Thursday, July 17, 2014

Frontier Village Remembered

Frontier Village was slightly before my time, but based on the two videos below I wish I had the opportunity to visit it. This was a 39-acre theme park that operated from 1961 to 1980 in what is now Edenvale Garden Park. There was everything from a roller-coaster, fishing, stunt shows, canoeing, and even a mule-ride (real mules). The first video below features former employees reminiscing about the park. A slideshow starts around 12:30 in the video. The second clip is home video footage from 1979.

To learn more about the park and see tons of photos, visit the "Remembering Frontier Village" website over here.


3 comments:

  1. I know this might not be the place to post this link, but I awoke to the news that the talent of the bankrupt SJ Rep has been transplanted, and is thriving, in NY.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/theater/snow-queen-emerges-from-defunct-san-jose-theater.html?hpw&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&version=HpHedThumbWell&module=well-region&region=bottom-well&WT.nav=bottom-well&_r=0

    The closing of the Rep is an embarrassment–what, no tech moguls had "extra cash" to help a cultural gem avoid bankruptcy? (yet the Silicon Valley wallets seem to be open and flowing when it comes to things like prostitution if we go by the coverage that topic has gotten in national media lately).

    Honestly, the Rep admin did not handle the crisis well and impending bankruptcy. Did the public even know about it? Did they launch a public campaign? If they did, they did not do a good job at advertising and promoting.

    Why this rant?

    I know that entertainment like this "frontier village" thing is important to have for kids and visitors...but is this kind of entertainment that is going to define "what to do" in San Jose? There have to be more elevated forms of cultural expression if a city is going to thrive and attract a certain type of population.

    S

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're right on. On the one hand the Rep does not appear to have been run very well. The offerings did not seem particularly compelling in general and the financial crisis was not well communicated. However, the lack of local philanthropy is something I keep coming back to. If this were SF, there would be Pac Heights residents falling over themselves trying to get their names on a wall through donations. In SJ there's plenty of money around, but very little of it seems to go to local institutions. I've pointed this out before - note the donor wall next time you're at Happy Hollow. It's almost completely empty.

      Delete
  2. Sorry about the back to back..I realize "frontier village" is no more, but it nonetheless highlights the cultural vacuums in the city. Thanks for the 'space' to air concerns and grievances, Josh. S

    ReplyDelete