Florida's Lost Tourist Attractions

Southern Railway and Six Gun

Six Gun Sign When Six Gun Territory's sister park, Ghost Town In The Sky, was built in Maggie Valley, North Carolina, the town was separated from the parking lot for geographical reasons -- the western town was on top of a mountain, the parking lot in the valley below. The Florida park kept that separation, with the train station being the first point of access to the park, for psychological reasons (just as Disney would later do at Walt Disney World), with no mountains in sight.

No mountains until they built one, that is. A massive false front mountain, 60 feet high and 250 feet long, was built to screen the back of the railroad station and heighten the theming. The two original locomotives were real narrow gauge wood burning steam engines, just the vehicle to carry visitors back in time as they made the 1 2/3 mile trip to the simulated western town.

Railroad Station
Train robbery! The entertainment often started here, with a train robbery stopping the trip and ending in one of Six Gun's signature gun fights. Once the bad guys had been properly dispatched by the good guys the train would move on around the bend (handy for keeping visitor's eyes from seeing the bad guys get up and get ready for the next trainload).

Eventually, to provide a new thrill as well as keep up with the volume of visitors in the busy season, a skyride ("the highest in Florida") was added. You could take the train one way, then take the skyride back to get both experiences (when one or the other wasn't closed, that is.) The skyride did not last for the life of the park: note that it doesn't even appear on the map from the 1980's.

The Skyride
Back to the map.

On to the Palace Saloon.

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Postcard images from the author's collection.

Copyright 1998 by Robert H. Brown.