History Lesson: The rise and fall of Alex Bay’s Adventure Town
WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - In 1955, after just three months of construction, Adventure Town opened in Alexandria Bay.
“Adventure Town was a model of a typical Western town of the late 1800s,” Town of Alexandria historian Tom Folino said. “It was the brainstorm of the owners of the Edgewood Resort.”
The attraction covered 65 acres and featured all sorts of things, including 20 Western buildings, to set the scene.
“It had Western shootouts, train robberies, stagecoach ambushes, Wild West shows in Fort Geronimo, they had rodeo shows, town bank holdups, you name it,” Folino said, “anything that was associated with the Wild West they had at Adventure Town.”
It was a dream come true for tourism.
“I was 11 years old in 1955, so for me it was like beyond a dream come true,” Folino said. “I couldn’t spend enough time there.”
Although it was wildly successful, Adventure Town only lasted six years, until 1961.
“The gentlemen that created it decided they wanted to further develop that property into something more associated with the resort, Edgewood,” Folino said.
But that plan never came to fruition. Adventure Town was torn down, and the site remains a grassy, open space today. Most of Lake Geronimo has been filled in, no longer big enough to carry the paddlewheel boat that once ran through it.
“It was an extraordinary place,” Folino said, “and that was the end of it.”
Like a tumbleweed in the wild, Adventure Town came and went.
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