Thursday, February 14, 2008

Tom Sawyer Island Bridges, August 1958

The designers of Tom Sawyer Island knew that a rickety bridge or two would add a whole lot of fun and visual interest to this land within a land.

Here's the suspension bridge, see how popular it is? Adults are obviously enjoying the experience as much as the kids. I can almost feel the swaying, the vibration of dozens of other footsteps, and the sound of laughter. Look at the hillside beneath the bridge...are those some kind of rustic steps for gardeners and other maintanance people to use?

Early photos of this floating barrel bridge amaze me, mostly because there is nothing to prevent people from falling through those wide-open sides. It HAD to have happened, seriously. Kids being kids (and adults being just as clumsy)...

Apparently mom decided she would be happier on solid ground, so she took one picture through the foliage. Notice how wet the wooden planks of the bridge are...I've seen more than a few kids jumping up and down on the bridge trying to make as much splashing as possible.


Anonymous said...

Awesome shots of the pontoon bridge, especially the third photo! Not only is there no center rope, but check the boards: no friction tape, just wet, slippery wood. Glorious!

Did kids get hurt? You betcha. In '58 we lived in Apple Valley, and made three trips to DL that year. The second trip was the week before school started, not long after these shots were taken. Climbing in the fort, I tripped and skinned my elbow bloody. It was still bandaged when school started. When my fellow 5th-graders heard where the wound happened, it was like I'd gotten an autograph from Walt himself -- "Wow, you got that at Disneyland?"

I picked the scab clear to Halloween to keep the glory going.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

These make the barrel bridge look fun and challenging. The though that you could easily fall in the water must have helped with the adrenaline rush! Now the darn thing looks like “Fisher-Price” made it!

Mr. Wiggins, thanks for sharing your experience. I think Walt would have been pleased at how you became a celebrity by having fun on the island!

Major Pepperidge said...

When Mr. Wiggins leaves a comment, he really leaves a comment! I mean that in the best possible way, of course... it is always fun to hear personal recollections of Disneyland - - my earliest memories are probably from around 1970, so the park was around for 15 years with lots of cool history and changes that I never saw.

Thanks for your comments too, v.d.t!

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that not only did the early pontoon bridge lack more than one rope on each side, but it was a much wilder ride than today's lawyer-friendly version--closer to the water and much bouncier.

Or maybe it just seemed that way because I was littler than I am now!