Pigeon Forge, Tennessee: Rebel Railroad - Gold Rush Junction - Silver Dollar City (Closed)Three theme park attractions, long defunct, were in the spot now inhabited by Dollywood.
Visitor Tips and News About Rebel Railroad - Gold Rush Junction - Silver Dollar City
I don't know if there was a Gold Rush Junction in Maggie Valley or not, but I do know that there was one in Pigeon Forge. It then became Silver Dollar City and later changed to Dollywood. I know this for sure because my Dad played music there the summer of 1976, and my sister and I went to work with him many, many times. It was supposed to be like an old western town. I used to love riding the train and helping the rainmaker put on his show. But my favorite part was the saloon show. It was really fun. So, tipster SJH obviously doesn't know what he's talking about because it definitely was in the same place that Dollywood is now.[Ritta, 09/13/2007]
I remember Silver Dollar City very well. I made friends with several of the "train robbers" back in my youth, and to this day miss the park and the whole bunch of "robbers" that made us all laugh. From the Rainmaker to all the rides...especially the Blazing Fury...it is some of the best memories that I have from those family vacations in Pigeon Forge.
When Silver Dollar City became Dollywood, we went to go check it out. Being season-pass holders of Silver Dollar City in years past, we thought maybe the park was even better. We were so wrong. All the old crew was gone, and no one was even friendly among the many employees. They took away the Flooded Mine, and they took away the Inventors Mansion, and inserted Dolly Parton's family junk instead. We looked around, looked at each other, and left. Yes, they gave us our money back, because we were not at all happy. My Dad loved to play skee-ball, and the operators of the game allowed him just one prize...a very tiny, sick-looking stuffed bear. And they told him that was all he was allowed to play.
Yes, I miss Silver Dollar City, the fun times, my old pals, and the laughter.[laina, 08/30/2007]
I was reading about Dollywood and what it was in prior years. I need to correct a "tipster" about Gold Rush Junction being in NC. It was indeed in Pigeon Forge, TN. I know, because as a child I swam for a swim team they had. I was a Goldrush Guppie. Our suits were one piece black and gold stripes.
It was later Silver Dollar City and then Dollywood. I do remember in Goldrush Junction that the train would be stopped and "held up." I have a black and white picture of me sitting behind what are supposed to be jail bars. Many good memories of summer spent in the Smokies. My grandfather owned Trentham's hardware and my uncle Hobie had two restaurants, two hotels and part owner of the Space Needle.[sabryna, 02/01/2007]
Before it was renamed Dollywood, it was called Silver Dollar City. But before that (in the mid/late 70s), between the incarnations of Rebel Railroad and Silver Dollar City, it was known as Gold Rush Junction. My grandparents lived in the Gatlinburg area and I went to Gold Rush Junction (and the renamed Silver Dollar City) a couple of times as a kid.
There was a train ride that featured an assault (a holdover idea from the Rebel Railroad days?), by a group of park employees pretending to be outlaws holding up the train. They stormed the cars wielding fake(?) guns and threatened to kill everyone on board and take their money and such, and were eventually "overpowered" by the train conductor and crew.[Rachel Pollock, 01/01/2004]
I grew up in Knoxville, TN (about 1/2 hour from Pigeon Forge ) in the Seventies and early Eighties. This Rebel Railroad is actually what is at Dollywood right now. In the Seventies ( maybe the Sixties but I am too young to know ) the park expanded to include a mountain town with various rides, attractions, and stores and they had a train depot where you took a ride on a Steam Engine train into the mountains ( I.E. Rebel Railroad ) that performed the show described by the previous person.
They changed the name of the place to Silver Dollar City as it was at that time a small amusement park. In 1985, when I left Knoxville, I remember hearing that Dolly Parton [later a corporation licensed her name] had purchased Silver Dollar City. In 1986, I heard that [they] changed the name to DOLLYWOOD and had added new attractions and buildings. I have not returned there to see this latest incarnation, but I have seen a few commercials for the place on cable and the train is there in the commercial. So I assume Rebel Railroad is still there, but it just has more added to the place and has changed names several times.[Richard Beeler, 07/30/2000]
Rebel Railroad - Gold Rush Junction - Silver Dollar City