Monday, February 22, 2021

Three From 1965

I'm using up the last three scans from a lot from August, 1965. And there are some good ones in the final selection - like this fun photo taken inside one of the original yellow passenger cars of the Disneyland RR. I'm trying to figure out exactly where that outside area is. Right between the kid's heads you can make out a little ticket booth that was sometimes located near the not-yet-open Haunted Mansion, so perhaps the Rivers of America is just beyond those benches.

This one's a little blurry, but photos taken from the Pack Mules are pretty scarce, so it is worth sharing anyway. One mule carries two small children as they are about to pass beneath that unusual rock formation. I wonder if the warm summer air smelled of pine?

And finally, another unusual view, shot from the steps that led up into the Swiss Family Treehouse, with one of the water wheels turning right in front of us. It's a busy day, some of those people are waiting for their turn to check out the treehouse, while others are on their way to the Haunted Mansion or Indian Village. The dining area to the right is for the Aunt Jemima restaurant.

I hope you have enjoyed today's scans!


TokyoMagic! said...

There is a spotlight fixture on top of that rock formation (pic number two). I wonder if that could have been the backside of Cascade Peak? I'm assuming the Pack Mules weren't open at night, but perhaps that part of Cascade Peak was lit up for the nighttime riders on the Mine Train?

Chuck said...

The train is in the process of pulling out of the Frontierland depot. The NOS construction site is just out of frame to the right while the HM is out of frame to our left (compare with this 1963 photo). I believe the wavy path on the left side of today's image leads to what was built as the left-hand crypt exit, back when the attraction was intended to be a walk-through with two identical, mirrored interiors (it's now the "chicken exit").

Meanwhile, the Matterhorn is trying to hide in plain sight above the blond-haired girl's head.

If those folks in the last image are headed to the Haunted Mansion, they've got a long wait ahead of them. :-)

TM!, that's actually a natural rock formation. The desert heat sometimes gets to ya and makes these here rocks take on strange shapes like animals...and sometimes even spotlight fixtures.

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, ha, ha! I thought you were going to say that it takes water dripping for thousands of years, just to create one single "spotlight" rock formation!

I love that 1963 photo. It has so many great vintage details. Thanks for that link.

DrGoat said...

It seems that the photographer tried to get some different angles with these shots. Extra points for that. Great hair going on in the first pic. Looks like the gal decided to let her hair down in the pack mule photo. Gotta rough it when on the trail. Never know what's going to happen. The water wheel photo is pretty neat too. Good crowd on the other side.
Neat photo Chuck. Thanks
Thanks Major.

Tom said...

Awesome shots today!

I had to check the Nature's Wonderland sketch map for the Pack Mule path; I did not know it went around the back side of Cadcade Peak. Since the landscape in the second photo seems to slope to the right, I'm betting that assessment is "spot" on. Har har.

Thanks for some great angles! We don't get nearly enough photos of the Pack Mules, that's for sure.

K. Martinez said...

I'm loving today's pics for their unusual views. I do remember passing underneath that "rock" formation when riding the Pack Mules. That was so long ago now. Thanks for sharing these, Major.

JC Shannon said...

I gotta say, those cars were the best of the Disneyland RR. The Treehouse and the Rainbow Ridge attractions were all must rides. Being old and all, I remember stuff more the way it was when I was a kid. Perfect in every way. Every year, when we go to Yellowstone, I worry they will close Geyser Basin and put in a rollercoaster. Thanks Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

TokyoMagic!, I noticed the spotlight, and assume (as you suggested) that it was for lighting Cascade Peak at night. The Pack Mules closed at dusk, but a nighttime ride sounds like it would have been neat!

Chuck, the dumb thing is that I mention the “not-yet-open” Haunted Mansion in the first paragraph, and by paragraph #3 I have apparently forgotten. However, it those people got in line now, they would almost surely get to see the Hatbox Ghost. My friend thought that the blonde kid was a boy, but there’s no way a boy would have hair that long in 1963! And that aerial photo is amazing, I’ve seen it before and wish that we had yearly high-res aerial photos of the park.

TokyoMagic!, actually it only takes dripping water about two years to form a spotlight.

DrGoat, that one girl’s hair is so blond it’s almost white. I’ll bet you anything that it turned plain old brown when she got older. The other girl looks more traditionally “girly”. And the water wheel photo brings back lots of memories for me!

