Americana 1900- The Complete Presentation

James G.

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Most visitors arriving at Americana 1900 approach the resort via the Americana Parkway, which leads directly to the main parking lot located north of the park directly adjacent to Heritage Plaza, the beautiful main entrance to the park. A secondary road leads around the park to the three parking lots located south of Americana 1900, the Theodore Roosevelt Hotel Lot, the Harvey House Hotel Lot, and the Green Springs/South Lot. Shuttles transport guests from the Main Lot to Heritage Plaza.

The wedge-shaped Heritage Plaza is paved with historic bricks commemorating hundreds of important historical dates and events from pre-1900 American history. Every state, commonwealth and American territory has commemorative bricks, and a guidebook is available to help guests discover their home’s history. A few examples are:




Heritage Plaza, as the introductory area to Maple Grove and the rest of Americana 1900’s historic atmosphere, is flanked with rustic one and two-story wooden, brick and stone structures housing all necessary guest services. Signage clearly explains, with just a touch of Americana whimsy, the services offered in these historically-accurate structures.

Note: These structures are not represented on the drawing of Heritage Plaza.



“Americana Travel Agency- Get Your Tickets Here!” provides a complete selection of ticketing options for guests, from single day and multi-day visits to Heritage Passes, All Aboard Passes and special passes for active duty and military veterans, first responders and special needs visitors. Tickets can also be purchased in advance online and at all Americana Hotels.



Citizens Bank of Attica- Safety Deposit Boxes and Lockers- Along with a wide variety of lockers in multiple sizes, guests can find here ATM machines and a “bank teller” to exchange foreign currency for American money at the current exchange rate. (The name “Attica” will be explained later in the presentation).
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James G.

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Pony Express Package Pick-up- Visitors to Americana 1900 can have purchases made inside the park delivered here to be picked up at the end of the day as they leave the park. This avoids having to carry souvenirs, hand-crafted items, even baked goods from the Maple Grove Bakery with them throughout the day. Guests staying in any of the Resort Hotels also have this service provided, where their purchases are delivered to a specified gift shop in their hotel lobby. This service is also offered to the South (Green Springs) Gate.



Triple “C” Corral Animal Care Center- The Triple “C” Corral provides day-long boarding facilities for “canines, cats and all other critters” while their human family members explore Americana 1900. Licensed veterinary technicians staff this fully-certified animal care center, which offers both indoor and outdoor recreation areas for all sizes and ages of pets. Advanced reservations are taken, with walk-in services offered depending on available space.

Not Your Grandpa’s Latrines!- Yes, these are the public restrooms in Heritage Plaza, and no, they aren’t the open latrines of a hundred-and-fifty years ago. Fully-modern plumbing is carefully masked in fully-themed restrooms which offer complete handicapped-accessible facilities and diaper-changing stations. Men’s and women’s restrooms are separated by four fully-equipped family restrooms.


The women’s side is decidedly feminine, with twenty fully-private stalls. Cream, rose and gold is the color scheme found here, and the well-lit mirrors framed in what is commonly referred to as “Steamboat Gothic” match the carved and elegantly-painted decorating touches in the rest of the room. Decorative lanterns provide further lighting in this unique restroom.


The men’s side is decidedly more rustic. Instead of the traditional line of private stalls, a series of twelve mismatched outhouses stand side-by-side, each unique but each still housing fully-modern toilet facilities. No corn cobs allowed! The adjacent row of urinals is placed in individual shallow wooden stalls, resembling animal stalls found in a barn. Framed reproduction newspaper front pages from small-town weeklies from 1900 are positioned above the urinals, to give gentlemen something to read. The rest of the ornamentation in the men’s side consists of basic, rustic yet well-crafted wood siding, beams and lanterns.



Chuck Wagon Dining Reservations and the Heritage Dining Plan Center- Reservations for dining at over a dozen full-service restaurants in Americana 1900 can be made in advance on the Americana website, by phone, or here at the Chuck Wagon Dining Reservations Center. Advanced reservations are recommended at most of the Americana full-service dining establishments, due to the popularity and high quality of the meals offered. Here also is the check-in counter for the Heritage Dining Plan (discussed earlier).

