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Buckskin Joe, Colorado - Page 3

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The New Buckskin Joe


In the 1950's Karol Smith desired to restore Buckskin Joe, but did not find the people he needed to help him in his effort until sometime around 1957. It was at this time that he met Don Tyner and Malcolm F. Brown. Brown was an art director at the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios and Tyner was the owner of the Royal Gorge Scenic Railway. Each was interested in the rebuilding of Buckskin Joe. It was decided the rebirth of the mining city would take place next door to the Royal Gorge Scenic Railway.


The investors purchased land approximately eight miles east of Cañon City where the town of Buckskin Joe was recreated.


Buckskin Joe Frontier Town, June, 2006, Kathy Weiser




Each building and structure represented the actual buildings from the original town of Buckskin Joe and all are were original buildings from various ghost towns in the region. As each structure was acquired, it was dismantled at its original site, transported to the new site, and reassembled. Each structure was chosen to represent a different type of building, such as a saloon or a jail. The main town site is a long street with another street heading at right angles between the main street and the Royal Gorge Railroad.

Buckskin Joe opened in 1958 to the general public. The Tabor building was actually moved there from the original town of Buckskin Joe. It was the last remaining building at the time. In each case, an effort was made to maintain the atmosphere of a mining town in the mid-1800's. No modern vehicles were permitted on the streets and the dress of the inhabitants was like that worn in the "good old days."

Until 2010, the spirit of the Old West exploded to life at Buckskin Joe Frontier Town & Railway. The park combined actual Colorado history with family entertainment, creating a truly unique experience. This authentic old west town was brought to life with hourly gunfights, some historical and some humorous, exciting live entertainment, barnyard animals for the kids, numerous buggies and wagons and one Concord type stagecoach. John Wayne was shooting movies here in the early 70's, and as recently as 2001, the History Channel was filming a documentary entitled "The Haunted Rockies" on location.


In the summer of 2010, Karol Smith announced he was selling the tourist attraction to an unknown buyer who was more interested in the historic structures than the actual town itself. In August of 2011 it was revealed that the buyer was Billionaire William Koch, who moved most of the buildings to his private Colorado ranch.



©Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated April 2013


Tabor Store at Buckskin Joe, Colorado

Tabor Store at Buckskin Joe, June, 2006, Kathy Weiser.

This image available for photographic prints HERE!


Buckskin Joe Sheriff's Office

Buckskin Joe Sheriff's Office, June, 2006, Kathy Weiser.

This image available for photographic prints HERE!


Buckskin Joe Saloon and Restaurant

The Crystal Palace Saloon and Gold Nugget Restaurant  June, 2006, Kathy Weiser.

This image available for photographic prints HERE!



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From Legends' Photo Shop

Unique Greeting Cards Exclusive to Legends of AmericaCustom Greeting Cards - Combining our great vintage photographs with words, wisdom and proverbs of the Old West, these photo cards are unique to the Legends of America.


Unique Greeting Cards Exclusive to Legends of America


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