Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Knott's Berry Farm, 1950's

Lots of neat stuff was added to Knott's Berry Farm post-1950's. The Calico Mine Train, the Timber Mountain Log Ride, and Knott's Bear-y Tales to name a few. But there is just something about KBF  in the 50's. It sure wasn't about rides, since there were only a few (the train, the stagecoach, mules, maybe some antique autos). The old Ghost Town encouraged guests to explore - presumably while they were waiting their turn for their chicken dinners.

Like many an old west town, the local saloon was an important part of the community at Knott's. See some leggy showgirls, drink some cold boysenberry juice, maybe go upstairs and take in the view from the balcony, everybody seemed to wind up there at some point. It looks so great in this picture!


Life on the frontier was not easy, and Boot Hill displayed the grave markers of many who died unfortunate deaths. The oval marker nearest to us reads, "Here lies Poker Face Harry; a whiz at cards called hearts, fast at draw poker, too slow once to draw, that was the joker". When you stood on one particular grave (wish I could remember which one!), you could feel the heartbeat of the person beneath you. Buried alive?! Pretty grim, and yet I loved it as a child.


Three kids pose next to a grizzled mule and his grizzled owner. The prospector has a gun belt, you never know when he has to protect his stake from yellow-bellied varmints! He doesn't seem too happy to be there, maybe he was missing his favorite TV show. I love that the two boys are wearing identical shirts.


13 comments:

Nanook said...

Major-

Growing up as an only child, I've always greeted siblings dressed in matching outfits with equal parts jealousy and derision. I'm certain it was rarely fun for the siblings forced to match others in their family; thankfully in this case the matching stopped with the tee shirts. (Now - if only Mom had the older sister wear the same shirt-!)

Thanks, Major, for these fun images of a great theme park.

Melissa said...

The Stripey Shirts for Siblings Law was strictly enforced from the 1950's-1980's.

K. Martinez said...

The grizzled dude looks cool with his attire, beard and glasses.

BlossomNosedMurphy said...

Hiram McTavish occupies the beating heart grave. He grants good luck if you feel his beating heart, whIch meant to me, finding boysenberry punch in berry shaped plastic juice boxes. #uselesstriviaachievementunlocked

Nancy said...

I love the graveyard! :-)

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, sometimes I used to think it would be cool to have a twin, but NOT if it meant having to dress alike. Unless you did it on purpose for some hilarious "Patty Duke Show" prank. I have twin cousins, and even now it is hard for me to tell them apart.

Melissa, those laws only survived to the 1980's in the deep South.

K. Martinez, he looks like a Pioneer chemistry teacher.

BlossomNosedMurphy, I figured there must be a story behind the beating heart, though if I ever knew it, I'd forgotten it. Thanks for the info!

Nancy, I don't even know if Boot Hill is there anymore… it has probably been removed for a roller coaster.

Melissa said...

It would've felt weird to NOT be dressed like my sister.

outsidetheberm said...

The old prospector with the gun belt has a surly attitude in many of the photos you'll find taken with him. Must have been part of his role 'on stage'.

Thanks for some swell views, Major!

Melissa said...

Now the grizzled old prospector is really confused.

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, I hope that you and your sister still dress alike when you are together. That wouldn't be strange at all!

Outsidetheberm, maybe the guy really was just a sourpuss. Seems like a strange job to take if you don't like people, though. Glad you liked these!

Melissa, it took me a minute to realize what you had done!!

Jay Jennings said...

The old prospector is long-time Knott's street performer, Roy Bryant.

Major Pepperidge said...

Jay, do you have any guess as to how long he worked there?

Jay Jennings said...

Prospector Roy Bryant worked at Knott's from 1948-1962. He conducted children’s educational tours of Ghost Town and lent atmosphere to the farm as an old-timer. He later went on to become the mayor of a small town in Arkansas.