Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Nice Frontierland, September 1960

Who likes Frontierland? Well, you're in luck! Too bad, all you folks who like the other lands.

It's our charming "shorts gal" again, with her polka-dotted purse; her husband sure liked taking her picture. "Honey, let me take one with you and that pirate ship in the background!" (people always called the Columbia a pirate ship). And he was right, it's a swell photo. Look at the decks of the Columbia, folks are packed in like sardines in oil. A CM had to climb up into the rigging to avoid "the squishing". 

BTW, be sure to see my new Netflix movie, The Squishing, starring Nicholas Cage as Major "Mustang" Pepperidge. His sidekick? An orangutan! His mission? DANGER!

This next one is fun and unusual (just like The Squishing!), as well as baffling. To me, anyway. Where in the heck were these folks standing? I'm guessing that they were north of Frontierland Station, but I don't recall ever seeing that little shack before. Maybe that was Walt's other apartment. The water tower's hinged pipe seems to be pointed away from us. And there is one of the freight train cars at rest. I anxiously await your theories (sitting in front of my computer with a box of popcorn)!


Nanook said...

That 'little shack' is just northwest of the Frontierland Station. Daveland can give us a little help in ID-ing its location. LOOKIE HERE. Uncertain when it disappeared, but it did go the way of all flesh.

Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...


And... you can also see another side of the shack HEREl, from the train itself.

Chuck said...

In the second slide, the freight house/Frontierland bathrooms structure is over the photographer's right shoulder in its rarely-photographed original location. Never noticed the barbed wire strand along the top of the wooden fence before, but I understand the need to keep the trains in the corral; stampeding locomotives are a terrible thing to behold.

If you look really closely in the bushes to the right, you can just make out the engineer sticking his head out of the cab window on what I think is the Ernest S. Marsh based on the cab color/shape and the rivet pattern and shape of the tender. Hopefully Steve DeGaetano checks in today and can tell us for sure.

Andrew said...

You can see the old bandstand on the river in the first picture!

Wait, are you telling me that the Columbia isn't a pirate ship?! ;)

K. Martinez said...

Sometimes when I see an object like that little shack and think it's a new discovery, but in reality it's just looked at from a different position and angle. That's what I love about unusual photos over the usual photos. They give you a new perspective on vintage Disneyland and make something fresh again. Thanks, Major.

Andrew, I am blown away by all your knowledge of Disneyland and your ability to spot little details and you haven't even been there. It's amazing!

Stefano said...

The second photo has a Petticoat Junction look -- like the pretty miss is about to take dip in the water tower.

JG said...

In the first slide, she is standing on the walkway just over Fowler's Harbor, the signal light used for navigation of the tracked river boats is visible on the piling near the end of the wharf to the left.

The Plantation House is just visible to the extreme right.

If the water tower didn't move, then the little shed was probably removed as part of the tunnel realignment project. I'm not sure when that happened or why, or if there was more than one remodeling, but the tunnel between Frontierland station and the Indian Dance circle area was changed at some point. Initially, I think the pedestrian walk to the Indian Village was open to the sky, and then later, enclosed in a tunnel as another theatrical transition. I'm not sure, but there might not even have been a train tunnel either at that location in the very earliest Disneyland.

Now, of course, this is the tunnel entrance behind the Haunted Mansion.

Interesting how the modern necessities of the fire hose cabinet and the barbed wire fence fit right into the theming. It's harder to provide a rationale for barbed wire in Tomorrowland.

Chuck, you are quite right, stampeding locomotives require serious restraint, as was discovered by the French at some point.



Melissa said...

I thought the Gorilla Scouts might be interested in this article I saw today:

Lego's Motorized Disney Train Set Looks Like It Just Pulled Out Of The Park

Seems particularly relevant to today's pictures.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-

Thanks for the link.
“In this case, the tender of the Disney train contains a Powered Up hub and train motor. The motor lets the tender move the locomotive, passenger car, and parlor car around the 20 pieces of included track”. Hmmmm.... just as with the Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland-! (Well, when an idea is good - why re-invent the wheel-?)

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Somehow I always envision Pirate ships to be a lot more crusty than Columbia. If technically a pirate ship me thinks they are the OCD clean freak type pirates aboard.

Polka dot Patty is in fine form with always the pretty smile for her hubby.

I have The Squishing set on my favorites list for future viewing.

JC Shannon said...

Frontierland is always a crowd-pleaser. Eagle eye Chuck caught what I completely missed. Now I can see it! Mustang Major...I like it! It's a heck of a day in the park. Thanks Mustang.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, thanks for the links to the Daveland images. I guess I’m used to the water tower being on the other side of the tracks!

Chuck, I am definitely unfamiliar with the “freight house”, though I have probably seen photos of it before and it just didn’t stick in my brain. I have one or two other photos featuring barbed wire at Disneyland, it feels very “Attica”! Jeez, that train and the engineer are really lost in the shadows, but yes, I can sort of see them. I’d never venture to guess which locomotive it is, though!

Penna. Andrew, yes, that riverfront bandstand was there for quite a while, I first became aware of it from vintage postcards. I’m always happy to see it! The Columbia has been dressed up as the “Black Pearl” for certain events, and it’s been a while since I’ve seen Fantasmic, but it might stand in for Captain Hook’s ship as well.

K. Martinez, that little shack is not something that I have many photos of, and I have a LOT of photos. So it’s still pretty neat to have, even if this isn’t the first time it’s been seen on blogs. It is a little embarrassing how discombobulated I get from a new angle, though!!

Stefano, ah, Petticoat Junction - I never liked the show as much as “Green Acres”, but those gals sure were pretty!

JG, yes, Fowler’s Harbor for photo #1 definitely. And those blue umbrellas outside the Plantation House help with the location. I agree that the shed must have been moved (or REmoved) for the “tunnel realignment project”; don’t you think it must have had to do with the early construction of the Haunted Mansion? Maybe not. I agree, I think in the earliest days the walk to the Indian Village was just a path, and possibly in 1956 they built the tunnel.

Melissa, man, Lego thinks of everything! No wonder they rake in the money. I used to buy small Star Wars Lego sets for my nephew, and they weren’t cheap. He’d put those things together so fast, and then the fun was over I guess.

Nanook, my guess is that more than a few model trains had motors in located in the tender.

Major Pepperidge said...

Alonzo, I agree with you, but I can see that, from a distance, the Columbia looks a little “piratey” to the untrained eye. Besides, the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship isn’t crusty, it’s spectacular! “Polka Dot Patty”, I like it. Be sure to watch the UNCUT version of “The Squishing”!

Jonathan, hooray, I have just given myself the cool nickname that I never had in high school (it was “Dingus” back then, ha ha). Chuck really does have those eagle eyes, it’s spooky.

Chuck said...

Major, the freight house structure that held the Frontierland restroom is the same freight house structure that now stands on the opposite side of the tracks between the Frontierland/New Orleans Square station and the Haunted Mansion, although it's in a different location today. That's why there are doorways in either end - they were the men's and women's restrooms.

In its original location, it seems to be the least-photographed structure in all of Frontierland. You can see it in the background in this photo.

JG, the water tower was moved twice, along with the station. This is the second location.

Melissa, feel free to get that for me for Christmas.

Steve DeGaetano said...

I think I'd have to go with the C.K. Holliday, but definitely hard to tell.

I'd always thought of that little shack as a "pump house," which houses the apparatus to fill the water tank.

Chuck said...

That was my second guess, with the also-red cab, but the shorter tender made me think Ripley, although at that angle and in dense shadow it's hard to tell. I'll bow to your expert opinion.

Thanks, Steve!