Saturday, June 01, 2019

Little Red Schoolhouse, Knott's Berry Farm

I have one extra-choice slide scan for you today, from Knott's Berry Farm, sometime in the 1950's. Take a look!

There's the Little Red Schoolhouse; I'd say it's more of a chalky pink, but nobody asked me. If you'd like to learn more about this structure, may I please refer you to a post from a few years ago? It'll tell you everything you've ever wanted to know about everything.

This photo is "postcard worthy" in my opinion; besides being a nice photo of the schoolhouse itself, there's plenty of activity among the guests. Most people are dressed so nicely, I wonder if this happened to be a Sunday, or if this is just the way everyone looked all the time? The old-fashioned perambulator makes me think of Rosemary's Baby.

The school was (is?) located on "School Road", and not "Monster Truck Road" as I had originally surmised. To our left is the Birdcage Theatre.

It almost looks like a scene from a movie, don't you think? I like the young lady's yellow, coral and green skirt, which somehow feels very "Olvera Street". Mr. Gray Flannel Suit is enjoying himself, but to be honest he's already thinking about his chicken dinner and boysenberry pie.

Here's a slightly later shot of the Li'l Red Schoolhouse, probably from the 1960's. 


Nanook said...


Wowie - everyone looks so lovely.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

The first photo reminds me of "Little House On The Prairie," where church was held inside of the town's one-room schoolhouse. In the photo, it sort of looks like church just "let out."

Chuck said...

For some inexplicable reason, the close-up makes me think of The Birds. Which reminds me - need to refill the feeders...for my own safety.

stu29573 said...

I vaugely remember the school from my one trip to Knott's (circa 1973). I was much more impressed with Independance Hall and all those invisible ghosts! Haunted Mansion ain't got nothin' on that, man!

JC Shannon said...

It's days like this when I wish I had found GDB sooner. Great post on the school history. Babushka sighting in the gray dress. I feel under dressed for some reason. I think I am going to put on my salt and pepper suit and Goofy hat and step out today. I agree, that multi colored skirt is very Olvera Streety. Thanks Major for the great snaps.

Andrew said...

Wow! In both of these pictures, the schoolhouse appears to be quite a popular attraction. I guess that was what people had to entertain themselves at Knott's before the days of extreme roller coasters.

I wonder how much kids cared to go to school while on a trip to Knott's.

Melissa said...

I wonder if there was some kind of show or presentation inside the school, that's just let out?

Dammit, why didn't my parents send me to a Ghost Town School? I could have fit right in there with all the other ghost kids!

I think the pink is a nice, sun-faded red. And so much fashion goodness I don't know where to start! I think my favorite outfit is the blue and brown spotted full skirt with brown bolero jacket. It has a sort of Modernist, Mary-y Blair-y feel to it.

K. Martinez said...

The woman in the reddish-orange dress and sweater carrying the black purse looks exactly like my grandmother. I remember her wearing shoes like that too. Maybe it is my grandmother.

Thanks, Major.

Anonymous said...

This really takes me back when parking was free and one cold leisurely stroll through the Farm without admission fees and turnstile entrances. I keep thinking the first shot was taken on an Easter Sunday. Folks would dress up just like that for the day. KS

Dean Finder said...

I suspect that if I showed up at a Disney park in a gray flannel suit, spectator shoes, and a Bryl-Creme hairdo, they'd throw me out for wearing a Walt costume.

Sunday Night said...

As I understand it, Ghost Town was originally built to give folks something to do while waiting for a table in the Chicken Kitchen. So if this was a Sunday they most certainly would be dressed up for Sunday dinner.

Sunday Night said...

I just noticed the guy on the right appears to be carrying a light meter around his neck. Hopefully his slides will one day appear here on GDB.

Major Pepperidge said...

Sorry about my tardy replies, Saturday was a busy day!

Nanook, this is one of my absolute favorite Knott’s photos from my collection.

TokyoMagic!, I agree, it really does look like church has just ended, and at first I thought that maybe they held services in the schoolhouse, except that Knott’s had two chapels for that. It’s a mystery.

Chuck, that scene from the birds is cool, but that French song that the kids are singing drives me crazy! They should have been singing, “Shaving Cream” instead. Be nice and clean!

stu29573, like you, I have a vivid memory of Knotts’ Independence Hall from a school field trip. About 10 years ago I went to meet somebody for lunch at the Chicken Dinner restaurant. Since I arrived early, I crossed the street to walk around the Independence Hall grounds and then went inside. The only other person there was a lady working on her knitting in the gift shop. It was quiet and warm and really did feel as if ghosts (friendly ghosts) were there.

Jonathan, the beauty of blogs is that you can go back and read every GDB post. It’s like binging a TV show! But I’ll bet it will take you a while to read all 13 years’ worth of articles. Glad you liked today’s pix.

Penna. Andrew, there probably wasn’t a whole lot to do in Orange County, I’m sure that old Ghost Town was plenty interesting, with all of the ramshackle buildings, and the fun “peek-ins”. Kids were probably thrilled to not be in “real” school… I always loved a good field trip!

Melissa, yes, they might have had a docent give a brief history of the school. And a Ghost Town School would have been great! All of these people look like they’ve walked out of 1950’s movie.

K. Martinez, ha ha, I think grandmas tended to have a look back then, I’ve seen a few older ladies that reminded me of my own grandmother.

KS, I don’t remember Knott’s from the days when it was free, but I still loved going there. It was closer to where we lived, and less expensive, so we went there a LOT. Yes, it might have been Easter, that’s not a bad guess.

Dean Finder, “You’ve taken this ‘Disney bounding’ thing too far, sir!”. Now I want to see somebody show up looking exactly like Walt, that would be amazing.

Sunday Night, you are correct; I think Chris Merritt’s book mentions that waits for the restaurant could be as long as 4 hours. Walter Knotts’ idea to build a ghost town to entertain folks so that they wouldn’t leave is kind of brilliant!

Sunday Night II, I’ll bet his photos looked great. Gimme!

JG said...

How odd that I do not remember this building or scene at all from many visits to Knotts.

I guess I wasn't paying attention, too much in a hurry to go on the Mine Train.

The scene is almost identical to a real schoolhouse in the Sacramento Old Town which is now open as a museum.

Yes, everyone is dressed so nicely. No sloppy cargo shorts, flip-flops or crude sayings on the t-shirts. Also no t-shirts.

Thanks for the great photos and everyone's comments. It does look like a scene from a film.