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The Great Calico Gold Rush Mystery - Ghost Town Alive! and Knott's

David Elliott

Knott's Berry Blogger 2019
I’m David Elliott, writer and content creator behind The Single Dad’s Guide to Life.  The blog was born as a labor of love exploring my journey as a single father, providing single parents with support, opportunities, and deals they could put to use in their life.  But it has grown into so much more, reaching out to parents in every situation with lifestyle advice and opportunities for the modern parent.

Ghost Town Alive! is the summer entertainment experience at Knott's Berry Farm where you get to choose your adventure and play along as a citizen of Calico. In Ghost Town Alive!, you are invited to create your own character and explore new adventures in the old west. Berry Blogger David got into the wild west spirit to become a reporter of Calico to find out about the gold rush that has been sweeping the town.

This is your intrepid Reporter DeAngelo Mayfield coming to you live from the crusty creeks of Calico about to tell you the lowdown behind the goings on of the latest Founders Day celebration.  Last year my pap sent my kith and kin David Mayfield to check out all of the happenings going on in the town of Calico as they had arrested our cousin Tiny and put him behind bars for robbing a puny bank. But it deserved to be robbed because they had kept our grand pappy’s cousin Ox from taking hold of the land which so rightly belonged to him.  This and the death of our cousin Mudd Mayfield lead to my dad allowing David to take the journey.  Unfortunately, as do most things in this family, it ended in tragedy.

Some woman we aren’t quite sure about grabbed David and ran away with him to the Yukon to mine for gold up there.  We haven’t heard much from him except that he hadn’t seen the woman he went within a couple of days.  He swears she will be coming back to him because they were “in love”.  Not sure how much we believe him.  We told him about the gold rush in Calico, hoping we could convince him to come back to us. 

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.  Which it appears I have just done.  As the city of Calico is all abuzz with the new resident which has found its way into the Bank.  What is this new resident of Calico you ask?  It’s gold I tell you!  Gold!  That flaky goodness which will buy you a whole entire town if you want it.  

Your intrepid reporter, DeAngelo Mayfield, after bugging my Pa for hours to let me come, made my way to the town of Calico to find out what was going on with all that gold.  (Contrary to popular opinion, I wasn’t there to case banks for the Mayfield Gang.) What I found when I arrived, could hardly be believed.   Because what I found, shook me to my very core.  But never mind that now.   Let us enter into the town of Calico and find out what’s going on together, shall we?

Entering Calico: The Wildest Town West Of The Mississippi
The Ox That Gored The Bull

The first person I went to was family.  I cannot imagine going to anyone else when it comes to finding out the happenings of Calico other than the great man himself, Ox Mayfield.  Although Ox was deep in conversation about casing some joint or other, I was able to convince him to take a moment of his time to tell me about the happenings in the last year since David Mayfield ran away.  

D. Mayfield: We heard a lot has happened in the last year.  And we arrived in town just in time for some pretty amazing events.

Ox:  Yes, too many things have happened recently.  It’s hard to recount them all.  The injustice of us being in prison took a little while to resolve itself.  But we were able to finally have that right wronged.  And then we have been working to clear our name and get access to what’s rightfully ours ever since.

D Mayfield:  “Speaking of getting back what’s rightfully ours, how is that progressing?  And how will the big happenings going on this founders day affect that?”

Ox: “Well aside from the package from some snooty politicians . . . its kind of like a hurricane is coming on the 12:10 train.  After the gift, we have about 5 to 10 minutes before all doom and destruction is going to rain down on us.  You do know who is coming on the 12:10 train don’t you?”

D. Mayfield:  “Yes I do, but never mind about that now. Do you know about the Gold?”

Ox: “Yes, I know about the Gold.”

D. Mayfield: “Have you seen the Gold? Can you tell me what it’s like?”

Ox:  “Yes I have. Me and a partner are talking about that very subject right now.  But this has to be off the record.

D. Mayfield:  “Right! So what would you do with that Gold if you had it?”

Ox: “It’s all about the deed to the land.  I figured if it could be used once to buy the land, it should be good a second time.”

It’s Gold I Tell You
Hands Of Steel. Feet Of Clay.

Now, this all made perfect sense to me.  So I let him go and be on his way and figured I would speak with my first cousin twice removed, Clay Mayfield.  As good a schemer as he was, One-Shot, his daughter-in-law, bested him and foiled his plans last year.  But this year after being acquitted, he seemed contrite.  (Aside from the robbing and thieving he had been doing of late.)  I just needed to find out what he knew about the Gold.

D. Mayfield:  “So how have things been since the last time we talked?”

Clay:  “Things have been good.  How is your old man?”

D. Mayfield: “He’s good, although a little upset I took my daughter Sue with me on this trip into Calico.  He doesn't trust people during a Gold Rush.”

Clay: “Smart Man.”

D. Mayfield: “So how did you get out . . . exactly?  How did you escape the reaches of justice?”

Clay: “Because we took the deed out of the bank, it was our property.  We weren’t really taking something that wasn’t ours.”

D. Mayfield: “Did your lawyer even have a license to practice when he got you out?”

Clay: “Not exactly.  He’s in some law school.  What was it again?  That’s right!  It’s the Honest Abe Law School, a correspondence course.”

D. Mayfield: “Is that even a reputable school?”

Clay: “It’s Honest as Abe Lincoln.”

D. Mayfield: “Right.  So have you seen the gold at the bank?”

Clay: “I haven’t honestly.  It’s odd, but every time I go to the bank to take a look at it, it’s just before they close.  Kinda odd don’t ya think?”

