For almost a year I was aware that on October 21, 2016, Silver Dollar City would be celebrating Violet Hensley's 100th birthday and 50th year as an SDC Harvest Festival craftswoman. Sometimes life gets a little busy with different responsibilities. I had almost given up on the trip when the weekend opened up for me. I was up early and on the road in time to be there when the park opened.
Silver Dollar City did not disappoint anyone with Violet's celebration. It was a spectacular event. But the highlight of the weekend was when I received an e-mail from my son to let me know he was joining me at SDC later in the day. We were two kids loose in the park. We rode Outlaw run (his first time, my second), the Giant Swing (I decided to conquer my fear of this thing and give it a go), Fire-In-The-Hole, toured the cave and capped it off with the nostalgic ride on the SDC Steam train. As our trip was nearing its end, I happened upon the story of this stagecoach located just inside the park.
My first trip to SDC was in 1966. My recollection was riding a stagecoach, touring the cave and petting a goat. What I did not know at the time was that the SDC stagecoach, built in the 1880's, served on the Overland Stage Lines out west delivering mail and passengers. At some point, it was retired and returned to Concord, New Hampshire where it was originally built. It sat in storage for the next 50 years. In 1960 Silver Dollar City purchased the stagecoach and used it in the park until it was auctioned off in the 1970's. Enter Rick Hamby, someone who dreamed of stagecoach adventures as a kid, was out looking for stagecoach parts at a Blacksmiths shop in Arkansas. When he pulled back the weeds and saw the nearly faded words "Silver Dollar City" on the door, he knew immediately that he found the stagecoach that he first rode at Silver Dollar City nearly 50 years ago. Rick purchased, restored and gifted it back to SDC this fall.
It was 50 years ago that I first visited SDC and rode this stagecoach. I could not have planned a better time and share all this with my son. What a celebration!
has touched the
of people over
nearly 130 years.
many a memory