For more than 40 years Jay Gammon and his wife Joann have been building structures for their old west movie set. According to IMDB more than 40 productions have filmed there, which I am certain is a low count.
Today Jay is in a nursing home and his wife Joann, with the help of others continue to maintain the set. On this day Joann unlocked the building but their dog Gus was our main tour guide, as he seemed walk around with a ‘follow me’ attitude.
There are a number of buildings that make a perfect old west town set.
The set/town includes all the required buildings including a saloon with swinging doors and an old piano. Joann told us one of the film productions said ‘we need a saloon for our filming – is it ok if we build one?’ Of course she said yes!
The town hall with a 1931 Buick parked inside, as well as a number of items celebrating the renown 1934 capture of John Dillinger in Tucson.
The building itself was once a flour mill in Safford, Arizona. It was deconstructed and brought piece by piece back to Gammons Gulch and reassembled as the town hall.
They have done a great job of collecting items for each building, like these cool old keys for the jail cells.
Once Joann had unlocked all of the buildings she gave us a brief overview and said ‘have a good time’, and off we went exploring.
This building is their Welcome Center, and they proudly note that the walls came from a building in Benson, and the large beam on the ceiling came from a 1920s ‘house of ill repute’ in Tucson.
The Mercantile Building was constructed onsite, but like all of the others is filled with items they collected over the years.
These buildings change their signs to reflect whatever each production company needs them to be. In addition they serve as the dressing rooms for the cast.
The church/school at the end of town had the gallows just outside, along with a nearby cemetery. The church/school was constructed for a 2009 movie called ‘Mattie’.
The cross is easily removed when it is supposed to be a school.
The trunks waiting on the 3:10 to Yuma.
In addition to the old car in the town hall, there are a couple of other classic rides parked around town. This backside of the main street serves as a 1920s setting.
A nearby hill provided a nice overview of the town and the surrounding area. Joann and Gus the dog are happy to have you visit, but call ahead as they often have filming occurring – they told me one of the guys from Dukes of Hazard was in town this week to film something.
3 thoughts on “Benson, Arizona – January 2023 – Gammons Gulch Movie Set”
It has been 14 years since I seen the place. I need to go back again before I leave back to Indiana in March.
I would suggest going soon. With the health issues they have the place up for sale.
That seems like a fun place to visit. Lots of great photos.