Friday, October 21, 2016

Beautiful River, May 1958

Here are two more vintage photos of Frontierland, taken on a perfect day in May.

Here's a beauty taken from the Mark Twain (the Columbia wouldn't come along for another month or so... more on that in a future post); the scene is so tranquil and inviting. It doesn't take much to imagine being able to drift on the river all the way down to Memphis while taking a nap.

It's hard to tell what time of day it was, but I believe that it must have been a little after noon. If so... hardly a soul can be seen, except for the red-shirted guy wrangling that raft (is he pulling it toward him, or pushing it away?) and a few people way in the distance. To the left of Rainbow Ridge is the hill where Cascade Peak would hatch in two years.

Looking in a northwesterly direction, we can see another dock for rafts (I suppose it would have been used on especially busy days), as well as Fort Wilderness and some of the rocks and caves on Tom Sawyer Island. Just a bit further, there's the settler's cabin burning fiercely. 

I love how glassy the river is - the waterway was dredged from Orange County orchards just a few years before, but by 1958 it is easy to believe that you might catch a catfish, or spot a hideous alligator snapping turtle!


Nanook said...


Nice. In the first image the 'skipper' of the Tom Sawyer Island Raft can be seen 'pushing-off' the raft from the dock. But just where are the guests-?

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I love how guests could just walk to the edge of Tom Sawyer Island (second pic) and fall in the river. I wonder if anyone ever did?

Chuck said...

Great photos today, Major.

The thought of falling in and lazily floating downstream suddenly makes me think of this Monkees song.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing to think that ALL of the plant life in these photos were planted here. It looks so natural.

K. Martinez said...

Love the brownish color tone to today's images. Thanks, Major.

Unknown said...

Oh, man, do I love these kind of shots. Nothing un-themed in sight and the illusion is perfect. I noticed the big hill behind Rainbow Ridge that was visible from Main Street in a post months ago. I wonder if that ever got regraded before Big Thunder Railway got installed.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I do mention the raft “pilot” (or whatever they’re called) in my text! All the guests were hiding behind bushes and trees because it was the photographer’s birthday.

TokyoMagic!, it’s a wonder that every Disneyland guest didn’t accidentally drown.

Chuck, somehow I was expecting something a little more laid back! Turns out I knew this song, but didn’t know I knew it!

Anon, I know!

K. Martinez, the tone does make these photos look more nostalgia-inducing. Kind of like an Instagram filter?

Patrick Devlin, now I’m going to have to look at aerial photos of the park to see if I can determine where that hill is (was?) in relation to Big Thunder.

Gnometrek said...

Simply beautiful.

Melissa said...

You'd certainly never see such a tranquil scene at Disneyland today!

Medley said...

Looks like a scene out of a book. I wish these tranquil Tom Sawyers Island existed still today. Instead, the rivers being hacked in half again.