Monday, March 04, 2013

Tom Sawyer Island, 1957-ish

Today's slides were in a group that were undated, but I put them at around 1957 (because of a Viewliner image!). However, it is possible that two groups of slides were mixed together. Why? Because in this first picture, Tom Sawyer Island may or may not be open for business yet, and it didn't open until 1956. The mill looks pretty complete, though you can see some guys at one of the rafts to the left - I'm pretty sure they are workmen. The raft landing facing us is piled with crates and casks, the international sign for "Don't dock here"!

Also, Tom's Treehouse isn't in place yet. Instead, there is a temporary shack of some kind, possibly for tool storage (?), elf storage, or maybe it's a handy place to cool pipin' hot cherry pies.

Having rounded the bend in the Mark Twain, we look back toward the shores of Frontierland through a puff of steam.  Radioactive steam! It's broad daylight, but you can see that the lanterns are lit on the island, which is just going to attract moths and skeeters. 


Chiana_Chat said...

Steam? DDT! That's why they were fearlessly burning their lanterns.

Walter Knott had to be convinced to permit another Old West town and Saloon in the vicinity; that shack must be one of the places where they held poor Cordelia 'till he signed the deed...

Alonzo P Hawk said...

If Chiana is right then it was probably boysenberry pies they were cooling.

Neato shots. I always forget that the Mark Twain was the first atomic powered paddle wheeler in the western hemisphere.

2 days till Fanniversary 2013 in Phoenix. Yahoo!

Connie Moreno said...

You would think that after all these years, I would know better than to be drinking something while reading your blog. I almost spit out my coffee, thanks to you, sir! I love these photos and I'm wondering from which vantage point they were taken.

K. Martinez said...

Nice pics! I like the Skyway cables in the background. Now I'm hankerin' for a hunk of cherry pie, boysenberry pie or whatever kind of pie is in there.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chiana, I like the idea of Walter Knott being a kind of old-timey Tony Soprano!

Alonzo, Walt Disney wanted to impress Kruschev with his might nuclear sternwheeler. Alas, Nikita never got to see it with his own eyes.

Connie, you should always be drinking a chocolate milkshake when you read my blog. That way when it comes out of your nose it looks extra funny!

K. Martinez, cherry is my personal favorite (Whipped cream or vanilla ice cream on top? Decisions decisions), but I am not sure I have ever met a pie I haven't liked.

Chuck said...

I hate that we always have to add that "in the Western Hemisphere" when talking about the "Mark Twain." If NPWA hadn't insisted on testing the Twain with an all-chimpanzee crew before risking a manned atomic paddle-wheel orbit around Tom Sawyer Island, we could have beaten the "Fyodor Dostoyevsky" out of drydock by several months.

The Sovs may have won the atomic Paddle-Wheel Race, but they never could make a decent boysenberry pie. Massive expenditures in an effort to close the "Pie Gap" were what eventually caused the collapse of the Soviet economic system.

And speaking of pie...don't forget to eat a piece on 3/14!

Anonymous said...

Interesting side point. I wonder how the Knott's reacted to Disneyland? Was there social contact between the Theme Park Families? Were the Disney's viewed as upstarts?

The idea of Walt holding Cordelia Knott hostage on TSI is worthy of an alternate future FanFic comic book, where Jules Verne and Samuel Clemens collaborated on "20,000 Leagues under the Mississippi". Almost as cool as Daffy and Donald playing a piano duet.

When I order duck at a restaurant meal, I always ask the waiter if it is Daffy or Donald.


Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, the Russkies have made amazing advances in paddlewheel technology, recently launching the magnificent "Yakov Smirnoff" to the International Space Station.

JG, I've heard that Knott's and Disneyland were cordial to one another, especially because Disneyland brought so many more people to the region, all looking for stuff to do. I think Walter Knott was Walt Disney's kind of person… no-nonsense, hard working, and all-American.

Chuck said...

I've read the same stuff about Knott & Disney. They coordinated their off-season park closure dates, so that on the days Disneyland was closed Knott's was open and vice versa, so as not to compete with each other during periods of slow business. They even went so far as to change their first names in a show of theme park owner solidarity.