Thursday, October 11, 2012

Knott's Potpourri

Here's an oddball batch of leftover Knott's Berry Farm scans from various years!

This first slide was dated January 1960, but I'm going to assume the the picture was taken the month before. Folks are loitering outside of Goldie's Place. It's not a brothel, it's a hotel! I recommend the room service, though.

Here's a fun detail that I've never seen elsewhere... a small, somewhat misshapen Christmas decoration  hangs just above a small sign that says, "Merry Xmas BOYS!". Love it! 

Not too many amusement parks have a church or a chapel, but Knott's Berry Farm had one of each. Even a non-churchy person like me can appreciate these deeply personal touches that Walter Knott included. "Our Chapel By The Lake" was a lovely little building that was inviting and charming, modest and dignified. I wish it was still there.

From a non-commercial Viewmaster reel (yes, you could make your very own Viewmaster reels back in the day!) comes this picture of the antique, mule-powered "Flying Horses" merry-go-round. "Rustic" would be a good word to describe this ride! It was slow, and not exactly pretty, but I'll bet many thousands of adults and children enjoyed their orbit around that pole.


Rich T. said...

I had no clue a person could make their own Viewmaster reels! (Did they sell a kit?)

And, wow, I had forgotten about the mule-powered merry-go-round, but those boxy seats seem to be what I remember most!

Michelle said...

I am one of those children who loved that mule powered merry go round. As a child, it went super fast. I also loved the little chapel. Still mourning that the heart and soul of what made Knotts specialis gone now.:(

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Walter and then "Walt" were both men who stressed "theme" and created the "theme park". It's sad that oneupsmanship, profits and gate totals have taken over and returned it to the "amusement park". The very thing they both hated.

Anonymous said...

I drove the mule-go-round. It was a great ride. Some mules could get that thing going so fast we had to be careful otherwise the seats would hit the poles. I have the drivers seat, a tractor seat, in my backyard. My favorite days were working at the petting zoo.

Anonymous said...

In the day, one would need a view-master stereo camera (dual lenses and dual exposures on the same role of film). It's all explained at the following:


Melissa said...

Mule-powered merry-go-round with boxy wooden seats? Must have been hard on the asses.

Nanook said...

Alonzo P. Hawk, sadly, hit the nail on the head. Without a quantifiable way to 'measure' charm or heart and soul, as Michelle stated, we are (have) witnessed first-hand the often depressing results of the never-ending search for greater and greater profits. Is it any wonder, then, so many folks continue to hold the earlier days of both Knott's & Disneyland in such high regard-? There's an awful lot to be said for the so-called "simple pleasures", especially when they are a part of a total entertainment package.

K. Martinez said...

The "Merry Xmas Boys" sign is great!

Major Pepperidge said...

Rich T., thanks to CoxPilot's comment below, you can learn all about personal Viewmaster reels and how they were made!

Michelle, I guess that's what we can expect when a business started by a person with vision and passion is sold to a big company that is more concerned with the bottom line.

Alonzo, it is kind of amazing that those two Walters seemed to have so much in common in spite of having very different lives.

Anon, I guess I don't get how the merry-go-round could go very fast. Did it have some sort of gear system? Or did the mules have to run their little hooves off?

CoxPilot, thanks for the link, that saves me a lot of typing!

Melissa, OUCH! ;-)

Nanook, I was listening to a podcast in which the young host said that the Disney execs are looking forward to the passing of the older fans of Disneyland so that they no longer have to hear about how great the park used to be. This host was joking, butI think he is probably right!

K. Martinez, that's my favorite detail of the three pictures for sure.

outsidetheberm said...

You gotta love that Christmas sign!

Major, some of what we 'think' is gone really isn't! Remember, that's what our Stack's Liberty Ranch project is all about! Preserving theme park history. Fact is, your photos today may 'come to life again' in the future...

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210Frwy said...

Before the internet, I used to think I was the only one who enjoyed listening to a turn of the century “party line” on Main Street or watching a chicken peck out a few notes on a toy piano in a simple petting zoo or throwing a penny in Snow White’s wishing well, or walking at night among the dull orange glow of Ghost Town lanterns. But here on GDB I have found I am not alone.