Tuesday, February 07, 2017

Vintage Knott's Berry Farm Stuff

I just scanned a variety of old Knott's Berry Farm ephemera, and thought I'd share some items today. 

Let's start with this nice brochure all about the little red school house that Walter Knott brought to the park in 1952. Originally in Mitchell, Kansas, this one room school house opened in 1879 (Rutherford B. Hayes was the President of the U.S.); it finally closed sometime in the 1940's. It was complete with all of the original desks, books, inkwells, and even the cast iron stove; Walter Knott bought the whole thing and had it shipped to Buena Park. He added the bell tower because he thought it needed it.

I love the interior spread, which is informative, but not dry. The little cartoons resemble the type of drawings that a kid might have drawn in the margins of a textbook. When you consider that we now learn from direct brain implants administered by wisecracking robots, the old schoolhouse seems especially quaint.

And look, you could mail this brochure to your friends and enemies (though I know that no GDB reader has any enemies).

Nina Duden ("Good morning, Miss Duden!") might have been a sweetheart, but hoo-boy, she looks pretty stern in that portrait. No, I didn't bring enough gum for everyone! I'm sorry, Miss Duden (goes to stand in the corner).

I really like this simple giveaway from the Birdcage Theatre - a paper mustache that could be worn by everyone in the audience - man, woman, and child. It must have been a funny sight to see!

And look, it was also a kind of business card! I hope nobody wore this particular example in their nose, if you know what I mean.

I hope you have enjoyed today's vintage Knott's stuff.


Nanook said...


I wonder just how Miss. Duden would react if any of her students showed-up for class wearing one of those stylish mustache's-?

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

These are really nice pieces of Knott's memorabilia, Major. Gee, I hope the school house isn't in the Knott's auction next month!

Chuck said...

I could swear we have (probably "had" by this point) some sort of paper souvenir with that schoolhouse picture and typeface on it, although the mailable aspect of it doesn't ring a bell. Were they still handing these out in the '70s?

Unknown said...

This is really choice stuff, Major. I'd write more but Mom's gonna kill me if I don't finish my cinnamon toast and get on my bike to school!

K. Martinez said...

I love old Knott's paper and ephemera and this cool stuff I haven't seen before. And yes, only unused paper mustaches are preferred in any collection. Thanks for sharing it, Major.

Anonymous said...

Funny stuff. I vaguely remember the schoolhouse.

There was a similar schoolhouse set up in the Sacramento Old Town, near the Railroad Museum. We made it a rest stop several times on the long drive. Instructive to see these relics and realize that somehow, educations were obtained in these rustic circumstances without air conditioning or wi-fi.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I think all of those mustachioed students would become well acquainted with the end of a ruler.

TokyoMagic! At this point they might as well get rid of that too…

Chuck, there was a postcard with the same photo of the schoolhouse, though I don’t remember it having any type on the front. I have no idea how long they handed these flyers out.

Patrick Devlin, don’t you know that a growing boy needs little marshmallows in his cereal in order to grow up big and strong???

K. Martinez, I’ve been scanning paper ephemera for a while now, Knott’s, Disney, Universal Studios, and other odds and ends. Hopefully you’ll enjoy all of it.

JG, I’ve seen lists of the stuff that kids were expected to learn in the old days, it sounds pretty daunting! I even have an old geography text book from the 1880’s (found in a junk shop in Pennsylvania), it is fascinating. Let’s all learn the 15 longest rivers in the world! It also shows Oklahoma as “Indian Territory”, and there is no North or South Dakota, it’s just one huge territory called “Dakota”.

Debbie V. said...

Major - I am so glad I came across your post today. Obviously it represented something wonderful to Mr Knott.
The schoolhouse brochure is so evocative of something I heard about from my parents. They grew up in a similar time and place and I heard about it sitting at the dinner table 40 years later at the dinner table in La Mirada.
(edit this out if you need to - Nowadays, I feel like I can't say that I wish the nature of this would return to us. Someone will tell me I'm racist or sexist or elitist or priveleged for God's sake.)
Speaking of Knotts..
One of the areas I remember loving at Knott's was a small courtyard where bougainvillea climbed up the posts of the walkway overhang. There were a couple of shops - one definitely sold jellies and preserves.
I still have a couple of boxes complete with the empty jars that my parents purchased back in the day. After they moved back to Illinois they continued to use the jars to make blackberry jelly year after year - one box they would send back to me in California and one they kept themselves. They loved California and Knotts. It was a regular Sunday afternoon outing for our family.
Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

@Major, that book sounds pretty cool.