Wednesday, May 25, 2022


I have a pair of vintage matchbooks for you today - one with a direct Disneyland connection, and the other  one is a bit random fun.

First up is this matchbook from Aunt Jemima's Kitchen, with Auntie J. on one side, and a drawing of the Disneyland restaurant (which eventually became the River Belle Terrace) on the other. I used to find these at collector's shows for practically nothing, but it seems that they have increased in collector value considerably in recent years. I sold a bunch off, but still have a few!

This next one is an interesting find... "Evans and Reeves Nurseries". According to one website, The nursery sold exotic plants and then expanded to offer design services. It became renowned for its unusual species and high-quality stock and supplied a clientele that included plant enthusiasts, as well as Hollywood celebrities such as Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, Elizabeth Taylor. Walt Disney had originally hired Evans and Reeves to landscape the backyard of his Holmby Hills home (the one with the famous Carolwood Pacific miniature railroad), and then he brought them on board to help with the landscaping for Disneyland (along with Ruth Shelhorne and Joseph Linesch). I wonder if this matchbook pre-dates the company's work for Disney?

The red tree (a coral tree?) reminds me of the red-leafed Disneyodendron semperflorens grandis that supported the Swiss Family Treehouse!

There is an interesting article about the Evans brothers at The Cultural Landscape Foundation, and the D23 website has an article about the Disney Legend also.


Nanook said...

I have that Aunt Jemima matchbook, but certainly not that über-cool one from Evans & Reeves Nurseries. Always loved this 'model' of matchbook with the wide, flat matches, just perfect for the imprinting of individual 'messages'-!

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

It's interesting that the Aunt Jemima matchbook is round in shape. I don't think I've seen any other shapes besides the usual square. Doesn't look like it would hold very many matches.

Evans & Reeves, "Headquarters for rare and tropical plants". Hmmm, I wonder if this is where that Senegal Date Palm (Eduardo, Pedro, etc.) came from? Kinda strange, but elegant-looking, matches inside the book. And the cover is rather striking... Get it?... matchbook... striking... Hey, it's after midnight.

There's no mention of a Senegal Date Palm in that article, but it sure sounds like Evans & Reeves was the source, doesn't it.

Thanks for the interesting matchbooks, Major.


Speaking of The Swiss Family Treehouse ….. the last of the tree trunk entry and support for the suspension sway bridge was removed today …well for Tarzan anyhow. The Tarzan signs and attraction posters along the construction walls were removed many weeks ago … however the Tarzan Treehouse attraction poster remains in the west entry tunnel.

Also In Frontierland , the entrance stockade canon has returned!!! And on the opposite side sacks and sacks of “coffee” has joined the sacks of beans , salt and oats. Is this a Cavalry Fort or a restaurant!???

Another interesting Frontierland update: the background music playing inside the entry of the Golden Horseshoe is the original 1970’s Walt Disney World Frontierland area music ( 1974-1991) ….. the one with the “mighty dog” dog food theme …. ( from Capitol records media music … same series source of the 1970’s-1990’s PeopleMover music!!!)

Major : how did you come across the the Evans landscaping matchbook? Was it from a dealer or did you run across it and recognized what it was?

Melissa said...

I love the artwork on both of these; such rich colors. “It’s Different” is kind of an odd slogan. Sounds like one of those passive-aggressive comments like, “Bless his heart.” “What do you think of that landscaping company?” “Well... it’s different.”

Stu29573 said...

I love Aunty J's! Pancakes for everyone! And smokes too! Life doesn't get much better!
I had no idea rare and tropical plants even had a headquarters! Is it like a secret hideout with hidden doors and a crimebusting computer? The mind boggles!

Melissa said...

" And on the opposite side sacks and sacks of “coffee” has joined the sacks of beans , salt and oats. Is this a Cavalry Fort or a restaurant!???"

The cavalry horses need lots of coffee to wash down all those oats.

JG said...

Major, these are seriously cool. I love the Auntie J because I remember the restaurant, and the nursery is really unusual. And in good condition, too! I have to map their location later, it’s sounds right in the center of my old beat.

Stu, there’s a secret password and a decoder ring too.

I can hear Andrew Jackson shouting as he rode into the fort, “Coffee for my men and beer for my horses!”

Thanks for sharing these Major, unusual and different treasures today.


Grant said...

Cool info about Evans and Reeves. When we moved into our newly built house in 1956 Anaheim my parents hired "the Disneyland landscapers" to do our yard. I don't recall them mentioning a name. I wonder if E&R was the company?

Thanks Major!

DrGoat said...