D. Mayfield: “Very.  So what would you do with the Gold if you had found it?”

Clay: “Either I would buy back the town.  Or we would go elsewhere.  But I think I’d like to stay and buy back the town.”

D. Mayfield: “So civic minded I see you are.  Thank you for your time cuz’.”

The Play’s The Thing
A Fortune Cookie Stole My Lunch

All this jabbering made me hungry.  But I had to ignore my hunger pangs and get to the business at hand, which was to figure out what was going on with this gold.  So I figured I would go to the source.  Only Peg Leg and his little woman seemed nowhere to be found.  So I directed my questions to the next best person on the planet with firsthand knowledge of the gold, Mrs. Cookie Fortune herself.  The bad part is she didn’t seem to want to answer many of my questions directly.  I did the best I could, but this is all I could find out.

D. Mayfield: “So I’m told that the Gold found by the prospector is being held in this bank.”

Cookie: “It is.”

D. Mayfield: “And you have seen the gold?”

Cookie: “Why of course.  That’s a little impertinent.  I put the Gold in that there vault, right there.”

D. Mayfield:  “It’s rumored the sheriff is none too happy about who is guarding it. The Sheriff doesn’t think Flint is up for the task.”

Cookie: “That’s really insensitive.  He’s a big man.  And he has a whistle.  He should do just fine.”

D. Mayfield: “With a whistle?!?!  Never mind that now.  What happened to your husband?  Why isn’t he here with you now?”

Cookie: “That’s very insensitive of you as well.  You know very well what happened.  They tried to rob the gold at gunpoint and hit my husband with the butt of a rifle.  He developed amnesia and ran off. No one has heard from him since.”

D. Mayfield: “I think I have . . . but never mind that now.”

Cookie:  “How rude!  Tell me.”

She came at me with everything she had.  I high tailed it out of there and thought about never returning to Calico again.  After escaping Cookie with my very life intact, I ran to the nearest Saloon to catch my breath, but then I recognized one of the pool hall girls from David’s letters and I didn’t want her to catch me in town so I made my quick departure.  I then went to the only place left I knew I could find out more about the Gold.  I just had to know what was going on.

A Prospectors Paradise
A Con Man’s Mark

So I made my way to the outskirts of town, across from the one hotel to be found in Calico.  And there I found the office of Zeke Connely, the new town assayer.  He was busily running around all over the place trying to keep up with all the new business since the discovery of the gold.  I cannot tell what’s going on.  But something doesn’t sit me well about this man.  All that gold coming across this desk and he would never take a little for himself.  It just ain’t right.  But forget about all that.  This is the little I picked up from our interview.

D. Mayfield: “So were you there when the nugget was discovered?

Mr. Connely:  “Yes I was.  You mean that big Gold nugget that Peg Leg found?  Yes, I was there for that.”

D. Mayfield:  “Do you think it’s secure in the bank Mr. Connely?  Do you trust Mrs. Fortune to take care of the gold the way Mr. Tate Fortune vanished?”

Mr. Connely:  “Yes, I trust her.  I trust her implicitly.”

D. Mayfield:  “Does that mean something is going on with you and Mrs. Fortune?”

Mr. Connely:  “Of course not!  And I resent that remark.”

D. Mayfield: “So what became of the gold?  And how has your office been since the time.”

Mr. Connely:  “I didn’t steal the gold if that’s what you were asking. “

D. Mayfield: “I didn’t ask that sir.”

Mr. Connely: “Of course you didn’t.  You just want to case the bank.”

D. Mayfield: “Now I never said that.”

Mr. Connely: “Are any of the Mayfield’s different aside from Phyllis Mayfield, god rest her soul?”

D. Mayfield: “Let’s not talk about my dearly departed Grand Aunt, if you please.”

Mr. Connely: “Never mind that now.  Go to the blacksmith and find out about the Gold there.  He will tell you everything I said is true.”

I was about to inquire further, but he vanished right from under my nose.  I know my great grand uncle Ox would be none too happy with me as a result.  But I will have to worry more about my sins when I’m no longer here like my cousin Mudd.  Man, was he dumb.  But that’s neither here nor there.  I just wanted you to know that I’m on the case about the Gold, the unruly tornado coming into town, and these ominous signs popping up all over the place, or my name isn’t . . . what was my name again?  Nevermind.

When you come into town, be sure to seek me out, as I feel like I have important information to tell someone and I just cannot remember what it is.  Just help me find out what is going on.  Because something stinks to high heaven here.  Signs and symbols are around everywhere.  And I just cannot tell what the deal is.  I guess I better be getting back to doing more interviews, and I just might get to the bottom of this mystery.  Or end up a school janitor like my cousin Fluke.

Until that time, this is DeAngelo Mayfield, your intrepid reporter, signing off from the city of Calico, the site of the newest gold find in the great location of Knott’s Berry Farm.  Adios partners!

*** Ghost Town Alive is the most amazing, live, interactive adventure anywhere around.  Definitely pick yourself up a Season Pass today to enjoy all of the amazing activity and adventures to be had now through September 3rd.***


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David Elliott

Knott's Berry Blogger 2019
I’m David Elliott, writer and content creator behind The Single Dad’s Guide to Life.  The blog was born as a labor of love exploring my journey as a single father, providing single parents with support, opportunities, and deals they could put to use in their life.  But it has grown into so much more, reaching out to parents in every situation with lifestyle advice and opportunities for the modern parent.

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