Friday, November 11, 2011

Freedomland, September 1961

Who's ready for some Freedomland? Well too bad, because that's what you're getting!

Here's a great photo of one of the stage coaches from the "Fort Cavalry Stage Line" (sponsored by American Express). It kind of feels like it is departing from a parking lot, doesn't it? I love the shack with the sod roof in the background. The guidebook description sez: The Fort Cavalry Stage Line takes you over the route of the Lewis and Clark expedition, through FREEDOMLAND's Rocky Mountains, in a real Old West stage coach. You'll pass the FREEDOMLAND buffalo herd, some of the last of the bison that used to cover the prairie. But better keep a sharp lookout - Western bad men will try to hold up the stage, there's no telling where.

There's the station for the Overland Stage. To our right, the Tandy Leather Company attracted patrons by hanging the corpses of coyotes (or whatever they are!) out front. I tried that technique at my ice cream parlor, and you've never seen such business!

In the San Francisco area, you'd find this strange "Chinatown". Visit the colorful Oriental Bazaar, and dine on oriental delicacies at the Chinese restaurant. This is Chinatown as it really was - before San Francisco tumbled down and put itself back together again. If they say so!

Stay tuned for more Freedomland (whenever I get around to it)!


Chiana_Chat said...

The Chinatown is as authentic in arcitecture as Chun King is to cuisine. Hey I see a Rick Shaw. And the old fellow there wanting a ride on it and wondering where his coolie went. Probably busy in the Chun King kitchen by the looks of things.

The stage coach driver does not smile for the camera. Because this is not Disneyland. They have their own slogan. Anything Disneyland can do, they can do. Yes, they are The Sternest Place on Earth. That'll work.

Chuck said...

Few people remember that San Francisco was originally built on an asphalt prairie on the southwest side of the Bay. The great earthquake of 1906 caused significant topological upheaval in the area, and...oh, I just can't do this this morning.

These pictures really highlight the lesser-quality theming and lower level of detail that went into Freedomland, USA. That doesn't mean the park wasn't fun for those who visited - both "San Francisco Earthquake" and "Buccaneers" (after its inspired rechristening as "The Pirate Ride") are cherished memories after their relocation to Cedar Point - but it's obvious that the same "magic" that pervaded Disneyland in the form of detailing, quality of workmanship, and pure showmanship just wasn't one of the concepts CV Wood brought with him from Anaheim. For crying out loud - the guy had herbivorous swans!

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, I like your Chinatown/Chun King comparison! Mmmm, chow mein, now I'm hungry. Rick Shaw sounds like an "FM rock" DJ. "Rick Shaw comin' atcha at 8:45 in the AM....". As for the stage coach drivers, they never smile in Disneyland photos either! Their job was dangerous and grueling.

Chuck, ha ha! I was getting all geared up for one of your "Chuckisms"! I'm sure Freedomland WAS a lot of fun, and personally would have loved to have visited it. How about that Tornado attraction, or the "Northwest Trappers" or the "Civil War" attraction. I do like to poke fun at the lack of detail evident in many cases, but that is nit-picking. It still had a lot to offer, and I'm sorry it only lasted 4 short years.

Anonymous said...

Wow, that Chinatown is awful. Better stick to "Old West", that way, the lack of maintenance becomes a virtue...

YA Chiana, Chun King is much like SPAM (Something Posing As Meat), it resembles food without really being food.

Thanks for these, Major, they serve as a point of comparison, don't they?


Nancy said...

it looks like it was a really nice little place to visit, even if it wasnt the Disneyland of the East!

Chiana_Chat said...

@ Maj - Rick Shaw sounds like an "FM rock" DJ. "Rick Shaw comin' atcha at 8:45 in the AM...."" - LOL!

@ JG - What's worse is after hearing the mention of it, I have a sudden urge for SPAM. Fried. But um. Not Chun King.

@ Nancy - you're right. Think we'd have enjoyed ourselves anyway, especially if in good company. :)