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James G.

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F&L Chance Mercantile- F&L Chance (First and Last Chance) Mercantile is the largest general merchandise retail store in Americana. It offers visitors their first chance to find special items they might need to make their visit to Americana 1900 more enjoyable- sunscreen, sunglasses, over-the-counter medications, etc. It carries one of the largest selections of Americana clothing in the resort, along with unique souvenirs, hand-crafted goods manufactured in the park’s operating craft shops, and an endless variety of memorabilia for guests to purchase. Either as they enter the park or on their way back to their vehicles after a long, tiring, fun-filled day at Americana 1900, the F&L Chance Mercantile is the first chance or the last chance visitors have to find that perfect souvenir of their visit to Americana 1900, America’s Grand New Theme Park!



Family Album Photography Center- Family Album Photographers is the name of the professional photography service offered by Americana 1900 to its visitors. Highly-qualified professional photographers can be found throughout each of the Townships, and are prepared to help visitors capture those special moments that are so much a part of visiting the park. The cameras they use appear to be original Brownie box cameras on tripods, first introduced by Eastman Kodak in 1900, but are actually fully-modern digital cameras. The Family Album Photography Center, and its counterpart located at the South Gate, provide visitors with all the information needed to integrate all the photos taken by the Family Album Photographers stationed throughout the park, the on-ride photos taken while riding many of the park’s attractions, at the Main Street Photography Studio, and even by the visitors themselves into a “Family Photo Album” that will preserve the memories of their visit to Americana 1900.



Guest Relations and First Aid- The “Townsfolk” of Americana 1900 are here to answer any questions that visitors to their community might have, and to resolve any problems that might occur. A basic first aid station with licensed medical professionals is also available here.



Entrance Security- All guests entering Americana 1900 must pass through a professional security screening. This is found at the entrance to Heritage Plaza, in a barn-like structure constructed from several actual historic barns rescued from demolition by Americana 1900. This two-story structure provides a covered security screening area, offices for park security officials for this section of Americana 1900, and serves as a visual barrier between the modern world of the parking lot and the historic ambiance of Heritage Plaza and the rest of Americana 1900.

Entrance Security also has a location at the South Gate, and in the Theodore Roosevelt Hotel Gate.

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James G.

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Entrance Booths


Before guests can enter Maple Grove Township and the rest of Americana 1900, they must pass by a series of what appears to be old mismatched pilothouses from Mississippi steamboats. These small but beautifully-ornamented wooden structures with carefully-crafted decorative woodwork around their roofs serve as the admission booths for the park. An example of such a pilothouse being used as a ticket booth was discovered in an early photograph of Cedar Point Amusement Park in Sandusky, Ohio, where a pilothouse ticket booth was located on the wharf. Here day guests to the resort disembarked from the ferries and steamships that carried them across Sandusky Bay to Cedar Point and its popular rides, attractions and especially its bathing beach on Lake Erie.





James G.

Well-Known Member
Original Poster


(optional background sounds for Maple Grove)

As guests to Americana 1900 approach the main entrance to the first Township in the park, they see before them a pedestrian underpass that leads beneath a solidly-constructed wooden railroad trestle. The pavement beneath them changes subtly from the carefully-crafted historic bricks of Heritage Plaza to more rustic paving stones and a rough, gravelly surface that shows they are entering a time and place where paved streets are unknown and a heavy rain could turn the roadway into a muddy quagmire, where elevated wooden sidewalks are a necessity and where a steam locomotive is the fastest way to travel more than a few miles from your home. Of course, guests to Americana don’t have to deal with muddy streets, but as they approach this underpass and the massive, rough-hewn wooden timbers that support the tracks crossing overhead they might notice a quote burned into the timbers overhead:
“Americana 1900 is not just a place, a thing- it is an idea, a concept, a dream that has become real...the history of Americana 1900 has just begun!” ...Jonathan Cahill, Founder of Americana 1900

Located conveniently yet unobtrusively beneath the railroad’s supportive embankments flanking this underpass are restrooms servicing Maple Grove, men’s to the right (west) and women’s to the left (east). These spacious restrooms are themed with general rustic railroad accents.


