Thursday, November 08, 2012

Knott's Berry Farm, October 1967

Here are a few more vintage Knott's Berry Farm images from October 1967!

Old Mac Donald's Farm was the location for a petting zoo and a pool full of seals. I love the whimsical design of the red barn. The place looks pretty deserted on this day; once the kids went back to school, the number of visitors yearning to feed a goat dropped precipitously.


Zooming in a bit, we can see the even more mini-barn that contained "Henny Penny", the miraculous piano-playing hen. For a handful of corn, Henny Penny would play Rachmaninov. Or at least she would peck at two or three keys on the toy piano. The sign above the big barn door advertises the old mule-powered merry-go-round that we've seen here.


I don't remember flamingos ever being at Knott's, and yet here is the photographic evidence.


This is the sunken area where you could pan for real gold... the rough-timbered mine tunnel that you see here is merely a short tunnel that was sort of fun to walk through because it was dark. There were no animatronics or even sound effects. I was scared to go inside when I was a kid!


16 comments:

Rich T. said...

I can just barely remember the fun of entering Old Mac Donald's Farm. Knott's was packed with such a great variety of hands-on, texture-filled experiences...

Like panning for gold! I loved that mine tunnel. Such a great, simple thrill! I always used it as my route down to the lower level -- A great little mini-adventure!

Chiana_Chat said...

That's right Rich T. :)

Yes Maj they had flamingos, I saw some there meself long after these pics.

Character and charm has Knotts. :)

Katella Gate said...

Henny Penny... even as a kid, I remember putting a dime in and thinking "That's it?... that's all she does?"

Anonymous said...

I think its so cool that walking through the tunnel (without any effects) was scary for you Major...it's all about our imagination and most of the time, we don't need any help to terrify ourselves!!

Bill in Denver

SundayNight said...

Placing the Pan for Gold attraction in a an excavated area was a great idea rather than putting it on ground level with some sort of fence around it. Being able to look down on all that was going on really sparked your interest and having to go through tunnels to get there added to the fun. Great pics today.

Anonymous said...

I think the gold mine was my favorite part of Knotts after the Mine Train, at least, it's what I remember most.

I had forgotten Henny Penney till now, what a rush of recall. Not sure who was more ridiculous, the chicken pecking a piano, or me for paying to watch it.

Thank you Major, you prove daily that it never too late to go back to being a kid.

JG

Major Pepperidge said...

Rich T., I honestly don't remember if I ever saw Old MacDonald's Farm… it is pretty likely that I did, but there were lots of petting zoos in my youth, and they all blend into one amorphous memory.

Chiana, there is nothing that says "The Old West" like flamingos!

Katella, I've always wondered, did the chicken peck the keys as a sort of Pavlovian response to the corn that was dispensed, or was it something nastier like a mild electric shock.

Bill, I was more of a chicken than Henny Penny.

SundayNight, I totally agree. It must have cost quite a bit more to dig out that large area, when they could have just built it on level ground.

JG, panning for gold is one of my fondest childhood memories from Knott's. The cold water, the weight of the pan, and of course, getting your little bottle with real gold! Henny Penny was definitely a letdown. Live and learn I guess!

Katella Gate said...

Major asks: "I've always wondered, did the chicken peck the keys as a sort of Pavlovian response to the corn that was dispensed, or was it something nastier like a mild electric shock."

Katella answers: "I don't know, but for 10 cents I would have found a higher amperage electric shock to the chicken far more entertaining."

RemainSeatedPlease said...

I was impressed by Henny Penny. She was a better pianist than I. (And she was a bird-brain!) Actually, I was impressed that someone could teach a chicken to do anything.

Was the small building to the right of Henny Penny where you could buy fish to feed the seals?

Melissa said...

Old MacDonald's Farm is part of Knott's Berry Farm? So Old MacDonald's a sharecropper?

Well, his son can still go on to own the biggest dry-cleaning chain in New York City, and move on up to the East Side.

Chris Merritt said...

So great!

The Desert Rocks said...

I vaguely remember the farm and the hen.Thanks for the post!

outsidetheberm said...

RemainSeatedPlease - There is a building out of picture, just to our left, where you would buy your fish to feed the seals. An open counter offered small trays of food for twenty five cents.

Anonymous said...

I think this building was later turned into the entrance for Studio K if my memory serves me right.

Chuck said...

That tunnel scared the mess out of me as a kid. Dark and, well...dark.

wife2wonka said...

I have many fond memories of the farm and have a few old pics of me as a toddler feeding the animals. One picture (probably a slide in my Mom's collection) has a goat inside one of the cutouts in the Spanish style walls. Did they move it before getting rid of it all together? I remember loving the chicken when I was tiny but when I got older I realized the corn came out on the key it was to hit. LOL a little disappointing. The seals were always a delight. I do enjoy a good roller coaster but the simple times were so nice. The last time I was at Knott's was probably in the late 80's. I guess I am glad to be out of the area so Knott's can stay the way I remember it.