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THE WILD WEST
GHOST TOWN PROJECT

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This is a project I've been meaning to webify for a long time now.  My good friend Dave Markley visited a movie-set ghost town called "1880 Town" in South Dakota back in 2000.   Unfortunately my scanner has been on the fritz for a long time now and the project went forgotten, until last week when I found these photos in an envelope in my study.

"The 1880 town began as a movie set, though it was never used for filming by the movie company that constructed it. The set was given to a local resident, Clarence Hullinger, in payment for the antiques he supplied for the planned movie.  The town consists mainly of old buildings that were found in the area, and over the last several decades, it has been expanded with many additional authentic old buildings, artifacts and memorabilia. " (from the 1880 Town Website)

So, thanks to Mr. Markley's efforts, we can now look at a bona fide- looking   Western Town(looks pretty good to me, anyway!)  much like it might have been back in the 1880s.

THUMBNAIL

DESCRIPTION (CLICK ON HYPERLINK TO SEE THE FULL SIZE IMAGE)

backoftheemporium thumbnail Main Street, Back of the Emporium: The upper story was a lawyer or doctor's office, I believe.
emporium thumbnail Main Street, The Emporium: Local "Dry Goods" Shop.  Just like in the movies.
blacksmith thumbnail Main Street, Blacksmith.  A rustic looking building. The purveyor might have made horseshoes, nails, and tools for the community.
stagecoach1 thumbnail Undetermined Location, Wells Fargo Stagecoach.  Pretty!
wellsfargo thumbnail Main Street, Wells Fargo Office.  The stage out front is pretty run down.
shacks1 thumbnail Main Street, Row of Shacks.  Note how small these are?  Well, guess what?  At least one of them was a saloon!
barbershop thumbnail Main Street, Barber Shop.  The classic place where cowhands lay back with a hot towel on their faces and a sawed off shotgun hidden under the sheet.
mainstreet thumbnail Main Street, Looking Down towards the Church.  That's the Wells Fargo Office, first building on the left.
moreshacks thumbnail Just Outsidide of Town: Some Shacks and a Windmill.
homesweethome thumbnail Just Outside of Town: A Shack.
railroad1 thumbnail Near the Railroad Station: Watering Tower, Windmill.  The multi-staired tower is of recent construction, for tourists.

railroad2 thumbnail

Near the Railroad Station: A closer look at the trackside clutter and watering tower.
railroad3 thumbnail The Railroad Station: Main Station Building. 
schoolhouse thumbnail Border of town: The Schoolhouse.  It's even little and red.  Where's the school Marm?
homesweethome2 thumbnail Somewhere on the Border of Town: A residential shack.  Cozy, isn't it?
lumbershop thumbnail Main Street: Sweeney Lumber and Coal.  First building on the right hand side.  Remember, this is an area where lumber might be a prized commodity.
thebank thumbnail Main Street: Gregory National Bank.  Without question, the most grandiose building in town.  Note the textured front of the bank.  This structure was built to last... not just the ravages of time, but bullets and dynamite as well.
church thumbnail Main Street: The Church.  The congregating place, social hub, and place of worship for the "God-fearing, respectable set" in town.
saloon thumbnail Main Street: Generic Saloon, Store Building.  Note the way that the Saloon goes around the corner like that.  Fairly common for the larger drinking and gambling enterprises of the Old West.  Note this building has been renovated for tourism-- shows and stuff happen inside I believe.

salooninterior 1 thumbnail

Place unknown, Saloon Interior.  I think the inside of the building above.  Highly decorated and rennovated with the Hollywood version of a Western saloon.  I believe it has a stage, too.
hotel thumbnail Main Street, Hotel.  One of the few two story structures, and would have given the bank a run for its money in its day-- there's a hint of decreipit elegance here.  I wonder if any cowpokes have been shot off of that balcony during the life of this hotel?

salooninterior 2 Thumbnail

Place unknown: Saloon Interior 2.  I suspect this is that tourist place again, doing the daily show.  Kitschy, yes, but nicely evocative of real establishments of this sort.
sherrifsoffice thumbnail Main Street: Emporium, Sherrif's Office, and the Jail.  Note-- the Jail is a separate building.  Not what you would expect, huh?

churchview1 thumbnail

End of Main Street: Frontal view of Church. Were they Methodists, or Snake-Handling Baptists?

interiorLoc1 thumbnail

Interior, Location Unknown: Doctor's Office...  a VERY small office indeed.

interiorLoc2 thumbnail

Interior, Location Unknown: Doctor's Office... the Examination Room section.