Wednesday, February 07, 2018

More Donated Frontierland Scans

Here are four more slides, contributed by...

SO mysterious. He wears a cape, so you know he's legit.

All four of today's photos (dated May, 1964) make Frontierland appear to be the Loneliest Place on Earth. That poor lady needs a hug and some hot soup! A few folks wait for a ride over at the queue for the Nature's Wonderland Railroad, but things feel very Twilight Zone-ish. It seems hard to believe that there was a time when an off-day at the park could be this empty.

It would be fun to mail a letter from Disneyland - except that I seem to be the LAST MAN ON EARTH! Or it feels that way, anyhow. I suppose there could be worse places to ride out the next several decades in complete seclusion.

At least the sun is out in the next two photos. We get a nice look at the water tower for the Disneyland Railroad. I like prosaic details like the ordinary green garden hose coiled up on the ground, and the spotlights on a stand (for night refillings) under the roof's overhang.

Ah, this one feels a little less gloomy. The wonderful yellow Disneyland Railroad passenger cars (pulled by the Ernest S. Marsh) are loading and unloading at the old Frontierland Station. The landscaping is very pretty!

Stay tuned for more donated Frontierland scans.


Nanook said...


I think that gal is waiting fo the Gonzalez Trio.

Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

Mailing a letter at Disneyland is fun, but placing the letterbox so close to the trash can does pose problems for the absent-minded. You have no idea how many times I've shredded a fax.

Although surrounded by urban sprawl by 1964, the California Lawn Snake (serpens gramina californius) in the third photo shows how Disneyland functions as a haven for wildlife of all kinds. While nothing's moved (except the water tower ladder), that area looks so different today. JG (and probably many more of you), I'm still jealous of your opportunity to see that platform up close.

K. Martinez said...

So, you are legend, Major?

It used to be fun to mail a letter or postcard from Disneyland because it was actually postmarked "Disneyland, CA". Sadly, now it's just postmarked "Anaheim, CA". Thanks, Major.

Steve DeGaetano said...

The third photo feature many unique, um, features. The green garden hose is there for an interesting reason: If the locomotive injectors (the devices that use steam to "inject" water into the boilers) get too hot (from the steam), they won't function. Cooling them off with water from the hose will get them working again.

Just to the right of the water tower we see a switch stand, topped by a switch lamp. So at this point, the siding at Frontierland was still functional. Indeed, we can actually see part of the passing siding just below the passenger's elbow at bottom right.

While as Chuck notes, nothing has really "moved," the current water tower is a replacement for this one, and pretty much everything about it is different. Also, there is no "steam funnel" next to the water tower as there is today (the storm-drain looking box that funnels the steam when the engine performs a "blowdown"). Which, for me, begs the question: Where did the engines blow down before the steam funnel was installed?

Love the colors in the last photo.

DrGoat said...

Wow Chuck, what a difference between '64 and now. And thanks Steve for the info.
Mom and Dad mailed letters from Disneyland to relatives in New York City almost every time we went in the early 60s. I remember them getting a big kick out of it.

Patrick Devlin said...

Nice pictures Major, thanks ever so much.

Steve, steam engines blow down in the same place that 500 lb. gorillas sit: Anywhere they want to! I'd have imagined that they blew down more or less right where they do today. With the crew out of the cab tending to the tender's water level there would be opportunity for the engineer to check for clearance away from the blowdown valve and give the fireman the OK sign. Just a guess but I could swear I remember blow downs there before the steam tunnel was installed. I have been wrong before...

Alonzo P Hawk said...

That poor lady needs some Clam Chowder in a bread bowl quick. Too bad NOS won't be there for a few more years.

If I left the garden hose looking like that I would have had my frowning Pops standing over me whilst' I "did it the right way" till nice even circles would appear.
Thanks for posting.

Steve DeGaetano said...

I suppose so, Patrick. Looks to just be a grass-covered hillside next to the water tower. But I imagine the force of a blowdown on that hillside wouldn't be too good for the landscaping.

Stefano said...

The long grass in the third photo is the type later seen all over Magic Mountain; I can't remember seeing it in the Magic Kingdom. And no railings around the flower and lawn beds in the fourth photo; were they added post-Walt because of picnickers, hippie sunbathers, nighttime canoodlers?

Chuck said...

Steve, do you know when the steam funnel was installed? I don't remember seeing it before 1993, but that's just because I wasn't looking for it; the earliest photographic evidence I've found in a five-minute, lunch-break search is that it was there by August of 1970.

Patrick Devlin said...

Thanks for the research, Chuck. I guess I am wrong about ever having seen blowdowns without its presence. Like I said, "I've been wrong before" and it's always good to simply find out more about the details because that's where the fun is. Good stuff all...

JG said...

Major, these old pics are so much fun.

Always good to hear the details about the trains from Steve D. I've learned so much here, it's like ground school except for locomotives.

@Chuck, I was very lucky to get a trip that coincided with the train shutdown. It was very neat to tour the old station up close again. Pretty much a last opportunity, I'm guessing, once the Wookies take over, it will all be replaced with the Mos Eisley express.

Also @Chuck, check your email.


Steve DeGaetano said...

Chuck, I don't know exactly when the funnel was installed. But thanks to your research, we know it was sometime between 1964 and 1970!

Anonymous said...

As for the lack of crowds, remember that 'back in the day' during the off-season the Park was closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. And that was true during my time up to 1978. KS

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it’s hard for even the Gonzalez Trio to add much joy to that scene, it’s so gray and gloomy.

Chuck, they should open a laundromat at Disneyland, because that would probably be fun too! I’ve heard that the park encourages California Lawn Snakes by feeding them and making sure they have their necessary shots.

K. Martinez, I am more of an urban legend. Like alligators in the sewer. Bummer that they don’t stamp “Disneyland” on the letters anymore.

Steve DeGaetano, so if the injectors stop working, will the train stop moving?? Is this problem unique to Disneyland’s locomotives? Thanks for pointing out the switch stand and the siding.

DrGoat, I have seen postcards with the “Disneyland” watermark on them, but once I seriously collected Disneyland cards, I wanted them unused.

Alonzo, i’ve never had the chowder at Disneyland, but it always looks good to me. Too bad they don’t serve it with a crisp white wine - I hate chowder and white wine in San Francisco years ago and it was so good. Yeah, my dad was a stickler for winding the hose in nice loops too.

Steve DeGaetano, now I am curious as to how they did the blowdowns!

Stefano, the good thing about that particular grass… no mowing. And I love the “no railing” look, even though it would never work with today’s crowds.

Chuck, unless I’m looking at the wrong thing, I would expect a steam funnel to be closer to the train...?

Patrick Devlin, I’m glad that I have never been wrong. It must be terrible! ;-)

JG, thanks to you sharing your photos, we could at least experience that close up view vicariously.

Steve DeGaetano, I am shocked - SHOCKED - that you don’t know the exact date! Just because I assume you know every detail.

KS, I know that the park used to be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays - imagine being a family from far away, driving all the way to Anaheim, and finding the place CLOSED.

Melissa said...

That sad, lonely woman reminds me of our old friend Linda.