Thursday, March 22, 2012

Knott's, January 1960

It's time for some more vintage Knott's Berry Farm photos!

A happy family poses in front of the beautiful steam locomotive while two grown men admire the machine just like they probably did when they were boys. As always, I love the stands of eucalyptus trees! And I love the quality of the light as the sun was about to set.

There are signs of life at the Wagon Camp, for a change! Folks are starting to gather, and there is an impressive campfire already blazing. I assume that the dude in the cowboy hat and the gal next to him are Knott's employees; maybe even performers. If these pictures were really taken in January, it's going to get cold when the sun is gone!

I decided to include this picture even though it was very dark; lightening it up made it grainy, but what can ya do. More people are gathering for the upcoming show, you can see (sort of) some people in the nearest Conestoga wagon already.

I love this twilight photo of the Stage Coach near the Church of Reflections! On the post (right in the middle of the picture) there is a loudspeaker, and a sign telling us that "Happy" will be performing. Who, or what, is "Happy"?


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, it appears there is possibly a second sign mentioning "Happy." It's along the railing, written in a yellow circle on a small box of some sort. Or is it across the way on the grass? Now I want to know who "Happy" was! Could it have been the organ grinder and/or his monkey?

Allen P said...

"Happy" was a guy who put on a show with whips.

Andrew said...

I found an anonymous comment from another blog (Orange County Memories) regarding "Happy." I copied that text below. Sadly, there was no picture to go with it.

Anonymous said...
What a great thread. I remember the man that was great with his whip exhibition. The attraction was "Happy and his whips". I was a teenager then and asked him about how he started in show business. He said that he rode broncs with the Buffalo Bill Cody show in the early 20's and that is where he learned how to use the whip. He was over 70 years old in the 1960's so he was probably telling the honest truth. Wow! To think I actually met someone that worked with Buffalo Bill!!

Major Pepperidge said...

TM!, I tried to zoom in on the yellow "Happy" sign, but it was too blurry to read.

Thanks to Allen P for answering the mystery to who "Happy" was!

Andrew, thank you for the additional info. The yellow sign *does" say "Happy and his.... (something)", I thought maybe it said "Band". I would have never guessed "whips"!

Anonymous said...

Check out the table just right of the yellow sign. It's LOADED with whips.

Connie Moreno said...

Dang it, Major, that was a mighty cool post!

Nancy said...

Very cool, indeed.

I don't recall seeing some of these things before, and of course, it never ceases to amaze me that the train is right THERE in the middle of the street

I love the authenticity of everything they did at Knott's. Such a nice place it must have been then. Is the wagon camp still there?

Chiana_Chat said...

"If these pictures were really taken in January, it's going to get cold when the sun is gone!"

Strangely I don't recall feeling too cold there when I was there after sundown; maybe the trees and all kept the wind down. Which is after all why the Eucalyptus was planted around the farms down there to begin with.

"I would have never guessed "whips"!"

Wow me neither! Very cool bit of info about Knotts' character-filled past.

That in addition to pics of vintage Knotts, which I love looking at. Some of that last shot, the horse and the Church, looks like an even more vintage scene. The wagon camp looks great, complete with two peeps warming their posteriors by the fire. And the Big Iron #40 is being rightly admired.

JG said...

I have never understood the recent hate for eucalyptus. Authorities are cutting them down all over the bay area.

I love them, as much a part of CA now as Australia.

Great pics.


Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I love eucalyptus trees too! I think that there are a variety of reasons for their removal. and one major reason is a parasite that is killing many of them (some kind of psyllid). Also they tend to be "widow makers", i.e., they can drop very large branches without warning.