As guests pass under the railroad trestle and emerge on the far side, they find themselves entering a village, a village far from the hustle and bustle of even “small-town America.” This is a rural village not far removed from the days of the first pioneers who settled the wilderness, a village of self-reliance and hard work, where the simple joys of life abound and the quieter pace of life as it used to be can be discovered and enjoyed.

This is Maple Grove.




The village of Maple Grove was a village that time- and Alabama- forgot. There was never much there in the first place, and the residents of Maple Grove liked it that way. Settled by devout Quakers, a deeply-religious people with even deeper pacifist beliefs, Maple Grove’s inhabitants wanted nothing to do with the approaching Civil War, or the War Between the States, or whatever the rest of the world wanted to call it. To them, war of any kind was a sin, and even worse, a waste of time. Maple Grove was spared the ravages of the war by a cunning bit of trickery- all four roads leading into the village had barricades built across them far enough away that the village itself couldn’t be seen, and large signs stating “Quarantine! Epidemic outbreak!” were prominently displayed on these barricades. For added effect, just beyond these barricades were dozens of tombstones rising from obviously freshly-dug graves that filled the roadways leading into the town, giving the appearance that Maple Grove was a death trap for anyone entering it. The approaching Union troops decided that it was easier to skirt around the town on other roads than to try and enter a town that was nothing more than a plague-ridden smudge on the map. No railroad line, no river, not even a telegraph line could be found in this unimportant backwater of a town. Nothing that seemed to be of any use to the Union troops was in Maple Grove, and it survived the devastation that left most of Northern Alabama a smoking ruin.
There was no epidemic. There was no quarantine, or plague-infected bodies hastily buried in the roads leading to the town. The graves were quickly-fabricated fakes, as were the wooden gravestones, painted to look like stone. The residents of the town decided to “play dead,” and it worked so well that it was nearly a year after the War was over that anyone decided to venture out beyond the barricades to find out what was happening in the outside world.

During the years that Maple Grove had withdrawn from the world, like the legendary Scottish village of Brigadoon, it realized that it had become completely self-sufficient. It had skilled craftspeople who could create anything they needed, nearby farmers that kept them fed, and a peaceful population that didn’t see any reason to change with the times...until two things happened. First, in 1880 the Gulf Coast & Santa Fe railroad decided to run a new rail line through northern Alabama, and that line took it directly to the north edge of Maple Grove. Second, the young people of the town did what so many young people do- they wanted to see the world. Maple Grove, like it or not, was dragged into the future. They never forgot their past, nor how they survived the war and the years after. The craftshops of the town continued to thrive, to create high-quality hand-crafted leather goods, pottery and furniture, to bake the best breads and pastries in the bakery and create mouth-watering sweets in the candy shop, and to preserve the arts and crafts of the South. Now this sleepy little town that time forgot welcomes the nation and the world to Americana 1900, to rediscover those arts and crafts that were never totally lost, just forgotten nearly everywhere- except in Maple Grove.


Maple Grove is the antithesis of what would be expected in the introductory space for a major theme park. The dramatic International Streets of Kings Island and Kings Dominion, the art-deco opulence of Buena Vista Street at Disney California Adventure, even the Victorian elegance and striking colors of Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World might be appropriate for a park that wants to welcome guests into a place of excitement, fantasy and imagination, but Americana 1900 is a different place, a different kind of park. Maple Grove welcomes guests to a different time, an era that moved slower, when most people knew how much horsepower was moving their means of transportation because they knew how many horses were pulling their buggy or wagon- or were underneath their saddle. The colors here are softer, the buildings are simpler in design and construction- even the sounds are different. No piped-in music blares too-loudly from carefully-hidden speakers- any music comes from the band playing in the village green bandstand, or more often the music of Maple Grove is nothing more than the rhythmic clip-clop of a horse’s hand-wrought horseshoes striking the cobblestone surface of the street. The only sound that interrupts this historic quiet is the arrival of the train at the Maple Grove Station, where the clanging of the train’s bell, the whooshing of its brakes or the tooting of its whistle reminds us that the modern technology of the nineteenth century is just now arriving in this quiet little village, its way of life barely changed since its founding date decades before the War.



