Exploring Frontier Town

  POSTCARD FROM THE SCHROON LAKER COLLECTION

 

POSTCARD FROM THE SCHROON LAKER COLLECTION

 

Via urbanpostportemwordpresswebsite

By Chad Abramovich

Copyright. All rights Reserved 2015

Most people my age aren’t likely to recall Frontier Town, a once prominent destination turned ghost town in the woods of tiny North Hudson, New York, but there are plenty of people who will tell you that it used to be great,  and once integral to the once-thriving Adirondack tourism heyday of the mid 20th century.

I’ve mentioned Frontier Town before in an earlier blog entry, but never truly got around to exploring it until recently. Frontier Town is a massive place, it’s kitschy ruins stretch unassumingly from the roadsides of Routes 9 and 84, and far back out of sight on the sprawling property at the bottom of shady hollows and a myriad of cold swamps that pulse with mosquitoes in the summers. Because the property is so large, it’s very difficult to get a good idea of just how much there is to see, until you start exploring for yourself. It’s taken me 3 trips to see a good deal of it, and I still feel like I’ve been unprepared with every visit.

My trips started back in 2012, which were focused on the assortment of abandoned motels and cabins lining Route 9 that once served the motel, and slowly, I would move inwards.

In 1951, Arthur Bensen, a Staten Island entrepreneur who installed telephones for a living, toured the northeast with $40,000, to find a location suitable for building his dream project which would be far more ambitious than his current profession; an amusement park. 267 wooded acres in North Hudson would seal the deal, and despite having no construction skills and no real income after purchasing the property, he went to work. He was known for his amiable personality, someone who was convincing and charismatic, and got many North Hudson locals on board with helping him build the theme park, despite some of them thinking that both him and his idea was crazy. But his tenaciousness and optimism paid off, as his dream began to take shape. Using his 1951 Chevy, he would drag timber behind his car to build many of the log cabins around the site that still stand today. Check out more of Chad's post, right here.