Silver Dollar City, near Branson, Missouri, is featured on two episodes of “Salvage Dawgs” on the DIY Channel. The first episode aired June 14; the second episode is scheduled for Sunday, July 26, at 9:00 p.m. CST. Both segments, part of the fourth season of Black Dog Salvage Company’s reality television show, focus on salvaging the Geyser Gulch attraction and building a unique new icon that memorializes the former playhouse in the sky; and at the same time, salutes firefighters who serve their communities. Created especially for Silver Dollar City by Black Dog Salvage, a sign bears the Firefighter’s Pledge, topped with a bell from Geyser Gulch. Both episodes include footage shot at the Branson theme park. Standing on the spot where Geyser Gulch provided hours of entertainment to children of all ages, Fireman’s Landing offers ten fun-filled rides and activities in the new children’s play area.
Robert Kulp and Mike Whiteside, co-owners of Black Dog Salvage, a company that specializes in the reclamation, repurposing, and resale of architectural, commercial, and industrial elements and fixtures, traveled with their salvage team to Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri, to “up cycle” a piece of theme park history. Disassembling the Geyser Gulch water attraction to make room for Fireman’s Landing proved to be a challenge and a whimsical roller-coaster ride of the salvage variety. Salvage Dawgs team members, Ted and Grayson, wrestled with well-worn fasteners on the Geyser Gulch project while Mike Whiteside and another team member balanced on high wire rigging to remove a giant water tower and a colorful working windmill. “I had always wanted a water tower,” said Mike, “…but this one was five stories off the ground!” The team also salvaged 30 giant air guns from the attraction. And those former Navy men could not resist the urge for a classic ‘Dawg fight.’ “There was no way I was going to leave those air guns behind,” a smiling Robert Kulp said. “Anyone who has ever seen those things and what they can do is going to have an interest.”
Black Dog Salvage Company, based in Roanoke, Virginia, pulls down structures from farm houses and Victorian “painted ladies” to bungalows and mid-century dwellings. They salvage pieces such as mantels, doors, stained glass, wrought iron, vintage plumbing and hardware, period light fixtures, antique store counters, and garden statuary. And then, they bring things back. The company serves a wide range of clients including home dwellers, interior designers, general contractors, theatrical stage designers, restaurants, resorts, and obviously, theme parks such as Silver Dollar City. Since 1997, Geyser Gulch, a tree-top village stretching over Silver Lake, had teased children’s imaginations with windmills, whirligigs, and air guns aimed at moving targets. Kids loved the sirens, slides, and swinging bridges. At the time Geyser Gulch was built, Silver Dollar City’s general manager, Brad Thomas, called the multi-million dollar kids’ adventure: “… the polestar of a focused children’s area.” He added that the entertainment and sky-level playground mesmerized children from toddlers to teenagers. However, after eighteen years of exciting playtime, Geyser Gulch showed nearly two decades of footsteps and hand prints. The City determined the time was right for something innovative and fresh: Fireman’s Landing. The new play area centers around Fire Station #3 and features ten rides and attractions with the theme of an 1880’s volunteer firefighter recruitment event. Modeled after a community fair of a century ago, Fireman’s Landing salutes the spirit and training activities of volunteer firefighters. The storyline comes from past history. The real 1880-town of Marmaros, located on the site of Silver Dollar City’s Town Square, burned to the ground over eight decades before the theme park’s buildings rose on the old foundations. The fictional story for Fireman’s Landing revolves around citizens who band together to train and recruit volunteers to prevent such a fire from ever occurring again.
Silver Dollar City is a great destination for grandparents to take grandchildren on a summer trip. Campgrounds, including Silver Dollar City’s “Wilderness Log Cabins, RVs, and Campground,” are plentiful along Missouri State Highway 265, a short distance from the theme park.
Silver Dollar City, an 1890s reproduction theme park near Branson, Missouri, features over 40 rides and attractions, 100 craftsmen demonstrating America’s heritage crafts, and seven world-class festivals and events. Open March through December. For more information: 800-831-4FUN or www.silverdollarcity.com.Research Campgrounds, Plan RV Safe Routes & Turn your phone into an RV GPS.
Try the RV LIFE Pro Bundle FREE for 7 days
Traveling in their motorhome several months each year, Arline and her photographer husband, Lee Smith, make their permanent home in Heber Springs, Arkansas. She currently is a presenter for Workamper Rendezvous, sponsored by Workamper News. Arline has dozens of magazine articles published, as well as five books: “Road Work: The Ultimate RVing Adventure” (now available on Kindle); “Road Work II: The RVer’s Ultimate Income Resource Guide”; “Truly Zula; When Heads & Hearts Collide”; and “The Heart of Branson”, a history of the families who started the entertainment town and those who sustain it today. Visit Arline’s personal blog at ArlineChandler.Blogspot.com