Thursday, August 16, 2018

Mule Ride, Knott's Berry Farm

Here are four more slides of Knott's Berry Farm, from a lot that was so damaged that I almost threw them away. But I decided that in spite of their obvious flaws, they were still pretty fun to look at.

As I said in the previous post, I guestimate that these are from around 1960 (for what that's worth), and today's photos all feature the long-gone mule ride. Or are they donkeys? Even scientists can't tell the difference. While we do see a few adults here, it seems that this attraction appealed to children, for the most part.

Notice the sign for the Haunted Shack in the background.

Any idea what the cave-like area is in the background? Perhaps that's where guests hopped on to their trusty and gentle mules (or donkeys). Also, what is the large stucco wall? I'll bet TokyoMagic! will know.

After only a few minutes, these children have turned from greenhorns into tobacco-chewing, poker-playing, whiskey-drinking desperadoes. They cuss, too! They are just starting to go past the Calico Mine Train, covered with prickly pear cactus and ocotillo. 

One of the saddle blankets (pads?) tells us that the mule beneath it is named "Maude".

There's more Mine Train stuff. The boy with the hat loves to hear the way his "yahoos" reverberate inside the tunnel, and who can blame him? Meanwhile, the girl in the red shirt is so over it.

Stay tuned for more damaged (and undamaged) photos from Knott's Berry Farm!


Nanook said...


How many places are left where kids can still experience this sort of thing-? I believe that 'large stucco wall' is actually the back side of the Calico Mine Ride. Happy "Motoring", kids. Yee-haw-!!

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I'm not sure what they called these back in 1960, but when I rode them in the park and also later after they moved them to the Lagoon area across the street, they called them Burros (which is the same thing as a donkey). Nanook is right about that wall being the backside of the Mine Ride building. And Major, you are right about that cave-like structure being the "loading" area. You can actually see concrete steps leading up to "loading platforms" in that second pic.

TokyoMagic! said...

....and then there's Maude.


TokyoMagic!: I was sooooo dying to say that!! But you beat me to it!

K. Martinez said...

God'll get you for that, Walter.

Love these Knott's Burro Ride photos and I'm glad you decided to post these instead of holding them back because of flaws. As you remarked, these are still pretty fun to look at. Looking forward to more Knott's from this batch. Thank, Major.

Melissa said...

Mmm, haunted snacks.

That little girl in the short shorts is going to be sore by the end of the day.

JC Shannon said...

A bevy of burro buckaroos at the Berry Farm. Say that three times! I am glad that Major did not round file these slides. They are very cool, and reminders of a time long gone. It appears to be a beautiful day for a ride, and of course swilling whiskey, and gambling. I think the girl in the first photo just spit a wad of tobacco...but I can't be sure. Yeeeeeeee Haw! Great stuff today Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I was pretty sure that the stucco wall was part of the Calico Mine Train ride… how many other giant, rock-colored buildings could there have been in 1960 (ish)? Thanks!

TokyoMagic!, aha, the wily Burro. The terror of the desert! When you think about it, they are like great white sharks on land. Yes, looking closely I can just make out those steps, which I would have never noticed otherwise. Thank you!

TokyoMagic!, I’m sure I didn’t really understand the show “Maude” when I was a kid… all I knew is that she was mean!

Mike Cozart, with the reboot of “One Day at a Time” being so successful, apparently Normal Lear is going to be rebooting other shows as well. Maybe “Maude” will be one of them.

K. Martinez, once I saw the fun subject matter, I figured that we could all overlook the faded colors and occasional damage. I’m glad you liked these.

Melissa, hopefully the girl wasn’t on the burros all day!

Jonathan, the burros are the sort of attraction that makes me so nostalgic for the old Knott’s. It was simple, but the average suburban kid probably had never even seen a burro, much less had a chance to ride one. Nowadays, like so many other parks, it’s thrill rides that are the name of the game.

Anonymous said...

"Cigareets and Whuskey, and Wild, Wild, Wimmen, they'll drive you crazy, they'll drive you insane..."

Sons of the Pioneers, ca. 1959.

Life on the frontier brings an early maturity.


Melissa said...

You can still go on a hirse trailer ride at the Tri-Circle-D Ranch at WDW's Fort Wilderness, but it's $55 and requires a reservation. Kids' pony rides are only $8, though. I've never managed to get out there and do it, but it's definitely on the list for next time, whenever that happens.

Nanook said...


That's exactly what Norman has planned for the Maude reboot: This time she's a stubborn burro-!! (With apologies to Bea Arthur). Sh*t howdy-!

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I went through a “Sons of the Pioneers” phase, I really like that old cowboy music. Plus my dad liked it too, so we could enjoy it together.

Melissa, a “hirse trailer”! Your southwestern accent is coming through ;-) Holy smokes, $55. I have gone horse riding a number of times in my life, and I can’t say I loved it that much. It’s OK, but not my thing I guess. When we were in the Sierra Nevada mountains we went riding, and my nag decided she wanted to go somewhere other than the trail, plus she was very jumpy.

Nanook, from what I’ve heard, Bea Arthur was a lovely person, not mean at all. She did a hilarious voice on “Futurama”! Believe it or not, I have never seen “Golden Girls”, one of her most famous gigs.

Melissa said...

"Have you any idea how it feels to be a Fembot living in a Manbot's Manputer's world?"

Matthew said...

I love how the wood wall marks the outskirts of Knott's Berry Farm and they had to paint a sign pointing the way to "Ghost Town" on the wall. Before there was the Roaring 20's area... I believe this was still berry vines... or parking. But I believe that parking lot on the back of Knott's was there and operating and this was still farming country. Maybe Chris will know.

Great photos today. Everyone before me nailed it. It is the back of the Calico Mine Ride and I believe the burros, donkeys or mules, walked around the back of the ride and came back into the park between the Shooting Gallery (or whatever they called it) and the Timber Mountain Log Ride... walking right down the middle of the street (or path).

It makes sense that the load area would be covered and out of the sun. So interesting to see that cave structure connected on to the side of the Mine Ride. I wonder if we look closely at the ol' Mine Ride if we could still identify where it was attached to the mountain?

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle