Carson City and Indian Village

Gigi Elmes on Flickr has posted this picture of an uncovered billboard in upstate New York. It seems that at one time there was a “Carson City and Indian Village” in the Catskills. It probably was some kind of schlocky Old West town where you overpaid to watch a gunfight and drink sarsaparilla in the saloon. The Catskills were full of these places, as evidenced by this 1993 article in the New York Times. Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland, House of Frankenstein Wax Museum, Secret Caverns, Catskill Game Farm, and the ubiquitous Mystery Spot.

Carson City undoubtedly is closed now, since I can find very little about it on the web. But I did find this postcard of the place, presumably in its prime. A grim row of buildings in a dusty clearing in the forest, a couple of buckaroos and a horse. Not really selling the place very well.

Update: I tracked down a little more info, but not much. This article says Carson City was owned by Arthur Gillette, who sold it in 1979. It was closed in “the mid- or late-1990s”.

I found a description of Carson City in the book “Let’s Take The Kids!“.

This is a place that most kids-especially boys-will absolutely adore. Carson City is one of the largest reproductions of an old Western town in the country, and a day here is packed with action and fun. Skilled actors and actresses reenact a full slate of jailbreaks, gunfights, bank robberies, and saloon fights. There are also cancan dancers, roping demonstrations, trick horse riding, magic shows, and Native American dancing. Take a stagecoach or a train ride. but watch out for robbers (yes, that masked man was Jesse James!). The actors are all in period costume, and the settings remind you of an old “Gunrsmoke” set. There’s noise and action aplenty, and even a carriage museum with sleighs and horse-drawn vehicles on display. Stop in at the gift shop, where Western goods are sold, or have a hot dog at the Chuckwagon snackbar (you may bring a picnic lunch or enjoy a meal at the restaurant next door). Parents should note that they can make arrangements for birthday parties or other special events at Carson City. And although the entrance fee may seem rather steep, remember that the continual entertainment and live shows will keep the kids amused all day. Please note: Parents who are concerned about exposing their children to guns and gunfights may not enjoy this site.

The site was sold at some point for $750,000. It is now being developed into a residential neighborhood called “Carson City Homes“. Searching for “Carson City, NY” on Google Maps brings up the approximate location.

Update 2: User CV2200A put up this video of an Indian dance performance at Carson City.

Update 3: Two videos of the gunfighting, from YouTube user Francise05.

157 comments

  1. I don’t recall going to Carson City, New York, but I noticed the sign said it was 2 miles north of the “Game Farm”. I can definately remember going to the Catskill Game Farm. What I remember most about the Game Farm was the parking lot. As you parked, a guy would follow the line of parking cars and slap a Catskill Game Farm bumper sticker on your car after you walked away. Well, Pop Pop saw that, and waited for the guy to get to our car, where he proceeded to tell him to stay clear of our car…or else! Ah, the things you remember from childhood…

  2. My husband and I took our two children to Carson City every August for years. I think it was about 1985 until it closed. They have great memories of it. Does anyone remember the train where you got held up and told ” Give me your Bubble Gum”. My kids loved the gun fight and going into all the buildings, ie the jail, the doctor’s office. They also loved the horse ride around the corral. We also went and saw the can can show each year. And we couldn’t leave without going through the gift shop so my son could get a holster and gun. What fun! It’s a shame that both Carson City and Caskill Game Farm is gone. We also always stopped on rte 32 to ride the go carts on the way up. That’s all overgrown now. Also, does anyone remember the “MYSTERY SPOT”? Still do not know what that was. Give me your input.

    • The Mystery Spot is an elaborate illusion. It relies on being on a hill where the horizon is not visible. Everything is built at an angle so your senses are completely disorientated. I was fooled by it also.

  3. I too saw that sign just this weekend! I commented to my husband that we should take our daughter up there some time this summer. Here I am looking it up and I came across this page. I am so sad now that it’s closed. Everything that’s fun like this is closed now. Another piece of our childhood gone.

    I remember Howe Caverns from when I was small and lo and behold they are still there. We are definitely going there.

  4. I used to go to Carson City, Mystery Spot and the Catskill Game Farm all the time when I was a kid. It’s really sad that these places are closed now. A part of my childhood is gone and there’s nothing here for future generations. There was also a place for you to mine your own gold (I think it may have been part of Mystery Spot) but that too is gone. Mystery Spot had your requisite crooked house and ball rolling in the opposite direction, and yes you were right in your description of Carson City being ‘schlocky’ and ‘overpriced’. The train and stagecoach robberies were always for bubble gum, haha. But ah, I’m getting nostalgic 🙂

  5. Wow!

    I’m 45ish now, but my dad took the family up the Catskills every summer. We stayed at the Edgemere House just up the hill from the town of Catskill, and I remember going to Carson City a number of times. We also did the Catskill Game Farm and Howes’ Caverns too. I remember taking the lift to the top of Hunter MT in the middle of the summer just to do it.

    I try and give my family now memories that will last as long.

    Great stuff!

    Mark

  6. yeah, I’m 45 too and my parents took me and my older brother upstate every August. I remember the gunfights at Carson City and the catskill Game farm. My daughter is 5 now. When she was born I wanted to give her the same good times of the beauty of upstate New York too. I did take her when she was 9 months old to the game farm, it was nostalgic for me, I didn’t remember it so well afterall, what I remember most was how crowded it was back then. Well another year had passed and I wanted to take my daughter again, but by then I discovered they had closed up due to financial reasons. All I can say is that I gave it a shot, but then they closed. I remember at carson city, my father was getting restless waiting for the indian actors to begin their show. But my mom was stubborn, she wanted us kids to see it and she wouldn’t budge. We used to stay at the Red Ranch Motel so many times. Well, while driving up a couple of years ago with daughter, I saw that the huge dairy farm that I remembered as a kid was still there on the other side of the road from the motel, amazing!

  7. We have a summer home upstate and I have been going to this areas since 1982. yes most of these cool areas are closed now. I loved Carson City…the train around the town with the robbers. One took my cowboy hat but then gave it back. And they chased down billy the kid and dunked him in the water. and the stage where then can can girls would dance. all great childhood memories…and i loved to get a toy gun to take home!

  8. I can’t believe I came across this blog! I grew up in Catskill, NY and my first summer job my senior year in high school (1975) was working in the tourist attraction of Carson City and Indian Village. I was a cashier in the gift shop in the Indian Village. Now here I am working in the REAL Carson City!

  9. The new Catskills for us for many years was in Kerhonksen, Pinegrove Dude Ranch. They made us feel like family for many years. It was like the ole days at the Edgemre, but it got very expensive in recent years. Now we pack up and head to the Lake George area. Lake Luzurne, Lake Vanare specifically.

    The area has lots of history and lots of hokey things to do too!

  10. Carson City was built in 1958. The main building was an old, out of business, Catskill boarding house named Lorraine Lodge. I have lots of pictures and postcards from the early years. In its heyday it was a great place…and very affordable to bring the kids. Those were the years when the “western craze” was in full swing. Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans were all popular with the children of that era. Walking through the gate at Carson City was like stepping back in time, back to 1880 and the “wild” west.

