Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Frontierland Signage, 1969

I wonder what our Mysterious Benefactor is doing today? Shaking hands with world leaders? Lounging on the sandy beaches of San Tropez? Skiing in Innsbruck? What a life he leads! And yet he is humble and lovable. 

Today's three Frontierland scans feature classic signage. It might not be everyone's cup of tea, but in my opinion, having an interest in details like these ordinary signs is what separates us from the animals. 

The Pendleton store was at Disneyland for many years, gracing Frontierland from 1955 all the way through to 1990. I wonder if Pendleton supplied the tour guides with their various plaid outfits? While researching to see when the store closed, I found that the Pendleton company website had two articles about their history in Disneyland. They're not in-depth, but they’re still fun. See one article HERE, and another article (with two of my photos!) HERE.

Here's an oldie from my collection showing a more general view of the Pendleton store.

Meanwhile, sandwiched between Casa de Fritos ("Hey, Klondike!") and the Mine Train queue, one would have found the Mineral Hall - but it only appeared to you if you were worthy. As most of you know, the hall was a paradise for rock hounds. 

"Ma, can I have this feldspar?". "No, son, it's one of the most common rocks in the world, making up around 41% of the Earth's continental crust (by weight). Pick something more interesting. How about this nice rose quartz?" "Aw, gee whiz!". Aaaaand... scene. 

Most people remember the display of fluorescent minerals that dazzled beneath a magical blacklight.

I can't believe I don't have a better picture with the Mineral Hall than this one, but I'm lazy and didn't want to spend that much time looking. Cartoons need to be watched.

Here's some nice glowy rocks, courtesy of Wikipedia! PSYCHEDLIC.

And finally, here's a busy December day in front of the Golden Horseshoe Revue. For many years the GHR made do with a printed cloth banner, which seemed so odd to me. They finally got this fancy sign in either late 1961 or early 1962, and the world was a happier place.


Nanook said...


I just love the way that lovely Pendleton sign was merely screwed down to the wooden siding. And a view or two of the [relatively] short-lived Mineral Hall. I suddenly feel all 'a-glow'.

Thanks, Major.


After Mineral Hall closed the interior spaces were used for Frontierland area offices - right along side the offices for Case De Fritos.

Melissa said...

When I was a kid, we had a family friend whose business was going to NYC, buying up remnants of designer fabrics, and selling them for a discount out of a shop in her barn. One time she got in some Pendleton wool, and Mom bought it to make Dad a jacket for Christmas. She swore us to secrecy and kept making us promise not to let it slip. Aaaand... She was so excited she told him herself before he even got in the door that night. To be fair, it was pretty nice cloth.

Chuck said...

Interesting that the Pendleton article credits photos to Daveland and Regions Beyond but not you. Were those photos published before you started watermarking, or were they trimmed by unscrupulous posters and released out into the wild?

I remember noting Mineral Hall on a mid-'70s trip and thinking it looked more like a "real" building than the structures across the track. For years I wondered why they had built a full-size facade right there, until I discovered that there actually had been an exhibit/store inside many years before. I guessed it had offices inside; thanks for confirming that, Mike.

That glowy photo of the rocks makes me think of the crystal tables inside the Lost City and the Pylons in the Krofft series The Land of the Lost. Man, did I love that show.

Thanks for keeping us separate from the animals, Major!

Stefano said...

Major, your Mineral Hall photo is better than the only one the authors of "Disneyland: The Nickel Tour" could dig up ( and that is the best book on Disneyland I've seen).

For the brief period I surfed at age 13, I knew the Frontierland store was the place to buy a Pendleton; mine looked like the one the Beach Boys wore in some pictures. The Pendleton clerk said that most of their customers were foreign born, maybe wanting to bring some of the Hollywood-inspired Old West home with them.

JC Shannon said...

I have always loved Pendleton shirts and have owned one or two since I was a kid. To get one today, I have to drive to Jackson, Wyoming. Very nice photos today, I love all things Frontierland. Here in Montana we have a Museum of Mines. Included in the displays are some very cool flourescent minerals. I had a 60s flashback, far-out. I remember looking at the Disraeli Gears album cover under a blacklight, outasite man. Thanks for the right-on scans Major. Solid dude.

