Monday, May 21, 2012

More From the Ghost Town, January 1960

Knott's Berry Farm, circa 1960... man, I want a time machine so that I can visit Knott's during that era. The Berry Farm was such a labor of love for Walter Knott, who clearly delighted in the man (MANY) whimsical details that gave the park so much genuine charm.

Take a look at this photo of a busy Ghost Town; I wonder how many of those people are waiting for their chicken dinners over at Cordelia's restaurant? My guess is a lot! 


The sun is setting quickly... this is January after all, so it might only be 4:30 or so. Notice the guy getting his picture taken with the ol' prospector.


Things were different 52 years ago; I wonder how long this Gold Dust Twins "fun photo" location remained in the park. In a weird way, the non-political correctness of the picture is what makes it so evocative of the era.


10 comments:

TokyoMagic! said...

It's so odd to see that old prospector and his mule right there in the middle of Market Street. I was always used to him being positioned at the entrance to the mine. Maybe he was heading over that way? Does anyone know where the Gold Dust Twins photo-op was located?

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, if you look at this photo, you can see the Gold Dust Twins thing down at the end of the street, right next to the head of the guy with the glasses.

TokyoMagic! said...

Ah, okay....thanks, Major!

K. Martinez said...

I loved Knott's in the 1960s. There are a lot of good memories from that time. These images really convey that unpolished feel. Like Disneyland, Knott’s is a totally different animal from what it was yesteryear.

Rich T. said...

My favorite Knott's period was right after the Log Ride opened, before the airfield was added. A world class adventure ride and live chickens in the parking lot -- what an awesome combination! :)

I will not return there until they stop playing pop music in Ghost Town. For me, that's a deal breaker.

JAY JENNINGS said...

That old timer is Prospector Roy Bryant. He and his mule walked all over Ghost Town so its really not that unusual to see him on Market Street, although we're all used to seeing photos of him near the Arastra and the Gold Mine.

Anonymous said...

Hello!

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, I think I'd really love to go back in time and see Knott's in the 50's, but maybe that is less about the Berry Farm and more about the 50's!

Rich T, I know that the Roaring 20's Airfield was generally popular, but I agree, the park's general atmosphere changed significantly when it was added. As for chickens, there are still a bunch running around near Independence Hall across the street.

Jay, thank you for the great info!

Anonymous, Hello to you, whoever you are!

SundayNight said...

Oh yes, Rich T that would have been a perfect time. The Roaring 20s area always seemed a little sterile after the thickly themed environment of Ghost Town. Well it did have Knotts Berry Tales. That twilight picture is great. Wish I could go back there now. That first picture with the “Beef Stew” sign at the end of the street is making me really hungry. I haven’t had beef stew in years.
A cool night at Knotts, some beef stew and a walk through Motts Miniatures - now that’s real living!

Nanook said...

Interesting how the original Gold Dust Twins: "Goldie" & "Dustie", two African-American children, the racist nature of which can be happily cleaned-up by simply replacing them with cut-outs for park-goers to inhabit instead. If only all of societies long-standing ills could be banished with a simple "adjustment" to old prejudices.