Monday, May 29, 2017

The Columbia, February 1961

Happy Memorial Day!

I love this first shot of the Columbia on the Rivers of America - it has just set sail - with no sails! Maybe all of those colorful nautical flags provided enough propulsion. Notice that the Mark Twain is berthed at Fowler's Harbor. This being 1961, Frontierland still had that wonderful frontier feeling, with minimal construction along the northwest shore. 

The photo was taken from the bridge that went over the water as it transitioned from Frontierland to Adventureland's "Rivers of the World" (see a photo of that bridge at this old post). One raft is heading to Tom Sawyer Island, while another rests beneath us - it's February, after all. The Plantation House is to our left! 

This might not be as cool as a rare photo of the Viewliner, or the Tomorrowland Boats, but it is a beauty to me.

From the same batch is this other lovely photo with the Columbia as it is just about to pass Cascade Peak and Big Thunder Falls. Look at all the people on the ship!  


Pegleg Pete said...

These are some real beauties today, Major - specially that first one! I'm jealous of anyone who got to experience the early Frontierland.

Chuck said...

What Pegleg Pete said.

I guess I never realized that that area in front of the bridge was used as a "harbor" for the rafts. I wonder if they had a submarine net they pulled across it at night?

As you enjoy your barbecues and bank holidays (that's for you, Pegleg Pete) today, please take a moment this Memorial Day to reflect on the larger meaning of the day, to remember those that have come before and are now at rest.

Thanks for a great set of photos, Major!

Patrick Devlin said...

"might not be as cool" ? these are pretty cool, Daddy-O.

K. Martinez said...

Chuck, thank you for the reminder of what Memorial Day is about.

Another beautiful set today, Major. Thanks!

Nanook said...


Any DL image including any part of the Plantation House is a winner in my book. And if it includes The Columbia - so much the better. And speaking of crowds... thank goodness those crowds are aboard The Columbia and not another vessel on the high seas-!

Thanks Major - and also what Chuck said.

Major Pepperidge said...

Pegleg Pete, I particularly love photos that really give a sense of what the early Disneyland was like, and that first one is a special example.

Chuck, a submarine net? Each morning they had to remove tiny ironclads from the netting, I guess. As the son of a Navy Commander who went to Vietnam, I am very conscious of (and grateful for) the sacrifices our servicemen and women have made for us.

Patrick Devlin, I totally grok where you are coming from!

K. Martinez, I’m glad you liked these.

Nanook, there is something very evocative about that old Plantation House, I wish I’d seen it with my own peepers. Even without the crowds, it is hard to imagine that small vessel circumnavigating the globe - think of it pitching and swaying in very heavy seas. Yikes.

Steve DeGaetano said...

Even better, Major, think of the Columbia's tiny consort, the tender "Lady Washington." How did SHE ever make it 'round the Horn? You can still sail aboard a replica when she's in port. And, it's a tradition that when the Lady Washington is docked nearby, her crew will make it a point to go to Disneyland for a ride on the Columbia!

For a great account of the real ship and her voyages, you can't do better than "Hail Columbia," by John Scofield.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pics today. Interesting to see how the River connected to the Jungle Cruise Rivers.

It just occurred to me that the bridge from which the photo was taken is very close in location to today's bridge in front of the Pirates. I wonder if they developed separately or if there was some intent in the replication of the prior condition?

@Chuck and Major, indeed. Memorial Day is a day for remembrance for all citizens, but especially those of us who have lost loved ones in conflict.

Best to all today.


Connie Moreno said...


I clearly remember seeing the Columbia sail without sails and no one else seemed to remember that. They all told me I was nuts. HA! It happened! I may have been only 6 years old but I know what I saw!