Friday, June 24, 2011

Freedomland, July 1962 - Part Three

Here is the final installment of photos from New York's Freedomland, circa 1962.

This park's aerial tramway was known as the Tucson Mining Company Ore Buckets; by 1962 they had been painted in cheerful "Lifesaver" colors, but they were originally a rusty red. (See another old image here).

Gliding on the ridge of that hill is Danny the Dragon, a trackless sort of train ride (I've been told that the vehicle followed some sort of magnetic cable that was underground, but don't really know). It looks great! There is still a working Danny the Dragon ride at Happy Hollow in San Jose (only that dragon is green)... I was lucky enough to experience it when my niece and nephew were tiny tots.

This is not the most exciting picture, but I find it interesting anyway! Look at that crude landscaping; nothing like you would have seen at Disneyland by 1962. Perhaps the harsh New York winters kept the trees and other plants from flourishing. I wonder what that kid is doing... fishing? He's holding a line that appears to be dangling in a small pond. Any guesses?

This one is for the ladies!

We'll see more of these hunks in a few future posts... but not at Freedomland.


Graffer said...

I think Porky is excitedly trying his luck on the 'Fishing for Pie' attraction.

Chuck said...

The lack of landscaping is something that has always stood out to me in photos of Freedomland. I'd always assumed that it had to do with the less-extensive, less-expensive level of theming like you would have seen at a "second tier" park like Freedomland, Great America, or one of the original Six Flags before the integrated theme park concept was superseded by the need to fill every single available square foot with thrill rides. Now that I think about it, though, places like King's Island and Busch Gardens Tampa & Williamsburg had pretty extensive plantings and gardens on opening day. Of course, those parks weren't built on barren landfills, either.

Maybe the harsher winters did have something to do with why the landscaping didn't seem to thrive. The rocks certainly don't seem to have grown since the park's 1960 opening.

Matterhorn1959 said...

I think they were trying to achieve desert and they did quite well. Actually I think the fact that Freedomland kind of ran out of money and also paid an exorbitant price for construction (graft was quite common in New York for the Teamsters and Unions) led to a skimping on landscape.

Now I have another want list item as the popcorn box that Brian is holding is fantastic.

Nancy said...

these are so nice. i myself like the simplicity of it. the Skyway, of course, is PRIMO! thanks for another great visit to Freedomland :D

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Great pics, I spotted that awesome popcorn box too along with that cool hat!

cliffclaven said...

If memory serves, there was a Danny the Dragon as a prop in the Cave Train at the Santa Cruz Beach and Boardwalk. That's the peculiar dark ride where an old-fashioned mine train chugs through comic stone-age scenes.

jedblau said...

The Freedomland Danny the Dragon went to Great Escape in Lake George, NY. I don't know if it's still there, but I sat in it for a photo back in the mid-90's. It is now green. I should find those photos and post them.....

JG said...

These guys are caught forever in an unfortunate pose, looking like Harry Potter's cousins. Could a Father be prouder?

Oh well, without folks like us, the phrase "radio face" would have no meaning. I know whereof I speak since today I look a lot like the kid on the left.

Bless 'em. I hope they had a good day and a good life.

Thanks Major.