Frontier Village map
|Location||San Jose, California, USA|
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Frontier Village was a 39-acre (16 ha) amusement park in San Jose, California, that operated from 1961 to September 1980. It was located at 4885 Monterey Road and Branham Lane. The park was located on what is now Edenvale Garden Park, next to the Hayes Mansion, and was once part of the sprawling Hayes Family Estate.
In 1973 the part owner and co-creator of Frontier Village wanted to expand the park. Without the necessary funds to expand, he sold Frontier Village to Rio Grande Industries for US$1.7 million. The new owners were ready to start expansion but hit a road block with the surrounding residential neighborhood.
When the park opened in 1961, it was surrounded by undeveloped land, but by 1973 the park was surrounded by urban sprawl. The new neighbors of Frontier Village didn't want any expansion and fought the park development plans. Lawsuits from nearby homeowners coupled with lower-than-expected park revenues, skyrocketing San Jose land values, and competition from nearby Marriott's Great America signaled the end for the little park. With the high property values, Rio Grande could make more money selling off the land to developers than it could by running the park.
In 1980, the undeveloped land and Frontier Village were sold to a land developer, the Bren Company. They, in turn, held a public auction for all rides, buildings, and lumber that made up Frontier Village. On its final days, it held a special event titled "The Last Roundup". The park closed its gates for the last time on September 28, 1980.
All the buildings were removed and San Jose's Edenvale Garden Park now exists at the former location of the amusement park. Little is recognizable from its days as an amusement park, but items such as concrete boulders from the artificial river remain half-buried.
Some signage and ride vehicles have remained in the hands of private collectors, while other vehicles were stored at the nearby Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, to be sold later[when?] at auction.[clarification needed]
Remembering Frontier Village
Since 2001 former employees and fans have held a reunion each summer at the Edenvale Garden Park, to reminisce about the park.
A residential development just west of Edenvale Garden Park is named "Frontier Village".
Shaughnessy McGehee of Campbell, California built a miniature version of the park in his own backyard over two decades. He built miniature versions of the Silver Dollar Saloon, General's Store, and Schoolhouse. McGehee also collected Frontier Village memorabilia, including the Crazy Horse, three of the eight Antique Autos (with his most prized being the Yellow Maxwell), the Frontier Village lettering from the front entrance of the park, and the original Silver Dollar Saloon doors. The replica closed in 2015, after McGehee sold his house and moved to Oregon.
Rides and Attractions
- Antique Autos (Arrow Development Antique Car Ride)
- Apache Whirlwind (Mack Rides Blauer Enzian)
- Burro Pack Train (Train of small donkeys that carried passengers)
- Duster-Turnpike (Arrow Development Antique Car Ride)
- Ferris Wheel (Eli Bridge Ferris Wheel)
- Frontier Village Railroad - One Train is now said to be in operation at Burkes Junction Mall in Cameron Park, CA. (Steam Train)
- Indian Jim's Canoes (Canoe Ride)
- Lost Dutchman Mine Ride (Dark Ride)
- Merry-Go-Round (Carousel)
- Spirit of Kitty Hawk (Bisch-Rocco Flying Scooters)
- The Round Up (Hrubetz Round Up)
- Sidewinder (Sellner Manufacturing Tilt-A-Whirl)
- Stampede (Eli Bridge Scrambler)
- Tarantula (Eyerly Spider)
- Old 99 Train Ride (Kiddie Train Ride)
- Stagecoach (Horse-drawn stagecoach)
- California Street (Dapper Dan's, Last Chance Casino, Shoe & Spike)
- El Sito Mysterio
- Front Street (Birthday Party Corral, Games, Hunter's Paradise Shooting Gallery, Ice Cream Gazebo, Skeeball)
- Indian Island (Archery, Fort Far West, Indian Island Stage)
- Main Street (Arcade, Cantina Murieta, Gunfights, Indian Goods, Marshal's Office, Picture Palace, Silver Dollar Saloon, Sweet Shop, Trading Post)
- Nevada Street
- Petting Zoo Island
- Reserved Company Picnics
- Rainbow Falls Trout Fishing
- Sagebrush Theatre
- School House Museum
- Lukes, Paul (June 7, 2012). "Annual reunions keep memories of San Jose's Frontier Village alive". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- Hartlaub, Peter (August 24, 2010). "Frontier Village: Old West park preserved". San Francisco Chronicle. p. E-1. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
The father of four teenagers has spent much of the past decade rebuilding Frontier Village
- Skipitares, Connie (November 7, 2006). "Dad builds own Frontier Village". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
He built a scaled-down version of the park in the back yard of the Campbell home where he grew up and where he and his family now live.
- Rodriguez, Joe (September 18, 2015). "Frontier Village mini-version to close, a second goodbye to beloved San Jose amusement park". San Jose Mercury News. Retrieved February 17, 2016.
- Thomas, Garvin (September 23, 2015). "Campbell Man's Backyard Homage To Long-Lost Amusement Park, Built Over 20 Years, To Soon Close". KNTV. Retrieved February 17, 2016.