  11. Carson City was the brainchild of Arthur Gillette and as the previous writer stated, built in 1958. Mr. Gillette sold Carson City in 1979. It may have been “schlocky and over-priced” after 1979 but before that it was an affordable, great place to bring the kids, have fun and live the dream of all little boys (in the 50’s and early 60’s anyway) – to be a cowboy. And what fun it was. Don’t forget Hopalong Cassidy was also v ery popular then. But, it was also a lesson in history and American culture. Billy the Kid, the OK Corral, Boot Hill and can-can dancers were all part of American legends. Stage coach robberries were happened all the time. The Indians were American Indians, performing their native dances, dressed in native costume. Back in the early days, Carson City was filled with antiques from the wild west era including a carriage stall. The inside of the bank, courthouse, school, jail and geneal store were recreated with real fixtures and furniture from an old bank, schoolhouse, etc. , I too have many pictures from the early days at Carson City including the time when Gabby Hayes paid a visit to the Catskills.

  12. there is stil wild west shows that go on i know i am in them we are call the spirit of the old west we do train rob in coopertown ny and we tell everyone about the west everything we have on is from 1865 to 1871 we do after the war but what we was looking for was a town like carson city but i see it is gone now alot come to the train to see us all the guns are cap and ball just like then if yous like to come and see the west again please do it is alot of fun or if there is anything left of carson i would like to know thank you

  13. My parents were just talking about this and I looked it up to see. Their memories talked of many things that the others above have stated. I know they were there before 79 and said it was inexpensive. I had hoped to take my kids there. It is sad when things end.

  14. My Dad was one of the cowboys there, And the indians were my uncles, it was a big family. Even though I was young I still have lots of memories from there. If anyone has any pictures of the cowboys or the indians please let me know my dad would love to see them. Contact me at harryeaglepenn@yahoo.com thanks

  15. Hi folks. I run the Greene County website, called Tracing your Roots in Greene County (www.rootsweb.com/~nygreen2) The site helps folks trace their family histories, but it also is a repository for Greene County History. I have just added the Carson City and Indian Village page to the site and am eager to get postcards, pictures, ephemera etc. to add to the page. I don’t need the original, a jpeg would do just fine. I hope there are folks out there who are interested in sharing their memories!

    Sylvia Hasenkopf
    esi@francomm.com

  16. Wow Im 53 years old and somehow stumbled upon this site.. I will ad I visited Carson City many times as a young boy in the early 60’s It was to coolest place as a young boy .I remember the the gun fights and the cold drinks of sasparilla.. of course being raised on westerns on TV this was a dream come true..By todays standards Im sure it wasnt top notch but as times were simple back then the amusement to me was top notch .. I do have to mention this place had a family connection to me ..My aunt Marie was a Gillette her brother Arthur owned and operated it and her other brother Jules owned Gillete shows which did shows all over the east coast and had 2 home bases in Pittsfield Mass and Florida.Im not sure what happened to the property and not even sure if my aunt is still alive I know both Art and Jules are gone .. but may the memories stay alive ,,the few pictures are great to see. and hey lets all chipp in and re open it.. awww darn but wouldnt that be fun …
    thanks for the memories
    MartyM

  17. my dad owned 150 acres which started @ the ? spot. he planted the mega evergreen in front of uber sm. cabin back in 50s, painted the trademark white w/ hunter gr. trim. that was our country, and we imbibed of all the cats had to offer. i won the hokey pokey dance off at age 3ish for 2 left feet, or several repeats on one side, physical dyslexia. we loved everything our country mountains offered & continued to the 60s, even after prop. was sold off. xxxooo & crisp air & cold h20 & pure snow

  18. Last week I was passing through Carson City and couldn’t help myself. I drove through the site and was overwhelmed with depression. Some of the buildings are still there including the Saloon. No train or tracks though. What a great place for kids and adults. I was about 6 years old when my parents took me there for the 1st time. During the visit the Sheriff caught an outlaw and asked me if they should shoot him or dunk him. I said dunk him and can still remember the outlaws face on the way up out of the water. Pretty cool. Hey do you remember the diving horse? I’m 51 now with 3 kids and fortunately had the chance to bring them there a few times before it shut down. What a shame. I’m in agreement. We should all chip in and re-open it.

    Fred
    TOP1PERFORMER@netscape.net

  19. My grandfather was one of the carpenters during the 80’s that repaired the structures there. As a child I can remember going every weekend to visit and I remember my favorite part was the saloon and the can can dancers. I loved watching them perform. The train ride was cool except every time they would hold up the train and the bad guys dressed in black would say ” stick em up! Give me all your gum and candy” i would cry! My aunt aslo used to work there and was really good friends with some of the dancers from the indian show and they would come back to the house after work and hang out. I have pics of my cousins and I with our heads through the cut outs where you can stick your head through to get your picture taken. I haven’t been there since I was about 13….. I am now 28. Its been so long since I have been there. I have so many fond memories of Carson City and I am sad to find out that it is being torn down for housing. My grandfather used to work so hard to make sure it looked good so everyone could enjoy it. I am so upset!

  20. What a great site! I am 38 years old now and my family also would visit the catskills in the late 70’s early 80’s. I remember Carson city and the cowboys shooting there guns. I remember them giving us kids a tin star and declared us deputies. I remember running with all the kids trying to track down the bad guys along with the actor deputies. Great memories. Always left with a big cowboy hat that our parents bought. Also stayed at the Red Ranch Motel many times.. Can’t forget the shuffel board at that old place. Very sad all these old places are gone… But great memories for the ones who were able to see it as kids.

  21. my great uncvle was ed parslo from pittsfield mass that is where art gillett was from ed would stay there all winter with art only coming over 1 a month and i heard that ma bleau raalley ran the employees

  22. I remember going there as a kid in the early 60’s. It would be nice to bring it back.iss the good ole days

  23. Hey guys. A friend of my father’s was a cowboy at Carson City. Buzz Simpson. And his friend Shorty also. I think he also knew that Ed guy. We used to go every summer. I heard that Mr. Gillette’s daughter was a can-can dancer there. Like one post said – those were the good ole days. Don’t see Indians dancing like that anymore. Weloved watching the gun fihgts, riding the stagecoach. Shame no one tries to bring it back.

  24. I went to Carson City regularly. My father knew Mr. Gillette. I remember the circus family best. I am the same age as the son. I think the indian family had small children also. Does any one have any information about them – did they stay in show business? It would be nice if it were still open but I don’t think it could be the same. Times have changed. People move on. The memories remain.

      • I was there in the late sixties with my wife,we were both 18.We loved it!We had our picture taken with Chief Iron Horse and his young son.Great memories but still sad to see it go away,All Things Must Pass.

