Local Reno businessman George Carrell and partner Bob Talmadge, son of the famous comedian Buster Keaton, purchased 130 acres in 1960 and created Sundown Town. The park had 11 buildings including a jail, livery, saloon for kids, and a bar for adults.
One of the famous attractions was a Brahma Bull named Lightning, who was ridden with a saddle and taught to do tricks. The park had horse and burro rides as well as stagecoach and wagon rides. Joy Lake was used for water activities and as a place for visitors to experience gold panning.
Sundown Town closed in 1963, just three years after opening, but it provided a memorable western boomtown experience.
Try to listen, in your imagination, to the sounds of laughter, galloping horses, and echoing “YEEHAWS!”
Keywords: outdours, recreation, tourism, history of Nevada, boom and bust, entertainment park, Buster Keaton