Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Indian Village, 1958

I would love to know what exactly is going on in these photos of the Friendly Indian Village ("FIV") from March, 1958. It looks like all of the teepees are either being completely rebuilt, or at least reskinned and/or repainted. They sure looks strange in gleaming white rather than their more familiar buffalo hide colors. 

At first I wondered if, perhaps, the FIV didn't even exist until 1958, but here's a link to a 1956 photo that appears to be the exact same location. So there.

Moving right along the river, you might be distracted by the meese frolicking in the shallows, or by the Natural Arch (for the pack mules to walk across). But I can't help staring at the giant tin-foil ball in front of that teepee. That must have been the result of years of saving every Juicyfruit and Double-mint wrapper. What an achievement!

Our photographer must have taken another trip on the "Twain" (The Columbia wouldn't be there until June), and he took one more photo - it's not a good photo, but I might as well include it here.

Extra! Extra! A comment from our pal Tom got me to thinking. Could you see the Natural Arch bridge and Cinderella Castle from way up by the Indian Village? So I found a nice aerial jpeg on Google Images and made a little diagram. By gum, it works! The red line is the "line of sight" (more or less) in the second photo.


Nanook said...


All three images are pretty damn stunning - white teepees, or no.

Thanks, Major.

Nancy said...

Beautiful shots this morning :-) such a nice way to begin my day!

cant help but notice the tiny castle peeking out over the trees from this high vantage point...

K. Martinez said...

That foil ball looks like the giant-sized campfire version of Jiffy Pop Popcorn. Pop-pop-pop-pop-pop-pop.

@Nancy - That tiny castle is Disneyland's version of Cinderella's Castle. Impressive, isn't it? But then there's the tiny Beast's Castle in the Magic Kingdom now.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

That tinfoil ball is the communal FIV pizza oven.

No self respecting Anaheim Native American warrior would be caught dead without a daily slice o' pie. Venison and goat cheese with maybe a few lentils on top for luck. Yum.

The tee-pees went back(later)to the buffalo hide color after the HOA cracked down on them.

Love that rainy sky in the second one.

Melissa said...

The establishment is ALWAYS whitewashing the history of Native Americans!

Tom said...

I love that second shot because of the attraction overlap mentioned already: the Rivers of America of course, plus the Painted Desert, and the miniature Cinderella's Castle in the distance.

I was having a hard time wrapping my brain around the natural arch though, since lining up the castle with the bend in the river results in something that couldn't include that particular feature. I'm guessing this is probably a tunnel that leads backstage for train maintenance.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yes, the photographer seems to have had some skill… and a nice camera. It makes a difference!

Nancy, it's funny how often that little Storybook Land castle manages to make its way into other Frontierland photos.

K. Martinez, do they still make Jiffy Pop? Everything is so microwave-centric these days. I kind of miss it!

Alonzo, it's funny, I almost made a Homeowner's Association joke, but somewhere in the process it got cut!

Melissa, what about the New Establishment? They just have a good time rocking out.

Tom, I am pretty sure that the bridge is one that the mules walked across, but you might be right. If you look closely you can just see through to a sliver of the other side.

Nanook said...

@ Tom-

I'm gonna have to agree with The Major on this one. The bridge certainly appears to be Natural Arch Bridge - the well-traveled route for both the Stagecoaches and Pack Mules. The orientation of the bridge should easily line-up with a view towards Cinderella's Castle in Storybook Land.

Clyde Hughes said...

Thanks for the wonderful photos today!
The 'whitewashing' of the tee-pees might've been vandalism from a rival tribe, who were into paint, rather than war.
The giant ball of foil reminds me of an episode of the Andy Griffith Show from a few years later. Asa Breeney, the guard at the Mayberry Bank, said he had a ball of tinfoil at home. Maybe this was a common occurrence during the late 50s/early 60s?
What a neat perspective - the arch and the castle make a photo that captures the imagination.

Tom said...

Maybe we're doing a potato / potahto thing. The "Natural Arch Bridge" I usually think of as being called that is toward the bottom of that b&w photo. You can see a train of mules just starting to cross over, and a mine train that just went through.

I'm so darn pedantic. This one is my favorite extinct attraction so I think I get a license. Right? right?

Nanook said...


The controversy continues. Check out This Link to a Daveland image. It would appear the first image is mis-identifying the location for the Bridge. Either way, they both make a bee line to the castle.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook and Tom, I was afraid that I might have chosen the wrong outcropping as the arch bridge, but as Nanook says, it still works pretty well. But Tom, I see the area that you mean… that might be yet another "overpass". We need experts!

Clyde, I have heard that saving foil into balls was a thing with certain people back then. Same with twine and string. Your comment makes me want to watch the Andy Griffith Show!