Guide to the Frontier Village Collection, 1961-1980

The machine readable finding aid for this collection was created by Diana Kohnke and reviewed by Stacy Mueller.
San José Public Library, California Room
San José Public Library
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
California Room
150 East San Fernando Street
San José, CA 95112
Phone: (408) 808-2167
© 2009
California Room, San José Public Library. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Frontier Village Collection,1961-1980


California Room, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
Contact Information
California Room

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library

150 East San Fernando Street

San José, CA 95112

Phone: (408) 808-2167


Date Completed:
June 22,2009
Processed and encoded by:
Diana Kohnke
© 2008 San José Public Library, California Room. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Title: Frontier Village Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1961-1980
Collection number: CR-2009-02-09
Creator: Frontier Village
Collection Size: 4 boxes 19 oversized box 3 map boxes 10.5 linear feet
Size of Unprocessed Materials: 3 boxes 2 oversized box 1 binder of slides 3.5 linear feet
Repository: San José Public Library, California Room
San José, CA 95112
Abstract: This collection is comprised of administrative records, employee manuals, photographs, clippings, various printed matter, plans and drawings, and scrapbooks of Frontier Village amusement park. Exactly when this collection was donated by Frontier Village is unknown. The collection has been with San José Public Library since the early 1990s and probably since the early 1980s.
Physical location:

For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Languages represented in the collection: English


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Although San José Public Library's California Room does physcially own all archival materials in its possession, it does not necessarily own the intellectual property rights (copyright) associated with all items (Title 17, Chapter 2, Section 202, "Ownership of copyright as distinct from ownership of material object). Publishing materials from our holdings requires written permission from the San José Public Library, along with proper credit given to our institution. For permission to publish or reproduce, please contact the Lead Librarian of the California Room. Users may reproduce materials for teaching, research, and private study in accordance with fair use on the condition that they give proper credit to the California Room, San José Public Library.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Frontier Village Collection, California Room, San José Public Library

Acquisition Information

This collection was created by Frontier Village amusement park and was donated to San José Public Library sometime after its closure in the 1980s.

Processing Information

Processing and guide prepared by Diana Kohnke. Guide encoded by Diana Kohnke, 2009.

Organizational History

Frontier Village was a western-themed amusement park which opened on October 21, 1961 and closed on September 28. 1980. It was located on approximately 30 acres of what had previously been part of the Hayes' estate (an estate owned by a prominent political and newspaper publishing family in the Santa Clara Valley) on Monterey Highway in San José, California. It was started by Joseph Zukin Jr., a Palo Alto entrepreneur and small businessman, after he and his family visited Disneyland in 1959. Zukin was inspired by Disneyland's family-friendly atmosphere, its thematic divisions, and the fact that nothing like the park existed in northern California.
The look and design of Frontier Village is owed to Laurie (Laurence) Hollings, an experienced Hollywood set designer and amusement ride designer. Some of Hollings' previous work included nature habitats at the California Academy of Sciences, sets and designs for San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, and several Western movies filmed at Columbia and Paramount Studios. As Hollings imagined it, the park would be a "sort of tongue-in-cheek approach to the Wild West." To this end, Frontier Village utilized stock characters to create the illusion of a wild western frontier town replete with a Deputy Marshal who was the "key character" and also the PR face of the park. The marshal's job was to entertain and tend to guests. Additionally, in the mock gun fights which were staged ever hour on Frontier Village's Main Street, the marshal was "the hero" who saved the town from dangerous outlaws.
In terms of the layout, Frontier Village consisted of a central square with a railroad encircling the entire park over bridges and canyons, a village with shops, numerous rides and an outdoor stage for live performances. Among the attractions at the park was a small animal preserve, Rainbow Falls (a fishing pond where guests could catch and bring home trout to eat), an old school house, a stagecoach run, burro pack rides, an antique train, an archery range, a jail, a general store, a Hollywood-style stunt show, a shooting gallery, and western-themed rides like the Lost Dutchman Mine, the Flying Scooter, and the Apache Whirlwind.
In 1973, without the funds to expand, the park was sold to Rio Grande Industries. Rio Grande Industries planned to expand the park onto 60 more acres of the Hayes estate. However, these plans were disrupted when families in the area protested. "The legal hassles with the nearby homeonwers, the skyrocketing San Jose land value, plus increasing competition from . . . Mariott's Great America in nearby Santa Clara, California" all contributed to Frontier Village's eventual closure. "The land that the park occupied was eventually made into a city park called Edenvale Garden Park, where some remains of Frontier Village still exist."
Former employees and fans of Frontier Village have created a website devoted to Frontier Village. In addition to this, beginning in 2001 annual picnics began to be held each summer at Edenvale Garden Park to commemorate Frontier Village.

