Thursday, June 25, 2020

Special Guest Photos

Today I am presenting a few photos, graciously shared by Mark Ingram. First up is this "Fun Photo" from Knott's Berry Farm's "Ghost Town Pitchur Gallery", circa 1946. Here's a bunch of nice ladies in "Goldie's Joint", which was a hotel, and only a hotel.

I asked Mark if he could ID any of the women, and while he didn't know all of them, he said, I know the lady standing in front on the left (holding a purse) is my maternal Aunt Joan Davis McCoy. In the upstairs window on the right, the lady on the left is her mother & my maternal grandmother Dorotha Egleston Davis.

In the interest of accuracy, we can see that at this point in 1946, the Ghost Town was known as "Knott's Berry Place", though the name would change to "Knott's Berry Farm" sometime that very year. Nobody wants to go to a place! They want to go to a farm! Everybody knows that.

Mark also sent several scans of this photo, doing his best to restore a very folded and worn print. He did a pretty good job! And with that handwritten label, it would be logical to assume that the photo (featuring his Great Aunt) shows Knott's Berry Farm, circa 1957. 

But looking closely, you can see a sign that says "Last Frontier Village", which means it is actually Las Vegas. Which is cool! I made the same mistake way back in 2007 when I had a photo of Last Frontier Village that I thought was Knott's. 

Looking online, I can find no other photos of LFV with this particular area. I want to see the Village Toy Shop, and the Rock Shop, and maybe I can find something for mom at the Clay Shop.

Just for yucks, I thought I would include these previously-posted images of Last Frontier Village.

MANY THANKS to Mark Ingram for sharing his family photos! I appreciate it very much.


Nanook said...

These types of photos are always such fun. (I wonder what happened to the 'light-up' Silver Slipper sign-?) It would be hard to miss that one from the highway-!

That's a 1952 Mercury; a 1957 Oldsmobile; a 1955 Mercury; and a 1953 Plymouth taxi cab.

Thanks to Mark and The Major for sharing these delightful images.


I have a early 1960’s HO scale model kit ( made from embossed card stock , wood and plastic) of the SALOON from Last Frontier Village shown in the last picture. The kit also includes the Blacksmith , and General Merchandise Store from Knott’s Berry Farm. The kits are pretty typical of building models from that period but are naive by today’s standards. Interesting to see the prototype for the Saloon model!

TokyoMagic! said...

I love that Goldie's Joint photo op. It's too bad that they couldn't have kept that around. Wouldn't it still be popular today? I've seen pics where the "leg" is hanging out of the window on the side of the photo op structure. I guess there must have been a way to remove that leg, so that a person could pose in that particular window.

Thank you, Mark Ingram, for sharing your family photos with us, and to Major, for posting them!

Chuck said...

It would have been funny if one of the ladies posed with her leg hanging out the window. And probably way too racy.

Mike, I have a model of an LST from the '50s still in its original box the my dad started building as a kid and never finished. It's made of the same materials, plus a few metal details like handrailings. Interesting to see how model building technology has changed over the years.

There's an exhibit at the San Diego Model Railroad Museum about John Allen's legendary HO-scale layout, the Gorre & Daphetid, that showcases a few of the building structures that survived the fire that destroyed Allen's home ten days after he passed away in 1973. I was surprised to see how different the construction materials were from what's available today.

Thank you, Mark, for restoring and sharing your photos, and thanks, Major, for reposting the Last Frontier Village pictures!

Andrew said...

Very cool! Thanks, Mark, for sharing these pictures!

Although it's unrelated to this post, I feel like HTML-ing it up today. ;-) Nanook, I know that the silver slipper is still in Vegas from a post on Daveland a few years ago. Here's the picture I saw. It's outside the Las Vegas neon boneyard. And just for kicks (ha), here's another similar light-up shoe on Fremont St, though I'm not sure of its age.

Chuck, the John Allen most well-known to me is the wooden coaster designer who was behind most of the great woodies built in the 60s and early 70s, including the Screamin' Eagle at your own Six Flags Over Mid-America. Have a great day, everyone!

