Memorabilia and Souvenirs From the Old Prehistoric Forest Park
The Prehistoric Forest in the Irish Hills has been written about, photographed, filmed, videotaped, recorded...you name it, it's been done. But I had yet to see a gallery of Prehistoric Forest souvenirs.....so I thought I'd do one myself.
But first, a brief backstory:
Prehistoric Forest opened in 1963 as just one of the many roadside attractions found along US-12 in the Irish Hills. Other attractions included Fantasy Land, Frontier City, Go-Kart Track, the Irish Hills Twin Towers, Mini-Golf, various souvenir shops, and Stagecoach Stop.
Prehistoric Forest may have had a train ride, hollow tree to play in, a man-made mountain, water slide, noisy volcano.....but what most kids really wanted to see were the dinosaurs. By today's standards, these dino statues seem bush league, but back in the 60s and 70s, the children were fascinated.
I always enjoyed the train ride that took you to visit the creatures lurking in the woods. I liked the monsters, but I didn't care for the spiel that the train engineer gave for each one. We all had to get off the ride and walk around listening to this guy talk about each one. I couldn't wait to get back on that train.
Thanks to high-tech entertainment becoming more & more popular in the 1980s, the customers dropped off. Many Irish Hills attractions began shutting down with Prehistoric Forest clamming up permanently sometime between 1999 and 2002. Since closure, vandals repeatedly entered and destroyed many of the creatures. Finally, cameras were installed and recorded the culprits who were eventually identified and prosecuted.
The gallery below shows a whole bunch of stuff people bought at the Prehistoric Forest souvenir shop. Some were cool, some weren't.....and some was the same junk you found in almost any northern Michigan souvenir shop. Take a look!
Prehistoric Forest Souvenir & Memorabilia Gallery
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