In the late 1950s, businessman Joe Zukin Jr. had a dream of building an amusement park with a Wild West theme in Santa Clara County. His dream was realized with the 1961 opening of Frontier Village on the former grounds of the Hayes Mansion in south San Jose. Among the trees rose a fantasy frontier town complete with a Main Street, where hourly gunfights always ended with the bad guys being carted off to Boot Hill. Visitors could relax in the town square or ride the train around the park. Guests could paddle an Indian war canoe, ride in a stagecoach, or venture into the interior of a haunted mine. Frontier Village was a safe and clean place that welcomed children and their families. Encroaching subdivisions and changing economic conditions forced the park to close in 1980, but to this day, fond memories of the park continue to live on in everyone who ever visited or worked in Frontier Village.
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