  25. Mr Parslow, who was disabled from polio, indeed lived at Carson City, although he was very seldom alone. Shorty lived there for many years, until he married one of the Indian women and moved to Brooklyn. Mr. Gillette gave Mr Parslow a job in the summer and a place to live, free, for the rest of his days, Same with Shorty, and numerous other people, Elmer and Ethel Bleu among them. When Mr Gillette sold Carson City, the Bleus went with him to Lake George and were caretakers of Magic Forest for several years. They retired to Granville, NY, by which time Ethel was in her 90s. Mr Gillette would go over to Carson CIty at least once a month in the winter to take Ed and Shorty to the unemployment office. But, from the day they opened in the summer til the day they closed in the fall he was there every day. His family moved to the Catskills every summer, and yes his oldest daughter was a can can dancer.
    “Ma” Bleu” really was a force to be reckoned with, in her 80s she was driving the Carson City stage. Shorty was rather lax on hygiene and there often were complaints about that. One day Ma got tired of the smell and picked Shorty up and threw him in the dunking pond, followed by a cloth and a bar of soap. Everybody was afraid of her. But, she did not run the cowboys…they just stayed out of her way. One day she took a buggy whip to a customer…that was the end of her stage driving days.
    Art Gillette gave many people a place to live and a job. Many of these people coul not get work in other places. Shorty, was illiterate, Ed was old and diasabled, and the Bleus were very old.

  26. To the last post, you seem to have information about Carson CIty and the employees. Do you know what happened to the Indian family or the circus family? Wasn’t there a clown also?

  27. There were a few Indian families as well as a couple of individuals. The first was a young man from the Sioux reservation. I believe his name was Yellow Hawk. The Big Mountains live in Florida, I’m not sure if the children continued in this line after they became adults. Arthur Big Mountain was an Apache.
    The circus family…the Spitzers lived in Valdosta, GA. Happy, the father was the clown, he worked with a trained mule. His oldest daughter, Margie married and stopped performing. I’m not sure where Annie and Johnny, the other two children, are now. Annie should be nearing 60, with Johnny not far behind.

  28. In answer to the above post, I have heard that Johnny did not continue in the circus but stayed in the Catskill area. I believe only Margie is still alive.

    Didn’t one of the Indian men marry one of the girls from Carson City?

  29. I can’t believe Carson City is gone. My son just turned 6 and is just starting to get into cowboys and indians. Instead of taking him to the same ol’ amusement parks in the city, I’ve been telling him about how my dad would take me to Carson City every summer when I was his age…and I loved it. So, here I am, 2 wks before my vacation, trying to find directions and hours of operation……………to find out they closed!!!!!!! And for what???? To build housing!!!! There’s SOOOO much land up there. Build somewhere else, damn it!! Whoever bought Carson City should re-open it and market it better. I mean, Jeez, look at all these posts on this site alone!!!!

    Come on. Everyone’s always complaining these days about the moral decay of our society. Maybe if these places would market themselves a little better to the 21st century family, they can compete with other vacation destinations.

    I’m extremely upset!!

  30. I’m afraid it is way too late to resurrect Carson City. Some of the buildings are gone, and The vast amount of artifacts that Mr.Gillette collected have been auctioned to the four winds. He should never have sold it in the first place, it might still be operational had he not done that.

  31. I have been to Carson City a couple of times in the 1990s. My family and I used to vacation at a family resort up in Leeds, NY called Pleasant Acres which came to a close in 2001.

    While we were at Pleasant Acres they used to take us on small trips by bus and one of the trips sometimes was going to Carson City.

    What I remember about Carson City was the train ride that had armed robbers come up and I think you gave them candy or something like that. I rememebr the re-enactments in the town of a cowboy shootout. I remember the Native-American dance shows and that they had a small Native-American museum within the place.

    We weren’t there for long; maybe a about 3-4 hours in our couple of times up there but that’s what I remember.

    I don’t remember his name but one time up at Pleasant Acres one of the Native-Americans from Carson City came up to the resort to perform.

    I miss both Carson City and Pleasant Acres. I’m 24 years old now and I must have been 13-14 when I went to Carson City.

    • The Indians that went to pleasant acres alot were hawk,and little deer.I would go with them all the time to pleasant acres.I live right up the road from there.that’s a ghost town too!

  32. Carson City & Catskill Game Farm…..I grew up in the town of Shandaken. And when I was a child they were the must thing to do in the summer…That was in the 60’s….As I got older and had children which have since grown now as well…It was my dream of taking my kids there…I had moved to Wisconsin however I did manage to take my kids there before they closed…They enjoyed it as well as I did many years ago….We were there in the mid 90’s….There was not much going on there then..But we still had fun..When they did the stage show in the saloon….We were the only ones there…However the show went on as normal….Many fond memories…We also visited the Game Farm that same day…And low and behold I seen a couple of people I grew up with that I had not seen in 20 years there…

  33. Carson City in the Catskills may be gone, but there is still one Western theme park left from the 1950s. Wild West City in Bryam Township, NJ, is alive and well. It has Western shows on the main street, pony rides, a train and stagecoach rides, panning for gold, a petting zoo, gift shops with Indian and cowboy stuff, horses hitched on the main street to be petted. It’s joyfully non-PC. Reasonably priced, got a picnic area so you don’t have to buy food. All in all it’s a great place for kids. Check the Webside WildWestCity.com.

  34. My family started going to the Catskills in the 1950’s all the way to 1972 or 1973. We stayed at Edgemere House which was run by Gussie and her daughters Bunny and Eleanor. Our family was large (5 kids) and we usually got the room behind the bar in the recreation building because it had two bedrooms. I remember it being a treat to ring the bell around the compound to let people know that the meals were ready. I remember Gussie singing “God Bless America”. We have home movies of her performing and sometimes she would do a bit of a striptease act. A lot of our home movies are of Edgemere, horseback riding, and fishing at the creek below Edgemere House. I used to play with Gussie’s granddaughter Heidi all the time as we were the same age. I rode my first horse on a trail nearby. Not sure if it was the Catskill Game Farm. Eventually my sister Sue and cousin Debbie worked at Edgemere along with some friends they made up there. We stopped going to Edgemere a year or two after Gussie sold the compound to the Whelan family. Great childhoods memories!

    • We also went to Edgemere House and remember Gussie. My sister and I also got the chance to ring the bell for meals. Loved hearing you did the same! Remember the great food and strange as it may sound I can remember the smell of the dining room. Loved it there.

  35. Had been goung there since 1969 till about 1985
    We always stayed at Reilly’s motor court on 32, and yes I remember the farm, Johns Deli, The Place restaurant. Best days of my life, would give anything to go there again with my mom and dad. Mystery Spot where the water ran uphill. Im so on a sentimental journey right now, if anyone wants to share anything PLZ email me at jumbohostel@yahoo.com

    Ben and what about Vans ice cream place?

    Plz get back to me would luv to share some info…

    • I loved reading all the posts. My family owned the Toy City Restaurant that was just down the street from there. We went to Carson City almost every day. I was good friends with Buffalo (I think his other name was Clifford) we were the same age. I was in 6th grade in 67 and 68. My dad and brother were also in the shoot out in town and my mom was in the show at the saloon with Slim. We lived between Catskill game farm and Carson City on Route 32. A school friend of mine was Bucky Hauver.

  36. my first days at carsoncity was in 66 when my family worked there my dad was one of the cowboys my mom worked in the genral store my sisters were cancan dancers my brother and i put on bumperstickers on and cleaned up the parking lot then in the mid 70s i went to work for mr G as a cowboy/ gunfighter worked there even after it was sold for afew years i grew up with the big moutin family like brothers and yes i knew ed parslo shorty and here is a few you mite know slim and kitty bob and teddy jack roche sketer whity i can go on and on but yes i wish i could revive it IT was a grate time my oldest son spent the first 4years of his life growing up there

    • I loved reading all the posts. My family owned the Toy City Restaurant that was just down the street from there. We went to Carson City almost every day. I was good friends with Buffalo (I think his other name was Clifford) we were the same age. I was in 6th grade in 67 and 68. My dad and brother were also in the shoot out in town and my mom was in the show at the saloon with Slim. We lived between Catskill game farm and Carson City on Route 32. A school friend of mine was Bucky Hauver.

