Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Frontierland, 1956?

I have a pair of fun Frontierland pix for you today, most likely from 1956.

The star of both photos is this pretty lady in red, sporting a woven souvenir hat. She's got style! You'll see more of her in future posts. A group of folks has gathered along the wrought-iron fence that bordered the Rivers of America in this location - they are all taking in the spectacle of it all. The rafts to Tom Sawyer Island are ferrying guests back and forth as fast as possible, while even more people are on the distant path to the old Indian Village.

Pic #2; I can't go on without mentioning the Plantation House, which I've always heard was in the location where the Haunted Mansion is now - but it seems too far south to me. I guess I must bow to the general opinion! The gentleman to our left has his ticket book in his pocket, as well as a 1956 "Welcome to Disneyland" flyer (it has Tinker Bell on the cover, for those of you in the know).


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I had never heard that before about the Plantation House. I'm with you in thinking that it was located further south, than the future site of the Haunted Mansion. After all, wasn't it located just across the footbridge that went over the waterway, which used to connect the ROA with the Jungle Cruise?

The ticket book reminds me of last night's episode of "Three's Company" on Antenna TV. Mrs Roper tells her husband that she found an old book of Disneyland tickets in the glove compartment of their car, while holding them up for us to see.

Chuck said...

The Plantation House was not on the site of the Haunted Mansion. It stood about where the levee in front of the Cafe Orleans is today. For reference, compare this Yesterland photo from 1960 with this 1970 Daveland image.

Never noticed that ramp down to the raft landing before.

Note the cast member on the raft in the first photo standing outside the railing on the "bow."

Looks like it was a great day to be at Disneyland!

Andrew said...

I'd bet that all of these people are staring at Tom Sawyer Island to think about how good a laser-fountain-character nighttime SPECTACULAR would be there. Or they could just be enjoying the scenery. I like to think it's the former. Anyway, it's cool seeing the riverbanks so many years ago in their pre-Fantasmic state. It shouldn't surprise me after seeing so many vintage Disneyland pictures, but they're really barren!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Andrew, you're funny!! (IMO, that show is such a goofy and lame replacement for all of the past entertainment and stars that Disneyland and ROA once had. No comparison.)


Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, re-reading what I wrote, I guess I should have said that I’ve *always* heard that about the Plantation House, but I have read that. Of course now I do Google searches for someplace that makes that statement and can’t find any. It’s a conspiracy that goes to the very top! You are right about the footbrige, but what you don’t know is that the footbridge was 200 feet across. It looks smaller thanks to forced perspective. Man, you’re watching “Three’s Company”? Were the tickets that Mrs. Roper held in her hand actual Disneyland tickets?

Chuck, I drove my Chevy to the levee. I’m starting to feel like I imagined those claims that the Plantation House stood in the Mansion’s location - it’s hard to Google because plenty of sites refer to the Haunted Mansion as a “Plantation House”. Guess I have to stop having three bourbons for breakfast. I wonder if that ramp was added in a spot where guests were cutting across anyway?

Penna. Andrew, they are also thinking how fun it will be to have all of Frontierland and New Orleans Square (yes, they knew it was going to exist) to be insanely crowded for the rest of the evening! I think the idea of some kind of show on the river sounds like a good idea, but I sure don’t like what it did to one of my favorite parts of the park at night.

Lou and Sue, you’d think that after 27 years, the guests might be tired of what is essentially the same show, but they continue to eat it up. I guess I just don’t “get it” somehow.

Nanook said...

@ Andrew-
I know that when I let my mind wander, I always dream of ‘nighttime spectaculars’. On the other hand, that does not mean what amounts to a hodgepodge of ‘the kitchen sink’ of entertainment elements, which has little to no staying power beyond its first performance. (But quite obviously, I know nothing -!). It’s a feeling I imagine much of Disney upper management is wallowing-in right about now as they think about Galaxy’s Edge...

Stu29573 said...

Man, those are some packed rafts, riding low! Ok, weird tangent time. When I was a teen, they had Senior Nights at Six Flags Over Texas. On one such occasion, a band of rather less than upstanding youths (whom I may or may not have been associated with) decided to sink the canoes (or, at least, one canoe) The canoes are, of course unsinkable, but they are completely swamp-able. Therefore when the overloaded canoe rounded the corner of Skull Island, it tipped a bit too far, quickly filled with green dyed water and did its best to be a submarine, skimming just beneath the surface. Youths bailed out and swam to shore and scattered. No arrests were made.

