If your travels send you anywhere near Ticonderoga, N.Y., this holiday season and you're a diehard Star Trek faithful, make sure you make the pilgrimage to the Star Trek: The Original Series Set Tour, located inside an old, 13,000-square-foot, converted grocery store.
Elvis impersonator and avid Star Trek enthusiast James Cawley has faithfully re-created the original Enterprise sets for the seminal sci-fi series from an authentic set of blueprints left to him by the estate of the actual series' costume designer, William Ware Theiss. Cawley has been building sections of the Enterprise in his grandfather's workshop for nearly 20 years and even starred as Captain Kirk in Star Trek New Voyages, a 2003 fan-created web-series with Walter Koenig and George Takei that was halted due to copyright infringements.
Now, with an officially-licensed designation via CBS and full permission to display his retro sets for the past three years, Cawley commands weekly one-hour tours of the bridge, decks and hallways of the classic starship, effectively trying to give it a '60s flair from back in the day when Star Trek was filmed at the Desilu Studios in Hollywood. The out-of-this-world attraction is located at 112 Montcalm St. and is open every weekend until Christmas.
Cawley's upbringing was heavily influenced by Star Trek, and he happily shares his youthful optimism derived from absorbing the inspirational seasons of Roddenberry's weekly "Wagon Train to the Stars."
“I got older and I realized this is teaching me not to hate people because they’re strange,” Cawley said. “It says, ‘we’re gonna get through all this nonsense, it’s gonna be a better tomorrow. As kids, we used to run around the neighborhood with phasers. We still play Star Trek, but our toys are better.”
Have a look at Cawley's nostalgic toys in the gallery below and tell us if he's captured the true essence of the Enterprise.