  37. the pic. of the buckboard and horse the man o the buckbard is slim the man next to him i belive to be jack and the man to slims left back ground is teddy

  38. Sadly I’m reminded of the good times lost by evoultion by the recent death of the state trooper in front or near the Carson City amusement center. I too went to the catskill game farm as a kid and then as a young adult, but never attended carson City, wish I had as it seems all our past is leaving us for “better” things to do? We’ll see!

  39. Regarding Aunt Marie…I am hoping this is not a shot in the dark.. I read your post about Uncle Ken being gone and that makes me sad although I never kept in touch with that side of the family much but Aunt Marie and Uncle Ken were the sane ones I have fond memories of overnighter on grant st in Pittsfield and my first ball mitt was Uncle kens if my memory serves me right was aaa pittsburg pirates …In any event I live in Florida and really would love to contact Aunt Marie,,I tried finding a ph number but the person who answered wasnt any help ..and not aunt marie.. If you know how to contact her please send me info my email is mandt70@yahoo.com

    • Little Big Mountain,

      I have pics of us together as kids. My dad was Tommy Dunn, a friend of your grandfather, Big Mountain, and your father Iron Horse. Drop me a line at huntingeagle@comcast.net and I’ll send some scans! I’d love to hear from you! I’m in the central PA area now, so not too far from you, if you’re still around NY State.

      -Richard

  40. Se-koh to everyone!! I am the youngest son of Iron Horse Big Mountain and Wild Flower Big Mountain. My father was a great man.Comanche from Anadarko Oklahoma. My mom from Kah-na-wake Can. My Dad passed away in 2000. My mom still lives in Fl. I am the youngest of six. One girl and five boys. In that order. I was born in Catskill hospital and was on stage three days later. That is when the Indian village was on the hill past the train depot.(1965) Little Deer is my name and now I go by Little Big Mountain.I am still in the entertainment bizz. Except I took it to an extreme.I bring the Indian village to you! I do programs that teach primitive skills and go wright into the 1880’s and the cowboys and Indians! I would be glad to share more info if you wish. This computer stuffs is new to me though. I can start a fire with two sticks but this stuff is hard!I would love to hear more stories and see some pic’s too! Wow! What a blast from the past!!
    O-na-gee-wa-hee!! Little Big Mountain (“GO NATIVE”!)

    • Woops! Wrong link before! Let me try this again:

      Little Big Mountain,

      I have pics of us together as kids. My dad was Tommy Dunn, a friend of your grandfather, Big Mountain, and your father Iron Horse. Drop me a line at huntingeagle@comcast.net and I’ll send some scans! I’d love to hear from you! I’m in the central PA area now, so not too far from you, if you’re still around NY State.

      -Richard

      • I loved reading all the posts. My family owned the Toy City Restaurant that was just down the street from there. We went to Carson City almost every day. I was good friends with Buffalo (I think his other name was Clifford) we were the same age. I was in 6th grade in 67 and 68. My dad and brother were also in the shoot out in town and my mom was in the show at the saloon with Slim. We lived between Catskill game farm and Carson City on Route 32. A school friend of mine was Bucky Hauver. I remember Iron Horse (we called him Chief Iron Horse. He was good friends with my mom and dad. He handmade a belt for my mom and dad. My mom’s name was Virginia (Ginny or Vivi and my dad’s name was Dick) We used to have a framed picture of your mom and dad in a canoe on a river but it was destroyed in a fire. They were very warm to me and taught me many things. We had so many wonderful memories with your whole family. I wonder if you remember me.

  41. I was a friend of an owner there at Carson City in Catskill NY, in the early 80’s. His name was Dave Osborne. I actually performed there once in a while, in the band that backed up Mr. Osborne. Does anyone know what happened to him and his family?

    • David is alive and well I think he still lives in the general area. He is still performing. I used to work there in the 80’s.

  42. i miss carson city very much. my father was john or johnny spitzer (he was the clown) and my aunts are ann and margie. they grew up in the circus .

  43. My mother and father were good friends with Mr.Osborne. My father also was in the gunfights and my aunt ann was a can can girl. i remember i wanted to be a can can girl when i got old enough.

  44. Hey this is Cliff Big Dons son, I grew up at Carson city too! I just learned of this website, I dont know what to say, lost contact with so many people I grew up with. Have pictures will post them later. I lost my dad this Christmas. Its really hard, if any one is in the Catskills bureal will be in a couple weeks. My number is 845-706-2078.

  45. Shane Hansen, Jason Suzza, Billy ash, Dick Corey, Whitie Ford, Sharon Ward, Butch Capo, Don Gronigan, Andy Sacker, and alot more to go with those names.???????? anyone have any info?
    “This is a stick up give me all your bubble gum and candy!!!!”
    Is Billy still drunk at boot hill?????Lol

  46. Hi everyone this is Lil’ Don, as i was known while i was employed at Carson City. As my Brother Cliff has posted, our Father passed away on Dec 26, 2009. We will be having a memorial service, for “Big Don”, this Saturday, Jan. 23, 2010 at Leahys Funeral Home in Kingston, NY. at 1 p.m.. Feel free to contact Cliff at number he previously posted, or me by e-mail at dctatdon@gmail.com. If anyone who knew Dad, is unable to get there, but would like to send their condolences, please go to http://www.jvleahyfh.com and sign the guest book.

    • Hi Don. Your Dad, Big Don, was one of the Carson City ‘hall of famers.’ He was one of the best bad guys, ever. I enjoyed shooting him 5 times a day. lol Reg-gards to your Mom, Grandma, Cliff and Beth Ann.

      • Steve,u gotta give me a shout.happy b day bro.I enjoyed getting shot by u too unless I played the Marshall with ya.tell Laurie n everybody I said hey.I think I met your brother 2weeks ago.u still in Durham?give me a shout.5187559810

  47. I worked for David and Debbie, he also owned Lake George Zoo in upstate NY, it closed in 1999. I am 35 now, but worked for him while I was in high school. I have fond memories…

  48. Hello there, This is Shane Hansen, with the Hansen family circus performers, I worked at the park in ’90, 91, 95, 96, 98, both as a cowboy and also in the saloon, its great to see so many names that I remember, I had a great time at Carson city growing up and made many friends that I still see on a regular basis, I am very sorry to hear about the passing of Don Cole, he was a great guy, I have tons of pictures from the 90’s that I would like to share if anyones interested, let me know.

    As for myself I am married with 2 girls and one on the way as I type right now (seriously my wife is having contractions right now) we own our own acrobatic show and have worked all over the world including cruise ships, NBA halftime show, FOX television and alot more, if anyone remembers me please get in touch

    Shane

    • I too grew u with carson city, started off just going thier to watch my uncle,, wild bill ash being dunked in the dunken pond. then later as I grew older worked their myself in the country store, chuck wagon, and later on as I was older a can can dancer too. I would love to see any photos you have…. Great that you have carried out your acts!!

