Kaintuck Territory

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Kaintuck Territory was a theme park located near Benton, Kentucky, United States. The park was situated on the east side of U.S. Highway 641, about a mile northeast of U.S. Highway 68. It was largely conducted around an Old West theme. It was built and operated by Walter Sill.[1] The hourly gunfights were little vignettes of the Wild West, complete with people shot off roofs. They were written and directed by Willard W. (Bill) Willingham, a veteran Western movie actor, writer, and stuntman with experience from dozens of movies.[2][3] Movie actor Rory Calhoun was present for the grand opening. The park operated during the 1960s and 1970s. It was marketed primarily on a regional basis as a day-trip destination for those living within an easy driving distance. It had a steam train, a stagecoach ride, variety acts such as knife throwing, ventriloquists and magicians,[4] a silent movie palace, and a funhouse. Other activities were Motocross races and Country music concerts.

In 1969 a three-day "Music Festival U.S.A." was held at Kaintuck Territory, with pop, rock and country musicians competing for prizes including an RCA recording session with Chet Atkins. The venue was a natural amphitheater which seated ten thousand people, with performances on three stages.[5]

In 1971 and 1972 the Benton Bushwhackers Motorcycle Club sponsored regional AMA (American Motorcyclist Association)-sanctioned motocross races during the summer.

In 1976 the Bicentennial Theater was added, where musical acts including the Statler Brothers, Barbara Mandrell, Billy "Crash" Craddock, Jerry Lee Lewis, Marty Robbins, Ronnie Milsap, Conway Twitty, Ernest Tubb and The Monkees appeared.[6] The Oak Ridge Boys also appeared there in 1976.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Tennessee Senate Resolution 146, filed for information March 18, 2005. retrieved August 18, 2007
  2. ^ IMDB entry for Willard W. Willingham.
  3. ^ "Spirit of old west comes alive for Christian County man, friends" Lexington Herald Leader, January 28, 1990 (Newsbank, subscription)
  4. ^ [1] John Ivan Palmer, magician, website. Retrieved August 18, 2007
  5. ^ [2] "Music festival to be held." News Record, The University of Cincinnati, October 7, 1969, page 18. Retrieved July 2, 2008.
  6. ^ Kaintuck Territory advertisement, Southern Illinoisian (Carbondale, Illinois), May 14, 1976, page 9. retrieved via Newspaperarchive.com (subscription) July 2, 2008.
  7. ^ "Oak Ridge Boys launch Cameron series Thursday." Lawton Constitution, August 28, 1977, page 38. retrieved via Newspaperarchive.com (subscription) July 2, 2008.