Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Knott's Berry Farm

I sure wish I had lots more slides from Knott's Berry Farm - my meager collection has nearly been completely scanned. Phooey. BUT... I'm not done yet!

I'll start today's post with this beautiful shot of the Stagecoach (from a slide dated "November 1960", but surely taken months before). For some reason that bridge/overpass that the stage has just crossed is wet, even though the sky looks clear and blue. So... UFOs! I'm not entirely sure where this was taken, does anybody recognize the nondescript structures nearby? 

While this photo is not super-exciting, I love the look of the park from the days when eucalyptus trees were everywhere - I can almost smell them!

Meanwhile, as part of what I believe was referred to as "Knott's Lake", you would have seen this "island" (actually connected to the land by narrow walkways) with the "Indian Trading Post", which consisted of a few teepees and a totem pole. The two don't really go together, but hey, they look great! 


Nanook said...


That first shot is a beaut-! No doubt the 'wet roadbed' was due to it being used in a movie or TV shoot - or not. It just gives the image that little extra umph (or is it oomph-?) to make it pop.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, the first pic in this 2008 post of yours shows almost an identical camera angle, but it was taken from just a little further back. The third pic in that 2008 post shows the stagecoach as it is starting to cross over that same bridge. The tunnel below leads to the El Camino Real trail where the California missions were located and that small building in the background of today's post contained one of the missions. Knott's Stagecoach 1968

Chuck said...

TM!, you beat me to it. I was pretty sure that first photo was taken exactly where you described it, and I'm glad to have my memories confirmed.

Reading through the commentary from the 2008 post you linked above, I'm so glad that you guys' worst fears weren't realized. I know the regulars here are aware, but for the casual visitor here are links to a series of articles that talk about the history of the mission models at Knott's and recent efforts to restore them:





I think the lake in the second photo was eventually called "Reflection Lake," although the mid-60s map on the inside front cover of "Knott's Preserved" just calls it "Lake."

I'm trying to figure out what the structure is visible on the left edge of that picture. I thought it might be the Little Chapel By the Lake, but the roofline and size are wrong (https://www.cardcow.com/images/set313/card00046_fr.jpg, http://www.matterhorn1959.com/blog1/knottsberryfarm2010visit2.jpg). Then I thought it might be one of the structures that held the mission dioramas, but there I found this photo (http://smg.photobucket.com/user/bananaphone5000/media/NEWGORILLA/Knotts_Missions_7-14-64.jpg.html) and realized that didn't look right, either. Any ideas, guys?

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, I'm wondering if that object just to the left of the stagecoach could be a train car or caboose parked on the side/spur section track?

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I thought about how streets are often wet in movies or car commercials, but can’t imagine why it would be that way on a Knott’s Berry Farm road. Maybe it’s possible that some little rain shower had recently passed by.

TokyoMagic!, that IS a very similar photo! I had forgotten about it. Thanks also for the info about the El Camino Real trail, I’m sure I knew that at one time!!

Chuck, I had read those posts over on the O.C. Historical Blog, but it was fun to reread them. I’m so glad that many of the original dioramas were saved… it’s kind of a miracle. I was thinking that the structure to the left in the 2nd picture was one that held a mission model, but will take your word that it doesn’t match up. Maybe it was just a small souvenir stand of some kind? There are definitely people milling around it, whatever it is.

TokyoMagic!, I thought Chuck was referring to that distant structure in the 2nd photo, but maybe I’m mistaken. The thing in the first photo could be part of a train, but I just can’t tell.

Chuck said...

TM!, I think that's a boxcar (D&RGW No. 3350) on a siding in the first photo. Thanks for pointing that out, because I totally missed it.

I was actually asking about the structure in the far left of the second picture. I now see how I neglected that key piece of info in my comment.

Nancy said...

Beautiful horses!! :-)

Chuck said...

Major, maybe that is a diorama structure after all. Just because it doesn't look like the ones in the GDB photo I linked doesn't mean that none of them looked like that; there were 21 of them, after all. This might very well be the other side of the one in the first photo.

I'll accept the "mission diorama structure" theory and sleep well tonight.

Monkey Cage Kurt said...

Once again, a day belated and a dollar be-shorted. There’s nothing I can add to these comments of my hometown park that have not already been stated. I did immediately recognize the mission diorama housings though.

Now, as for the ground being wet… My sister worked there when she was a teen, and I seem to recall her telling me that Knott’s used to hose down the entire park every morning.