The homes, shops and services of Maple Grove are laid out in the form of a large block “O”, with the beautiful tree-shaded Village Green and its central bandstand filling the center of the town. Early in the town’s history, homes and businesses filled the site of the Village Green, but a fire in 1857 spread quickly through the wooden structures and destroyed nearly everything on this site, and only the wide streets separating it from the rest of the town saved the remainder of Maple Grove from burning to the ground. The community decided not to rebuild this central area, but instead to turn it into the Village Green, with a beautiful wooden bandstand to be used for concerts, political speeches and community gatherings. The only remnants of the buildings that once stood on the site are a few foundations still visible above ground level, now used as the borders for flower beds. Unlike many small-town village greens, there is no memorial to any specific military conflict, because at a town meeting after Maple Grove was rediscovered by the outside world, it was decided to simply plant a memorial garden for all people, soldiers and civilians, who suffered from any military conflict. The Memorial Garden, surrounding the flagpoles used at the daily raising of the flags, is one of the most beautiful floral gardens in Americana.


Walk-Through of Maple Grove

Some guests upon entering Maple Grove might be enticed to veer a bit to the left, led there by their noses. The smell of fresh-baked bread, bacon frying, warm cinnamon rolls and even maple syrup and chocolate gently wafts from the east side of town, where a row of simple one-and-two story storefronts and even a converted frame home make up the “business district” of Maple Grove. The first structure, standing parallel to the railroad track, is the Harvey House Restaurant- Maple Grove. Turning south onto Maple Grove East is a row of retail merchants, the J.D. Elliott and Sons’ General Store, Millie’s Millinery and Maggie’s Unmentionables Shop, and A. Gurnock’s Bakery. Just past the alley beside the bakery is the operating craft business of Robert Niles, Printer. Approaching the southeast corner of Maple Grove, where Pike Road meets Maple Grove East, is Miss Emma’s Sweet Shop, a simple, two-story frame home surrounded by a picket fence, lots of flowers and the enticing aroma of chocolate and butterscotch. Turning onto Pike Road, but still part of Maple Grove, stands a one-story, one-room schoolhouse and playground, Clinton School.

On the south side of Maple Grove stands the stately Home and Medical Office of Dr. Q.B. Smith, with his aromatic medicinal herb garden. This also serves as one of Americana 1900’s first aid and emergency services centers, with modern first aid wagons and a completely-equipped ambulance on hand in the stable to the south of the home. Two rustic operating craft shops, the J&R Pottery Works and Opperman’s Woodworking Shop stand to the west of Dr. Smith’s office, separated from it by North Maple Grove Road (which leads to Century Plaza). Morrison Road, which leads to the Morrison Covered Bridge and Morrison Farm, meets Maple Grove West at the southwest corner of the village. Turning back north along Maple Grove West is found the entrance to the Pioneer Milling Company, an operating water-powered grist mill where much of the flour used by many of the Americana 1900 restaurants is ground from locally-grown grains.

The west side of Maple Grove could be considered the “transportation center” of both the Township and of Americana. This entire side of town, from the Pioneer Mill to the main entrance from Heritage Plaza, is the location of the craft shops, services and attractions that make transportation in and around Americana 1900 a memorable experience for all guests. The rich smells of leather from Bud Havoc’s Leather Goods and Saddlery Shop, the scent of burning coal and hot metal from P. DeGroot’s Blacksmith and Farrier Shop, and the unmistakable-yet-not-unpleasant aromas of the horses being cared for in the John C. Howard Livery Stable are a welcoming, unusual but historic contrast to the more domestic smells that dominate the east side of Maple Grove. Just north of the stable is a brick building, once a storage shed but now the location of the Town and Country Carriage Rides ticket office, where guests can reserve horse-drawn carriage and wagon rides and tours through all of Americana 1900.