K. Martinez said...

When Frontierland was AWESOME! Nice pics today! Thanks, Major.

JC Shannon said...

Ken, you are so right! Awesome. What I wouldn't give for just one more ride on the Mine Train. If I were able to shrink a little, I would happily live in the house on the hill in Rainbow Ridge.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, sometimes the old ways are the best ways. Maybe Confucius said that?

Mike Cozart, they sure needed a lot of random office space, apparently. Perhaps each land had it’s own managers and other staff, and they all needed a place to be official.

Melissa, funny that even your mom couldn’t keep her own secret! Was the wool a glorious plaid, or something more subdued?

Chuck, sadly I did not start watermarking my stuff until 8 years in. I see my stuff all over the internet, often attributed to other people. Oh well. As a die-hard fan of anything that glows or lights up, I would have wanted to go see the glowing rocks - if I had known they were there. I have a few fluorescent minerals in a box somewhere, along with a blacklight. I watched plenty of “Land of the Lost”, but I don’t recall any glowing stuff.

Stefano, I think Matterhorn1959 has the ultimate photo of the Mineral Hall. It’s a real beauty. I need to dig out my copy of “The Nickel Tour” (I agree, it is a great book… too bad they didn’t do a third reprint, I think it would sell well).

Jonathan, sometimes a Pendleton shirt from Disneyland will show up on eBay, but for some reason they are always small or medium. Nothing for a guy 6 feet tall. I’d love to buy a vintage Pendleton with the original Disneyland tag! Somehow it surprises me that there is no store in Montana where you can buy a genuine wool Pendleton blanket or shirt. If there was ever a record cover that needed to be viewed under a blacklight, "Disraeli Gears" would be it.

K. Martinez, amen to that!

Anonymous said...

My Pendleton shirts were a staple of early college fashion, I still have a couple, but the fabric is a lighter weave, more suited to the mild climate where I live now. Even then I can only wear in the coldest months. Dad had a big plaid jacket of heavy wool, he looked like Matt Dillon.

Interesting that this shop would be so popular with foreign visitors. But I have admired both English and Italian tailor shops in my travels, so it seems reasonable that the Matt Dillon look would be exportable. It's just familiar enough that I can't imagine someone thinking it was exotic.

Feeling a great love right now for the trash can in the second photo. "Waste Paper".

Characteristic Disney how the Mineral Hall is plastered, just like the miniature building across the track. Keeping and extending that Southwest theme into the mini village, fooling you into thinking it's all "real".

I think I remember the Mineral Hall, I recall a display of glowing rocks, but it could have been Knotts or even Calico. Does anyone know when the Mineral Hall closed to the public?

I wonder if the banners lived so long at the saloon to promote the theme that the show was ephemeral and would soon leave to another venue, so you had to see it "right now"?

Thank you, Major for the photos and all the posters for the commentary. Classic GDB right here.

Cheers all.



Pendleton Woolen Mills used to make the custom plaid fabric used by Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland for their Tour Guide costumes. Tokyo Disneyland eventually began using a Japanese vendor many years ago for their fabric. I believe the American Parks also stopped using Pendleton Woolen Mills around 1998.

Chuck said...

Major, does this jog any memories?

JG, I think it's odd that Mineral Hall is plastered, especially when you consider that the Park is dry.

Nanook said...

@ JG-

Mineral Hall's relatively-short existence was from July 30, 1956 thru December 1962. Pity.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, it’s possible that Europeans were as drawn to the “Beach Party” California lifestyle as American kids were, and the Beach Boys helped to make Pendleton shirts a thing for the teen crowd. I assume that the Mineral Hall was supposed to look like it was finished with a thin coat of mud in the way adobe buildings were (are?). Reading ahead, I see that Nanook answered your question about the Mineral Hall’s end date.

Mike Cozart, thanks! It seems a shame that Disney didn’t continue their relationship with a U.S. company; I suppose they saved a few bucks by going with another vendor.

Chuck, well, sort of! I guess my memories of “Land of the Lost” are kind of fuzzy. All I know is that I would never get so close to a Sleestak!