Neat stuff. Aunt Jemima's unique and very cool, but being in the related business of commercial landscape design, I nave to go with the Evans matchbooks. The back and front covers are very stylishly done and the graphics are great. The longhand on the back cover they used for "Nurseries and It's Different" remind me of the New Yorker magazine. Mid-century mana.
Great stuff Major. I'll bet you kept a few of the Disneyland matchbooks.

Anonymous said...

I looked up the Evans address on Google maps. It's a big apartment complex now, no surprise. And yes, forty years ago, I would have driven past that location *a lot*.

You are right, the tree looks very much like the Swiss Family Tree house attraction poster, I'm convinced.

Grant, that is very cool information.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, it’s crazy to think about how many places in Disneyland gave out matchbooks. Smoking was just the thing to do! The matchbooks with the wide flat matches are known as “feature matchbooks”, those are my favorites.

JB, you do sometimes see matchbooks die-cut into interesting shapes… the outline of a hamburger, a big rig truck, or sometimes just a graphic shape (usually round because it’s unusual). I wouldn’t be surprised at all if Evans and Reeves found the Senegal palm for Disneyland, though Bu says that it came from Cecil B. DeMille’s estate. I have no choice but to believe him!

Mike Cozart, wow, it sure will be interesting to see what changes will come to the Treehouse! I never hated the Tarzan version, but did not think it was an improvement on the Swiss Family Robinson version. Will this be an “Encanto” treehouse now? I watched that movie on Disney+, it looked great, and was charming enough. Who will remember it 10 years from now? Hard to say. I’m glad the cannon has returned. As for the coffee, well… those cavalry officers liked their strong coffee, or so the movies make it seem. The “Mighty Dog” theme… I don’t remember it, though I’m sure I’ve heard it 5,000 times. One of my many side collections is “feature matchbooks”, and I saw the Evans and Reeves book and knew what it was. Nobody else bid, unsurprisingly.

Melissa, I agree with you. Maybe they should have used, “I’ve seen worse!”.

Stu29573, it’s true, cigarettes make everything better, it was proven by Einstein’s theorem. You know the one. If tropical plants didn’t have a headquarters, how would they know what to do? It just makes sense when you really think about it.

Melissa, think of all the oat-based cereals they could have invented in the Old West. A real lost opportunity. They didn’t have fresh milk though, so they’d have to use whiskey.

JG, I’m generally picky about condition, thanks to the influence of Mr. X, my collecting mentor. If an item has even a tiny bit of corner wear or the hint of a fold, he scoffs. SCOFFS! But you should see his collections, tons of amazing stuff that looks essentially brand new. I wonder, would a horse drink beer? Dogs love it, but dogs love everything.

Grant, wow, I wish we knew if Evans and Reeves did your parent’s house! Did it look tropical and amazing?

DrGoat, you are definitely in the same field as Evans and Reeves! I never looked to see what’s at 255 S. Barrington these days, sometimes old buildings manage to survive decades. The matchbook companies did some beautiful graphics, I think I’ll have to start sharing some of my better non-Disney examples to share with the Junior Gorillas! I do have a decent collection of Disneyland matchbooks, though there are some rare ones that I am missing.

Bu said...

Check out 255 Barrington…looks like the manse and the property is mostly in tact- looks like raised beds and an orchard and the street looks like the approach to Disneyland on Harbor- it’s pretty cool actually. I’m wondering if an ORIGINAL orange tree from Anaheim wound up on this land? It’s very possible, right? The property is Barrington and Crescendo…clearly a plant lovers property with lots of mature specimens on the street in general. Brentwood: also home to the Golden Girls house and other nefarious happenstances.

Bu said...

To add…Google maps takes you to a strange place on Barrington…if you go around the drone pic and “dot” the house it states 255 Barrington…although it looks like house numbers may have changed, or the Evans’s wanted to elude the paparazzi? Or…everything was “TRE’d” and it IS an apartment complex. I like my story of them taking a few orange trees home and planting them however…or maybe a few seeds from an actual Disneyland tree made some seedlings and are in that orchard? It seems like a huge waste to throw away hundreds of orange trees! This was TRE circa 1954!

Nanook said...

@ Bu-
I frequented the Barrington Recreation Center a lot as a kid, starting around 1960. [Not that this means anything] but I certainly don't remember a nursery in the location just north of it; although it's quite possible the nursery still occupied that piece of land into the 1960's.

In November 1950, Evans & Reeves opened a location at 16103 Ventura Blvd. - just west of Woodley, in Encino. Currently, it's [that hideous] 'Encino Place' shopping center. Please bring back - "...all the best in nursery stock for Valley gardens, including new introductions to Southern California suitable for our gardens, also beautiful specimen size plants for immediate effects". Yeah - "effects" such as a Mississippi river, or a tropical jungle...

DBenson said...