Nanook said...

@ Andrew-

Thanks for reminding me of the Boneyard. I've been there, and undoubtedly saw the silver slipper in question. (There was an awful lot to take in).

And cheers for the 'other' John Allen. I guess the Blue Streak was the first Allen coaster I experienced.

DrGoat said...

I love these old photos. My sister and I have boxes of photos of our parents and friends taken in the 30's, 40's and 50's. About once a year we get together and go through them.
Nanook, I do miss wing windows. Thanks for the car ID. Liking that rear seat wing window in the foreground car.
Mark, Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos. Although the people in yours and ours and many others are different, they all share an endearing, sentimental quality.
Thanks Major

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I am pretty sure that the giant slipper is in the famous Las Vegas “boneyard”, or if not there, it has been preserved somewhere. Thanks for the car IDs!

Mike Cozart, amazing, I never would have imagined that any company back in the 60s would have made model kits of buildings from Las Vegas. I wonder what other landmarks were available? I also would have expected them to use something more durable than embossed card stock - which was inexpensive, but presumably would not stand up to decades of use.

TokyoMagic!, I’m pretty sure that all the photos you’ve seen with the leg hanging out the window (in the Pitchur Gallery) had an actual leg! See the third photo at THIS POST as an example.

Chuck, see my link above! It wasn’t too racy for 1952, at least. What’s an “LST”? Is that a drug that makes you really groovy?! I’ll have to look for photos of the Gorre & Daphetid, I love big model RR layouts. There used to be one at the old Museum of Science and Industry in L.A., I could have watched the trains going around all day as the sky changed from night to day.

Andrew, aha, you did the research that I don’t have time to do at the moment, thanks! I’m glad that the silver slipper wasn’t tossed into a landfill or crushed for scrap. Thanks also for the info about John Allen, a name unknown to me.

Nanook, I’ve always wanted to see the boneyard, but what I really wish is that the signs could be restored and shown in their full, lit-up glory!

DrGoat, as I have mentioned before, my mom has many MANY boxes, full of hundreds of family photos going back to at least the 1920s. Of course most are from later than that, and many show people I do not recognize. But they’re still fun to go through. It’s been years since I’ve had the energy to drag the dusty boxes out and look at the contents, but I’m feeling kind of inspired now!

stu29573 said...

Speaking on the tangent topic... I love building HO structures. One of my favorite kits is the Alexander Models Haunted House. The whole thing is balsa and card stock, with metal windows and doors. I think it actually looks better than the plastic kits. It can take a lot of work to get rid of the plastic look. I have tons of buildings. Some day I'll build another lay out...I hope...

Anonymous said...

Big thanks to Mark for sharing the family photos. These are the best kind, when we know the stories of the folks in the picture, and don't have to make up stories like we do for the others.

I know my Mom was scandalized by Goldie's leg and they wouldn't go in the saloon either.

I'm pretty sure I remember that Silver Slipper when it was in it's original location because it looks really familiar, but I was so young, I can't say where that was, other than Las Vegas. Oddly enough, for such straight-laced folks as my parents, my Dad loved Las Vegas. We would visit there in the winter because it was warmer there than at home. We stayed in the casino hotels, studiously avoiding the casinos and bars, and drive out in the desert, to Hoover Dam, or just up and down the Strip to see the lights. Dad used to laugh that our meals and rooms were subsidized by gamblers who were bad at math.

So, for all that, I don't recall the Last Frontier Village at all. It seems like the kind of spot we would have enjoyed. Thanks for posting the pictures, Major. It seems like all these little local spots are gone, or going.


"Lou and Sue" said...

Thanks, Mark, for sharing your fun, family pictures! I noticed how nicely those ladies are dressed - very classy.

I love that lit-up slipper, thanks Andrew!

Fun post today, thanks Major and everyone!

Chuck said...

Major, LST stands for "Landing Ship, Tank."

My dad is slowly building his HO scale basement empire. It was photos of John Allen's work that got me interested in the hobby in the early '70s. The layout at the Chicago Museum of Science & Industry is amazing; sorry I never saw the LA museum.

