Sunday, July 11, 2010

Frontier Town El Cajon, California

In honor of my upcoming trip to San Diego, a place of my childhood. I remember going to several Pop Warner football picnics to this small the park. The location is now home to several large estates.

8 comments:

Major Pepperidge said...

Cool, I was not aware of this place! I sometimes fine old photos of similar "Frontier Towns", and it's frustrating because I can't figure out where they were.

MIKE COZART said...

Patrick: Also growing up in San Diego I too recall visiting the park for Little League picnics and BBQs for my dad's company. The "Frontier Town" at that time was known as BIG OAK RANCH. I recall there was even a reproduction mining operation built onto the side of a nearby hill. The train I do not remember being there -but the same train was used down the road at Marshall Scotty's Playland Amusement Park -I wonder if it was the same one?? I have a set of color slides of the Frontier Town/Big Oak Ranch from about 1966 from my grandparents showing stagecoaches loaded with guests and a shoot-out etc. I also remember the town being next door to a nudist colony!! Sometime in the 80's there was a BIG auction of horsedraen wagons and other Western realted items. I think the owners son had murdered someone and during the trials the family "lost the ranch". I always wondered if it was still standing....even in some ghost town form.

Connie Moreno said...

Very cool - I did not know about this park!

E Davis said...

I do remember going to The Big Oak Ranch for many summer picnics with my father and the company he worked for. What great memories of The old west, gun fights, horse back riding and more. My father has passed away, I wish I had some photos.

Patty said...

I also grew up in El Cajon and went to Frontier town for different events. My dad played music in a country band. His band would frequently be hired to play for events there. Our family would attend as well. I remember riding the stagecoach but not a train. I remember the train at Marshall Scotty's. Also, several kids from The Swallow's Club, nudist colony, attended school with me at Granite Hills High.

Swamilama said...

I too visited the park in the 70's. The guy who owned the ranch was sent to prison in 1984 for murder -

"For several years he presided over a Wild West theme park called Rock Kreutzer's Big Oak Ranch and Frontier Town, complete with mock shootouts, make-believe cowpokes and the Red Garter saloon. Merle Haggard and Buck Owens gave concerts there."

Kristina Zack said...

My mother and her husband owned and operated the Big Oak Ranch for one year in 1972/73. I was 12 years old.

I lived there for half a year in junior high school and we swam on the swim team called "the sun island sharks" at the nudist colony next door. My sister and I dressed up and participated in the "Gun Fights" in the frontier town and worked in the Grub Shack serving soft serve ice cream - I remember it as being a really fun summer.
I also got my first horse that summer and used to rip around those canyons and through the creek beds like I was a real cowgirl!

I was last there in 2011, and most of the grounds had been taken over by new housing development, but the original main house/bar was still standing, although it was partially burned and was a candidate for demolition. I'd love to know more about the Ranch for the many years in between.

Anonymous said...

I saw Sylvia in concert & that same day met Glen Ford & Dennis Weaver.