Thursday, July 30, 2009

Neverland Ranch Souvenir Building

Since Michael Jackson’s tragic death, his Neverland Ranch is getting renewed attention. I remembered that Boym Partners produced souvenir buildings of MJ’s ranch. The bonded nickel piece was designed in 1998 and still for sale at $110 on their website. The real Neverland Valley Ranch (formerly the Sycamore Valley Ranch) is a developed property in Santa Barbara County, California, most famous for being a home of Entertainer Michael Jackson from 1988 to 2005. It is named after Neverland, the fantasy island in the story of Peter Pan, a boy who never grows up. Jackson purchased the property in 1988 for a sum variously reported to be from $16.5 to $30 million. It was Jackson's home and private amusement park and contained, among other things, a floral clock, numerous statues of children and a zoo. The amusement park included two railroads, a ferris wheel, carousel, super slide, roller coaster, bumper cars and other rides. During his residency there, Jackson brought groups of children and their families to the ranch as day visitors. He also hosted various children overnight, a practice which came under scrutiny when Jackson was accused of sexual misconduct with minors at the ranch, first in 1993 and again in 2003. Jackson said in 2005 that he would not return to the property, saying he no longer considered the ranch a home, feeling the 70 police officers had "violated" it in their searches. In 2006 the ranch was closed and most of the staff dismissed. I wonder what will now become of the Neverland Ranch since Jackson’s passing? I predict it will become a tourist attraction similar to Elvis’ Granceland.

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