Nanook, thanks for that info, I had no idea.

Melissa said...

Major, it was a beautiful black and red plaid. He left most of his clothes behind when he left, but that jacket was one of the few things he took with him! ;)


MAJOR: creative costuming for the American Parks uses American companies for its fabric unless it is an item not available nationally. After Tokyo Disneyland opened they slowing began supplying their own material based on the designs coming from American Imagineers. I believe the other international parks operate in a similar fashion .

Chuck said...

Well, technically Enik is an Altrusian, a distant ancestor of the Sleestak, but I won't quibble. :-)

Nancy said...

Beautiful views today!

I have made it my mission to have pictures of all the signs at DL and WDW. It's a project that will never be complete because they keep adding new things and changing some old ones. :D I have many in my collection, but there's always something I need to get on the next visit

Anonymous said...

@Chuck. LOL. Hoping to be plastered at Disneyland.

@Nanook, thanks for that. My memories of glowing minerals are from another time and place then. Knotts, Calico, or even Columbia in the Northern Mines.

@Major, yes, and yes. People back east and in Europe seem to think all Californians have palm trees in their yards and spend all day surfing. Also, the plaster look is sort-of adobe, but not quite. Not sure what the difference is, but they "feel" different to me, mostly the massing. the Mineral Hall appears to be a framed building, while the one across the track and the restaurant look more like masonry. In New Mexico, that look is mud spread on the (mud) brick masonry. Mud-on-mud, if you will, but I think there is some lime in the spread mud, so it's almost plaster, but quite different from today's plaster.

@Mike Cozart, interesting info, thank you.


TokyoMagic! said...

I love how that one Pendleton article says, "The partnership dissolved amicably when the Disneyland Resort shifted their merchandise focus to more Disney-oriented goods." We all know what that means. Management wanted the same exact Disney merchandise available in every single store throughout the park. That was the end of being able to find unique non-Disney merchandise at Disneyland. But at least we can get R2-D2 themed mouse ears in that space well as every other retail space within the park.

I have that 25th Anniversary (Pendleton/Disneyland) poster. They were free and available inside the Pendleton shop back in 1980. And now I know that those are just models on the poster and not family members!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, oh my gosh. I really stepped in it this time. I don’t even know what to say - maybe it’s better if I quit before I make things worse.

Mike Cozart, ah, that all makes sense. You sure know a lot!!

Chuck, your level of geekery is impressive! By the way, Holly is mine, all mine, I saw her first.

Nancy, that is a good mission! I look back at the 80’s when I could have taken so many great photos of things that are now gone, but I didn’t because it all seemed boring at the time. What a fool I was! (Am).

JG, with Star Wars Land serving booze, your wish will soon come true. I do think Knott’s also had a rock shop, BTW. And it’s funny, when I was in Europe and told people I was from California, they all thought that I surfed. It probably helped that I was blond, but I think they really believed that my life was basically “Baywatch”. If only. As for the Mineral Hall, I’m sure they used actual plaster, but don’t you think they meant it to look like a Santa Fe adobe, or something along those lines?

TokyoMagic!, I don’t know what you are complaining about. I love finding plush toys in every shop, and no longer get confused about where to go to buy something, because everything is the same. It makes life so easy! And R2-D2 Mouse Ears… what a genius idea! Whoever came up with that should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Chuck said...

No fair, Major! Darned time zones...

DBenson said...

Just a guess: The Golden Horseshoe Revue banner was a bit of storytelling, to imply some kind of special event had just taken over the town's saloon. As the park prospered (and it became clear the show was a permanent attraction) they went with a fancier, permanent sign.

I remember a post-GHR show that had a plot about a troupe of girls playing the saloon for one day only, while the stagestruck bartender kept crashing the show. One gag I remember: The singer is about to begin a song when the bartender appears, wearing an Indian headdress ...
SINGER: Don't you mean, "How"?
BARTENDER: Me know how. Me want chance!

Hot stuff for Disneyland, I thought at the time.

Melissa said...

That's the second time this week one of my funny stories has turned awkward. One of the many reasons I never went into stand-up comedy.