Friday, January 29, 2016

East Tincup on West Colfax Avenue in Golden

Pete Smythe
Pete Smythe was a well-known Denver radio and TV personality in the 1950s and 60s, and a better-than-average piano player. His show -- "Pete Smythe's General Store" -- was a kind of Prairie Home Companion of its day, set in the fictitious town of East Tincup, Colorado, and broadcasting over the "bobwire" network. 

Entrance to East Tincup, Colorado, on West Colfax Avenue
 East Tincup was a mythical creation patterned after an old Colorado mining town, and used as the setting for Smythe’s show. The site of the town was 12 miles west of Denver, and one-half mile east of the multi-million dollar Magic Mountain, which was under construction at that time. 

The "town" of East Tincup, Colorado
An entire town of 1880 vintage was set up on the site and admission was charged. The town included Centennial Village, a Colorado Centennial Celebration attraction formerly located in Denver’s Civic Center Park, now relocated to the East Tincup site, and a three-story recreation of the city’s famed, old-time Windsor Hotel. The upper floors of the hotel were made into a museum.

You could pan for gold, there was a miniature mechanized farm layout with small figures with a man chopping wood, etc, and a room where the water ran uphill!

The site of the old East Tincup theme park today is the

Dakota Ridge RV Park

17800 West Colfax Avenue
Golden, CO 80401
(303) 279-1625


  1. just would like to say the legend will live on with the opening of the New East TIN CUP MINI MARKET which is in the heart of "East Tin Cup".....on West Colfax Ave in Golden Co. ...good luck Easy and Big MONEY!!!!!!

  2. I remember the theme song was based on Pete Seeger's song Little Boxes about ticky tacky houses.

  3. Did his jingle song say
    Put the key in the door
    Oen up the store
    Now were ready for business

  4. Does anyone remember the place in East Tin Cup with all the miniature wood carvings like a dentist pulling a tooth in the old days, and there was a life size outhouse that when you pulled the door open a lady said something and us kids would jump back scared yet laughing. Where is this museum now? Someone thought it was somewhere near the Black Hills.

  5. Chris Beebe, I worked in the Theme Park, thought is was a terrific experience. We had set up robberies when the tourists were perfectly gathered and placed, rode through on a real stage coach and acted the part. Mayor Pete was an inspiration for everyone.

  6. When I was 5 years old my parents contracted to open the western wear store in East Tin Cup. They later branched out and operated the candle shop. Eventually my mom took over Pete Smythe's General Store and the post office. My sister and I used to spend many hours running around East Tin Cup and I have many memories and stories of the place. The small wood carving exhibit JB refers to was Dr. Niblack's House of Carvings. Following the closing of East Tincup it was moved to South Dakota and billed as the National Museum of Wood Carving. I understand that the museum recently closed so I am not sure as to the location of the collection now.

  7. Pete also had some connection with the Centennial Race Track in Littleton. I was a member of the Westernaires, and we did a recording of a song written by Pete called "Centennial", which was played before the start of racing at the track. Anyone know where I can get a copy of the recording of the song?

  8. The article above indicates the site of East Tincup is now the RV Park at 17800 West Colfax Avenue, which is on the south side of Colfax (Hwy 40), but I remember it as being on the north side. Which is correct?


  9. I'm sure it was on the North side. My cousin worked there as a cowboy when I was 15. He brought his new friend in to meet me and that's when I got the autograph of Steve McQueen. Such a thrill.

  10. I was on this show, sometime in the 1960 -1962, I sang a song, but I do not remember what song. Anyway can anyone direct me as to how I might find a copy of that show

  11. I remember my dad bought stock in Magic Mountain. The hole thing went bust and my mom never let him forget it.

  12. Beside Magic Mountain and Pete I remember Centennial Race tract too. Horse racing near downtown old town Littleton.

  13. Got a old polaroid pic of 5 year old me sitting on a bench in East Tincup shaking hands with Dan Blocker.