Ghost Town In The Sky was built literally on top of a
mountain in one of Americas most beautiful regions,
and the parks uniqueness and incredible location
has attracted families to Western North Carolina for decades.
Ghost Town In The Sky was conceived by the late R. B.
Coburn, who was inspired to build a park with a western
theme after visiting several ghost towns in the American
West. In 1960, Coburn purchased Buck Mountain near Maggie
Valley as the sight of his town, and construction began
in September of 1960 with the help of a few investors,
including Ms. Alaska Presley. Over two hundred locals
were hired to construct the 40 replica buildings that
comprised the Western Town, which is located at the Mountains
peak. A double incline railway was also constructed to
bring its passengers to the entrance of Ghost Town, located
at over 3300 feet up the mountainside. The park opened
in May of 1961, and since then new rides and attractions
have been added throughout the years.
Town has entertained millions of guests throughout the
country. Ghost Town was built and opened in a time of
uncertainty: bomb shelters were common, Americans were
faced with the Cold War and Bay of Pigs, and the President
was assassinated. The sixties movement was stirring up
the conservatives from the fifties. Popular movies on
the Silver screen were Westerns with hero-figures such
as John Wayne and Roy Rogers. Television was becoming
a household commodity, and shows such as Bonanza, Big
Valley, Rawhide and Gunsmoke featured Wild West heroes
that children could admire.
Ghost Town brought that Hollywood glamour and action
to life. Cowboys interacted with the children, much in
a similar manner that they do today, and were heroic.
Ghost Town was a true escape from reality.
Town closed its doors in 2002 after 41 years of successful
operation. Coburn sold the property to in August, 2006,
who attempted to revive the park, but ended up closing
at the end of the 2009 season. Alaska Presley, one of
the original investors, purchased the park in the spring
of 2012 and will be opening the park in various phases.
Those children who have been to Ghost Town now have kids
and grandchildren of their own, and the parents that took
their kids in the past now have grandchildren and great
grandchildren that will enjoy Ghost Town again.