*BATTLE* OF HORSESHOE BEND DIORAMA
"See the world's largest battle in miniature".
In the late 1960's and early 70's many people will remember a "fort" beside U.S. Hwy 280 outside of Dadeville, Alabama. This structure was built to resemble an early American frontier fort. Inside was a gift shop, usually well stocked with coonskin caps, wooden muskets, toy bows and arrows and as I well remember, quite a large diorama of the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The attraction was built by Mr. H. Cooper Crossley who was originally from Anniston, Alabama. He was, for lack of a better job description, a self taught amusement park engineer and had constructed several different tourism venues in Tennessee, Alabama and Florida during the 1950's and 60's. Considering the importance of local tourism and entertainment venues to present day economies he was a man ahead of his time. He and his family actually painted the figures and built the subsequent diorama. The business closed in 1976 due to the illness of Mr. Crossley. Obviously a great deal of time and effort was put into it; there were over 3000 painted miniature soldiers, warriors, and horses along with wiring for motion, light, smoke and sound effects. The figures used were apparently modified cowboys and Indians from Marx play sets. But the technology and materials were state of the art for that time and left the intended magical impression on wide-eyed kids. It can be rightfully argued that this "tourist attraction" for lack of a better term had more to do with the golden age of television, Fess Parker as Davy Crockett, and the American automobile than it ever did the Creek War of 1813-1814. In that regard it deserves to be remembered as historic Americana. These postcards are reminders of that place and time.
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