Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Frontierland Views, 1956

Frontierland Fun today....

Here's a bright, sunny look at the entrance to Frontierland as seen from the hub. There's that little wire fencing around the plants, nobody could possibly step over that. Walt's faith in people went a but too far, unfortunately. The trees don't have the lush, full appearance that we are accustomed to. Also, the sign that is towards the left was probably only there for the first year or two. If you look carefully, you can see the "open book" sign for Frontierland, near the Trading Post.

At first I thought that perhaps a Knott's Berry Farm photo had snuck into this lot. But it is certainly Disneyland, since the sign in the upper left tells us that one of the mules was named "Lilly Belle"! I'm sure Walt's wife was thrilled. Lilly (the mule, not the woman) was foaled on May 21, 1955, weighed 20 pounds, and was 19 inches high. Just like me!


thepicklebarrel said...

nice ass!

Chuck said...

Re-opening the discussion from last week about the "emergency gate" off to the right hand of the Frontierland entrance (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v470/bananaphone5000/GORILLA3/56-dmg_FortDoor.jpg), it does not appear that there was (as theorized) a rock suspended on the Hub side of the gate.

That would mean that for the gate to close on its own in an emergency, the all-log end of the gate towards the Hub would have to be heavier than the other end, even with the rock in place on the Frontierland side. Since there are clearly chains preventing the gate from closing, what purpose did the rock serve? Did it provide a counterweight to keep the gate open and the chains were only there for safety? Was it intended as a one-shot catapault?

Anybody out there know what the Imagineers' intent was on this one?

The Viewliner Limited said...

Very cool Frontierland entrance pic. From a different perspective. NICE!

Connie Moreno said...

WOW! I am floored by how different everything looks!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

You seem to know a lot about that mule!

Great entrance shot, look at the street, just one year and its a mess already! We could use a little theming on that trash can :-)

Major Pepperidge said...

PerkyPickle, ha ha!

Chuck, I'm telling you, it's a mystery that will never be solved.

Tim, the sign tells us all that info about the mule. It's hard to read in the jpeg, but in the original scan it's more legible.

I wonder why the street looks so worn. And yeah, some of those early trash cans were not themed at all. They didn't get hip to the jive until later!

SundayNight said...

That is an outstanding picture of early Frontierland.

Nancy said...

definitely looks like the "Old" West, doesnt it? lovin it all the same!

would the buildings to the right behind those trees near the flag be the back side of the town of Rainbow Ridge?

Anonymous said...


I have no insight into the minds of the designers of that gate, but I remember asking my Dad about that design years and years ago.

We concluded that the boulder was just a counterweight to offset the weight of the pole gate itself, to make it easier to move by one person, not to provide some kind of "quick release" or emergency closing.

Designs of that type were more common in the days before electricity, hydraulics etc. Road gates, crossing arms, etc. all had counterweights to ease manual operation.

Did that gate really operate? Or was it fixed in place? I know the SB Castle Portcullis actually operated once, tho I never saw it do so, nor know if it does so now.


Dean Finder said...

Late to the comment thread (came here from the 11th anniversary post).
I suspect the idea behind the boulder on the emergency gate is that when the gate falls closed, the boulder would drop right in front of it to prevent anyone from lifting it open.

Though I can't figure out how the gate on the hub side would be heavy enogh to make it all work.