Tuesday, June 14, 2016

A Selection of Vintage Knott's Berry Farm Slides

I sure wish I had lots more Knott's Berry Farm slides to share, but I just don't see them very often anymore. They've all been gobbled up. But you'll get three oldies from various years in today's post.

This first one is my favorite. You've got the wonderful steam locomotive, the unsmiling lady, the wonderful Calico Mine Train façade (the ride appears to be closed), and the little chicken in the lower right. Will he be on the menu tomorrow night? One never knows. 

A few years ago I was wandering around the Knott's replica of Independence Hall on a warm, drowsy day; I was surprised (and pleased!) to find a number of chickens just wandering around wherever they  wanted to go.

This next slide was undated, but was in a cardboard mount that looked old. Like possibly 1940's old, though it could be from the 1950's I suppose. Just let me have my dream! The photo shows a near-exact copy of Judge Roy Bean's "The Jersey Lilly" saloon.  As you know, the judge invented the Lima Bean, which caused the Gold Rush because of a total eclipse.

And finally, you love 'em, you can't avoid 'em, it's those pesky seals. I know, I know, sea lions, who cares! The Berry Farm was overrun with them, they were worse than rats or pigeons. You couldn't sit down for a second without a seal hoonching up to you and demanding a sardine. Finally Walter Knott got wise and disguised some of them as mules, while the rest were kept in this prison until they could prove that they had been rehabilitated. Then they were eaten.

I hereby swear that all of the information mentioned above is true.


Nanook said...


The story I heard about the seals, had something to do with preserves....

Thanks (I think) Major.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Laughing SO hard I just had to comment.

I have chickens of my own these days, and I am often reminded of the Independence Hall chickens. Awesome nostalgia jarring photos today Major. Thanks!

TokyoMagic! said...

Mrs. Knott's Seal Dinner Restaurant? Their slogan could have been, "Come in and have a ball!"

I learned a new word today. Hoonching! Gorillas Don't Blog is both entertaining and educational. Thanks for the laughs today, Major! And the vocabulary lesson!

Chuck said...

With the waterfall off, it looks like an explosion has blown a hole in the side of Calico Mountain. I'm surprised they haven't plugged it so all the gold doesn't leak out.

It's commentary and imagery like today's that got me hooked on GDB in the first place. I'm proud to give this post my sea lion of approval.

DrGoat said...

Back in the 50s-60s, there was this little box with a
devil inside turning a wheel that 'powered' the volcano.
I was always fascinated with that thing. They also had
a trough where you could pan for gold. They guy running the
thing would surreptitiously put a pinch of gold dust your
pan so you would go away with some gold in a little bottle.
Good times.

Patrick Devlin said...

That's some nice pics and commentary, Major. And isn't your time in grade about to bump you up to Lieutenant Colonel one of these days?

I used to regard the trains at Knott's as being somehow inferior to the ones I knew so well at Disneyland. These days, being much more of a train geek, I'm eager to get back for a visit to see that equipment. Full scale trains that earned a living out on the Rio Grande Southern and Denver and Rio Grande (I think).

A big seal of approval for the post today.

Chuck said...

Patrick, your ID of the original roads is correct - RGS & D&RGW.

D&RGW 340 just re-entered service at Knott's after a two-year overhaul on Jun 9th. There have been some complaints on the fan boards about the new paint scheme being less than authentic to the D&RGW, but I am still enthusiastic that the park is willing to spend the money to continue to maintain and operate these historic locomotives as steam locomotives when many other parks have opted to re-engine their trains with diesel-electric motors.

With the refurb of #340 and the Calico Mine Train, plus the accessibility of the Frontierland Station while the DLRR is out of service during Star Wars Land construction, I really need to plan a trip to SoCal.

Anonymous said...

@DrGoat I still have my little bottle of gold flakes, going on 60 years now.

Thanks Major, fun pics and commentary. I know from history that Judge Roy was a real human Bean.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I think it’s important to realize that there are all kinds of rumors that those dumb seals are responsible for. Never trust them!

Monkey Cage Kurt, until a few years ago, my niece was in 4-H and had 3 chickens. She loved them, but they always kind of weirded me out. They’re not cute!

TokyoMagic!, I think you will find that “hoonching” will serve you well every day. Be sure to use it during job interviews for maximum effect.

Chuck, it really does look like the aftermath of an errant mine blast. TNT mistake? A pocket of natural gas? Martian disintegrator?

DrGoat, I remember the little devil, and have seen two photos of him - one in black and white (which I think was reproduced in “Knott’s Preserved”) and one in color.

Patrick Devlin, I supposed I need to add (ret) after my name to indicate that I am retired from the service. I still enjoy the salutes that I get when I visit the local base! Those Knott’s trains are fantastic, and look so huge when one is used to the small-scale Disneyland versions.

Chuck, I’ll have to look online to see what the paint scheme looks like now on D&RGW 340. I’m hoping it isn’t purple and pink with gold highlights. But I agree, thank goodness they’ve continued to maintain those amazing old trains.

JG, at some point in my misspent youth, I combined all of my gold flakes into a single bottle. Then my grandma went to Alaska and bought me a tiny gold nugget, which I also put in the bottle. It is very impressive now!

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

I still don’t know what hoonching is.

Major, I LOVE my chickens (and my cows too for that matter). I think they are very cute. And they like to jump up on my arm or lap, whichever is most convenient for them at the moment. They are SO cute!

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

BTW: My chickens jump on me, not my cows.

Nanook said...

@ Monkey Cage Kurt-

I was so wanting to picture full-sized cows jumping-up into your outstretched arms, while you were laughing hysterically at all the shenanigans-! I am SO disappointed that never took place. Chickens, it is then-!

Major Pepperidge said...

Monkey Cage Kurt, “Hoonch over, Cletus!”. Hoonching is a word I use to indicate sliding, or scooting a similar movement. If Shakespeare can make up words, so can I. As for chickens, maybe you need to get to know them. I have a friend who has some, he calls them “the girls”. When one dies, he is devastated.

Nanook, cows love to snuggle. It’s a known fact.