    • Hi Shane,
      I 100% remember you as I was at Carson City when my sister was 6 or 7 years old, she is now 23. It has been 18 years, oh my goodness! Time flies. I was dating someone then and now I am married with two kids!!! It is good to hear that you have been successful, post Carson City!!! Good Luck with all that you are involved in!!!

    • Ladies and Gentlemen, buckaroos and buckarettes! Carson City is proud to present to you, from Copenhagen, the greatest roller skating act west of the Atlantic Ocean, The Hansens!! (cue music). Hi Shane. My son (he was 6) was in love with your sister, Deanna. I liked your gunfighting style, but your juggling was amazing!!

  49. In the early Eighties I took my kids there. What great memories… There was a train ride Im sure you all remember that got held up on every trip. They came in and told the kids they wanted all their candy… same goes for the stage coach …that went up to Boot Hill. Just great .. It is so sad to see and hear that these places are closed…

  50. Hi – great website. I spent my summers up in Caskills at the Edgemere. It was a huge part of my life. My Grandmother used to run bus trips up there from the 50’s thru the 70’s. She was good friends with Gussie, and her family. I remember her daughters & grandaughter. When the Whalen’s bought the place I became friends with their daughter and stayed the summer with them. It will always be some of the best memories in my life – it was a great way to spend the summers. We made friends with so many people, and the same families would come year after year. We used to horseback ride at J bar M Ranch, go to Carson City, The Mystery Spot, Howe’s Caverns was always a favorite. We used to walk down the road, over the bridge and into town and shop at Newberry’s and have lunch in the luncheonette. I drove through the entire area a few years ago – what a difference!

    • To the user who posted comment #62.

      If you still speak with Sheriff Steve every once and a while, tell him his cousin John (Janet’s son)from Yonkers says hello! 🙂 I was here at work talking to my boss about lots of great things that we all enjoyed in our childhoods and my boss brought up Frontier Town which is way upstate past Lake George. I then told him about Carson City and how my cousin Steve was the sheriff there. I then tried to see if there might be some video on Youtube from Carson City with my cousin in it. Sadly, I didn’t find any. I know I have video that I took from the early 90s where my cousin was sheriff and I recorded the shoot outs and even some close up video of my family with Steve. If I find it, I’ll convert it to MPEG and upload it to Youtube. Anyhow, I miss those days and I miss seeing Steve. It’s been???? Geez…. 15 years or more since I last saw him. We haven’t returned to the Catskills since my uncle Rich sold or lost the property he owned, plus with no more Carson City, or Catskill Gamefarm oh and no more Dairy Queen (LOL) up there, we simply haven’t gone back to the Catskills anymore. 🙁

      We had a lot of fun at Carson City, The Catskill Game Farm, etc… when I was young. It is sad that such things are gone and that todays generation and the generations to come will NEVER know or experience all the great things we were fortunate to see and do when we were young.

      For me here is a short list of the GREAT things that are no more here in NY.

      Handleman’s Garden Center (*)
      Shultz Cider Mill in Armonk
      Catskill Game Farm
      Carson City
      Yonkers Raceway Fair
      The Great Danbury Fair (**)

      (*) Handleman’s was a large garden center. They had great Halloween and Christmas displays where you’d walk through them and you felt like you were teeported to a Winter Wonderland or to a scarry Halloween haunted house with animated figures and more. It was a Great place to take the kids).

      (**) Now the site of the Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, CT.

      Well, thats all I guess. Sorry for the long post. 🙂

      John
      Yonkers, NY

    • To the user who posted comment #62.

      If you still speak with Sheriff Steve every once and a while, tell him his cousin John (Janet’s son)from Yonkers says hello! 🙂 I was here at work talking to my boss about lots of great things that we all enjoyed in our childhoods and my boss brought up Frontier Town which is way upstate past Lake George. I then told him about Carson City and how my cousin Steve was the sheriff there. I then tried to see if there might be some video on Youtube from Carson City with my cousin in it. Sadly, I didn’t find any. I know I have video that I took from the early 90s where my cousin was sheriff and I recorded the shoot outs and even some close up video of my family with Steve. If I find it, I’ll convert it to MPEG and upload it to Youtube. Anyhow, I miss those days and I miss seeing Steve. It’s been???? Geez…. 15 years or more since I last saw him. We haven’t returned to the Catskills since my uncle Rich sold or lost the property he owned, plus with no more Carson City, or Catskill Gamefarm oh and no more Dairy Queen (LOL) up there, we simply haven’t gone back to the Catskills anymore. 🙁

      We had a lot of fun at Carson City, The Catskill Game Farm, etc… when I was young. It is sad that such things are gone and that todays generation and the generations to come will NEVER know or experience all the great things we were fortunate to see and do when we were young.

      John
      Yonkers, NY

  51. hello everybody. have been reading some of these posts….and it has brought back some fond memories.I worked at carson city in the late 80’s. i remember big Don, and little don. aslo had some good times with little deer.
    i grew up in Cairo. i remember ole Billy Ash. i hope his liver is still in his body.LOL! would get to work in the morning….meet all the guys in the gun room. I still talk to sheriff steve now and then. also remember working on the train tracks with Big don. sorry he is gone now.

  52. Wow! This is great to find this site. My grandfather was Slim Skellett, MC and Marshall of the gunfights, and host/performer of the Saloon show, and my grandmother was Miss Kitty of the Saloon show. I spent many summers in the late 60’s and early 70’s there with my family, and the memories are priceless. I can remember all the gunfights, the indian shows, and saloon shows step for step, note for note from seeing three shows a day for years on end, and we never got tired of them. The picture on top of this is of my grandfather Slim, and his long time friend Jack (last name escapes me.) They even lived in the same neighborhood in Flordia during the winter. The Big Mountain Family were great people, and I remember hanging around with them when we were kids, and I recently found them on Facebook and hope to make contact with them soon. I remember most of the cowboys, including Shorty, and the Diablo family. I would be interested to hear about any information about any of the people from Carson City, or share thoughts or stories with anyone who used to visit.
    I look forward to hearing and reading this blog for any more info.

    • My Dad was a gun fighter there, in fact that is where he and my mom met. He tells many stories about the time he spent there and the wild times he shared with the Bigmountains. They were all really good friends.

    • I loved reading all the posts. My family owned the Toy City Restaurant that was just down the street from there. We went to Carson City almost every day. I was good friends with Buffalo (I think his other name was Clifford) we were the same age. I was in 6th grade in 67 and 68. My dad and brother were also in the shoot out in town and my mom was in the show at the saloon with Slim. We lived between Catskill game farm and Carson City on Route 32. A school friend of mine was Bucky Hauver. I remember Iron Horse (we called him Chief Iron Horse. He was good friends with my mom and dad. He handmade a belt for my mom and dad. My mom’s name was Virginia (Ginny or Vivi and my dad’s name was Dick) We used to have a framed picture of your mom and dad in a canoe on a river but it was destroyed in a fire. They were very warm to me and taught me many things. I remember Jack too. My dad said that your grandfather Slim trained the drunken horse in the movie Cat Balou. He was a wonderful man and we loved him. Some of the cowboys in the show lived with us for a while

    • I know nothing about Carson City but I was looking up the name Slim Skellett because I just bought a “45” at a garage sale made by the Slim Skellett Trio and wanted to know something about them and came across all these posts. I see that “Slim” was your grand dad and thought you might be interested to know about the record. It’s on the “S BAR S” label and gives the members of the trio as Slim Skellett, Brad Husson & Bob Skellett. The songs are “Strawberry Roan” and “Billy Richardson’s Last Ride”. No idea when it was made.

