Q and A


Fan Questions and Answers

Every so often I get questions that I just don't have the answer to. I know that there are fans out there that know a lot more about some of these things than I do. Here's a list of the questions that I currently don't have the answers for. If you have an answer, please send it in! I'll post the answers here on this page. Likewise, if you have a question send it in. If I don't know the answer I'll post the question here and we'll see if anyone else knows the answer. Thanks!!

Go to the "Send Tamara E-Mail" section to find out how to send me e-mail.

The Questions:

  1. I lived in Kanab Utah as a boy and remember seeing James Arness walking around town when shooting was going on..the public was not allowed at the nearby Johnsons Creek set and last March I drove out to it and found it was (at the time ) closed but repairs were being made with hopes of re-opening it....can you tell me anything about the set ..as far as what parts of the series were actually shot there and where the cast stayed while shooting or similar information?

    This answer comes to us from Ann Stover:

    That movie set is now open to the public and tours are available. The last time I was there they were in the process of restoring it and were also trying to get movie companies interested in using it again. It was used in a few "Gunsmoke" episodes. The one I remember best was an episode guest starring Buddy Ebsen and Ben Johnson. I believe it was entitled "Drago". The set was also used when James Arness was filming "How The West Was Won".

    The hotel where the cast and crew stayed in Kanab is a large white hotel in the center of town (can't remember the name) but they have pictures in the restaurant of every star who worked in the area including James Arness. Their hotel rooms are also named after the actors who stayed in them. For example there is a John Wayne room.

    The people who own the Johnson Canyon set will tell you that the set was used as Dodge City but I've seen nearly every episode of Gunsmoke and don't believe the Johnson Canyon set was used for that purpose. The buildings don't match and are in the wrong location. I think it was only used as other locations.

    Thanks, Ann!

    Here is some more info about that hotel in Kanab (this comes from Randi Golub):

    The hotel that Ann Stover mentioned was (I am almost certain) called the Parry Lodge. It fits the description perfectly of the place that we will be staying when vacationing in Kanab next month. Thought you might be interested in knowing this!

    You can visit the Johnson Canyon set online at http://www.so-utah.com/gunsmoke/

  2. Several Monthes ago I got some e-mails from a couple of people who said that they remembered an opening scene used on Gunsmoke during the first season. Since I wasn't alive then, I can't confirm their memories. Can you? Read the following descriptions and let me know if you remember anything like this as a beginning to Gunsmoke. Do these beginnings belong with another show? If you think so, let me know that, too. For more information on what I do know about the Gunsmoke opening scene, visit my Tidbits page.

    Version One:
    It featured a close-up of a Colt Single-Action Army (the Peacemaker) being fired six times at different angles. The last shot, of course, was with the muzzle pointed directly at the camera. There was no shooter - the firearm appeared suspended in air.

    Version Two:
    The original opening scene would show a rear view of a holster belt with cartridges in the loops and a gun in the holster on a man standing at a bar in a saloon. The man would turn and draw the gun and aim in the direction of the camera firing the gun showing gunsmoke when fired. The next immediate scenes were of sixguns being fired at various angles to show more gunsmoke when fired.

    Please let me know if you can help figure out this mystery.



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