Andrew, I figured somebody in this crowd would bring up the other John Allen. Looking at that linked list, I'm happy to say I've ridden four of his coasters. On the other hand, I'm sad to say that I've only ridden four of his coasters. On the other hand, I'm happy to say I'll be riding one of them tomorrow. On the other, other hand, I'm sad to say that I won't be riding it with any of you.

Major Pepperidge said...

stu29573, as a kid I always dreamed of building a very elaborate train layout. Mountains with tunnels, a little town, etc. But we moved every 2 or 3 years, so I didn’t have a permanent place to put something like that. I suppose I should have reduced the scale, and maybe built something that would fit on the top of a ping pong table. I’m going to have to look up Alexander Models Haunted House!

JG, so funny, Walter Knott was pretty conservative, and certainly a “godly” man, but he was OK with Goldie’s and the stockinged leg! I wonder what my grandparents would have thought? Strangely, as many times as I went to Disneyland with them, I don’t recall a single trip to Knott’s with them. My mom and dad only went to Las Vegas once, for their honeymoon - I posted two photos from 1958 - see those HERE. My mom said that they had a lovely time, and saw Nat King Cole perform (and saw him walking through the casino (“He was very tall!”), but for some reason they never went again. Maybe once they had kids it seemed “wrong”.

Lou and Sue, my theory is that most people would have made an effort to look nice in 1946 - it’s not like today, when things are much more relaxed. Some folks take “relaxed” further than others!

Chuck, ah, I would have never figured out “LST” on my own. Have you ever heard of “Northlandz” in New Jersey? It is incredible, I’d love to see it for myself. Here’s a YouTube Video. That’s about the scale of what I would want to build!

JG said...

@Chuck, I've read that the LST were also known as "Large Slow Target". I'm grateful to those veterans who rode in on them, and glad I never had to do so.

Major, I remember those photos well. I wish I had been able to visit Vegas in that era as an adult. It sounds like so much fun, even if you didn't gamble. One trip, I'm sure before I was 10, we watched Steve Allen and some lady singer rehearsing their act in the afternoon in the big show theater at one hotel, the Aladdin, I think. I couldn't attend the dinner show, too young, so we saw the rehearsal instead for free. It was cool, because we were the only people in the audience.


Nanook said...

@ JG-

I hear tell the city of Las Vegas is going to drop the slogan: What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and replace it with: Your meals and rooms are subsidized by gamblers who are bad at math. It hasn't the same 'ring' to it, but it's more to the point.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, oh yeah! I must have been thinking of THAT photo! I wonder if it was the lady's own idea to stick her leg out of the window. She doesn't look very comfortable doing it!

Thanks for the link!

TokyoMagic! said...

Nanook, right now, I think the city of Las Vegas should temporarily change their slogan to, "What's contracted in Vegas, gets spread all over to the rest of the country." It's just more apropos.

Anonymous said...

@Nanook and Tokyo. My last visit to LV, for a convention, was 2006 i think. We were in a big name casino hotel, and it was inescapable. I was disgusted with the whole strip and the "Fremont Street Experience" pretty much ruined the old downtown. I told my groups' convention organizers that I would boycott any more events in LV. I won't tell anyone not to go, just that it's not to my taste, and definitely not what it was years ago.

My FIL grew up in Reno, he used to tell us that those fancy casinos were built using "house odds". He was also a fervent anti-gambler.

Now, I am slightly tempted to go back, using my Dad's theory that we can visit without having anything to do with the casino culture. I would love to see the neon museum and visit the desert places again. Looks like there are some nice hotels without gambling attached.


Nanook said...

@ JG-

I was last in Sin City in November, 2018, and had a swell time. I do have friends who live there (Henderson), so we did plenty of [traditionally] non-tourist activities, along with the 'usual suspects'. I decided to stay slightly off The Strip, at a smaller hotel, which was just perfect, having a nice, laid-back atmosphere. It all depends on what you want to do and how you schedule your time. There's plenty to do, that isn't 'casino-related'.