    • I found a 45RPM record by Slim Skellett & The Slim Skellett Trio (includes Bob Skellett & Brad Husson). I have it listed on ebay.

  53. I can’t believe I actually foung a blog about Carson City!! This has brought back so many memories. I spent so much time there from about 1980 to the early ninties. My name is Trish and my family and I traveled there from Queens every weekend. I dated one of the cowboys there for quite some time. Everyone there treated me like one of the crew and made me feel welcome. If anyone remembers me, I would love to hear from you! I’ve lost touch with so many friends! My email is bassguitars5@verizon.net

  54. I started going to Carson City in the early 70’s with my parents and younger siblings. I remember slim and Miss Kitty all so well. I especially loved the song “I didn’t know the gun was loaded”. My parents even bought an 8 track of Slim’s songs. We continued to go through the years almost every weekend. I even practically raised my son and daughter there. We traveled from Queens every week and spent almost every day there until the early 90’s when my father passed away. We continued to go, not as often but it was like our second home. Dave Osborne even told my son that he’s have a job there as soon as he became of age. My son is married now and expecting a child of his own, and my daughter is now 21. Through the years we continue to go to see so much has changed. It broke our hearts to see what has become of Carson City.We always visit the Catskill creek cause My Dad used to taake my son for a ride on Silver King, every morning, a horse owned by Cowboy Bob who was a cowboy at Carson City,past the creek. Carson City will always hold a special place in our hearts. I have pictures of my kids with Chief Iron Horse. We really enjoyed the Indian shows.If anyone remembers my family feel free to contact me at auntgranny805@aol.com

  55. Just saw the old Carson City property listed for sale in an upstate Real Estate paper… Former Western Style Theme park: House with 4 apartments, Barns, 100 acres, old “Western Style” buildings still standing. $790,000.

    Brings back SO many memeories…

  56. In addition to the Indian Dance Youtube video posted on this site, there are two relatively new Youtube videos (recorded in the early 90s) of some of the gunfight reenactments.

    Part 1
    Part 2

  57. Mr Osborn was a totally inept businessman and a clever con man. Had he paid his taxes Carson City may still be be operational, and perhaps Mr Osborn would not have been charged with tax evasion and CC would not have been auctioned off. This was at least the 6th or 7th business he ran into the ground.

  58. When I first started working there in 1990 it was packed every day, as the years went on Dave Osborn put more money into dead end projects and most of it up his nose…by 1998 it was embarassing to work there,,,the early years were the best, just like the videos above, ohh yeah I’m the skinny blond guy

    • Andy “Oh, you said possie!!” Sacher. How the heck are ya?! I gotta say, you gave me some of the best laughs. I still smile when I think of the time you loaded the strongbox with rocks. The poor ‘bad guys’ had a hell of a time dragging it out to the street during the show. Or the time you put liquid soap in the bad guy’s drink. When he spoke his line, bubbles came out of his mouth. You rascal, you. We coulda been somebody! Haha. Btw.. I think Sharon is po’d at you.

  59. I think it was the summer of 1979, I was 8 and my brother was 2. We went to Carson City, Howes Caverns and the Catskill Game Farm. Such fun! Loved Carson City…my brother cried when they held us up on the stage coach and asked us for “all of our bubble gum.” We stayed at the Pine Lake Manor in Greenville, New York. I still go there with my kids, sadly all of these great places are gone, with the exception of Howes Caverns. Such wonderful memories….:)

  60. I was born in 1980 and I recently went to a place similar to carson city called wild west city in NJ with my son who is three! I was having de ja vu but i know for a fact that I had never been to Wild west city (we rarely went to NJ). I went home called my grandma up and said “i remember going on a train ride and being held up and being really scared and crying!” and she said “yup that was carson city in the catskills.” LOL!! so… if it did close in 1985 (dont know what month) i most likely had remembered it from being 4 years old:)
    I came on and googled it to see if I could bring my son here… too bad it is closed. But anyone looking fora similar experience- head out to jersey. My sons really enjoyed:)

  61. I am 56 now, and back when I was a kid, my parents took me to Carson City and the Game Farm. I barely remember these places. We went there from Pleasant view Lodge which was a short ride in Freehold. Pleasant View is gone as well as these great places of the past. I took my kids and will always remember the big sign outside the Game farm, I think it said they opened in 1940, I may be wrong on that. Then the first thing you saw were the giraffes in the big pen. Then it was time to find out when the Animal Shows was, couldn’t miss that. We did not want to miss anything, and of course, had the map to figure out where to go. Remember leaving the strollers outside the deer area, so you could go in and buy the crackers to feed them! What a thrill! At Carson City I remember all the kids got badges, confirming that they were now all deputys. And then there was the dunking of the bandit in the water pit. What memories, not sure what my kids remember about these places, I have to ask them soon to see what they remember. What was the Mystery Spot anyway?

  62. I remember visiting Carson City in the middle seventies. My grandparents brought my brother and I on a Catskill tour of Carson City, Howe Caverns and The Catskill Game Farm. It is one of my fondest childhood memories. Too bad it is gone.

  63. My Grandma Gussie, Mom, and Aunt Bunny owned and operated the Edgemere House until 1972. Those are my best childhood memories, and I was pleasantly surprised to see a few posts from others who had spent summers at the Edgemere. MaryEllen, I also remember playing with you, and I have a picture that I was told was of you and I. I would love to share some memories, please e-mail anytime.

  64. Hi everyone,, Hey cuz (Bobbie Skellett) I love this site. Yes it was a fun filled place. My grandfather Slim was the “Mayor” and Grandmother was Miss Kitty. He was a super entertainer! He did record Ghost riders in the sky. Nobody had a voice like grandpa. All us grandkids grew up every summer working and playing at carson city. My Grandpa and grandma had a trailer located behind the hotel in carson city and everynight after dinner we would go down and pet and groom the horses and shovel the POOP after the park was closed. Grandpa even let me brake one of the ponies. However the dang pony bucked me off and i cried, he made me get back on him. This was back in the 70s. I have tons of pictures. I will post them. Jack was the marshall and Tina was his daughter (she was a can can girl) Grandma let all us grandkids be can can girls once we turned 14 or 15. What a hoot that was,, and the cowboys would sit in the saloon and whistle as us… The saloon only served ROOT BEER and popcorn back then. Billy, and Ray and Teddy and shorty were some of the cowboys back then. My aunt Eva ran the ticket office when you first came in. And yes the cowboys all put those silly cardboard signs on your cars with wire wrapped around your bumpers. I would like to see them do that now!! haha Oh the BIG MOUNTAINS what can we say about them!! they were the most sweetest good people you could ever find. Those were the good ole days !!! WINK WINK!! My dad Allan and and uncle Bobbie were cowboys every summer. One day my dad was riding one of the horses (which has a bad reputation of slobberying) hense his name was “slobber” well grandpa was narrating the gunfight and dad came thru the town and Slobber tripped and rolled over on him. He got caught under the horse and broke his nose. Well Mrs Big Mountain took him in the “hotel” which was really their house that they lived in and clean him up. Dad said dont tell your mom I broke my nose cuz she will kill me. The show went on after he got all cleaned up… He still sang in the last saloon show of the day with grandpa and grandma. Big ole white bandage on his face and 2 black eyes. Grandma would play the drums on stage and sing. You can roll a silver dollar along on the ground… I LOVE THAT SONG! The Spitzers did their dog act and unicycle act and juggled. They were wonderful people. Well guys I hope someone remembers these days with me. I WILL post my pics. I had the bestest childhood ever!!! pwoods9999@hotmail.com

  65. Does anyone know where Dave Osborn is now. I heard he may be in Las Vegas playing piano. I knew him when he was an owner of Carson City. I loved that place and took my nephew and some friends there years ago. When did Carson City close?

