Tuesday, October 09, 2018

Knott's Berry Farm Assortment

I have an odd assortment of snapshots and scans from Knott's Berry Farm that I am going to share with you today!

Let's start with this undated snapshot of a mother and 3 kids aboard the wonderful Log Ride. I believe that they are just starting their journey along a log flume, where they will eventually wind up at a saw mill, and will narrowly escape being sawn into kindling.

I might as well take this opportunity to repost a photo from one of my early trips to Knott's - there I am, young Major Pepperidge, second from the front. I think that we were at the park for my birthday.

Here's another snapshot (undated), with a couple posing in front of the Dreger Clock - it's strange to see the clock painted white with red trim - I think it was dark green whenever I saw it.

From 1961 comes this too-dark photo of one of the old San Francisco cable cars that used to run along a track at Knott's. I think it was pretty amazing that Walter Knott took advantage of the fact that San Francisco was scrapping most of their legendary cable cars... what a great idea for an attraction.

Some of you have long memories, so you may remember seeing this family before, both at Disneyland and at Knott's. Maybe the homemade yellow and white dresses on the girls will ring a bell. I am relieved to learn that Sedaville is only 17 miles away.

I hope you have enjoyed your visit to Knott's Berry Farm!


Nanook said...


Nice assortment from America's 'First Theme Park'. I'm a bit disappointed you didn't join-in with the waving well-wishers as you embarked on your flume adventure; but you seemed content-enough.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

The Original Berry Stand can be seen in the upper right corner of that rose garden pic.

It's nice to finally have the Dreger Clock restored and back on view for the public to enjoy (just up the street in front of the Buena Park Visitor's Center). Prior to that it was just rusting away in a warehouse at Knott's. If it had not gone to the Visitor's Center, I wonder if it would have been auctioned off in that 2017 Knott's auction.

Chuck said...

I had a Hang Ten shirt nearly identical to the one you're wearing in the second photo. It was one of my favorite shirts ever. Your photo was taken (or at least printed) when the log ride was just over a year old.

The bearded members of that last family look familiar, but I haven't been able to find any photos in the GDB archives of them at Disneyland.

Irene said...

Thanks for the Knotts photos today! Knotts was great back then, went downhill for awhile when Cedar Fair took over but now with new management in place and great people (who used to work for Disney by the way) in charge of things like entertainment, etc., it has been back on track for several years now. Knotts is my go to place now, especially with the price increase at Disney and how even more crowded it's going to get with Star Wars!!!

Alonzo P Hawk said...

I agree with Irene. We have been to Knott's 3 times in the last 5 years (last trip to Disney 5 years ago). Better value for a family of four now that the big D has long since passed the century mark ($100) for admission, added peak pricing, not limited the crowd, etc.

Stefano said...

Knott's was a great place for kids' birthday parties--- I remember in the good old days there was an enclosed party garden in Fiesta Village near the petting zoo. Major, is that a mix of friends and family with you in the log?

It's funny how the folks in the first pic are all crammed in the back seat; maybe that was less scary for them or they anticipated less water spray. The very first Log Riders, John and Ethan Wayne, sat in the back to allow for a cameraman in front to record their reactions.

In spite of being twice as long, much higher tech, and hugely budgeted, Splash Mountain doesn't come close to the satisfaction of the Knott's Log Ride (and the former may have been the first time Disneyland was guilty of plagiarism).

DrGoat said...

Hey nice to see ya Major.
Chuck: we called them surfer shirts and the one I had was more like the one the kid has on behind the waver. Mostly red or blue stripes. A little out of place in Tucson, but just about every kid on my block had one. Thanks Major.

Anonymous said...

Re the Cable Cars: I liked that they went through the parking lot and they served as parking lot trams. I miss the dirt lots and the eucalyptus trees that defined the rows.

JC Shannon said...

Great scans today. I love Knotts as much as Disneyland. I had birthdays at both, and attended friends' birthdays at KBF a couple of times. There was something rustic and a little charming about the park. Kinda like a giant Rainbow Ridge. I bet you were still a Second Lieutenant when that photo was taken Major. And now, I am going to make some toast with Boysenberry jam. Thanks for the great memories.

Melissa said...

The Major as a minor! What a cutie! Please tell me the kid in the back of the log didn't suffer any I'll effects from not keeping their hands in the vehicle!

I do remember those girls in the yellow dresses. I hope it's just the film stock and they're not as sunburned as they look.

K. Martinez said...

I do recognize you as one of the kids in the log, but I probably wouldn't' have known it was you until you pointed it out. I can see your adult face and expression. Thanks for the wonderful stroll through old time Knott's.

Irene and Alonzo, I hear you. My go to place now is Knott's as well. For the value and entertainment level I find that I enjoy myself much more at Knott's Berry Farm than at Disneyland. It's less complicated, less crowded and more relaxing while still being fun at the same time. Knott's still has some of the old-school charm left.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I’m not sure why I wasn’t waving; I was probably already much too cool!

TokyoMagic!, thanks for pointing out the original berry stand. And I agree, even though it’s a bummer that the Dreger Clock is no longer at Knott’s, I’m glad it was restored and is on display instead of being sold in that auction.

Chuck, I had a number of Hang Ten shirts in those days, they were my favorites. I didn’t think about the fact that the Log Ride was new back then! Hard to believe. The bearded family members in photo #4 were at Disneyland, but they mostly enjoyed Storybook Land over and over.

Irene, I’m glad you still love Knott’s! I am bummed that they tore out so much history recently, but the “Knott’s Alive” event seems to be very popular with many people. And oh my gosh, can you even imagine what Disneyland will be like when Star Wars Land opens? I would rather be almost anywhere else.

Alonzo, it has almost been as long for me as far as going to Disneyland. Even back in 1970, Knott’s was something that was easy and affordable for my Navy family, while visiting Disneyland was a special occasion. I sure had a ton of fun at Knott’s!

Stefano, yes, two of the kids are friends, and the other two are family. I noticed that the other family was crammed into the back seat, and wondered if it was strictly for “family photo” purposes? There were log flume rides before Knott’s, though theirs certainly had the best theming. I read that Arrow Development had built over 50 log flumes! So the word plagiarism seems kind of harsh; I think Disney did a great job with Splash Mountain - it does not feel cheap or derivative, unlike some other later attractions.

DrGoat, it might surprise you that I don’t look much like that little kid anymore! The “kid behind the waver” is my brother’s friend Curt (he barely talked, har har).

Anon, sadly I don’t remember the Cable Cars, though I know I would have liked them. RIP eucalyptus trees!

Jonathan, Knott’s evolved from a berry stand to a restaurant to a ghost town, and on and on, so it did have a more organic, charming feel than Disneyland’s spectacular, planned layout. It still amazes me how my mom would just let us run wild around the park - at that time it felt like I knew every inch by heart.

Melissa, the kid in the back is my little sister, and she’s fine! I just saw her last week before she went to a family wedding in Chicago. Now that you mention it, that last slide does look a bit red, but that is fairly typical of many old slides, as you probably know.

Major Pepperidge said...

K. Martinez, yes, somewhere in that kid’s face I still recognize good old ME! I wonder if one of the things we like about Knott’s is that you can still be fairly spontaneous - no need for fast passes, or restaurant reservations 3 months in advance, or phone apps?

Anonymous said...

So fun to see the family photo, Major. thanks for that.

The couple on the bench remind me of my Mom and Dad. They don't look like them, but...

I have my picture sitting on that bench with the miners. Fun stuff.

Oddly, i don't recall the clock, but do vaguely recall the streetcar.

I have to think about going back to Knotts.

Thanks all.


Anonymous said...

@Major and Chuck, I had a Hang 10 t-shirt with a drawing of seagulls.

Just one though, I remember Mom complaining it was expensive.

I wish I still had it, or at least the drawing. I could probably still wear it since I was a fat kid.


K. Martinez said...

Major, Absolutely! I prefer spontaneity and an easy going environment. It shouldn't be a struggle to visit the park. Knott's provides that more care free and relaxed feeling in my opinion. And to be truthful, Disneyland has become a sort of empty soulless experience for me. As Rolly said "the park is gone". Why would I waste that much money on a place that no longer gives me that special feeling?

stu29573 said...

Nope. Both Knotts and Disney got the Log Ride (and the runaway mine train) from the place where the first ones were built- Six Flags Over Texas! Both have aged better than 6FoT however...

JC Shannon said...

@Ken, I heartily agree, the money-uber-alles mentality has homogenized the park to the point where the magic is almost forgotten. But, we always have our magic memories, they can't bulldoze those!

Melissa said...

I've had several Hang Ten shirts over the years, but all secondhand

I can't do the big drop at Splash Mountain, so I don't really have a basis for comparison. But I can't imagine it being better than the flumes at Darien Lake and Kennywood. Kennywood especially is very artistically themed, with Venetian bridges and junk, and the most amazing cloud of water on impact.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, My mom just found a photo of my brother and me wearing mouse ears and holding pop guns (we must have just been to Disneyland), I am trying to decide if I should scan it and share it! BTW, I only remember the clock from later in its life, certainly not from the early 60’s. I think you would enjoy Knott’s… it isn’t the crazy full day experience of Disneyland, but if you explore Ghost Town and take in the history, you’ll still have fun.

JG again, we were so into Hang Ten shirts that we would make little footprints on the blackboard using the side of our hand and then adding the toes. If we had stayed in Huntington Beach longer, I’m sure I would have taken up surfing!

K. Martinez, it’s so strange for me to listen to podcasts in which the hosts still love the park so much. Sure, they’ll have some light criticisms here and there, but nothing can dampen their ardor. I almost wish I felt that way!

stu29573, yes, SFOT had the first one. There was one at the 1964 World’s Fair as well. I’m pleased (and kind of amazed) that the one in Texas is still there after all this time.

Jonathan, I suppose that today’s guests still find magic at Disneyland, it’s just a different kind of magic. The crowds are such a turnoff for me, and so many things that are wonderful memes for them (turkey legs?) are not wonderful to me. I’m glad if those people still love going to the park, but in a way I believe that the AP system has been responsible for what I don’t like these days.

Melissa, I’d be thrilled to find a good Hang Ten shirt at a thrift store! You’re lucky you’ve experienced Kennywood - I’m not sure if you’ve been going there for many years, or if you’ve only gone fairly recently? Still, it is a legendary park.

Anonymous said...

One of my best memories of Knott's was sitting near the Cable Car Kitchen and watching the cable cars go to and from the parking lot from that spot. It really did feel like a farm back then. KS

Anonymous said...

@Major, you should definitely post that picture.