Carson City for Sale: The Wild West of Upstate New York
Times have changed since Carson City and Indian Village was Catskill's own little piece of the Wild West. Open from the 1950s to 1990s, the amusement park was the sort of place where Native Americans would pose for photo opps with people's babies. That's my cousin, Rory, in the picture above, giving the camera (and her parents) a quizzical look.
At Carson City, it was just good, clean, Old Western fun to re-enact famous gun-fights and incite mobs of kids to run through the fake streets, pointer fingers out and thumbs up, their little hands ready to shoot the bad guys to kingdom come.
See that really tan kid with no shirt on? Gotta love that guy! There were also can-can dancers and a train ride that promised a robbery. Prop guns were realistically fired into the air and passengers were shaken down for spare change. I remember having a lot of fun at Carson City, but I also have a really clear memory of the ominous clanking of the train, the outlaw's mirrored sunglasses, his smokey breath as he told me to hand over my bubblegum. That's me, at right, the toddler the red cowboy hat. I think this was taken during my first of many childhood visits.
I wonder what happened to the people who worked at Carson City back in the day. Did they go on to acting gigs when it closed, or did they just get on with their lives? After this YouTube video, a former can-can dancer and the son of a gun-fighter appear in the comments. In this one, another commenter writes: "i was a cowboy there in 1984 . i worked with big don every day . i loved the shells he loaded at night for us . the shotgun made the kids cry !" Good times!
So who wants to open a modern, politically correct version of this once-beloved destination? Carson City's 100-acre lot, with many of its original buildings still intact, is for sale for $590,000. It's located at 5389 Route 32 in Catskill, and apparently has 4 rented apartments on the property. You can check out Trulia for photos of the land and some of the original buildings, like the well-named Crystal Pistol Theatre.