March 2011

I’ve been thinking more lately about some of my childhood memories of upstate New York, particularly an amusement park called “Storytown.”

For those of you unfamiliar with the place or too young to have gone, it was outside of Lake George and it’s now called the Great Escape.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been up that way, and I’ve never been to the Great Escape, but I recall there weren’t many rides at Storytown — more theme-related stuff.

I remember that you could walk through a hollowed out tree and wind up in Alice in Wonderland. Inside, everything was huge (my memory of this might be relative to my smaller size as a child then.) I think all you did in this area was walk around and marvel at the large characters and what not. But it was fun and caught my imagination. Not sure if that still exists at today’s Great Escape. It should, though.

There also was Frontiertown. To arrive here you had to walk though a cave and from it you’d emerge in a stable. The actors were all dressed up in Wild West garb amid a Gold Rush town setting. “Gun fights” would be breaking out. If there is still a Frontiertown, I doubt that’s still going on. (Strange thing is, though, that I wasn’t scarred from it, which is why I presume this wouldn’t be going on anymore. Too fearful of what pretend gun fights could do to impressionable children.)

There also was a Jungle Land of some sort. I think you walked along some rickety planks over some water as you saw jungle creatures rise from underneath the water. I doubt there’d be rickety planks anymore, too, since someone would fall in and sue.

Anyway, as I was thinking about Storytown and other interesting attractions — past and present — in New York State (Gaslight Village ring a bell?), I also thought that it would be a nice addition to the magazine if we featured one of these from time to time, with your help. This publication is as much about New York State as it is about its roads and bridges and the hard-working people who take care of them. So please drop me a line or call me if you think of something about this great state that we could profile. P

You can also view previous issues of Superintendent's Profile.