Remembering how, as a late-boomer kid, I looked forward to growing up and smoking and drinking because there was so much neat stuff connected to both.

Toys -- excuse me, "novelties" -- to decorate the rec room bar; nifty cigarette lighters to carry around and five-pound art objects for the coffee table; comical hip flasks; ashtrays from glass souvenirs to floor-standing models; collectible whiskey containers; animals that dispensed cigarettes from under their tails; portable bars in little suitcases for the traveling businessman; decanters both elegant (always at hand in old movies, along with seltzer bottles) and silly (done up as gas pumps or IV bottles),and of course the free matchbooks, especially the ones from sleazy dives that always turned up in murder mysteries.

There was even a toy cigarette machine, vending little boxes of candy cigs. For some reason my parents (a doctor and a nurse) never got us that.

As it happened I never took up those particular vices. But I do have some souvenir ashtrays, little dachshunds who serve as pipe rests, mugs with old beer logos, and a Gordon's Gin tray. They just seem necessary accessories of adulthood, like the neckties I stopped wearing a few decades back.

Anonymous said...


Any “buttstands”?? *


Anonymous said...

^ * Referring to 5/23/22 GDB

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, it’s funny, just as I was writing about whether 255 S. Barrington was still a business of some kind, you were looking it up! That location is not far from where my girlfriend lives. No surpise that it is a big apartment complex now, there is so much construction going on in that part of the city.

Bu, maybe you need to specify South Barrington? I haven’t done it yet, so I don’t know. Still, that can make a difference. I think the odds of any orange tree in L.A. being transported from Disneyland are pretty small, considering that there were orange trees everywhere back then! Still, I’d love it if it is true. Brentwood, seems like a nice place, I assume I can get a cozy home for only 5 or 6 million dollars.

Bu, as a famous blogger who is plagued by paparazzi all the time, I don’t blame Bill Evans for wanting to avoid those vultures. Why can’t they just let me be? Just because I am dating Ariana Grande, big deal. I think that in those days (and now, sadly), developers do not care about one orange tree, or 500 of them.

Nanook, since my grandma lived in Encino, I was witness to the changes that it went through, going from charming to… well, whatever it is today. Strip malls aplenty! I used to have a postcard showing Ventura Blvd. as it looked perhaps around 1960, and even though I wasn’t born yet, it still looked much like that when I was a kid.

DBenson, ha ha, I tried smoking, and discovered that it was the worst thing ever. Too bad my brother loved it. Still does. I’m not much of a drinker either, to be honest. I do like all of the paraphernalia that you mentioned - even as a light drinker I like the idea of a tiki bar in the home, or maybe a “man cave” with “brewerania”. My grandparents smoked, and they had all kinds of fancy lighters around the house, silver plated, cut crystal, and a funny brass one that looked like an egret. They also had these HEAVY glass ashtrays that looked like Lalique, though I’m sure they were not rare and expensive. The toy cigarette machine sounds fun! As a lover of advertising items, I too have managed to pick up a few ashtrays - and as I mentioned before, I have a side collection of matchbooks, partly inspired by the hundreds of partial books that were left at my grandma’s after she passed.

Anonymous said...

Is there an emoji for green-thumbs up? You got one!

Grant said...

Major, the yard (front and back) didn't have a tropical look but it looked amazing with curving lawns and many different flowering plants and bushes.

Unfortunately it was a big corner lot that by age 10 I was assigned to maintain. I ended up doing several neighbors yards in the summer. Pretty good money for a kid but I sure got sick of yard work. :P

DBenson said...


No idea what a "buttstand" is, and Google only yielded some kind of plumbing thing.

Unless you're thinking of the little Smokey the Bear "snuffits" that would stick on dashboards, so you could snuff out a butt in Smokey's hat before putting it in the ashtray (of course you wouldn't throw it out the window with Smokey staring at you). Those are really expensive now.

JG said...

DBenson, we had a conversation a few days ago about the little ash receptacles for cigarette butts that were everywhere in the 60’s - 70’s. Chuck called them buttstands.

I agree with you and Major about the fascination of collecting barware and smoking equipment. I have a modest tiki mug and highball glass collection and a couple of Vegas casino ash trays (unused by me). Fun to look at in collectible shops but I don’t need any more.


Melissa said...

DBenson, your mention of floor-standing ashtrays triggered a memory. When I was a kid of five or six, my parents had an floor-standing ashtray that was a magazine rack on the bottom and a combination ashtray/cupholder on top. It could basically be its own coffee table. The top was in the form of a heavy ceramic tray that could be lifted out for cleaning, and it was my job to make sure it was emptied and washed every day. I was always so sure I was going to drop it and break it! Cleaning out ashtrays for chainsmoking parents was one of the things that convinced me not to take up smoking as an adult.