Friday, September 20, 2019

Along the River, 1950's

I get a kick out of today's views of a very early Frontierland - I hope you do too!

Here's a great shot of a raft that ferried guests to and from Tom Sawyer Island. Two little boys gaze down into the water, maybe they are hoping to see a hideous alligator snapping turtle. They can bite a 2 X 4 in half! The bit of the island that is visible here looks very barren, it probably hadn't been open to the public for very long. 

One thing that always blows my mind is the western shore, with nothing there but a path to the Indian Village. No Haunted Mansion, Splash Mountain, or Hungry Bear restaurant. A lot of people seem to be making their way over to check it out.

I really love this family portrait - the beautiful sunny day, the Mark Twain, the small trees and shrubs around Frontierland, and the general "50s-ness" of it all.

Here's a little closeup, just because.


Nanook said...


It's the Frontierland we all know and love - complete with telephone poles-! I do love "Mom's" patterned red dress, 'ventilated' wicker hat, and double string of pearls. Clearly, she's a snappy dresser.

Thanks, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

That little girl who's posing with the family, looks like Gretl from The Sound of Music.

Chuck said...

Note how two of the boys in the last photo have cameras. I wonder what they took pictures of?

TM!, wow - you're right!

Andrew said...

Is there a week that goes by on GDB without a post titled "Along the River" - at least to some extent?! Anyway, I like the second picture today, too.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Major! You actually have a rare picture of a TSI rafts escort duck! From 1956 to 1962, Disneyland employed specially trained white ducks to swim ahead of the rafts and patrol for alligators, snapping turtles, and German U-Boats!The program was discontinued when the ducks began to demand equal pay with Donald. Also, the actual threat to the rafts was pretty small. To this day only six rafts have been lost to torpedoes.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I see that Nanook is trying to photobomb that family's portrait!

That second shot is a great people picture!


"Lou and Sue" said...

Yep, Stu, that was Dinghy Duck!


DrGoat said...

To Lou and Sue in answer to the last posts comments:
I'm sure there were some pics, but damn if I can find any of them. Mom and Dad passed away within 3 months of each other in 2000. It was not a good year for us. Since then we have gone through everything there is. Lost a lot of stuff through attrition I suppose.
Lou and Sue, as far as memories of those times, I seem to have more vivid memories of our trips in the 60s. Lots of laughs and especially memories of certain attractions (especially Mr. Toads Wild Ride), including music being performed in the Carnation Plaza area. The Penny Arcade figures large in my mind.
The 50s are a bit hazy. Just warm, fuzzy feelings and the certainty of a wonderful childhood.

K. Martinez said...

The family pic is wonderful. I wonder where all the children in that family are now.

That girl in the reddish-orange dress in the lower right of the family pic is little Rhoda Penmark and she's thinking about Claude Daigle's body floating in the Rivers of America.

Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, yes, I don’t know if I can say that this was Frontierland at its best, but it was pretty darn great!

TokyoMagic!, I wouldn’t know, having never seen that movie.

Chuck, I always think the same thing when I see somebody toting a camera in vintage pix.

Penna. Andrew, I looked at all of the titles of posts this month, and so far this is the only one with that title (or anything close)!

Stu29573, now that you mention it I seem to remember reading about the Escort Duck in “The E-Ticket Magazine”. It was Admiral Joe Fowler’s idea. Torpedoes were a problem, but it was really those mines - you know, the big round ones like you saw in “The Incredible Mr. Limpet” - that were the real issue.

Lou and Sue, that does resemble the young Nanook, gazing out at the river!

Lou and Sue, that sounds like a character from those WWII propaganda cartoons. Like “Private Snafu”.

DrGoat, I know how it goes after somebody passes away… nobody can take ALL of the stuff, and so a lot of it gets taken to the Goodwill or Salvation Army, while the rest goes into a dumpster. We have photos on GDB of some of your 60’s trips, thanfully!

K. Martinez….”Rhoda Penmark”? “Claude Daigle”? Where am I?

Anonymous said...

The River was always a fine place. Even when the trees were young, the promise was there.

I sure wish that TSI was still TSI as it was before the pirates and the dragons came.

Special thanks to Dr. Goat for those memories.

Thanks Major for another fine post.


"Lou and Sue" said...

DrGoat, thank you for sharing. I just read Major's comment above - that your 60's trip pictures were posted on GDB. Since I'm currently going through all the past posts and reading all the comments, I'm looking forward to seeing those pictures!

TM! Yes, that's definitely Gretl! But I can't believe you missed the curtains on mom!


Matthew said...

Two things quickly stand out to me. In the first photo I guess I never really paid attention that there was a lower walkway with dirt near the river and upper walkway with cement or gravel or slurry. The other is that the Native Americans/Indians who rowed the canoes also wore full war bonnets. You can see it over the right shoulder of the boy in the white shirt on right. Have a great weekend everyone!

Always your pal,
Amazon Belle

JC Shannon said...

I am going to get out my I Like Ike button and head on down to the river. Great pics today, families enjoying a day at the park. Thanks Major.

Andrew said...

Major Pepperidge, I guess that was an exaggeration... a big exaggeration; a Google search shows the last post titled as "Along the River" being in 2010! I guess all this watery goodness is just getting too sloshed around in my mind...

Major Pepperidge said...

Jonathan, I think the promise of the early Disneyland was helped by guests who were less jaded and not overexposed to “intellectual IP”.

Lou and Sue, you have a way to go before you’ll see DrGoat’s stuff!

Matthew, I wondered about that other walkway - if it was mostly used by maintenance crews, and not open to the public. It’s certainly free of people in this photo. And yes, in early photos you do see the “Indian guides” wearing at least a single feather, though I don’t think we’ve ever seen them in the full bonnets of a chief.

Jonathan, why not an “I Like Disneyland” flasher button??

Penna. Andrew, even I wouldn’t have guessed that it’s been that long!