Past Daily News stories indicate by the fall of 1966, when Adventureland’s Pirate Ship burned to the ground, the place had been closed for a couple of years. The three-masted ship had been perched atop an outcrop of rock, clearly visible from I-95, until fire claimed it.
“I think interest just petered out eventually,” Callahan said. “The core group was very gung-ho. But a lot of us who worked there began to drift away after we graduated (from high school) and went off to college.”
In 1969, according to a Daily News story, the state took the 56 acres of land and buildings to expand the Interstate and eventually build Troop A’s current barracks. Spalt, then of Harwichport, initially received $112,000 for the land. Dissatisfied with the amount, he sued, and was awarded $125,000 by the court.
But little did Spalt know that 56 years after his amusement park dream opened, there’d be “a new sheriff” in his former Dodge City, and Adventureland would become the unofficial logo for state troopers who now call those acres home.