Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Three From Knott's, 1955

We've seen plenty of photos of Knott's Berry Farm's two vintage locomotives. But there is another oddball locomotive there as well: the Galloping Goose! It appears to be hitched to one of the antique engines, and I am wondering if it was brand-new to the park and not yet able to move under its own power?

Here's what I wrote about it a long time ago: The Galloping Goose is one of "...a series of seven railcars built in the 1930s by the Rio Grande Southern Railroad (RGS) and operated until the end of service on the line in the early 1950s." According to Wikipedia, "the geese were painted in black and dark green. In 1935 they were all painted in a silver scheme which they retain to this day." Only the very first galloping goose no longer survives, many of the others are still operational. The Knott's version (their is #3) apparently is still used on occasion, typically during the off season when attendance is low.

The famous cable cars of San Francisco are such an icon that it is hard to believe that at one point they had fallen into decline and the city was in the process of replacing them with buses, and in some cases, streetcars. Fortunately, Walter Knott acquired a couple of the vintage cable cars; at least one of them actually operated, and another one sat stationary for folks to sit in and rest their feet.

OK, who can tell me if the grist mill is still at Knott's? I'd like a bag of corn meal please. I'm gonna make a big batch of hush puppies (fried in bacon fat). Or maybe some johnny cakes (fried in bacon fat). Or some fritters (you know the drill). Sometimes I just like to eat corn meal right out of the bag! Mmmm, gritty!


UPDATE! TokyoMagic! kindly sent this photo of the former Grist Mill - now the Glass Blower's shop. It's interesting that there are still grindstones on display out front. If you look at the details you can see that it really is the same old building. Thanks, TokyoMagic! Be sure to check out his Meet the World blog, why don'tcha.


Chiana_Chat said...

I adore those cable cars and would love to see them cabling around Knotts. If one were around here I'd actually use it whenever possible, and this comes from someone who is big on private car ownership (but not pro-mega auto corp). It'd be a good plug for "more sustainable alternative public transit," so maybe you can get tie-ins or something, Cedar Fair!

That's a neat grist mill but I don't know if it's knotts or knott. Looks like it! Mm bacon fat... ssssssss *POP* ow! It hurts having too vivid an imagination.

Those are some seriously antique wheels on the Galloping Goose (rear most). The people at Knotts were and are amazing at restoring and maintaining their great gems of the rails.

TokyoMagic! said...

The Grist Mill at Knott's is still standing. It's now the Glass Blower shop, but the large grinding stone is still located inside. The employees in the Glass Blower shop told me that once upon a time, guests could buy bags of freshly ground flour at the Grist Mill. I'll send you a current pic, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, I wish the cable cars were still there. I don't know when they were removed, but I don't recall seeing them when I was a kid. And I'll bet that the humble workmen who worked for Walter Knott back in those days could make a part if they couldn't find a replacement. Those guys had skills back then!

TM!, thanks for the info and the photo!

Mike said...

One of those cable cars is located at the Orange Empire Railway Museum. It's still in pretty decent shape. When I visited it was on display out there and not operating.

Anonymous said...

Miss those cable cars. Used to sit at the Cable Car Kitchen as they made the turn around. Happy to see that 5 of them are back in San Francisco.

Allen P said...

Knott's originally bought six Cable Cars from San Francisco. They made their Knott's debut on Easter Sunday in 1955 and were donated back to San Francisco in October/November 1980. You can see the "Berry Vine" article from 1980 about the last of the Cable Cars being readied to go back to San Francisco at my blog.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike, thank you for the info about the Orange Empire Railway Museum. Is that the one that has Ward Kimball's stuff as well?

Anon, and Allen P, I am definitely going to read all about the cable cars that were donated back to San Francisco!! Very cool. You probably answer this in your blog, but are they up and running again?

Chuck said...

Major - yes, Orange Empire has Ward's stuff.

I remember bugging my parents to buy a bag of cornmeal at Knott's back in the mid-70's, but to no avail. I did the same thing at Cedar Point (Cedar fair's "flagship" park). They finally broke down and bought a bag at a mill in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, then promptly forgot about it and left it in the motor home to be consumed by mealworms. I still don't know what real cornbread tastes like. Jiffy, yes, but not the good stuff.