The Shady Dell Trailer Park (part one)

Submitted by Michael Ely July 19th, 2010
Certifikitsch WinnerClassique d Camembert
My partner, Spider, just had his 59th birthday so we decided to celebrate with a group of friends down in Bisbee. Bisbee is an old Victorian mining town, about a two hour drive South of Tucson, about five fives from the Mexican boarder. We stayed at the Shady Dell trailer park resort. All the Shady Dell trailers are restored vintage aluminum travel trailers from the 1950’s, and all of the trailers are decorated inside with vintage d√©cor. Can’t begin to tell you what a great time we all had, and the trailers are a hoot! My partner and I stayed in the Spartan Royal Mansion, Cindy stayed in the Airstream, Eva and Jeff stayed in the Airfloat and Terry and Rex stayed aboard the Rita D. Yacht. Forgive me for sharing so many photos (in two parts), but I want to try to give you a feel for this very fun, campy place. btw, that’s me in the black hat and my partner is in the green Gumby shirt.

8 Responses to “The Shady Dell Trailer Park (part one)”

  1. Allee Willis

    Nice to see you! I’m plotzing this is so fantastic. And thanks so much for the excellent documentation!

    I’m very familiar with the very first trailer as I inherited a very similar one that was gutted for a set I built for Cyndi Lauper who played Mother Goose in a Shelley Duval HBO special in the late 80s or early 90s called Mother Goose Rock ‘N Rhyme. It made me ill that I didn’t have a place to keep it afterwards as all through the shoot I had visions of it sitting in my driveway and becoming my new office. You can see a lot of it if you go to and click on Mother Goose Rock ‘N Rhyme.

    The little picket fence and archway kill me in front of the first trailer kill me.

    The radio in the third shot is exceptional.

    I love that they worked the bar into the interior. Really nice record player too.

    Has the TV been adapted for digital or are they running videos or DVDs through it?

    I really dig the bathroom counter and how the curved walls are taken advantage of. Nice paint job too.

    I have the chenille bedspread.

    The light blue trailer is my favorite. Really nice red orange accents.

    The old radio-look interior door on the last trailer is fantastic. And really unusual to see a porthole with the square windows.

    • Michael Ely

      First of all, thank you so much for the Classique d’ Camembert award! I am honored.

      The whole time I was at the Shady Dell, I thought of you, Allee. Everywhere I looked, I saw something of interest, some piece of Americana kitsch. It was wonderful. The only downside is that I’m 6’2″ and I must have hit my poor head a dozen times entering and exiting the trailers. In fact, I got up in the middle of the night and hit the bathroom doorframe so hard that I fell backwards against the opposite wall!

      To answer your question – The black and white TV in our trailer was hooked to a DVD player (only) with a selection of 1950’s movies to watch. We watched “It Came From Outer Space” before we went to bed (the movie is about a spaceship from another world that crashes in the Arizona desert, so it seemed appropriate). Also, all the radios in all of the trailers were wired into the same station which played nothing but 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll without commercials.

      Gotta love that Little Bo Peep trailer! What a great set design! I too would love to have a vintage trailer. I would park it in my backyard and use it as a guest room.

  2. MyFunCloset

    Zouwee, the 50’s never looked this great! I could call out a dozen things that will stay in my mind for a long, long time. The blue radio is incredible. A lot of TLC went into this little paradise.

  3. k2dtw

    WOW….This is so wonderful…
    Their sign from the “Greetings From” postcard topped off by the neon clock is perfect… (I love Greetings From postcards)…
    Can’t wait to see…Part 2…

  4. Mark Milligan

    So cool. I’m just thinking about how much work went into getting the place to where it is.
    How much is it to stay there?
    I have a lot of questions but I’ll wait until the next rounds of pics.

  5. windupkitty

    i can’t even breathe!!!!!!!! just knowing this place exists is like a hug from the universe…holy cow….wow……