Beautifully stock certificate from Magic Mountain Inc
issued in 1959. This historic document has an ornate border around it with a vignette of the company's name and logo. This item has the printed signatures of the Company’s President and Secretary. We are also including the original envelope, company prospectus and cover letter sent by Allen Lefferdink, Chairman.
Walter Francis Cobb, noting the great possibilities of family entertainment that the theme park concept had to offer, teamed up in 1952 with John Calvin Sutton to create such a place for Denver area residents to enjoy. The great success of Disneyland further fueled their ambitions, and in May 1957 they incorporated Magic Mountain, Inc., a stock offering company, for investment to build the new theme park.
At first the new theme park targeted the northeastern alcove of South Table Mountain just east of Golden, Colorado to build, and purchased 460 acres (1.9 km2) of land to do so. The park's original concept at this location included a rainbow gateway guarded by giant genies, an enchanted forest, a Queen's Castle towering atop the mountain with an Old World court and fountains, themed refreshment stands including a pumpkin, polar bear and locomotive serving snacks via miniature train, a seafood ship, and a monorail. However, this site met with sharp and unexpected opposition from the nearby residents of the new subdivision of Applewood, who objected to the impacts of the development including traffic and building on the scenic mountain. Cobb soon complied with the community's wishes and walked away to an alternative location. Eventually this original location would become partly Rolling Hills Country Club and (upon the mountain) preserved scenic open space.
The new site selected for Magic Mountain was 600 acres (2.4 km2) at the foot of the mountains at Apex Gulch southwest of Golden. During the Colorado Gold Rush this had been part of the site of Apex, an early base camp community at an important crossroads of thoroughfares leading to the gold fields including the Apex Road which led up the gulch. At the same time Cobb learned of the new theme park creating firm of Marco Engineering, Inc., formed by Cornelius Vanderbilt Wood, and hired them to design Magic Mountain at this location. Among the members of Wood's firm included several veteran Hollywood art directors, including some who had worked on Disneyland itself. The lead designers for Magic Mountain were Wade B. Rubottom and Richmond (Dick) Kelsey.
In the design dreamed up for Magic Mountain, the park was based on Colorado history, development and future. It was to be surrounded by an authentic narrow gauge train of the type historic to Golden and the Colorado mountains, and the park included 6 themed areas:
Cavalry Post and Stockade (frontier protection for settlers)
Centennial City (Old West downtown)
Fairgrounds (amusement facilities including a Mine Ride and Creation of the Earth Ride)
Forest River (mountaineers, American Indians and fur traders)
Magic of Industry (story of industrial progress in the American west including Outer Space Lines ride)
Storybook Lane (fairy tale land for younger visitors)
Magic Mountain also was to include a ski slope upon Jackson Hill to its west.
In 1957-59 the core of Magic Mountain was built, including the Magic Mountain Railroad, Cavalry Post and Stockade, and Centennial City. The historic Eden Palais, one of the largest carousel rides in the world, was shipped in and put to use here. However, financial difficulties began to arise and further plans were changed or scaled back. One building of the Fairgrounds was built, the Forest River Ride area created in altered form, and Storybook Lane and Magic of Industry scrapped altogether. Arguably the most ambitious part did materialize, the Magic Mountain ski area, scaled down to a rope tow instead of a ski lift but nevertheless one of the first ski areas in North America to be operated with artificial snow. The ski area was successful; unfortunately the theme park was not. After opening to the public in 1959, it encountered continued financial difficulties, and ultimately closed in 1960. Famed New York City developer William Zeckendorf, and Cobb himself (who was not blamed for its financial downfall) attempted to save the park, but its fate was inexorable and its components auctioned off. Its rides went to newly forming Six Flags Over Texas, while the core complex stood idle for some time.
In 1970 the Woodmoor Corporation acquired Magic Mountain and set about to resurrect the park as Heritage Square, a theme shopping village of artisan shops and attractions. Opening in 1971, it featured several popular places, including the Metal Master, General Store, Glassblower, Gasthaus beer garden restaurant, and Cedar Chest. A group of comedy melodamatic players formed in Estes Park led by G. William Oakley took possession of the Magic Mountain Play House in 1972 as the Heritage Square Players, and opened the Heritage Square Opera House. In 1973 they retrofitted the building across the main thoroughfare for an auditorium theater, while the Christmas Tree shop opened nearby, one of the first year-round Christmas shops in the country. Also that year upon Jackson Hill the second alpine slide outside a ski resort in North America was built, which became another noted attraction. A historic Lakewood schoolhouse was moved to the head of the main street and became Heritage Square's wedding chapel.
History from Wikipedia and
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