Thursday, February 06, 2014

Last of the Knott's Pix from October 1967

It's a bittersweet day (for me, anyway); I have been nursing a group of images from Knott's Berry Farm circa October 1967 for what seems like years. And today's three are the last from that lot (though I do have more Knott's, so it's not a total catastrophe). Thanks, anonymous photographer, you did a good job!

This is a great shot of the Butterfield Stage Line, which, incredibly, still operates today. I've never been on it, and I feel like I should do it soon in case somebody decides to eliminate it. Maybe in the off season when the wait won't be so long. My understanding is that it goes pretty slow (I guess it will never tip over like Disneyland's did), but that's OK with me.

Here's another good one looking down into the area where you could pan for gold. At some point small roofs were added to provide shade, which was good for the employees and guests, but not so good for photos I suppose. Still, it's a great picture.

And finally, even though this one isn't a sharp as I'd like, I had to include the wonderful Calico Mine Ride, which is happily undergoing a massive refurbishment, including the addition of dozens of new animatronic figures. Knott's fans should rejoice!


Chuck said...

Great photos today!

The Calico Mine Train has always been one of my favorite attractions, and I'm so glad it hasn't gone to YesterKnott's. It was one of the featured attractions in a home-made, hand-drawn "movie camera" picture strip I made of Knott's Berry Farm when I was six or seven.

Despite my love for it, the last photo highlights the one missing detail that has bothered me about the locomotives since I returned as an adult 20 years ago - they have no drive rods. On a real steam locomotive, the drive rods are connected to the pistons, which transfer the steam energy to the drive wheels to make them turn.

I understand that these aren't real steam engines and that the drive rods aren't mechanically necessary and might even have been a real pain to replicate, but it's odd that Bud Hurlbutt decided to omit this detail. The NWRR locomotives, which were electrically operated, did have drive rods, so it wasn't an impossibility.

Fortunately, this omission doesn't take away from the enjoyment of the ride itself...which I look forward to seeing in its updated glory on my next visit.

SundayNight said...

Those beautiful eucalyptus trees really enhance the stagecoach picture. I remember them well on my visits there as a kid. I miss the classic Knott's.

K. Martinez said...

For me, the Calico Mine Ride is the jewel of the Knott's Berry Farm.

Chuck - On the subject of real steam locomotives, here's some discouraging news I read from an O gauge forum about the possible fate of the steam locomotives at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom.

Melissa said...

I guess I'll call those eight people on the stagecoach The Butterfield 8.

Melissa said...

I hope the ladies on top of the stagecoach put plenty of Aqua-Net in their beehives, because they all seem to have left their babushkas at home. That IS a great shot of the gold-panning area, and I like how the roofs fill up the foreground. Plus, they make nice cover for smoochin’.

I was never really interested in Knott’s before I started following GDB, but now I’m kind of sad to see the end of this set of slides, too!

Raimundo said...

Melissa -- speaking of Butterfield 8, Elizabeth Taylor left her autograph on the "celebrity patron wall" of the Chicken Dinner Restaurant, probably during that Aqua-Net era.

Anonymous said...

Fun pics today, Major.

I don't remember the roofs in the gold mine. If these were in place in 1967, that dates my memory.



Chuck said...

K. Martinez - I hadn't heard that...and now I'm getting scared. It might make some sense long as you're not interested in being authentic.

And then I remember that Walt was interested in authentic experiences for his guests, and I'm not so scared anymore.

And then I think about the Hunchback of Notre Dame-themed "Festival of Fools" as it played out in DL's Frontierland and remember that Walt isn't with us anymore.

I may not get much sleep tonight...

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, I wish I could see that picture strip! I know what you mean about the mine trains, and I would kind of expect Bud Hurlbutt to go that extra step for appearances sake. But like you, I still love this attraction SO MUCH.

SundayNight, I totally agree! Plus there is something so SoCal about them.

K. Martinez, OH NO. Crap, I hope that is an unfounded rumor. If they DO remove those glorious old steam locomotives from the Magic Kingdom, it is a sign that nothing is sacred and anything can go on the chopping block.

Melissa, I've never seen that movie, though I've heard of it. And trust me, those ladies used plenty of hairspray (I think my mom used VO5). Don't worry, there are still some nice Knott's slides to come.

Raimundo, is the signature still there?

JG, those roofs must have been there when I panned for gold, but I sure don't remember them.

Chuck, I am already in the first stages of grieving!!

Irene said...

Just to set the record straight, there was an accident involving a Knotts stagecoach. It occurred toward the end of 2012 when a rear wheel came off and the stagecoach toppled over with passengers. The article and photo is at this link:

Sad to read about the possible change regarding the trains at WDW. As far as I'm concerned, since Disney let Billy Hill and the Hillbillies go after over 20 years at Disneyland and in spite of a big protest and petition regarding that decision - I would put nothing past them anymore.

Melissa said...

If I were to start a list of moments when I knew I wouldn't put anything past the post-1990 Disney parks division, I'd be here all afternoon.

Debbie V. said...

If only the winds that bring the ice/cold/snow east to Indiana would bring the scent of a warm eucalyptus along with it. Closing my eyes and remembering the smell now...