Sunday, July 28, 2013

Freedomland U.S.A.

Today I am sharing the last of a so-so bunch of slides featuring Freedomland; and describing them as "so-so" is being charitable! I just couldn't bring myself to not post them, in spite of their iffy quality.

Let's start with the best of the group, a view taken from the Tucson Mining Company sky ride. The Conestoga wagons were part of the "Chuck Wagon Snack Stand", which was within the Fort Cavalry stockade. It feels cold and wintry, though I believe that the place closed in October, to open the following spring.

Arg, why did these next two have to be blurry? The famous Chicago Fire attraction gave kids the chance to be real firemen for a few minutes, aiming the firehose at that burning building. Don't worry, it's just the local art museum, it's not like it has cool video games or anything.

C'mon, blurry kids, put your backs into it! That fire won't put itself out! The city tried to save money by hiring 8 year-olds as firemen (firepersons) , but now I'm thinking it wasn't such a great idea after all.

Over in the New Orleans-Mardi Gras section of Freedomland, there was a Civil War attraction. Most wars are fun, but none were as much fun as the Civil War. Everybody knows that! Some soldiers spent weeks camping out and relaxing in trenches and behind these attractive stone walls. I'll bet they did some whittlin'. There's nothing better than whittlin'.

Arg, more blurriness. We're still in the Civil War, this time near a log fortress. Logs are a renewable resource, which I'm sure was much on the minds of the soldiers. You've got to think of the children.

Sorry these were so lame, homies. I have a few remaining Freedomland photos to share in the future, and I promise that they are better.


Nanook said...


I just assumed the photographer had bad luck and shot his images during a rare NY earthquake - sorta the same cheesy effect used in one of the more memorable tacky shots in the film Earthquake.

TokyoMagic! said...

Mattel should make a line of dolls called Blurry Kids!

Nancy said...

Blurry Kids or not, sad images of stuff we missed out on are better than none at all! I unfortunately have some of these among my collections as well.... :-(

Melissa said...

It’s a little-known fact that things tended to get a bit blurry toward the end of the Civil War. Nobody knows ‘zactly why; some folk say the smoke from General Sherman’s march to the sea never quite died down, others say it was just the fog of war, but then other folk tend to smack them folk upside the head and tell ‘em that’s just a metaphor and metaphors don’t work that way dangnab it.

Anyhow, Matthew Brady invented a special camera lens that compensated for the blurry scenery, but nobody else could afford that much glass on account of all the shot glasses and mirrors a-gettin’ busted in saloon fights. Most photographers at the time were a-usin’ hand-whittled wooden lenses made by highly-skilled immigrant child labor. Consarn that Matthew Brady and his superior material resources!

Blurry or no, I love these pictures! It must have been a ton of fun for the kids to put out the fire!

steve2wdw said...

By the looks of the attire in the first picture, the weather appears to be warm....short pants and no sleeves on some of the guests. Just a gloomy day at the local theme park. As far as the pics being "so-so", I always find pictures of the "Disneyland of the East" fascinating. Thanks again for posting these gems!

K. Martinez said...

Freedomland is a park I wish I could've seen. It's such an interesting and integral part of theme park history. Blurry doesn't bother me as I love viewing any images of Freedomland USA! Thanks for posting.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, that is as good an excuse as any. Earthquake is one of the greatest movies of all time, how dare you besmirch its good name!

TokyoMagic!, I think I need a set of Blurry kids!

Nancy, I doubt there is any photographer who hasn't produced their share of rejects.

Melissa, you obviously didn't see all of Ken Burns' "The Civil War", there was an entire episode about how blurry it got. Who can forget Sullivan Ballou's letter to his wife Sarah. "My dearest Sarah, it is really freaking blurry today, it is driving me bananas". I'm getting misty just thinking about it.

steve2wdw, New Yorkers are crazy, they'll wear short pants to a funeral if they can get away with it! ;-)

K. Martinez, I appreciate your positive attitude; luckily, the blurry pictures of Freedomland are all done.

Melissa said...

It's true about New Yorkers. I don't think My Uncle Jake has ever worn sleeves, ever.

Anonymous said...

It was difficult not to take a blurry picture on the Civil War ride, since the "correspondent's wagon" traveled over a rough dirt road. I visited the park twice and this ride was my favorite, but I never got a good picture of it! Thanks for posting, Major, even if the quality leaves something to be desired. Freedomland remains a cherished childhood memory for those of us who experienced it. said...

You might be able to sharpen up your pictures a bit by running them through an image program. I have a basic one installed on my computer that will "sharpen," brighten or darken, and adjust contrast.

Google offers a free program called, "Picasa" that can help pictures.

Though still not studio quality, you can see some Freedomland USA images taken from a ViewMaster set of reels by placing the camera to one of the eyepieces and then trying to improve the image.

Pics located at:

Matt said...

Try running your pics through an image program that will sharpen and adjust contrast/brightness. Google offers "Picasa" as a free download.

There are pics of Freedomland USA taken through an eyepiece of a ViewMaster, with a small digital camera. Not the best, but still viewable.
They can be seen at: