Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Indian Village & Trading Post, October 1967

I have many MANY photos of Frontierland, but once in a while I'll find some photos that are just a little bit out of the ordinary. Anything different is welcome!

First up is this nice shot of a teepee from the Indian Village. It looks fairly authentic to my untrained eyebones, you can see how it was made from many stitched-together buffalo skins (I wonder what they actually used? Canvas?). The painted decorations look like the result of some research as well. Disneyland encouraged sleepy guests to climb inside, roll down the "door", and take a nap if they needed it.  Meanwhile, in the background...

... is the Indian Trading Post! Complete with animatronic sod on the roof. Just think of the fabulous souvenirs on display inside; of course there were the usual rubber tomahawks and soft-tipped arrows (adorned with brightly-dyed feathers), but there might have been fancier things like beaded moccasins or hand-carved miniature totem poles. I need one of everything!

For those of you who might be wondering where the Trading Post was, here's a look at a 1968 souvenir map. It is labeled "Indian Store" for some reason, and it's just inside the tunnel(s) that lead to the Village. Notice the circle with the blue "X" on the Haunted Mansion, indicating that it was "future attraction".


Anonymous said...

These are fun pictures, Major. I remember watching the Indians perform—but have no recollection of anything else in that area. I bet that shop did have some good treasures to purchase.

Thanks for including the map. I find it interesting that the Haunted Mansion ‘backstage’ building is included.


JB said...

That's quite the TV antenna on top of that teepee. I bet they picked up stations all across the Great Plains. I wonder if they had a color TV?

Animatronic sod. Imagine how tedious that was for the Imagineers who had to build it! Each blade of AA grass had to be hand wired to servo-actuators to simulate a natural growth pattern. Also, the Animatronic Exploding Ducks absolutely loved the AA grass and frequently denuded whole sections of the roof. It was a never-ending job for Maintenance to keep the roof sodded.

I see illustrations of Jiminy Cricket's umbrella and Donald Duck's foot on the left edge of the map. It looks like the taxidermied bison doubled as a snack bar..... Eewwwww.
I'm with Sue: It's Interesting that they included the HM show building on the map. I would have thought that they would have perpetuated the illusion that the ride was contained within the mansion itself.

Thanks for these somewhat rare frontierland views, Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

JB, Not many people know this but, Casa de Fritos sold the very first Doritos®.....and the Buffalo Snack Bar sold the very first "Buffalo Wings®". The original plan was to sell them only on Main Street, along with a renaming of the area to "WingStreet®"

Those teepees were early versions of the Disney Parks' "private cabanas." Guests could rent them out for the day, but of course this was way before the company was charging a fee of $649 per day. And unfortunately, they did not offer guests the "add-on" choice of a $50 Disney Snack Tray®.

I'm always confused by the double tunnels leading to the Indian Village, shown on the Disneyland maps. Was this just a mistake? I've asked here before, if there were two, but the consensus seems to be that there was only one.


The Indian Trading Post is one of the oldest original structures in Disneyland. Today it’s called The Briar Patch . The Frontierland Railroad Station is also original to 1955. Fowler’s Harbor was completely rebuilt as well as the Tom Sawyer Island Old Mill and Fort were all rebuilt new between the 1980’s and 1990’s.

TOKYO: I’ve wondered that too regarding the double tunnels to the Indian Village. Did they plan a separate entry / exit tunnel? There seems to have been only one tunnel in reality. The tunnel was excavated and turned into a rock pass for Bear County. But I speculate this: the “future attraction” - The Haunted Mansion appears mostly as we know it , but parts of the grounds were undecided … and I think the map artist may have illustrated the haunted mansion crypt exit too close to the Indian Village entry tunnel. The artist also incorrectly depicts the Mansion’s family play as wrapping around the whole back half of the facade with a graveyard path that never existed. I know that Sam McKim kinda dreaded today doing the Disneyland Souvenir wall maps as they were always changing - even while he was preparing artwork for updates. Tony Baxter BEGGED Sam McKim to come out of retirement and do the first souvenir wall map for Euro Disneyland in 1992 ( now Disneyland Paris ) … he really didn’t want to, but finally and reluctantly did do it.

Sam McKim also did updated artwork for a Disneyland wall map in 1985/86 that was never completed . It includes future attractions like DISCOVERY BAY ( no Dumbo Circus) Splash Mountain and a early concept for some version of Star Tours with a show building behind Submarine Voyage and east of Small World in what looks like a pyramid space mountain. Where TOONTOWN is is shown MICKEY’S HOLLYWOODLAND .


“Mansion’s Family play” should be : “Mansion’s family plot”

TokyoMagic! said...

Mike, thanks for that info!

Major, animatronic sod is the best kind of sod....especially when it malfunctions and begins to shake violently and spew hydraulic fluid.

Stu29573 said...

I have that map hanging on my wall in my office but I must admit that I've never noticed the Trading Post. I guess I was distracted by that great investment opportunity of a mansion sitting there! Whatta fixer-upper! And look at all that storage behind it!
Actually, Pirates also shows the show buildings, complete with where scenes are inside it!
Yes the AEDs were always an issue. They're the reason the Bison-Mart was finally closed and dismantled. Long, sad, story...

Chuck said...

Mike, if you think about the final scene of the HM, “Mansion’s family play” sort of works.

Does the Indian Trading Post/Briar Patch go all the way back to ‘55, or was it added when the Indian Village moved in ‘56? Oddly, it’s not shown on the 1958 or 1961 maps but it is on the 1962 through 1968 maps.

The double tunnel to the Indian Village first appears on the 1966 map and disappears with the 1972 edition that introduces Bear Country.

Would love to see that unfinished mid’80s Sam McKim map, but I know that will never happen. Still, fun to dream.

Thanks, Major, for facilitating our conversation today! ;-)

JG said...

I like the idea of renting a “Tee-Pee for a Day”, has potential.

I now vaguely remember the “wicker”screen inside, it was like a Knotts “peek-in”, there was some kind of domestic scene and the screen kept people to a small area just inside.

I do remember the Trading Post with the sod roof, and wondering how it kept anything dry. Fun that it is so old. I think the Tomorrowland Train Station is in that 1955 group also.

The kinds of discrepancies described between drawing and reality are common in architecture. Every fancy rendering of a condo time-share will have disclaimers “subject to significant change” so buyers can’t sue if the real roof is a different color than the sales offering showed. Often, when a big promo drawing preceded completion of the design, trees and “entourage” (people, cars, street furniture etc.) were drawn in and over to conceal inconclusive areas. This is becoming less common with computer 3D, but once was part of the practice. We can see this in the Disney maps where backstage areas are filled with trees.

Thanks Major!


K. Martinez said...

TokyoMagic!, you took the words right out of my mouth. I was thinking the exact same thing with the teepee's becoming those upcharge "private cabanas". But then the amorous couples on the ground of Town square didn't need a private cabana during the fireworks show. Or did they?

Wasn't there a lawnmower on top of the Trading Post at one time? I seem to remember one.

Both pics are extra good today. Thanks, Major.

Major Pepperidge said...

Sue, good point, I didn’t even really notice the “show building” part of the Haunted Mansion. In the past they would have just painted a forest of trees so that it looked nice! As I’ve said before, I don’t ever recall being in the Indian Village, so for some reason I guess my family never walked through the tunnel.

JB, we have a neighbor who has a bunch of TV antennas, including one that must be 40 feet tall, it does sort of remind me of that teepee! Yes, animatronic sod was complex, but if Walt wanted it done, then it was done! That’s the kind of spirit that was in Imagineering back then. I don’t have my map in front of me, but I’m not sure that the umbrella belongs to Jiminy Cricket! On the other hand, maybe it does. When I have more time I’ll check.

TokyoMagic!, yes, as the story goes, two employees were carrying different items. One had a pile of accidentally-fried tortilla triangles, while another had a vat full of Cool Ranch® seasoning. They crashed into each other, and BLAM! Doritos were born. I did not know about the Buffalo Wings lore, and love learning new history. I’d love a private cabana at Disneyland, but only if it included a certain snack cake. You know the one I mean. Hmmm, you’d think I would have noticed the double tunnels… but I didn’t!

