Friday, January 04, 2008

Freedomland Friday!

You know how, years ago, those immigrants arrived at Ellis Island yearning to breathe free? Well, they could breathe plenty free a few miles away, over in Queens at fabulous Freedomland! At least they could between 1960 and 1964. Breathe, damn you!

Whoa, there's a giant fur trapper, sort of a Paul Bunyan type, looking menacing with his bloody axe. It's not really bloody, but wouldn't it have been cooler? It's a shame that he wasn't sculpted in 3-d, but given his extremely odd proportions (child-bearing hips, or something) maybe we should be grateful that he's a mere plywood cutout. Try to avoid his surly gaze (the eyes....they follow you) as you head to the loading area for the Northwest Fur Trapper's ride...a popular one, by the looks of things. This was Freedomland's answer to the Jungle Cruise at a certain competing park (I forget which one).


Here's another angle, with plenty of happy 1960 families scurrying about. That rocky peak in the background was part of the pack mule ride. That's right, Freedomland, like that other park, had an attraction in which you got to ride a tender, juicy mule. And wouldn't you rather look at an area of decorative pea-gravel instead of unsightly manicured grass? Freedomland truly had it all.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Freedomland was in the Bronx, not Queens.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

I hear that "other park" has that unsightly manicured grass all over the place, bah, give me that fine pea-gravel, that's class! Hey that lady is about to walk on it!

I'm gonna have nightmares about Mr. Surly Gaze!

Neat shots, THANKS!

Major Pepperidge said...

My mistake, anonymous....I knew that Freedomland was in the Bronx, but for some reason confused it with the location of the World's Fair. You have no idea how often I hit the "publish" button and think, "Gee, I really should check on that particular bit of info....". But instead I just go to bed because it's late!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

What Major said is sooooo true. I've pushed that "publish" button then thought "hmmm, maybe I should spell check or proof it again" But like Major, instead I just go to bed because its so late I could find errors anyway! THANKS MAJOR!

Chris Merritt said...

Thanks for the great shots Dave! I wish I could have ridden the Northwest Fur Trappers ride...

Smee said...

I took a look using Google Earth at where I believe Freedomland WAS. I don't see any remnants, they must have razed it the ground. If you want to take a look, see Bronx NY, between Co Op City Blvd, and Baychester Ave. Turn so Baychester is North, apparently Baychester was the Canadian border, the water was south.

Matterhorn1959 said...

Smee- the site is Co-op City. Google Freedomland for the history of the park. In fact, I believe they still have the same gravel with the bare tree in the area.

Chris said...

Is that Paul Bunyan-looking character supposed to be Venture Smith?

Mike v. said...

The area of Freedomland is now the shopping center that is in Co-op City. It was not on the area, except maybe a very small section, where the apartment buildings now stand. I was last at the site in November 2007. Grew up about a 15 minute walk from it. A small patch remains undeveloped at the angle where the Hutch Parkway crosses with the New England Thruway. Went through it to see if anything still remain, but just found it overgrown and strewn with construction debris.