The passenger station for the Gulf Coast and Santa Fe Railroad fills the northwest side of Maple Grove and completes a quick circumambulation of Maple Grove. A quick walk around this Township, though, does not do it justice. This is a time to slow down, stroll, explore the stores, craft shops and restaurants of a town that time and the twentieth century bypassed, and perhaps rediscover what our great-grandparents took for granted.
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James G.

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I was just wondering if anyone was really reading this...yea, that's it ;) Actually for some reason the site started to number everything after this list- pictures, paragraphs, everything. We're doing the numbered keys as a picture from now on, and I missed this copy/pasting error. My fault. Thank you for finding it and keeping me humble. Correction is coming soon.:oops: (correction- the correction will be coming eventually...don't ask)
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James G.

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
The MHG is lumped on the same number as Pike Road, that’s why I said #9, because it was clearly meant for #10 but wasn’t made so on the list.
We're going to fix it, but it might take some time. Thank you for noticing it and mentioning it. I missed this- this project is bigger than anything we've done before, and we're still new into the learning portion of this site. Keep looking for things that need to be corrected! :)

James G.

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I was just wondering if anyone was really reading this...yea, that's it ;) Actually for some reason the site started to number everything after this list- pictures, paragraphs, everything. We're doing the numbered keys as a picture from now on, and I missed this copy/pasting error. My fault. Thank you for finding it and keeping me humble. Correction is coming soon.:oops: (correction- the correction will be coming eventually...don't ask)
Thank you all for your patience and support. It's now corrected.

James G.

Well-Known Member
Original Poster

J.D. Elliott and Sons’ General Store



J.D. Elliott and Sons' General Store is the major sales outlet for the craft shops that line Maple Grove’s streets. While it does offer a small selection of modern convenience items for park visitors, its major emphasis is on the hand-crafted items created by the skilled craftspeople that demonstrate their crafts in Maple Grove. This two-story brick structure features large glass display windows flanking its wide, welcoming deep red doorway, with its wood trim and tin cornice painted blue with tan accents. It offers guests such unique items as hand-thrown and painted pottery bowls and complete dining settings, hand-turned wooden candlesticks and hand-crafted leather mugs, metal hooks and wall sconces forged in the blacksmith shop, and bags of herbal teas from aromatic and medicinal plants grown in the herbal garden of the town doctor’s home. Packages of stone-ground flours from the Pioneer Milling Company, hand-printed signs and decorative prints from the print shop and reproduction primers used in the one-room village school share self space with pioneer toys for children, such as ball-and-cup games, Jabob’s Ladder, yo-yos and slingshots, along with some nearly forgotten toys such as the climbing bear, thaumatropes, the bullroarer and toy paddle boats. Hand-crafted checkerboards and other game boards provide entertainment that all generations can enjoy. Elliott and Sons’ General Store is both a retail store and a trip back in time, where quality and craftsmanship are still valued and appreciated.



Millie’s Millinery and Maggie's Unmentionables Shop



Millie’s Millinery and Maggie’s Unmentionable Shop (often called the M&M Store) is a one-story frame store with a second-story false-front to better blend with the two-story brick buildings flanking it on each side.


The windows are filled with elaborate ladies' hats decorated with silk flowers and elegant feathers. Inside the shop, Millie, the “proprietor” sells both fashionable, period-correct chapeaus of the Victorian Era and more modern headgear inspired by the fashions of the past.


Millie’s daughter Maggie, a bit of a free spirit, runs the part of the shop that specializes in “ladies’ unmentionables”, in this case lacy, elegant nightgowns, blouses, chemises and a selection of hoop skirts, bodices and petticoats for historic reenactors. A selection of basic, sturdy flannel pajamas, cool cotton nightgowns and warm woolen stockings and socks makes Millie’s Millinery and Maggie’s Unmentionables the place for the modern woman of 1900 (or today) to get dressed from head to toe!


Note: These shops are part of the Americana Wedding Service, an extremely popular wedding program providing complete wedding packages inspired by the elegance of the Victorian and Edwardian fashion era.

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