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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Vintage Crapitude of Cave City

Cave City Kentucky used to be a fascinating place back in the 1990s-—as though the lowest of the low end of 1960s roadside had frozen in time. It’s the home of the once-awesome Wigwam Village (I went back a few years ago, and it was in pretty bad shape).

This is an ad from the early 1990s—if they still had these prices today, every wigwam would hold a meth lab.

Some of the "attractions" were the heinous Wax Museum, Big Mike’s Treasure Chest and the other gift shops (some still selling original sixties souvenirs with an accumulation of 30 years of dust), and the entertainment mecca, Guntown Mountain. I never paid to see the official Guntown Mountain live show, featuring a Wild West shootout, can can girls, and a magic show-—I once did the train ride to the top of the mountain through their depressing mangy zoo, never again.
Mostly I took my kids to the haunted house (with its freak taxidermied calf) and rides (with its surly 400 lb. bumper car attendant). Here’s my daughter Sophie in front of a Guntown Mountain sign that demonstrates the excellence of the rural KY school system:

(Unwed prewaucy is still a problem out there, apparently)

Recordo Obscura found me a 70s vintage album from Guntown Mountain (hell, it's STILL probably sold in the GTM gift shop).

The tracks aren't split up (grrr), so you can get either get the full sides there or nicely tidied up here. I’d love to report that the record is totally inept, but other than a few clunker vocalists it’s actually got some decent musicians on it.

If you want to get the whole vintage Guntown experience, you can play the album and watch the shakycam amateur Youtube videos. But I wouldn’t recommend a visit now-- if it was comically depressing a few years ago, it would probably require a fistful of Xanax to get through it now.


Johnnyuma said...

It's a crying shame that we let these national treasure's go to seed. The National Park Service needs to recognize the cultural importance of these gems and send some rangers in to save them from the wrecking ball.

KenPaul66 said...

I've always wanted to stay in one of these places. You're right about the meth labs though. I think there's still one of these wigwam villages in California that's actually been kept-up over the years.