Sunday, November 04, 2018

Bad Frontierland

If somebody out there enjoys photos of the backs of heads, then this first photo is just for you! It's pretty crummy, but I tried to imagine being the photographer; perhaps he or she was a bit shorter than average, and they had to do the best they could with taller people blocking their view. At least they managed to get the old Stagecoach in there as it bounced away on the dirt path. Don't tip over, li'l coach!

And I know we've all seen views like this lots of times; let's see it with fresh eyes. The Old Mill is dead ahead, with the water wheel slowly turning. For years I never really thought about where the water was supposed to come from, but that sluice seems to be routing it from the spring that spouts from near Tom's Treehouse. In the lower right, guests are heading toward the landing to return to Frontierland proper, while Fort Wilderness appears like a pointy mirage in the distance.


Nanook said...


The Stagecoach POV is for me-!

Thanks, Major.

K. Martinez said...

Well, I guess there's no photo just for me today. Not even a telephone pole in sight. Bah humbug!

I do like the straight-on view of Tom Sawyer Island from the Old Mill to Huck's Treehouse. Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I think that first view is pretty spiffy....and rare. At least those heads weren't blocking the view of the stagecoach as it drove away. And I believe that is one of the "mud wagon" stagecoaches.

TokyoMagic! said...

Hmmm, the time stamping on the comments is interesting, when you post after 2 a.m. on the night that we go off of Daylight Savings Time.


Somewhere - it may be the Disneyland Tom Sawyer Island maps is a legend about lightning ( or maybe somebody digging” at the base of the tree that became gone to the treehouse several springs erupted from the tree base and flowed down the areas natural high point and created the Rivers of America ....

Something along those lines....
Many parks and tourist areas have offered their versions of Stagecoach rides - but the views were always modern streetscenes or odd backbuilding views for the passengers.... but from that stagecoach shot WOW — Disneyland guest had a real themed environment to see on their ride!


Here it is:
“Legend tells us that many moons ago, lightning struck this tree and caused three waterfalls to spring from its roots.....and the 3 falls became the headwaters of the Rivers of America”
-Tom Sawyer Island map souvenir ( appears in all versions from 1957 on, but not the first 1956 version)

Melissa said...

From between other people's heads is how most of us see Disneyland a lot of the time, anyway.

I've always loved the word "sluice." It just has a certain something.

Chuck said...

As uncommon as that angle on TSI is, I like it. When we see a lot of pictures taken from particular vantage points (the riverboat landing, the Kodak/GAF picture spots, etc.), they tend to become the "standard," maybe even the "official," view in our minds. When that happens, we tend to forget that Disneyland is a three-dimensional, immersive environment where the viewer becomes a participant in the action. As we move around the themed space, our vantage point changes, showing us additional details and spatial relationships that we didn't see from another angle.

While this may not be the best possible composition, I love it because it provides a different view, allowing me to experience a little bit of the sheer joy of walking around Disneyland. Now all I need is a little bit of sound effects and a fan to simulate a gentle breeze blowing the smell of popcorn into my face. I can also set fire to a couple of hundred dollar bills to increase the realism and give myself the full effect of a day in the Park.

I can't remember if I've anyone has asked this here before (and consequently can't remember the answer), but was there a fireplace or stove inside the Old Mill that corresponded with the crooked chimney? If so, was it functional?

Mike, I know the treehouse and tree didn't debut until '57, which explains its omission from the '56 map, but I'm wondering - were the streams there from the beginning? Or just the one that powered the mill?

Melissa, now you've got me thinking about how English is such a hard language to learn, with all of the different ways of spelling the same sounds. Heck, it took me more than 13 months of intensive study before I was ever able to speak a word of it.

Why isn't it sloose or joose, or for that matter, why isn't it muice or cabuice? Maybe it's for aesthetic reasons. Somehow, I don't think a film titled Footluice would have been as commercially successful, regardless of whether or not it starred Kevin Bacon.


JC Shannon said...

I agree with Mike that the Stagecoach Ride at Disneyland was the best. Many tried, but few captured the Magic. I always like a fresh view of Frontierland, there are so many photo ops. I gotta say, the shot of TSI put me in a great mood this morning. Thanks Major.

Melissa said...

English is such a hodgepodge of words from other languages. That's what gives it its mongrel vigor. Yttea u cmahl whyrled aphtrw awll.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, of course I like seeing the Stagecoach… just without the heads, preferably.

K. Martinez, ha ha, sorry about the lack of telephone poles!

TokyoMagic!, I think I have (maybe) at least one much better image of a stagecoach driving away. Or was it one of the Yellowstone coaches? I sort of forget.

TokyoMagic!, I wish we would just do away with changing the clocks twice a year, it really seems kind of pointless.

Mike Cozart, ah, interesting! It’s been a long time since I’ve actually read those descriptions on the Tom Sawyer Island maps. BTW, a while ago I thought that there were 3 different TSI maps, then I learned there were 5, and now I have NINE different variations? I agree about Disneyland’s Stagecoach ride… as glad as I am that the one at Knott’s is still there, it does not go through anything even resembling an old west wilderness.

Mike Cozart, thanks! I love that legend. Lightning always adds a dash of drama to any story.

Melissa, ha ha, I guess that is true. I remember when I would go to see a band, and I always felt sorry for the girls who were 5 feet tall. All they could see was the backs of heads.

Chuck, you make a good point, and I think that Frontierland in its prime was an especially amazing demonstration of the way the Imagineers created an immersive environment that really put guests in the “Old West”, in spite of being a few hundred yards from a parking lot. Your question about that chimney on the old mill (and whether there was a corresponding fireplace) is a first! I never even thought about it, to be honest. I’d love to find out that there really was a potbellied stove (or something) inside the mill. Also, I do believe that there were multiple streams jetting from the top of the hillside, pre-Treehouse, although I could be wrong. Have you ever seen the Dr. Seuss gem, “The Tough Coughs as he Ploughs the Dough”? Also, at first I thought you wrote about a film called “Footjuice”, which is gross.

Jonathan, there were so many western-themed amusement parks throughout the U.S. in the 50’s, I suppose it’s possible that some of then had pretty swell examples of stagecoach rides, but it’s pretty hard to beat Disneyland’s.

Melissa, you’re talkin’ some kinda Martian language.

Chuck said...

Melissa, there's so much that we share! ;-)


Looking at plans dated Dec. 1955 for MILL and plans dated April 1957 for FLOUR MILL .... nothing shows any indication of a stove.... in fact where a stove or fireplace would be located is a wooden access walkway for an employee doing grinding-milling demonstration. The exterior stone chimney and smoke-jack appears to have been a dummy.
The stone visible on the same wall south of the chimney is just the exterior of what supports the waterwheel’s axel-shaft opposite end. Oddly bellow the shaft support is an opening in the stone that looks like a fireplace harth with its opening borded up with board and bat wood siding. Perhaps this was done to look like an existing cabin had been converted into a flour mill.(???)
I’m not sure how long real flour was milled ( and used for bicuits at the Chicken Plantation Restsurant ) but I have a feeling it wasn’t very long. But in its early days it was a fully functioning water powered grist mill.

Dean Finder said...

You learn something every day here...
I had no idea that the mill was ever functional.

Chuck said...

Thanks for the additional detail, Mike!

Anonymous said...

Fascinating thread. Thanks everyone. I still maintain that the mythic forebear of the streams from the treehouse are the fountains of water in the Norse myth of the World Ash tree, Yggdrasil. It's just too perfect a correlation to be an accident.

Best regards.