Tweetsie Railroad Wild West Theme Park
This Western theme park preserves the history of the East Tennessee & Western North Carolina Railroad line, a local railroad company known as "Tweetsie" by local residents. The Tweetsie railroad company operated from 1882 to 1950. The park is home to about a dozen rides, a midway that seeks to recreate an old western town, and a number of Old West-themed shows and attractions. The stars of the theme park are two historic steam engines, one of which is over a century old. Both engines operate daily, taking gusts on a variety of "western" themed rides.
Backstory and Context
In 1956, Blowing Rock's Grover Robbins Jr. worked with Gene Autry, ho agreed to sell the historic Engine 12 for only $1. By the summer of 1957, residents were once again able to ride along the old narrow gauge tracks. Three years later, Tweetsie Railroad service acquired a second engine. Enthusiasm for this excursion railroad service grew throughout the 1960s and investors and supporters supported the creation of North Carolina’s first theme park.By mid-decade, the park began offering a variety of historic-themed rides and attractions, including the park's main street that continues to feature western shops and entertainment.