Bibliography and references cited

Fong, Elliott. Frontier Village History. Rembering Frontier Village Web site. (accessed June 22, 2009).

Jabaut, Gloria. Frontier Village . . . in the beginning. Pioneer papers(California Pioneers of Santa Clara County.) San Jose, CA: California Pioneers of Santa Clara County, 2006.

Sawyer, Eugene T. History of Santa Clara County California. Los Angeles: Historic Record Co., 1922.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection consists of materials relating to the creation and operation of Frontier Village amusement park. The collection contains blueprints on the parks proposed expansion, drawings of some of its costumed characters, maps, employee guides, correspondence, news clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, and other printed matter. There is also a substantial amount of unprocessed materials which include video reels of commercials for Frontier Village, video tapes, 16mm film reels, audio reel to reel tapes, Frontier Village buttons, public relations' stock releases, fact sheets, magazine features, promotions, news releases, and a Dennis the Menace book in which Dennis the Menace takes a trip to Frontier Village. In addition to this, there are numerous photographs including 8 x 10's (along with their negatives) of Frontier Village gunfights, marshals, rides, and buildings; boxes of Frontier Village slides categorized by subjects such as printed matter, gunfighters, employees, Kitty Hawk, etc.; and negatives of various size.


This collection consists of four series and two sub-series: Series I. General Administrative Files, 1961-1980; Series II. Scrapbooks, 1961-1980; Sub-series 1. Loose Material From Scrapbooks, 1961-1980, and Sub-series 2. Consolidated Scrapbooks, 1961-1980; Series III. Photo Albums, 1960s-1970s; and Series IV. Plans and Drawings, 1960s-1970s. Series I is arranged alphabetically by format and chronologically where possible. Series II is arranged sequentially by scrapbook number, alphabetically by format where possible, and chronologically where possible. Series III is contained in one flat box and Series IV is arranged in three map boxes. Series V is comprised of unprocessed materials and has not been arranged.

Indexing Terms


Frontier Village (Amusement Park: San José, Calif.).
Amusement parks--California--San José
Frontier Village (San José, Calif.:Amusement park)--Employees.
Frontier Village (San José, Calif.:Amusement park)--Planning.
Amusement parks--Employees--Handbooks, manuals, etc.
Frontier Village (San José, Calif.: Amusement Park)--Valuation.

Box/Folder 1/1-1/15

Series I. General Administrative Files, 1961-1980

Physical Description:

15 folders

Scope and Content Note

The contents in this series are arranged alphabetically. This series contains appraisal reports, reports on proposed expansion of Frontier Village, and various employee and merchandise guides.
Box/Folder 1/1

Appraisal Report, 1966-1967

Box/Folder 1/2

Costume Character Guides, 1960s

Box/Folder 1/3

Employees Guide, 1960s

Box/Folder 1/4

Employee Identification Card List, 1969-1980

Box/Folder 1/5-1/7

Entertainment Guide 1960s

Box/Folder 1/5

Entertainment Guide 1 of 3, 1960s

Box/Folder 1/6

Entertainment Guide 2 of 3, 1960s

Box/Folder 1/7

Entertainment Guide 3 of 3, 1960s

Box/Folder 1/8

Expansion Documents, 1977-1978

Box/Folder 1/9

Facts on Expansion, 1977

Box/Folder 1/10

Facts on Expansion - Supplemental, December 27, 1977

Box/Folder 1/11

Food Service's Guide, 1960s

Box/Folder 1/12

Groundkeeper Guide, 1960s

Box/Folder 1/13

Merchandise Guide, 1960s

Box/Folder 1/14

Picnic Employees Guide, 1960s

Box/Folder 1/15

Ride Operator's Guide, 1979

Box/Folder 2/16-22/18

Series II. Scrapbooks, 1961-1980

Physical Description:

50 folders 18 scrapbooks

Scope and Content Note

This series consists of scrapbooks as well as the loose items pulled from them. The loose items were removed from the scrapbooks for preservation purposes. Each scrapbook has been assigned an identification number (Scrapbook 1 through Scrapbook 18) and each page within the scrapbooks has been numbered. Items pulled from the scrapbooks have been identified both in terms of the scrapbook they came from and the page number within the scrapbook from which they came. The contents in this series are arranged sequentially by scrapbook number and alphabetically by format. Whenever possible these items have also been arranged chronologically. There are two sub-series in order to accommodate the loose items pulled out of the scrapbooks: Sub-series 1: Loose Material from Scrapbooks, 1961-1980 and Sub-series 2: Consolidated Scrapbooks, 1961-1980.
Box/Folder 2/16-2/65

