnes said...

For some reason, that orange and muted colors of pictures scream 70s brochure.

OK, guy on cover? I think you are doing the concept of "fort" wrong. Next time, try fighting from inside the fort. Oh, and one more for the other side, how about you don't build a village 20 feet from the fort perimeter?

When I look at the "Glamour" picture I always think "And Entertainment for Dads!"

Wendy said...

The artwork on this is just..... wow, I love it! I grew up as a HUGE fan of the Fess Parker Daniel Boone series (and let's be honest, now at nearly 35, nothing has changed!), so the aesthetic of this park is right up my alley! Many years before I was born, my parents traveled all over the US every summer, and my dad remembers the name "Frontier Land" and said the pictures in the brochure looked really familiar -- so he was probably there at some point in the late '70s!

Also I'm giving major props for the random Canadian spelling of "glamour"!!

Mr. Karswell said...

Haha, I didn’t even catch that! Good eye— I guess the “glamour” really was for the dads!

Guy Callaway said...

Oh, man, I would've LOVED this. Actually, I'd dig it now!
Well worth a visit here in B.C. is Barkerville: an authentic gold rush town that, in the mid-'60's, was preserved and rebuilt.
Heck, you can even stay in an old-timey B&B on-site.

SC_Gunslinger said...

I have been to Frontier Land and Ghost Town many times in the 1970's. They were my favorite places to go as a kid. And don't forget Tweetsie Railroad!!! I always looked forward to going to the mountains for vacation to visit those places. Great memories!!!