Tom, whenever I see photos of the pack mules, especially when we see the mules in a place other than Rainbow Ridge, I always regret that I didn’t get to experience them. The thought of riding slowly through Nature’s Wonderland is so appealing!

K. Martinez, gosh, I envy your memories of rides like the Pack Mules.I’m surprised that there isn’t an animal on the rocky shelf to provide a little danger to that scene!

Jonathan, I love the way the old yellow passenger cars looked on the outside, but they didn’t provide the best views from the inside. That being said, I’d happily ride in them if they were still there. I’ve heard that they will be turning Yellowstone into “Darth Vader’s Musical Revue”.

Anonymous said...

Major, I think the reason the pack mules did not run at night was that FAA regulations required red-and-green running lights for each mule so you tell which direction they were going.

Chuck, that is a great aerial shot, so much information in one picture. Notice the ground clearing for IASW. Maybe it's too early for that though, since it didn't open till 1965.

The waterwheel photo shows crowds worthy of recent years. I sure miss the old Tree House and deplore the "tarzan" overlay. I wish they would re-make the Swiss Family film, and take the Treehouse back to it's original story.

We can almost see the table where Grandma Desmond was having breakfast a few posts back.

Have a good day everyone!


Nanook said...

Definitely unusual views - which are such a delight to see.

@ Chuck-
That aerial view is a beauty. Thanks for the link. However, it's from 1965, not 1963. The construction on Wilbur Clark's [then] Crest Hotel - the tall structure seen in the upper-left - didn't begin until 1964. Plus, the Anaheim Convention Center wouldn't break ground until later.

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

We ride the trains
We ride the mules
The Mansion will be
Full of ghouls

Anonymous said...

@Nanook, I vote the 1964 date since IASW opened in 1965 and it took "some" time to build, even though it was a simple structure and design compared to later attractions.

Thanks for the info on the Crest, I did not know when that was built. I see Melodyland is already open.


Nanook said...

@ JG-
It is a bit of a conundrum, isn't it-? The original source of the aerial photo identifies it as 'merely' from 1965 - assuming the date is correct. And according to an article in "Designing Disney", construction on IaSW began in June, 1965, with the attraction's opening on May 28, 1966.

(FYI... MelodyLand Theatre opened on July 2, 1963, with a performance of Annie Get Your Gun, starring Harve Presnell & Betty Hutton).

Kathy! said...

I don’t think the blondes in photo 2 are sharing a mule, unless the front one is riding on top of the mule’s head. I think there’s another mule mostly hidden by the other. But I also thought the front boy was riding with the guide, who’s turning around to see if he fell off.

I bet the first and last photos would be pretty “ho hum” to the average person, but are unusual yet familiar to us Disneyland lovers. I spy a mostly-obscured pink feathered hat in the center of the water wheel. Thank you for saving these for us, Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, yes, now that you say it, I remember reading about those running lights! ;-) I think that aerial shot was first posted on the OC Historical Blog, and it’s amazing. As everyone else pointed out, there is so much great detail. I do kind of wonder at the crowds in 1965, what in the world was going on? Or was it just one of those summer days? And yes, that can’t be too far from where Grandma was dining!

Nanook, I’m pretty sure that the aerial photo is from last year! I’m kind of an expert at this sort of thing.

Melissa, my mom actually knows somebody named Gloria Ghoul. I’ve never met her, but it’s such a great name. I picture her dressed like Lily Munster.

JG, I need to know all about Wilbur Clark. His hopes. His dreams. His fears. His loves. His turn-ons and turn-offs! I have no idea how long it took to build the Disneyland version of IASW, though I know it was fast by Disney standards. I think that they built much of the props during the World’s Fair construction, knowing that they would need examples for Disneyland.

Nanook, it’s possible that the 1965 date was just somebody’s best guess. It wouldn’t be the first time. Harve Presnell, he was great in “Fargo”.

Kathy!, yes, that is my theory too (see my text!), though it seems unusual to see two kids on one mule, even when the kids are pretty small. Maybe it was good for timid children to ride with a friend or relative. And you know I love those feathered hats - in fact I see one pink feather near the hub of the water wheel, and another to the left of the Aunt Jemima sign.

Anonymous said...

Major and Nanook, I guess I am confused about the dates for IASW. I just watched a Disney Plus rerun of World of Color that I thought lumped IASW into the "Attractions Opening in 1965", but that could be me remembering wrong too.