Mike Cozart, I truly did not know that the Trading Post went all the way back to 1955. And while I think you mentioned that Fowler’s Harbor had been rebuilt, I keep forgetting that fact. Were the tunnels actually excavated? Or was the berm piled up over some sort of form? I wonder how hard it would be to excavate a tunnel in dirt that was loose only a short time before? I wonder if chupacabras are real? The “fun maps” have more than a few inaccuracies when you really look at them, but I still love them. I bought a first year “Euro Disneyland” map because it had been drawn by Sam McKim, as always he did a beautiful job. It’s interesting that Sam dreaded doing them, they look kind of fun to me, a mere mortal. Gosh, I’d love to see McKim’s artwork for the unfinished 1985/1986 map.

Mike Cozart, at least it’s not “Manson’s family plot”.

TokyoMagic!, I still don’t know why they put eyes on each blade of sod, when they all start to glow red I’m going to worry.

Stu29573, I love that you have that map on your wall! There are a number of different versions, and I have a few, though not all of them. At some point the prices started going up and up. The Mansion’s storage would be almost enough to organize all of my “stuff from the box” collections! “Bison-Mart”, everything smells a little weird, but the prices are unbeatable.

Chuck, you mean the famous pie-fight scene in the Haunted Mansion? Where the ghostly pies go right through you? Look at you, with all of your map research. It’s making me look bad! That’s OK, I’m used to it by now. Hey, maybe the Archives will release an image of Sam McKim’s sketches. And maybe a leprechaun will take me to his pot o’ gold too.

JG, I think other amusement parks (maybe Universal parks?) have cabanas that guests can rent. I’m sure there are cabanas somewhere in WDW too, just imagine how much those cost. Yikes. Wow, I did not know that there were scenes inside some of the teepees, I wish I could see what those were like! The Native Americans put Flex-Seal® underneath the sod. That stuff has 1,001 uses (maybe 1,002). That disclaimer can be used to really go crazy with a concept drawing! “Yes, it shows that we were going to have a lazy river between the condos, but instead we put a bunch of dumpsters full of raccoons”.

Nanook said...

@ JB-
That IS Donald's foot; however, that's actually José Carioca's umbrella.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the nice Frontierland photos today Major.

I still have a small canoe with 2 figures from Britains LTD. that was purchased from the Indian Trading Post, most likely in the late 60s or early 70s. It looks just like this one-


Anonymous said...

Major, I think the tunnel(s) to the Indian Village, as well as others in the Park, were "cut and cover" construction, or maybe just "cover", where the tunnel is built and then soil piled over it.

I remember the old DLRR tunnel on the way to what is now the Toontown station was just a big corrugated iron drain pipe, with no theming at all. Of course that was 50 years ago, and maybe it was themed up before being demolished for the Wookie River.

I think the right hand tunnel into the Indian Village contained things you would want while in the Village, while the left hand tunnel contained souvenirs and things you would need in the rest of the Park, much like the shops on Main Street.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I was thinking that the umbrella might belong to José Carioca, but I didn't want to say until I had a chance to look!

DW, I wonder if Mike Cozart is aware of that canoe model? It looks like it is a good quality item!

JG, "cut and cover" makes more sense to me, unless the Indian Village was truly an afterthought. And yes, for so long the train tunnels were corrugated metal. I think they've been dressed to look like they are carved out of granite, though I admit that I did not pay attention to that detail on my most recent visit. Are you sure one of the tunnels didn't contain candy?


Major: yeah I didn’t mean the Indian village tunnels were bored out … I meant excavated as in the top of the tunnel was removed and the entry was widened with a bulldozer for BEAR COUNTRY.

Many people think the Indian Trading Post was moved …. But it remains in its original location , the entryway into Critter Country was re-routed and widened (again) for Splash Mountain.

I was at the opening dedication of CRITTER COUNTY…. But after the dedication and renaming ceremony , we didn’t get to actually go into CRITTER COUNTRY …. It remained blocked off because of Splash Mt. Construction. The Critter County sign was also debuted in its original location - close to the Haunted Mansion exit . It was also done in a single color wood stain with the letter painted. After Splash Mt. Opened the Critter Country sign was relocated to its current position and also elaborately painted.

But the Indian Trading Post as been located in INDIAN VILLAGE , BEAR COUNTRY, CRITTER COUNTRY …… and might escape demolition as the budget for the “Tiana’s Bayou Carousel Of Adventure Jubilee Critter Swamp Musical Mountain Revue” gets cut back and the area development is just left alone for now until Disney pays off it’s massive debt from the purchase of Century Fox Studios .

Bu said...

