Monday, February 17, 2014

Knott's Ghost Town

Although you wouldn't know it based on the last few months, it isn't always sunny in SoCal (sorry, rest of the country, I don't mean to rub it in!). Today's photos are from a gray, overcast day in the 1950's at Knott's Berry Farm. 

As many of you know, the famous Ghost Town was built to keep people entertained while they waited their turn to get into the wildly popular chicken restaurant (waits could be several hours). Plus, I think Walter Knott just wanted it! I wonder at what point more people started coming just to see the picturesque town rather than to eat?

You couldn't get a glass of redeye in the Silver Dollar Saloon, but you could get a glass of ice-cold boysenberry juice. In my memory the juice was sweet and intensely berry flavored (back in the 70's), but the last time I tried it, it seemed a bit tame.


Nanook said...


Wonderful shots of (I presume) a very 1950's Knott's.

As for Walter's contribution to the world of jams & jellies, I'm not the biggest fan. Personally if you're going for a berry cross, it's Marionberry all the way - a cross between the Chehalem & Olallie blackberries. Yummy.

Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

I like the overcast look, Major. I'm always curious about these old photos - is the photographer trying to keep family members in the frame, and can I figure out who they might be? Today's guess would be the entourage including the little girl with the red coat over her arm, her mom with the stroller and Grandma with the white hat. The little girl sure wants to be somewhere else quickly!

Bill in Denver

Chuck said...

I just woke up and this post has already made me hungry. I could go for some boysenberry anything right about now.

I wonder if they make boysenberry toothpaste...

Melissa said...

Although you wouldn't know it based on the last few months, it isn't always sunny in SoCal (sorry, rest of the country, I don't mean to rub it in!).

I remember when I was living in Buffalo, I was watching the Weather Channel one day while some ridiculous bimbo gave the forecast for different areas across the tri-state area. She said, “Looks like they’ll have another twelve inches in Buffalo this morning, but I guess if they didn’t like it, they wouldn’t there.” And then she broke into a fit of insane giggling worthy of a mad scientist’s three-year-old kid after downing a twelve-pack of giant pixie sticks.

If I hadn’t been shivering so hard, I’d have been tempted to give the TV a good smack. So, after that inoculation, no comment about New York State weather from someone in a warmer climate bothers me. And, she’s got a point – if I had any marketable skills, I’d be out West right now myself.

K. Martinez said...

Something I have learned from experience is to never go on GhostRider after eating a full chicken dinner with boysenberry pie from Knott's famous restaurant.

Melissa said...

Everybody's even wearing sober colors to go with the weather. except for the two orangeshirts on the porch and the girl carrying her red jacket. Was she really too warm, or did she just feel out of place among all the somber souls in the Ghost Town?

I must have watched too many episodes of Fawlty Towers in my formative years, because I can't seem to stop myself from rearranging signs lately.

Melissa said...

They could have called the boysenberry juice "redtongue," for anyone who wanted to act like they were ordering redeye.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

It’s worth noting that is a pre-pavement photo of the park. I’m dating myself here, but I remember those days back in Orange County when some of the ground was still made out of dirt.

Hello major, Monkey Cage Kurt here. (My first post in contemporary times)

Major Pepperidge said...

Sorry for my delayed response to your comments, folks, I was out of town for the long weekend!

Nanook, I still sometimes buy Knott's Boysenberry jam. I like it! And I used to pick wild boysenberries at a friends ranch up in Ojai, man were they good! (Never had Marionberry anything).

Bill in Denver, as far as I can tell, there are no family members, but now I need to go back and cross-check them. And kids are such spazzes, who knows why that little girl in red is running!

Chuck, ME TOO!

Melissa, it's almost ridiculous, I WISH we were having some winter weather. With 85 degree February days, I fear for the upcoming summer. Plus we need some rain, desperately. I've lived on the East coast, and never minded the snow and cold. I still recall trick-or-treating after an early snowstorm.

K. Martinez, is GhostRider the one that is really jolty? It is such an uncomfortable experience.

Melissa again, I love Faulty Towers! 12 brilliant episodes of insanity.

Melissa part III, my sister called them "girlsenberries", because she didn't like stinky boys in those days.

Monkey Cage Kurt, is there really no pavement? I can't tell if it's just sort of "dirt colored". They have dirt in Orange County? I thought it was all houses and mini-malls! Welcome back, MCK!

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Yes true story, I do indeed remember the days before the park was paved. Keep in mind it was a real farm at one time, and farms are made of dirt, and dirt rhymes with Kurt (that’s how I remember my name). I seem to recall the pavement coming in about the same time the fence went up (late 60s, 68ish). I could be wrong about this time frame.