Sub-series 1. Loose Material From Scrapbooks, 1961-1980

Physical Description:

50 folders

Scope and Content Note

This sub-series contains loose clippings, correspondence, and other printed matter related to Frontier Village. These items were pulled from the original scrapbooks as stated above and are arranged alphabetically by format and sequentially by scrapbook from which the item was removed.
Box/Folder 2/16

Scrapbook 1-Clippings, 1961

Box/Folder 2/17

Scrapbook 1-Correspondence, 1961-1962

Box/Folder 2/18

Scrapbook 1-Printed Matter, 1960s

Box/Folder 2/19

Scrapbook 2-Correspondence, 1963

Box/Folder 2/20

Scrapbook 2-Printed Matter, 1962-1964

Box/Folder 2/21

Scrapbook 3-Printed Matter, 1963-1964

Box/Folder 2/22

Scrapbook 4-Correspondence, 1973-1976

Box/Folder 2/23

Scrapbook 4-Printed Matter, 1974

Box/Folder 2/24-2/25

Scrapbook 7-Correspondence 1961-1967, 1974

Box/Folder 2/24

Scrapbook 7-Correspondence 1 of 2, 1961-1966, 1974

Box/Folder 2/25

Scrapbook 7-Correspondence 2 of 2, 1966-1967

Box/Folder 2/26

Scrapbook 7-Printed Matter, 1965-1967

Box/Folder 2/27

Scrapbook 8-Printed Matter, 1970s

Box/Folder 3/28

Scrapbook 11-Clippings, 1963-1964

Box/Folder 3/29-3/30

Scrapbook 11-Correspondence, 1963-1965

Box/Folder 3/29

Scrapbook 11-Correspondence 1 of 2, 1963

Box/Folder 3/30

Scrapbook 11-Correspondence 2 of 2, 1963-1965

Box/Folder 3/31

Scrapbook 11-Printed Matter, 1962-1964

Box/Folder 3/32

Scrapbook 12-Clippings, 1965

Box/Folder 3/33

Scrapbook 12-Correspondence, 1965

Box/Folder 3/34

Scrapbook 12-Printed Matter, 1964-1965

Box/Folder 3/35

Scrapbook 13-Clippings, 1966

Box/Folder 3/36

Scrapbook 13-Correspondence, 1966

Box/Folder 3/37

Scrapbook 13-Printed Matter, 1966

Box/Folder 3/38

Scrapbook 14-Clippings, 1967, 1969

Box/Folder 3/39-3/40

Scrapbook 15-Clippings, 1969-1973

Box/Folder 3/39

Scrapbook 15-Clippings 1 of 2, 1969-1973

Box/Folder 3/40

Scrapbook 15-Clippings 2 of 2, 1971-1972

Box/Folder 3/41

Scrapbook 15-Correspondence, 1973

Box/Folder 3/42

Scrapbook 15-Printed Matter, 1970-1973

Box/Folder 3/43

Scrapbook 16-Clippings, 1973-1974

Box/Folder 3/44

Scrapbook 16-Printed Matter, 1973

Box/Folder 4/45

Scrapbook 17-Clippings, 1975-1976

Box/Folder 4/46

Scrapbook 17-Printed Matter, 1975

Box/Folder 4/47-4/64

Scrapbook 18-Clippings, 1979-1980

Box/Folder 4/47

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 1 of 18, Febrary 1979, May 1979

Box/Folder 4/48

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 2 of 18, May 1979-July 1979

Box/Folder 4/49

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 3 of 18, June 1979

Box/Folder 4/50

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 4 of 18, July 1979

Box/Folder 4/51

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 5 of 18, July 1979-August 1979

Box/Folder 4/52

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 6 of 18, August 1979-September 1979

Box/Folder 4/53

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 7 of 18, September 1979-Octboer 1979

Box/Folder 4/54

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 8 of 18, October 1979

Box/Folder 4/55

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 9 fo 18, November 1979

Box/Folder 4/56

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 10 of 18, November 1979-December 1979

Box/Folder 4/57

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 11 of 18, August 1979-May 1980

Box/Folder 4/58

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 12 of 18, November 1979-February 1980

Box/Folder 4/59

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 13 of 18, February 1980

Box/Folder 4/60

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 14 of 18, March 1980-April 1980

Box/Folder 4/61

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 15 of 18, April 1980-May 1980

Box/Folder 4/62

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 16 of 18, May 1980-June 1980

Box/Folder 4/63

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 17 of 18, June 1980

Box/Folder 4/64/

Scrapbook 18-Clippings 18 of 18, May 1980-June 1980

Box/Folder 4/65

Printed Matter, 1979

Box/Scrapbook 5/1-22/18

Sub-series 2. Consolidated Scrapbooks, 1961-1980

Physical Description:

18 boxes

Scope and Content Note

This sub-series consists of scrapbooks which contain assorted news clippings, correspondence, and printed matter relating to Frontier Village. They are arranged sequentially by scrapbook number.
box 5

Scrapbook 1, 1960-1962

Box 6

Scrapbook 2, 1962-1964

Box 7

Scrapbook 3, 1963-1965

Box 8

Scrapbook 4 (Frontier Wonderland Club), 1973-1977

Box 9

Scrapbook 5, 1977-1978

Box 10

Scrapbook 6, 1978

Box 11

Scrapbook 7 (Frontier Wonderland Club), 1963-1968

Box 12

Scrapbook 8 (Frontier Wonderland Club), 1962-1972

Box 13

Scrapbook 9, 1976

Box 14

Scrapbook 10, 1978

Box 15

Scrapbook 11, 1963-1965

Box 16

Scrapbook 12, 1965-1966

Box 17

Scrapbook 13, 1966-1967

Box 18

Scrapbook 14, 1967-1968

Box 19

Scrapbook 15, 1969-1972

Box 20

Scrapbook 16, 1973-1975

Box 21

Scrapbook 17, 1973-1975

Box 22

Scrapbook 18, 1979-1980

Box 23

Series III: Photo Albums, 1960s-1970s

Physical Description:

1 oversized box

Scope and Content Note

This series contains two albums of photographs relating to Frontier Village.
Box 23

Frontier Village Photograph Albums, 1960s-1970s

Box/Item 24/1-26/8

Series IV: Plans and Drawings, 1960s-1970s

Physical Description:

3 map boxes

Scope and Content Note

This series contains plans and drawings relating to the rides, costumed characters, attractions, layout and landscape of Frontier Village.

Separated Materials Note

These materials are located in oversized map boxes which are located in the California Room's general collection at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. The map box numbers identify the arrangement within the California Room's other map boxes. These numbers are distince from the box numbers which designate the boxes in the overall arrangment of the Frontier Village Collection.
Box/Drawing 24/1-24/13

California Room Map Box 9 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 24/1

Mailbox, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 24/2

Wanted Posters (three posters rolled together), 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 24/3

Cactus Kong, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 24/4

Paul Blackweell Drawing, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 24/5

Coke Wagon (two drawings rolled together), 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 24/6

Vending Cart, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 24/7

Restrooms (two drawings rolled together), 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 24/8

Entrance Sign (two drawings rolled together), 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 24/9

Indian Island, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 24/10

Arrow Flyer Track Layout, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 24/11

Turnpike Ride Sign, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 24/12

Birthday Grove (two drawings rolled together), 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 24/13

Park Layout, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 25/1-25/10

California Room Map Box 10 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 25/1

Dark Ride, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 25/2

Kitty Hawk Ride, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 25/3

Roundup Ride, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 25/4

Ride Layout, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 25/5

Theater, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 25/6

School House, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 25/7

Stampede Ride, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 25/8

Petting Zoo (two drawings rolled together), 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 25/9

Stagecoach and Stagecoach Depot, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 25/10

Antique Auto Sheds, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 26/1-26/8

California Room Map Box 11 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 26/1

Hot-Dog-On-A-Stick Building, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 26/2

Camera and Art Shop, 1960s-1970s

Box/Plan 26/3

Grading Plan, 1960s-1970s

Box/Plan 26/4

General Plan 1960s-1970s

Box/Plan 26/5

Master Plan, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 26/6

Fish Pond, 1960s-1970s

Box/Plan 26/7

Landscape Plan, 1960s-1970s

Box/Drawing 26/8

Ice Cream Gazebo, 1960s-1970s


Series V: Unprocessed Materials 1960s-1970s

Physical Description:

2 boxes, 2 oversized boxes, 1 binder of slides

Scope and Content Note

This material has not been processed or indexed. It contains various public relations documents, video tapes, audio tapes, photographs, negatives, slides, and ephemera relating to Frontier Village. This material is located in the California Room's Vault 2 at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library.