Sunday, April 28, 2013

"Meh" Photos from 1959

Today's pictures are among the top-rated - on the snooze meter! Yes, they can't all be winners. But I will give each of them a blue ribbon just for trying.

Well, OK, this angle of the castle looks a bit different than we might be used to; the slide is date-stamped March 1959, though of course it might have been taken before that. At any rate, it appears that Snow Mountain (or Holiday Hill or whatever) is still there. Does anybody know what month construction began on the Matterhorn?

The settler's cabin is really ablaze here; sometimes the flames were less impressive. I've always wondered what the structure was made out of; presumably steel and concrete? Meanwhile, the settler is wishing he had stayed in Virginia, where there was a much smaller chance of finding an arrow in your chest.


Nanook said...


I believe construction on the Matterhorn Bobsleds began in January, 1959.

Yes - Holiday Hill, Snow Mountain, Mount Disneyland, Echo Mountain, and even Valterhorn would be no longer.

Thanks, Major.

fuzzhead said...

I remember the Burning cabin using the same "fire" as the POTC towards the end.

Sheet plastic with fans blowing on it?

Chuck said...

The settler's cabin was made of "logs" fashioned from tightly-rolled sheets of a wheat-flour-based material baked in large oven constructed on-site specifically for this purpose. The Imagineers developed a special, sugar-based adhesive to hold the whole thing together.

In an effort to recoup development costs, the bonding material was sold commercially. While it never really took off as a construction adhesive due to the crash of the log cabin market after Walt decided not to make any more Davy Crockett episodes for the "Disneyland" television program, "Log Cabin Syrup" eventually found its niche as a kitchen sweetener.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Chuck - this explains why I crave pancakes whenever I hear a fire engine siren.

Bill in Denver

K. Martinez said...

The castle image is great. Nice coloring and angle and I like the castle motif wall in the forground. Is this a view from the House of the Future?

CoxPilot said...

I believe that the mount of dirt with bushes (screen right) is where the Monsanto House of the Future would eventually be.

Anonymous said...

@K Martinez, yes. The photo taken from what will be called in our day "Matterhorn Avenue". HOF is behind the viewpoint.

The earth mound in the foreground is the landscape margin of the walkway that will become the route to Snow White's Wishing Well. I don't think this element was in place when the picture was made.

I'm not sure how the walks and the swan pool were configured before SW arrival, but now, SW & the Dwarves statues are embedded in a tall sliver of landscape which blocks the view of the Matterhorn and Tomorrowland from that angle. I believe that it was purpose-built for the statues, which were not a planned part of Disneyland, but a gift which was later designed in.

It is very well done, because you don't realize what is there from either side, on the back, it's just trees that feel to be an appropriate scale and screen the east side of the Castle which has restrooms, now an out-of-the-way location.

I don't think the site of the future Matterhorn is quite visible in the slide, but would be about a quarter-turn to the right, allowing for Matterhorn Avenue to pass to the north, east of the castle. at the time of this photo, some Main Street vehicles routes went around Snow Hill, counterclockwise and came back south down this avenue into the Hub.

I like this angle of the Castle, thanks Major!


PS @Chuck: augh.

Melissa said...

Yeah, you don't see that angle on the Castle every day!

Chuck, I'm surprised the Log Cabin coexisted for so long with Aunt Jemima's pancake house!

Nancy said...

I like the castle at this angle as well; a bit of a bluer sky would make this a real beauty!!

As for Mr Settler, poor guy cant get a break...arrow in the chest AND his cabin burning down!! :(

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, thanks for the info. I sure wish there was a consensus as to the name of that pre-Matterhorn hill; I never know what to call it.

fuzzhead, I have read that the cabin used the "Pirates" fire effect at one time, but don't remember ever seeing it like that myself. Maybe it just didn't work that well.

Chuck, your story is very interesting, and made me hungry for waffles!

Bill, you can have your pancakes and flapjacks; waffles and French toast are for me.

K. Martinez, now that you mention it, the House of the Future probably was nearby (maybe behind the photographer?).

CoxPilot, by 1959 the Monsanto house should be in place, wherever that was.

JG, "Matterhorn Avenue", is that a real thing? I never thought of the Snow White Grotto, but it does seem like that is the right location; I'm terrible at placing things from the past in a modern context. I remember seeing photos of the Main Street vehicles going through parts of Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, it's always a bit incongruous.

Melissa, Aunt Jemima and Log Cabin were bound by the rules of the Geneva Convention, but they secretly hated each other.

Nancy, once there is an arrow in my chest, I don't think I'll be worrying about my cabin burning!

Nanook said...


I have also heard "Matterhorn Avenue" referred to as "Matterhorn Extension".

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K. Martinez said...

I've always read in Disney literature that the path from the Castle to the Matterhorn was referred to as Matterhorn Way. That's the first time I've heard Matterhorn Avenue.

Anonymous said...

Ha, maybe I was conflating it with the old "Afternoon Avenue", now defunct >>

Google map calls it "parade route".

Anyway, looking at Google Map in max zoom, there are some green benches now where the stone wall is in the photo, the wall might still be there, hard to tell.

The tree to the right in the photo is really quite large now.