Sunday, January 01, 2012

Frontierland, April 29 1956

HAPPY NEW YEAR, and welcome to the year 2012! It feels weird to say it now, but I guess we'll get used to it soon enough.

Today I have some nice images from Frontierland, from that 4/29/1956 lot that I have been nursing and dragging out for weeks. Let's start with this great view along the river front, as some very dapper guests head toward the Golden Horseshoe Revue and the Mark Twain. If you look carefully to the right you can see the book-shaped sign that gave guests a preview of what they would see from the decks of the Twain. Also, notice the person on the balcony of the Golden Horseshoe.

Here's another nice photo! Guests are waiting in an area for... what? Was this where you caught the Keel Boats? Or the rafts to Tom Sawyer Island? I'm just not sure. The Chicken Plantation is in the distance, and a top-heavy Keel Boat chugs along.

Here is an interesting detail (one that I think I've seen before, but I'll be darned if I can remember where): this Keelboat is not the Bertha Mae or the Gullywhumper, but instead is the "Gully Pitts". I can only assume that this was one of the craft from "Davy Crockett and the River Pirates", which were used early on, until they could be replaced with larger versions. Which is pretty cool!


dfan07 said...

That looks like the Mark Twain dock to me.

Chiana_Chat said...

Health and happiness to all the "Gorillas gang" and their loved ones in the coming year!

Yep think that's the Twain dock..

That is cool, one of the original keel boats. I seem to recall the movie keelboats as rather larger though? Neat shot of the Cheeken Plantation, water tower of the original Frontierland station and freshly planted berm. :)

TokyoMagic! said...

Neato Keel Boat detail!

bloefeld said...

Happy New Year Major! Thanks for all the fantastic posts in 2011. Hope you and all the Gorilla fans have a wonderful 2012. Great shots of the keelboats. One more attraction I dearly miss.

Anonymous said...

Major, just want you to know how much your efforts to share the Disney/Knotts/Santa/Vegas park memories are appreciated. I only found your site recently, but it's on my "first view" list every morning now, and hope there continue to be troves of images and stories coming your way in 2012.

Thanks again!!


Irene said...

Frontierland is one of my favorite places and I love this first shot. Looking at the grassy area on the right, if it was like that now days people would be walking all over it! Love how the boys in the family are also dressed in suits! That stroller on the left is similar to one my mother pushed me around in in the late 40's.
Regarding the second photo - that is one of the best I've seen for the view of the front of the Chicken Plantation! That was my mother's favorite place to eat.
Great photos for the New Year. Have a great one and thanks for finding and posting all these wonderful photos for us to enjoy and for some of us to re-live the past :)

Orange Co Native said...


That second of photo is from the dock of the Mark Twain.

Plantation House in the background. Look at all the bare dirt on the berm. Behind and to the right of the Plantation House is now New Orleans Square. The Haunted Mansion behind the water wheel house.

Nearly fifty five years later. The little girl in the stroller/cart on the left in the 1st pic would be getting close to 60 years of age. The family dressed up walking away. How did everything turn out for them for the next 55 years?

The number of generations that have walked through Disneyland. Things change at Disneyland, but some things remain the same which is nice.

Katella Gate said...

I've often wondered why those "story book signs" didn't last so long... labor intensive and fragile? redundant?

Also, about the "Gully Pitts", that's a bout the size of a standard life boat from the period. I wonder if Disney snagged a few war surplus from Todd Shipyard and dressed them up as keel boats for the show, rather than go through the trouble of building a boat from the ground up.

Nancy said...

happy new year! i for one am looking forward to another great year of photos ;-)

cool to see a pic of the Plantation, is one of the places that seem to have not so many photos as others.

Major Pepperidge said...

Hmm, I guess what fooled me about the Mark Twain dock image is that I think of it as being covered by that familiar structure we have seen in so many photos. But I guess there is an area beyond that structure that is just as it appears in picture #2!

Chiana and TM!, I have never seen the "River Pirates" episode (maybe I'll look on YouTube), but I wish I knew the history of the Gully Pitts.

Bill, thank you very much, I'm glad you are checking in every day!

Irene, I'm sure that grassy area is gone precisely because people did walk all over it! And like you, I always enjoy seeing the nicely-dressed folks from the 50's.

OC Native, I do sometimes wonder about the lives of the people we see in these vintage photos - particularly children. You know that many went on to nice lives, others went to war, and all of the random things that happen to everyone every day happened to these people too.

Katella, it was probably a combination of things that led to those storybook signs being removed. For one, they are large, and when the park was crowded they were obstacles. Also, once the concept of what Disneyland was became familiar to most visitors, they probably were redundant, as you suggest. And your idea about the Keel Boats is an interesting one...

Nancy, there are lots of distant photos of the Plantation House, not many nice closeups! I may only have one or two of those.

Happy New Year to all of you, hope you are enjoying the first few hours of 2012!

Time Spectator said...

A Happy new years to Major Pepperidge and all the flock he has amassed!

SundayNight said...

That picture of the Plantation House is so interesting, especially since you can see the dirt berm behind it.
That family the fist pic look like they just came from Sunday School! What’s that guy at the left doing with a short sleeve shirt on? Ah, sir, this is Disneyland...don’t you have any respect?
Happy new year to Major and all the wonderful people who enhance this site with their comments, information and humor! Hope 2012 is a happy one.

Connie Moreno said...

Well, I'm a little late to the party so everyone already said what I wanted to say so...

What everybody said times six!

Security word is heboox. Don't know what it means but by the sound of it, that describes you perfectly, Major! LOL

David said...

Happy New Year to you, Major.

I love the first picture, the boys in their Sunday best going to Disneyland. Man, how times and dress have changed.

And I like how the boys are hanging back of Mom, Dad and Sister. And you know the one on the left is saying to himself "We's cool. We's cool."

That carriage the girl is being pushed in on the lower left looks like the most uncomfortable thing I've ever seen!

Major Pepperidge said...

Thank you, Time Spectator!

SundayNight, April 29th was a Sunday, so the family probably DID just come from church. The guy with the short-sleeved shirt is a blasphemer and will burn in hell, don't you worry! Thanks for your new year's wishes!

Connie, "heboox" is now my official favorite new word. All I have to do is come up with a definition!

David, I like how the mom and dad are holding hands. Awwww! And you're right, it would be hard to get comfortable in that stroller.

HBG2 said...

"heboox" = literature with a lot of guns, car wrecks, and topless women in it. You know, Mickey Spillane, and that sort of thing.

Major Pepperidge said...

HBG2, that's as good a definition as anything!

Anonymous said...

I suspect the name of the keelboat was not the "Gully Pitts" but the "Gullywhumper" from "Pittsburgh." Both names were probably continued on the other side of the rudder.

Bill Cotter said...

Yes, as the anonymous post said, this was indeed the "Gullywhumper". After the movie the boat stayed in service at Disneyland for years. One of the original boats later turned up in a horrendous paint job as a land-bound prop on "The New Mickey Mouse Club." I remember it sitting around the studio for awhile after that show ended but then one day it was just gone.

JG said...

Happy Belated New Year everyone, glad to be part of the group.

Thank you Major for the pic's.

I found my picture of Dad and me in front of the Gullywhumper. The old keel boats really weren't that great. Inside, you couldn't see out, and outside, you couldn't paddle.