Adventure Village - Pleasantville, NJ

Adventure Village
Pleasantville, NJ
1959 - 1969

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Outside of Atlantic City, NJ, are many attractions and amusements. Storybook Land, Lucy the Elephant, various wineries, and historic villages are some of the fun ways to spend a day.

Years ago, Adventure Village was one of those attractions. It was a "Wild West" attraction.

There were wooden buildings in the "old west" style. There was a "hotel", a town hall, a shoe repair shop, a general store and, of course, a saloon. There was a movie theatre where the children could watch old-time movies.

Children and adults could see how the cowboys lived. Souvenirs could be bought at the "general store".

The "Mayor" of the town would make the children take an oath to eat all their vegetables, listen to their parents and keep their rooms clean. The kids would then be sworn in by the mayor and given a tin badge.

Frequently the engineer would bring in Slippery Sam, the train robber, who would break free and the engineer would fire a pistol. The kids would catch him and a goat drawn hearse would load him up and away he'd go.

Then Slippery Sam would escape from jail as the mayor was on the microphone welcoming everyone to the village and all the kids would go crazy running after him, eventually putting him back in jail. He'd sit in jail all day (really it was a dummy) and the kids would have a heck of a time figuring out how he could talk to them. (The ticket seller had an intercom).

At times Slippery Sam would throw fake money, which the children scrambled after.

Leon Polinski was the engineer at Adventure Village. He drove the train that went around the village and was known as "Choo-Choo". Leon was more well known as one of the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz, and the original "Call for Phillip Morris" bellboy.

(Thanks to Lynn Warner Wood for some of this information)

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Images from Lynn Warner Wood

Slippery Sam being Arrested Choo-Choo Oiling the Engine
(Leon Polinski)

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Fred Warner, Jr, was born in Narberth, Pa. and was a talented designer who built many homes on the Main Line. But In 1959, Fred moved his family to New Jersey. There he built Adventure Village on the Black Horse Pike. It stayed in operation until 1969 when it closed.

Fred died on Jan 1, 2005, at the age of 85.

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Leon Polinski died at the age of 45. He is buried in Egg Harbor, NJ.

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Now, Adventure Village has been closed for years. Trees and brush have grown and hidden the site from view. But if you know where to look, you can still find it.

About 10 miles northwest of Atlantic City, alongside Rte 40, you can find the "village" hidden in the trees. It's less than a mile from Storybook Land. From Rte. 40, turn south onto Ivins Ave. (just east of the Hamilton Mall) and the entrance is just down the street on the left.

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Warning - This is NOT an abandoned attraction. Apparently there are people LIVING in the old buildings. Years ago, when I visited this spot there were many cars parked in front of the old "wild west" buildings. The residents would not be happy to have people 'snooping' around the area.

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Adventure Village - 2006

Adventure Village is Hidden
Behind These Trees
Entrance to the Village Storefronts

Town Hall Storefronts Shoe Repair and Hippodrome Theater
(Now labeled as Village Center)

Hotel and Saloon Pavilion

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UPDATE - April, 2008

It was reported to me that all the buildings from Adventure Village are now demolished. An Auto Lenders will be built on the site.

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Created- Thurs Aug 24, 2006
Revised- Tues Oct 7, 2008

connch2003@yahoo.com