Wild West Town
of the Phonograph
Doug Boilesen 2022
Donley's Wild West Town is a themed, "Family
Fun Since 1974" amusement park with a museum which includes
a collection of phonographs.
It's one of the last family run theme parks
of its type in the United States but its future is unclear as
it has been for sale for a few years.
In a 2017 article by Liz Moyer in the New
York Times the current owners' selling conditions are
described as wanting the new owners "to continue in their
current Howdy Doody-esque form, right down to the gold-panning
pavilion, the live action Wild West show, and kiddie rides on
the 19th-century miniature locomotive." The challenge,
says Moyer, is that "places like Wild West Town are relics
of a bygone era, trying to attract children who are more attracted
to virtual reality and mobile apps than games of cops and robbers
or cowboys and Indians."
It seems highly likely that at some point
this attraction will move from Phonographia's PhonoAvenue
gallery to Phonographia's Temporary
Exhibits for collections no longer on display.
But as my friend's mom used to say, "We
shall see what we shall see."