Friday, December 12, 2014

Tom Sawyer Island and The River, March 13 1958

Here are a few beautiful photographs of Frontierland's "Rivers of America"!

As has been the case with many of the photos from this lot, the color and clarity are wonderful. It's the next best thing to being there! The day's attendance was minuscule, so only a few guests are ready to head back to the mainland.

A little bit further around the bend we see another landing for rafts… I think there were at least three different landings back in those days, and on extra busy days they were all used.

Zooming in a bit, we get a nice look at the bridge connecting the eastern side of Frontierland with the western side. The waterway that flowed beneath the bridge filled the Jungle Cruise river. It has long since been paved over. The Plantation House is to our extreme right.


Nanook said...


You're right - these images are the next best thing to being there-! Also of note in the last images is the view of the flag pole and clock tower/spire of the Main Street RR Station.

Thanks, Major.

Nancy said...

These are beautiful!!! What a lovely day at Disneyland :-)

Chuck said...

These are breathtaking, particularly the first one. The miniature stamp mill and mine tracks are clearly visible at the extreme left of Rainbow Ridge in the first photo. I think we determined here a year or more ago that that didn't survive the next (and I think only) major rehab of the attraction. And crowds are so light I could have probably climbed up on the roof of the mill and "acquired" a souvenir antler without anyone noticing, although getting it out of the Park might have been a bigger challenge ("This lump? I have no idea. I'm seeing my dermatologist on Monday.").

The second shot of the bridge is also particularly nice and makes me wish I'd had an opportunity to walk across it, particularly on a stunningly empty, brightly-lit midafternoon as depicted here. Stupid laws of time and space...

Also - Dominguez Palm sighting above the roof of the mill on Tom Sawyer Island in the second photo, right next to what i think is the front tower of the Emporium.

Fantastic set today, Major! Many thanks!

Melissa said...

Wow, lookee those deserted landings! I've never seen them without a crowd at California or Florida, at any time of the day or year.

And thy are particularly bright and clear shots; I can practically hear the banjer music plinking away.

Dan Heaton said...

Wow! Those are amazing images, and it's nice to see them without the crowds in the way. Very nice work in getting such bright and clear shots.

K. Martinez said...

Extra cool images today. Early Disneyland is fascinating. A simpler time but also an exciting time with a sense of wonder. A newly created wonderland where it's whole future full of possibilities lies ahead.

Sometimes I wish I was born just a little earlier to witness Disneyland from its very beginning. Extra nice post today. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it's surprising just how often Main Street Station "photo bombs" images from other lands… I never think of it as being that tall, but it manages to pop up more than one might imagine.

Nancy, I always love it when the photos portray a nice sunny day, but with some clouds in the sky (for visual interest).

Chuck, until you pointed it out, I never noticed the miniature stamp mill!! Although it sounds like maybe it was discussed here on the blog before, which I have obviously forgotten. There are a lot of "souvenirs" I would want from the parks, but I'm not sure antlers would be one of them! The bridge over that waterway is a fun detail that I first discovered maybe five years ago - even one well-informed Disneyland scholar was surprised that he had never seen it. And yes, that must be the Dominguez palm.

Melissa, if I had a time machine, I just might set it to March 13, 1958… sunny, uncrowded, and all-around pretty.

Dan Heaton, there are some more amazing shots from this same lot, so stay tuned!

K. Martinez, I feel the same way about early Disneyland… we take it for granted today, so it's hard to imagine exploring the park having never seen anything like it before. No wonder so many photos were taken there!