  66. just talkin to my dad about going to carson city and the game farm every summer back in the 80’s. wish I could share some of these memories with my daughter.

  67. So many memories went to Carson City in the early 60’s spent many vacations in the area during this time. Stayed at the Hickory Notch in Palenville and latter up at Wheel Inn in Greenville.Thank you for this site only learned of the closing of the Game Farm yesterday

  68. Visited Carson City with my family the summer of about 1990, I was 9 or 10 years old. Loved the train ride where we were “robbed”. Still remember seeing the quicksand in the woods from the train, with the upsidedown cowboy boots sticking out. Also loved the cancan dancers so much that I dressed up as one for Halloween that fall. I still have the red garter with a tiny holster and gun on it that I bought as a souviner. My little brothers and I play old west games with our souviner guns for weeks after visiting. It was one of my favorite childhood vacations! I was trying to find out if it was still around so that I could take my daughters this summer. Such a shame that it’s gone.

  69. Never visited Carson City but made many trip to the Catskill Game Farm. Dont know why my parents never stop with me and sister went pass it many times going to the game farm wish we did.

  70. Oh MY!!! What memories. I Too visited carson city with my family when I was younger. I am 40 now. We stayed at the astoria Motor court in Leeds. My mom had grown up with the daughter there. My mopms family was from the area. My aunt was post master for years. We loved it there so much. Its a shame I can not bring my own kids there.

  71. great memories of that area! my parents took me and my 2 brothers there every year. as i rememeber carson city and the catskill game farm, along with the “mystery” spot, i cant help but remember
    “the place” >best family owned breakfast joint EVER! junior speedway~ shangri-la hotel (miss you mike) south cairo bait and tackle (ahh good ole’ buck and marge, RIP) fran and johns, which was sold and then named “the culvert inn”. fishing behind fran and johns. a great eatery “eats” ..haha, which is still there! tanglewood ranch, sunnyhill for day trips.
    i still take my kids down that way to sunnyhill <3, but they will never experience the second home feeling i got from cairo/leeds. i will never forget those wonderful memories. thanks mom and dad~

      • my husband and i loved this place. we would steal days to go up to the catskills with our family and our daughter and visit the snake house and the game farm . but far we love carson city. it was our special place. then off to KOches for the famous cream of chicken soup. m\i really miss that place.

  72. I remember Carson City and the Catskill Game Farm like it was yesterday. I’m 57 now and we would visit both places in the early 60’s when we vacationed every year from the late 50’s through the early 70’s at Pleasant View Lodge , which is now gone also. What great memories of my childhood….so sad to hear they are all gone.

  73. I remember Carson City well! I grew up in NYC and each year, we’d vacation in the Catskills. I knew we were getting close when I would see the signs for Carson City! Each year, we’d stay at the Toy City motel located just down the road….which had an indoor miniature golf course and game room. I also remember frequently eating at a burger joint called Van’s..an Italian place called John’s and a German place called the Old Heidleburg. We made friends with the owners of a motel called the Sandman and frequently ate at their restaurant

  74. I have many fond memories of carson city growing up i went there in the late 80s . I have a video my father recorded the shows inside the last chance saloon, some of the gunfights and the indian village, i will post them up to youtube as soon as i get the chance. Most of u know who the people in the videos are. So i am happy i can bring you back some greatmemories of some great people. Sad to see all of those places closed now… Does anyone know the address of carson city? I would like to look it upon google maps.

  75. I remember going to carson city and indian village as a child every summer as well as the catskill game farm it is a shame that these places have closed as i wish i could give these amazing experi ences to my childeren.my sister and brothers and i always looked forward to going every year.it may have been as some have said “overpriced” but was one of the highlites of my families summer.

  76. My Uncle Art owned Carson City. We would go there every year. I was shocked to find out he sold it. I think he wanted to put more time into to his other business Magic Forest in Lake George NY. Which is currently being run by his son Jack. His oldest daughter Lorraine was one of the can-can dancer. I really enjoyed the “saloon” My favorite song was I think the title was Night Riders in the sky. RIP Uncle Art.

  77. I remember this place very well. We were just talking about it the other night. We took our kids there many times, along w/ the game farm. It was a short ride fro our home in Pine Bush and a fun time was always had by all….we moved out of NY in June of 1991 and it was still open then. Sorry to hear it is gone

  78. Our family from Long Island camped at North Lake or stayed at Hickory Notch Cabins every summer from the late 60s thru the 70s. I kept going back over the years, camping at North Lake in 2010. I remember Carson City and the Mystery Spot and the Game Farm! So many great memories of wonderful places in the Catskills -Howe Caverns,North Lake Campground,Hickory Notch Cabins,Stovers German Restaurant,Hunter Mountain Oktoberfest, Last Chance Cheese,the dairy farm and fruit and vegetables stands,spectacular mountain views and icy swims in the creek.I still visit Palenville, Tannersville, Hunter and Haines Falls all the way from NC when I can. Wonderful memories. Anyone know what became of Hickory Notch Cabins? Anyone remember Hans Richter’s The Butterfly Farm in E Durham (I think)? I am ever grateful for parents who took us kids to the Catskills every summer.

    • The last time I went pass the Hickory Notch it was closed and for sale that was a few years ago. Very sad what has become of this area. As a child I spent many summers at the Hickory Notch I remember the coins in the cement walkways,the big truck inner tubes to float in the swimming hole. North Lake is still a beautifull state park I so want to pull our camper up there one day. I also miss Vans ice cream parlor and the town of Cario. When I was a teen my family stayed at Wheel Inn in Greenville also closed many years ago. Again a beautifull area of NY that is passed it’s time

      • I took the kids & have great memories. My son who was a 15 yr old wise guy, so I paid a cowboy to harrass him for the day, what a fun day! Yes he was forced to give up his candy in front of his sisters, , when the train was held up, singled out to walk behind the train, cowboys on horseback behind him. He’s almost 40 now & we still laugh at the photo’s. wish we could share this with the grandchildren, no violence just fun!

