East Texan Builds Old West Town - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/22/07-Longview

East Texan Builds Old West Town

An East Texas man is building a town where the old west comes alive again, a replica town from our western heritage.  At first glance it looks like a Hollywood back lot, or a restored ghost town from the west.  But this old west town, about the size of two city blocks, is right off of Highway 154 near Gilmer.

It's the passion of East Texan Rudy Lee, who says he began building it for a simple reason.  "To play, to go back like you know.  What better way to retire than what you did when you was a kid. Go back playing cowboys and indians," said Lee.

Complete with blacksmith, jail , hotel and saloon, everything is authentic 1880's antiques, down to the wanted posters.  The beauty of a vacation stay here is that you can be anybody, you can be a sheriff a shopkeeper, or a gunslinger.

"You can spend the night in the hotel in an old feather bed.  You can prospect for gold, watch a shootout or actually participate in a shootout," said Rudy.

Lee has spent the last seven years building the town on his property using his own money materials and labor. He loves the old west.  "I could picture it right down to a tee. Here you can be the gunslinger you can be the good guy you can be the bad guy," he said.

There are high stakes poker games and more is planned.  "People can get married in a western theme, or class reunions, office parties, everything," he said.

He build it for everyone in east Texas to enjoy.  "I said I'm gonna fix it up to where people can come and enjoy it and not worry about the cost," said Lee.

He wants to complete the town before opening to the public.  Lee plans on giving free admission to the public during the weekdays when he opens.  A lot of work still need still needs to be done to finish the town, and Mr. Lee invites anyone who can help with manpower and materials.  If you'd like to help you can call Lee at 903-797-2639 or 903-808-0960.

Bob Hallmark, Reporting.  bhallmark@kltv.com

 

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