An increasingly popular form of amusement for the pleasure-bent American is a visit to one of the numerous establishments designed to carry their patrons back into a by-gone age, or into some other world of fantasy.
An increasingly popular form of amusement for the pleasure-bent American is a visit to one of the numerous establishments designed to carry their patrons back into a by-gone age, or into some other world of fantasy. Americans - long noted for their fascination with things historical - can feel they are back in a village of fifty years ago or a rip-roaring mining town of 1800. For the children there are scenes from fairy tales and other children's stories.
For "Gaslight Village", on Lake George, New York, the organisers claim that "here in a Gay Nineties setting of Gas Lights and authentic period buildings, you can participate in a programme of old-fashioned fun you'll never forget - hiss the villain or cheer the hero of the old Melodrama, eat popcorn through the silent movie...or enjoy refreshments in the open-air Beer Garden". You can also recapture nostalgic memories in a wide range of never-to-be-forgotten typical buildings, including a drug store, barber shop and ladies' emporium, or ride through town in a variety of antique vehicles.
Nearby is "Restored Historic Fort William Henry", conveniently close to more modern holiday attractions. The fort, an attraction also for French Canadian tourists, is an almost complete replica of the British outpost of 1755 to 1757, which was taken in the later year by the Marquis de Montcalm. The stirring and bloody events or earlier American and Canadian history are actively recalled each day by flag raising and cannon salute ceremonies, and during the course of the summer local historical events are being commemorated and archery contests held there.
"Ghost Town" - a ten-acre area on which has been built a replica of an 1800 mining town and adjoining "Storytown" for children - offers a complete range of historical thrills. Many of the furnishings are claimed to date from the early 19th century and there is also a museum with a large collection of early American household and farming equipment. In surroundings like those familiar to Jesse James or Billy the Kid you can enjoy "the real live French Can-Can Show" or a mug of beer in Dan McGrew's Bar. At one end of the town wily Dr. Ima Quack puts on a magic show and sells candied pills from his medicine wagon.