On this day in 1970: The Land of Oz, a theme park based on “The Wizard of Oz,” opens atop Beech Mountain.
The park, imaginatively conceived by Charlotte artist Jack Pentes, proves too low-tech, too small and too remote — and the weather is often dreary. Attendance is 250,000 the first year but only 60,000 in 1980, when the park closes.
A residential development will eventually supplant the abandoned Oz. Artifacts such as the Yellow Brick Road and mechanical pig wind up in Boone’s Appalachian Cultural Museum — until the museum, too, closes in 2006.
Pictured: Pinback buttons from Land of Oz.