Can we save Frontier Town’s “Log Chapel”?

Listen up.  I have a proposal for you.  And although I’m not 100% sure how we can do this, I hope that by at least mentioning this, that someone will figure out a way to make it happen.

All of us in the Capital District remember the beloved amusement park Frontier Town.  You know, just off Exit 29 on the Northway.  Wild West shows, a rodeo, gunfights in front of the town square, all the fun and wonder and excitement.

Great memories.

Unfortunately, today Frontier Town no longer exists as an amusement park.  It’s barely a plot of land with some collapsed and deteriorating buildings and overgrowth.  There’s a battle over the sale of the land.  There’s even rumors of someone actually living in one of the buildings and claiming squatter’s rights to prevent her from eviction.  It’s messy.

That’s why I’d like to propose something that’s less messy.

Log Chapel.  Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens.  Photo by Chuck Miller.
Log Chapel. Nikon Df camera, Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G lens. Photo by Chuck Miller.

This is a picture of the “Log Chapel” on the Frontier Town parcel.  It’s one of the oldest buildings on the site; I suspect it might have been constructed when he park was originally built in 1951.  Every Sunday it was actually used for a local church service; and it was the site for several real weddings (and that “binding only in the park” wedding between Debbie and Ernie when they were both eight years old).

The Chapel is one of the few buildings that doesn’t have a collapsed roof from deterioration and storm damage.  It’s one of the few buildings that has remained intact throughout all the park’s struggles and collapse.

Okay, this is the first step.

Now for the second step.

What we have on the right is an old View-Master slide of a children’s size chapel on the grounds of Storytown, U.S.A.  This slide was taken in the mid-1950’s; there is still a church building on the amusement park grounds (now known as Six Flags Great Escape), but it’s not the same as the original Storytown chapel.

Now that’s the second step.

Here’s the third.

Frontier Town was built with the idea of replicating America’s pioneer and old West history.  Six Flags Great Escape still has a portion of its property designated as the Wild West village Ghost Town.  But there isn’t a house of worship on the Ghost Town part of that land.

Are you following what I’m leading?

Good.

Storytown / The Great Escape has a long history of repurposing and acquiring rides and buildings from other amusement parks.  The Comet roller coaster, for example, originally raced in a park in Ontario.  And the Canyon Blaster roller coaster was once part of Opryland U.S.A.

So… what would it take to carefully disassemble the Frontier Town log cabin, transport it down to Queensbury, and reassemble it on the Great Escape land?  Could the building be purchased directly outside of the land sale?  Could someone fund the disassembly process or the transport fees or the reassemblage?

Hey big Capital District companies, here’s your chance.  Maybe Price Chopper could underwrite the building transport?  You think that Billy Fuccillo could make a few commercials and help pay for the Chapel’s disassembly and reassembly?

I’m just a simple blogger, I don’t know about all the intricacies that would go into such a project.

But I do know that if there’s a way to save something of Frontier Town in a new location, a place where one of its original buildings could be enjoyed and appreciated – and maybe another wedding or two conducted inside its hallowed structure – then I’m all for it.

What say you?  Do you think it could be done?  Why or why not?

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2 thoughts on “Can we save Frontier Town’s “Log Chapel”?”

  1. Here’s a brief story about 1 historic item from Frontier Town that was saved. When Frontier Town briefly reopened in the 90’s (I think), I used to stop there on occasion to use the restaurant and always noticed a stuffed Husky type dog in a case. Turns out, it was part of a dogsled team that delivered needed medicine to Nome Alaska during some kind of epidemic. That was what brought about about the Iditarod Trail Dog Sled Race.
    I often wondered what became of it, after the Park closed for the final time. I had this awful image of it being tossed into some junk pile. Thankfully, it turned out, that someone recognized the historic value of it and purchased it. I think I read once, that it is in a museum. somewhere.
    So, maybe there is hope.

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  2. Restore it in place and duplicate it if you cannot purchase it. There is a whole log town that it is apart of. There is a history there and alot of the buildings can be restored for modern use. I am working on the 2nd vol of photos from Frontier Town. It is iconic in place.

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