And oddly-enough when I was there, a local theater in the Arts District was running a production of A Public Reading Of An Unproduced Screenplay About The Death Of Walt Disney. The cast of four was simply wonderful - especially the actor who played Walt. If you haven't seen it, it's quite a hoot, while simultaneously being very disturbing.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I don’t think my folks were into gambling, but my dad sure loved music, and we know that so many of the greatest entertainers performed in Vegas. Steve Allen, that must have been fun! Most of the acts that were there the one time I went were not my thing. I realize that the Rat Pack would be ancient, but just think (in an alternate universe) how much tickets would be if you could see them today! Maybe as much as a ticket into Disneyland.

Nanook, whatever they decide on, they definitely need a new slogan!

TokyoMagic!, she at least is laughing, she was a good sport! I’ve seen other Pitchur Gallery photos of Goldie’s with someone’s leg out the window, so I have the feeling the photographer asks them if they want to do it.

JG, you need to go to Laughlin, NV. That’s where it’s at! You could listen to the dulcet tones of Kid Rock, your favorite. EVERYONE’S favorite, come to think of it. I would never go to Vegas to gamble, but it was fun seeing Penn and Teller and the Blue Man Group. Tickets to Cirque de Soleil were too steep, or I would have seen them too.

Nanook, I kind of want to see old Fremont Street, but know that it has been drastically changed. I wouldn’t mind seeing Hoover Dam. And go to the boneyard! Not sure I’d want to see a production of “A Public Reading (etc)…”; does it consist of a lot of lazy Walt-bashing?

Anonymous said...

Nanook and Major, makes sense. We were stuck with the convention schedule and activities in the event hotel, so that was what I remember.

We did see Blue Man, and a Cirque show, expensive but worth it.

Major, Hoover Dam and the new Pat Tillman bridge are worth the drive just to gawk. The bridge was under construction and we got a tour of the job site. Unbelievable how that was done.



Major, Stu...The Alexander Scale HAUNTED HOUSE was one of the first HO craftsmen kits I built when I was about 8. The kit has recently been reissued however the sugar pine basswood milled and die cut wall sections are now laser cut. But the rest of the kit is pretty much exactly as it was when it first issued in 1964. Ironically when we were building the Frontierland models of Geyser Casade mentioned in a few posts ago we used many many metal detail parts by ALEXANDER SCALE MODELS like their gear assortments , “calico” mine car , picks , shovels , and outside kerosene lamps!

MAJOR: over the years probably every historic western 19th century structure/landmark has been reproduced as a scale craftsmen kit. I remember in the early 80’s in I thank Model Railroader Magazine there was a comic showing a photographer-tourist standing in front of a collapsing mining cabin. In front was posted a sign that read : HISTORIC LANDMARK! This is the ONLY structure in Colorado that has NOT been represented by a HO scale kit.

Nanook said...

@ JG-

That bridge is sooooooo impressive. I can just imagine the engineering smarts that went into that project-!

I would say what 'Walt bashing' there is, is a bit more nuanced than simply bashing. I would describe it more as a blackly comic inversion of the public Disney persona. This play would hardly be on the recommended "reading list" for the average Disney sycophant, who engulfs him/herself in Pixie Dust and magic. (They could leave the theater in tears, I suppose). But for those of us who bristle at all this Kool-Aid swilling corporate adulation, know most of the stories, and have a [justifiable] healthy respect for the man, you'll appreciate the humor - even if it often is played at gut level.

Chuck said...

Mike, that cartoon you describe is hilarious - and so, so true.

JG said...

@Nanook, the bridge was cast-in-place concrete, extruded from a moving form machine which was cantilevered off the previously cast pieces.

Concrete was dumped into the form machine from an overhead cable that spanned the gorge. The batch plant on the west side pumped concrete into the buckets that were swung out over the form machine. As each segment cured, the form machine inched further out over the void to place a new segment.

Here is a video, you can see the form machines inching out a segment at a time till they meet in the center.

I'm not sure how the reinforcing was installed or alignment maintained, but the sheet chutzpah of the engineering is breathtaking.