11 months is pretty fast for a big building, even allowing good weather and the usual Disney construction speed. That photo would then be early 1965.

New Orleans Square is pretty well underway too. Anyone know when that started? I'm pretty busy working or I would look it up.


"Lou and Sue" said...

Being old and all, I remember stuff more the way it was when I was a kid. Perfect in every way.

JC Shannon: Yes, same here! I know I really enjoy visiting Disneyland of the past, from my childhood, with all of you - because most of us do remember how wonderful it was. It's a fun trip back in time, each day.

...I envy your memories of rides like the Pack Mules. I’m surprised that there isn’t an animal on the rocky shelf to provide a little danger to that scene!

Major, with the way Disney made the animals look so real, a cougar sitting on the rocky shelf - ready to pounce on a mule - could've scared the you-know-what out of the mules, and caused a real problem, maybe. Or is that your idea of fun and excitement?? ;o)

I bet the first and last photos would be pretty “ho hum” to the average person, but are unusual yet familiar to us Disneyland lovers.

Yes, Kathy! As I just mentioned to JC Shannon, it's fun to re-live our childhood trips, especially together here.

I really enjoyed all the fun comments and info today - thanks, everyone!

Anonymous said...

Sue, I agree completely. I love everyone else's memories.

Re that linked aerial photo:

Amazing to see how much of the parking lot was still being farmed even 10 years later. I seem to remember the lot always being that whole vast area including beyond our beloved power lines, but clearly was not the case until much later.

The history of the parking expansion would be an interesting post.


Melissa said...

I remember being fascinated by the water wheel at the WDW version of the treehouse as a kid.

Chuck said...

My deepest apologies; it appears that I gave the wrong year for the photo this morning. Based on the visual clues, I agree that this was probably taken in early 1965.

The cleared area isn't for iasw, though. That would be out of frame to our left, on the other side of the second monorail maintenance facility, which is also out of frame to our left. As is the third (and current) monorail maintenance facility. And the entire state of Iowa.

It does appear that grading has begun for the realignment of the SF&DLRR north of the original berm. Most of that expanse of dirt immediately north of the Painted Desert will become the Small World Meadow.

In my defense, I downloaded a copy of this photo skimmed from Wikipedia almost 11 years ago, back when I was obsessively hunting and saving favorite historic Disneyland images (which, incidentally, is how I found GDB in the first place), and I'd always remembered that it was from 1963. This morning I did a quick Google search on my Kindle for a 1965 aerial of Disneyland, saw this familiar photo come up, linked it directly without looking at the associated 2018 Duchess of Disneyland post, and used the remembered 1963 date, knowing that Google searches for Disneyland aerials often turn up photos a few years to the right of left of the target year.

I also just checked the Wikipedia Disneyland entry. The photo is still there...and it still says it was taken on 1 August, 1963. That can't be right because the Wilbur Clark's Crest Hotel is right there, big as Dallas, but at least I know why I had the date wrong! :-)

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I’m too lazy to look it up right now, but I think IASW opened in May (or thereabouts) of 1965, so it would have been very far along even in the earliest part of the year. I think 1964 seems a little more likely, but am more than ready to be proved wrong! Having just gotten home from a long day, I’ll have to leave it to somebody else to look up any NOS info.

Lou and Sue, you make a good point, the mules supposedly did get spooked by some of the AA animals, so it’s very possible that a growling mountain lion might have been a bad idea!

JG, I agree, it’s amazing how some of those fields and orchards managed to avoid being developed for SO long. But the march progress was inevitable, I suppose. Kind of a shame. I don’t personally know enough about the parking details, that’s for somebody who’s an actual scholar with contacts at the archives (or some other depository of knowledge).

Melissa, the water wheels are one of the main things that I miss when I visit Tarzan’s Treehouse.

Chuck, I was in the middle of writing a reply to your comment last night, but I was so tired that I had to stop, mid-sentence, and go to bed! I guess I’m a big baby. You’re right, IASW would have mostly been out of the frame to our left; anyway, I think it is not a huge deal to not have an exact date, especially when other folks have already misdated the photo themselves. There are clues to go by of course, but even then, there’s always a bit of “wiggle room” one way or the other. And I think I was mistaken about the photo showing up on the OC Historical Blog. Maybe it is from the Orange County Archives, however. Again, I’d check, but am about to run out the door.