  79. I brought my son to Carson City not far from when they closed. I never knew how it was in the 60s and 70s, but I know that my son loved it so much. We went at least 10 times that summer driving 2 1/2 hrs each way. I didn’t care as I loved it and my son never looked happier. My mom,who is now gone, loved “flirting” with the cowboys and law men!! If anyone knows anything about one cowboy, Andy Sacker or Slacker would love to here. He was wonderful to my son and I would love to tell him how much that was appreciated. I also have alot of pics in albums from the mid 80s of the guys and the park. I hope we can all keep the memories alive and pray the little ones now may have an opportunity to enjoy these types of activities again.

  80. I worked there for two seasons in the early 80’s played guitar in the saloon robed the stage coach and the train and gave pony rides. I participated in the street fights and enjoyed playing the role of the prospector. I made so many friends and many years later brought my kids. What was amazing was that the day I visited I ran into another street fighter that I had worked with. He just so happened to be visiting that day as well. One of my favorite memories was attending an after hours party at night up on the hill around a camp fire. I decided to take a walk thru the streets. It was a full moon and a still night. If you remember the magic there was during the day you can imagine what it was like at night. Carson City was and is by far the most fun job I ever had. Thank you Dave Osborne for sharing your dream with me.

  81. It is sooo wonderful to re live memories of my childhood by reading these posts. Buddy Big Mountian, Little, Joe Ventura, brings back great memories. My dad is Dave Osborn and I worked at Carson City from 1977-1986 and then again in the 90’s. I was a can can dancer for many years. I would love to see some videos from the can can shows back then. I remember day after day looking out into the crowd from the stage and the saloon, balcony and street was filled with people watching. Nights spent up on the hill around the campfires and the rodeos we special memories for me. I was 9 yrs old when my dad purchased the park from Art. I spent every summer working for my dad until I graduated high school and then came back when I was married with my oldest son who got to spend a couple years there before the park sadly closed its doors. My dad tried to expand and bring more festivals and people to the catskills but at that time many resorts and businesses were closing and the catskills weren’t as popular as they once were. I would love to hear from the Big Mountains and the Fullbright’s if you are out there somewhere. Enjoy reading everyones wonderful memories of the place where I grew up and spent the best years of my life!

    • Hi Jennifer, I grew up going to Carson City also. I am lucky that I got to bring my daughter there when she was 3 in 1997. I was working at the American Indian Community House and made friends with a woman named Matoaka LittleEagle, she said her family was once the resident Indians at Carson City when she was around 5. I’d love it if you would write back to me and share our memories. Thanks.

  82. I loved Carson City as a kid. It was like walking down a real western town. They would take a group of “deputies” to help the sheriff look for outlaws. They had a print shop that would print a headline with your name on it. I was looking to see if it still was there, I wanted to take my grandchildren. I am very disappointed. The Indian Village was interesting too. It was like experiencing history. So sad it is all gone. 🙁

  83. My associations with Carson City goes back to 1958, I lived there and worked there with my Uncle Ed Parslow. and a co-worker named “Shorty” we lived in the Hotel on property. It was short lived for me though, I was there for the spring only. couple months,Uncle Ed and I worked for Art Gillette in Pittsfield at the Merry go round at Pontoosic lake, he sold tickets and I ran the “Big Ginny” Merry -go Round. then we went to Carson City in 58.I left to return to Pittsfield got a job with a Painting contractor. Uncle Ed stay on. retired lived out his life with my Sister in New Lebanon Ny until his passing. Nice to see all the fond memories and the people that remember my Uncle,he was an astute man, spoke 3 languages fluently was very learned.handicapped in body not mind. thanks for the memories.
    ECF

  84. I remember Carson City and Indian village. As a child i was there before 1961. It was great fun as a young child riding in the stage coach, eating lunch in the saloon, while wearing my cowgirl outfit. My sister dressed as a squaw. There were gun fights, rodeo, calf roping, etc. Back then cowboy movies were the thing to watch and role play with the good guy winning. It may not sound like much now but it was memories of a life time even over 50 years it still makes me smile at the thought. Mov’in little doggies!

    • Wow,what a ride.Its so good to hear from people I haven’t heard fromin a long time.like others,I really enjoyed working,performing at carson city.It was a lot of fun.I was deeply saddened when it went out.I spent a lot of years there.Plenty of broken bones,scarrs to prove it.A lot of long hot days also.I still live locally,its sad when I drive by to see what it looks like now.A real ghost town.I think of all the great memories though.Stacy,Steve,Little,Jason,Shane,Wild Bill,Billy E,Smokey,Andy,Bobby M,Little Don,Cliff,Calvin,all you guys,I miss ya.It was fun while it lasted.I can’t forget the women,God the women.I can’t forget my man Elliot too.Its been real.Sorry to hear about Big Don.Little,sorry about your dad.Tell your Mom I said hello.Dick Cory nicknamed me The Possum,because he thought I was a good dyer.Well I’m still alive,surprisingly.My email is pugsleyrobert@yahoo.com.Give me a shout,it would be good to hear from everyone.I gotta go,I’m goin on a cattle drive.lol

      • I am almost 32 yrs old and have fond memories of Carson City. The train ride of course – stick em up and give me all your bubble gum. I was around 7 yrs old when I went back in the mid 80’s. I remember getting a white horse figure from the gift shop. Just this past month I took my three children to Frontier Town In Ocean City, MD. I cried when I walked thru the gates because it looked eerily similar to Carson City – it was so joyful to share my experience as a child with my kids – although it wasn’t the exact same place. About 10 years ago – my husband and I drove up to the Catskills to visit Carson City and had found out then that it was gone. There were still some sets on the site – but literally a ghost town. The Frontier Town we went to this past month had a cowboy/ horse rider by the name of Shane Carson or Shane Hansen…he said his parents worked at Carson City…? Anyhow – fond memories that I will have for a lifetime –

      • Hey Pugs. Remember: “Hey Lady, is that necklace real? Yeah, that’s what they all say.” 😉 Btw – the part of my house you, Little Deer and Richie LaRue helped me build is still standing. omg!!

    • People in Greene county, ny, where the Game Farm and Carson City began, loved both places that were prosperous. Both owners were into drugs, and greed, both going bankrupt because of it. I hate those people.

  85. Mr. Scott Schrantz has really shown his ignorance in his comments about this charming, endearing, nostalgic, magical place! So many children and adults were blessed with such fond memories of Carson City. I worked there several years and it was the happiest time of my life. So many stories and so many interesting characters. The best of which was the owner David Osborn. he gave life to the gunshows and saloon shows with his beautiful voice and personality.

    • Hi Sharon. We did have some fun, didn’t we? I found the perfect music for your ‘spanish web.’ Remind me to play it for you next time we meet. 😉 Butch and the hogs. How can I forget? You were one of the great performers who came and went during my time at the park. Hope all is well. Steve

  86. Raise your right hand and repeat after me. (Your other right hand, son). I solemnly swear to uphold the laws of Carson City and the laws of my Mom and Dad…and to capture that snake in the grass, Billy the Kid, and see he’s brought to justice. Now, walk this way…..

  87. I grew up with carson city and catskill game farm also my uncle walt becker was one of the gunfighters he was also in charge of keeping the buildings in good repair he did a lot of carpentry and sheetrocking and taping he worked there for over twenty years with the last owner. the big mountains were great people they used to camp out in my daughters yard when they did powwows in hunter a lot of their children still do performances

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