Can’t we just call it “Trading Post”? It still makes sense. I don’t need to go into Tiana’s Trinkets, or Critter Comforts, or Bear Neccesities, or Song of the socks, or “Low rent plush sold here”. Trading Post…makes sense. Sod roofs are the best and all
over the Norwegian countryside. I want to build one in my backyard and fill it with trolls. The Trading Post was a unique shop with unique things and had a certain coziness inside. I had a strange falling out with a merch employee who often worked in that location so I tended to avoid it to avoid contact after that. I was stubborn after disagreements, and that grudge went on until the end of my Disney career. So very Silly. You can rent Cabanas at the Disneyland Hotel. If you have a family, I suppose it makes some sense to corral all of your stuff- if you have a lot of kids and stuff. I wouldn’t mind hanging out in a Teapee (sp) they look kind of cozy in Swiss Family Robinson kind of way. It might be a wee smoky, but that could add to the ambience. I have a reservation near me that does not have TP’s…but has an old log cabin. Thanks for the photos…I have a sod house to build!

Bu said...

PS…do they even SELL maps anymore? I don’t even remember seeing a free take-a-way map, much less an elaborate Sam McKim version of the Park today. I had a lot of those maps from many different years…all gone to others that I hope are enjoying them! I never put them on a wall because I never had a wall big enough, and still dont! Colonials weren’t built for much art. I think a Disneyland Map should be made “in the spirit” of Sam McKim…I am not talented enough, nor do I have the discipline. It seems like that map would need much time and detail and perhaps that’s why Sam dreaded it (?)

Chuck said...

Bu, they might still have give-away maps in City Hall if you want to wait an hour in that queue (or pay $20 to access Lightning Lane for the premier Guest Relations attraction), although my fear is that once you get to the desk they’ll just tell you to look at the Disneyland app. Maps are so old school.

True story - I was walking behind a couple of 20-somethings in a parking lot ten years ago when I overheard one of them say “I guess I’ll have to go old school and use Google Maps.”

I thought to myself, “free, scalable maps of the entire Earth’s surface, direct to your computer - how quaint.” And then the needle on my sarcasm meter briefly pegged in the red before it broke from the force of impact.

Dean Finder said...

Thankfully, there are still free paper maps available around the parks these days. No times guides for performances, parades and the like, though. It makes planning your day something of a pain.

JB said...

Nanook, thanks for the ID of the umbrella holder. At the time that I wrote my comment above, I was wondering why Jiminy Cricket's umbrella was opened up. He usually is depicted with it closed, standing at his side.

Major Pepperidge said...

Mike Cozart, I just wasn’t sure, to be honest, it seemed like it would make more sense to pile the dirt (from the Rivers of America?) over a tunnel form of some kind. And of course everything changed when Bear Country and Critter Country were part of the park. Cool that you were at the opening dedication of Critter Country! Do you remember anything significant from that? Who was there? Dean Jones? Joe Flynn?? I’m so curious to see what happens to Splash Mountain; the artwork (a single piece) that I’ve seen for the “Princess and the Frog” overlay does not inspire me very much.

JG, I was going to make a Matterhorn joke, but you beat me to it!

Bu, ha ha, yes I suppose we could just call it a “Trading Post”. But you know how much Disney loves synergy these days. If Splash Mountain truly changes themes, they’ll want the nearby shops to reflect that change. Was your falling out with that one employee sod related? Hey, a teepee looks OK, for one thing they are bigger than the tiny versions we might see at other amusement parks. As long as you are warm, protected from the elements, etc, you could be doing worse!

Bu, I don’t think they have a current version of a “fun map”. Artist Nina Rae Vaughn drew some beautiful maps, I think the 1995 version is hers, and it is very “Sam McKim” in style, she did a great job. You should sell your Colonial style house and buy a McMansion, then you’ll have plenty of wall space.

Chuck, I never even thought about the fact that guests no longer get little maps in free gate handouts. I know they used to, even into the 2000’s, but when did that stop? Ha ha, “old school” for Google Maps. Whenever I use that app for driving directions, I am astonished that I can have that technology on my pocket-sized phone.

Dean Finder, cool! I had no idea. I guess you have to ask for the maps? Still, there’s nothing quite like those big wall maps.

JB, Jiminy’s umbrella was more of an affectation. Like the big velvet cape that I wear to all events.