JC Shannon said...

I really like the kid in both pictures. He is wearing the mid-century kid uniform. US Keds or PF Flyers, both are acceptable, cuffed jeans, and a striped or checked shirt. That could be me, or any kid I knew at the time. Thanks Major.

JG said...

A pretty lady, in a great spot. Looks like you scored a batch of very early pictures, it's rare to see bare earth, even on TSI.

Major, I agree, I have read commentary that the Plantation House was replaced by the Haunted Mansion, so maybe those assertions became confused with the locations, as well as the "function" of a southern mansion on the bend in the River. Three bourbons for breakfast sounds about right, especially in NOLA.

Also agree with Chuck, the Plantation House actual location (as opposed to it's metaphorical location as forerunner of the HM) was more in the area of what is now New Orleans Square. Based on the appearance of the front of Plantation House, I like to think that it was just turned around and had the Pirates of the Caribbean built around it to become the Blue Bayou. Somewhere between today's photos and yesterdays, all the umbrellas were changed.

@Jonathan, the little boy looks so familiar, like many pictures of me, before I got my space suit. Complete with crew-cut.


Grant said...

JC Shannon and JG: I'm right with you guys about the 50s boy. I was six years old in 1956, dressed the same, had the same haircut and hair color, same profile. When I saw the first pic I thought I finally found one of me taken by someone else. Nope, pic 2 shows it wasn't me. I guess there were a lot of us with the same look back then.

If it WAS me I would have been on a raft to the Island instead of looking at it. Outside of Tomorrowland TSI was my favorite place in Disneyland. I spent many hours there.

Melissa said...

Those tropical-print dresses are GORGEOUS! In the second picture, it looks like the kid is wielding an invisible fishing pole.

Levees always remind me of the scene from The Cocoanuts where Groucho is showing Chico the map of the proposed land development. Groucho says, "All along the river, those are all levees." Chico replies, "Oh, a Jewish neighborhood?"

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, people will always love spectacle I suppose; I compare it to a movie that has lots of impressive special effects, but a lousy story - there will always be people who only care about the eye candy.

Stu29573, oh, those teenagers! Always up to shenanigans and causing trouble. I am trying to imagine being one of the people on the tipped-over canoe - that would pretty much ruin one’s day! You’d think that a soaking wet teen would be pretty easy to locate if security wanted to find who was responsible, but what do I know.

Jonathan, it’s true, boys especially had a very cookie-cutter look during that era. But just think, that same boy might have grown his hair long and turned into a hippie by 1970!

Jonathan, I feel silly that I can’t find a source about the Haunted Mansion being built where the Plantation House used to be. I know I’ve read it multiple times over the years! As for bourbon, I am not much of a hard liquor guy - my dad did like his bourbon and water after work though, and once in a while he’d let me drink the very watered down last few drops of his evening drink! I agree that New Orleans Square is where the Plantation House used to be. Good eye on the umbrellas, I didn’t notice that they aren’t all sky blue.

Grant, just think how easy it was for moms to shop for clothes for their boys - they all dressed exactly the same! It was only a few years later that kids started to be more individuals. As I’ve pointed out on this blog, I was very fond of my early 70’s striped pants and Hang Ten shirts - to this day no clothing has made me happier.

Melissa, I didn’t mention it in the post, but that lady’s dress reminds me very much of some red fabric that was used for the Tiki Room years later. You can still find swatches of that cloth on eBay sometimes. I was going to write about it, but felt like I was going down a side-track that nobody else would be interested in! (I wish I had all of the best Marx Brothers movies on Blu-Ray).

stu29573 said...

A bit of explination. The "sinking" happened at about 2:00 am, and the only passengers were in on it. Kids dry off very quickly in the Texas heat- even at night!

stu29573 said...


TokyoMagic! said...

Major, Mrs. Roper holds up an actual Disneyland ticket book. It's one of the large-sized books. The episode, which was titled, "Roper's Car" was from season two and originally aired on November 1, 1977.