Saturday, November 25, 2023

Knott's Berry Farm Views

I have some undated Knott's Berry Farm slide scans for you today, starting with this view of some underpants. Sure, there is a burro, and a dilapidated old shack, and that structure which I suppose some might describe as a "mine head". Ouch, I bumped mine head (nutty German accent)! I see on some sites they call these a mine head frame. Anyway, back to the underpants! There they are, along with other articles of clothing that nobody cares about.

I always enjoy a look at the streets of Ghost Town when it was bustling with guests. Was this a primo summer day? We'll never know, but it looks darn pleasant anyhow. Some Indian fellows are at the ready to pose with you for a priceless family heirloom.

Another nice street view, and this time we can see the Timber Mountain Log Ride, which debuted on July 11, 1969, so at least we can date these photos after that. We love you, Knott's Berry Farm!


JB said...

Ha! Schnitzel und hasenpfeffer! (More nutty German accent).The sign on the left, "Chicken Dinner Restaurant" is pointing at Roy'z dilapidated Castle with his underwear on display. Somehow I envisioned Cordelia's restaurant to be a little more upscale than this. Roy has a couple of nice shirts.

I think I spot some antlers on the roof (on the right). I wonder which Walt stole that idea from the other Walt? The tree hanging down on the left, and the tall building on the right, make a nice frame for this scene.

Silly me, in the thumbnail (3rd pic), I thought the little girl in the foreground was a red fire hydrant. That little girl is carrying something... popcorn?
Looks like the train is snaking its way through the park in the background. I wonder if the older gentleman in the foreground, with the overalls and engineer's hat, is one of the train drivers?

Knice Knott's pics, Major. Thanks.

TokyoMagic! said...

In that first pic, just to the left of the shack, we can see a burro statue and the head of the miner statue. These were created by Claude Bell, and sat on top of a fountain out in front of his "Portraits In Pastels" studio. The fountain is long gone, but his studio is still standing. Today, it is the Geode Shop.

And to the left of those statues, we can see part of the wall that went up around Knott's in 1968, when the they began charging admission. That section of wall (or maybe the section just to the right of that, and behind those bushes) still exists today, and is the last standing piece of that original wall.

Chuck said...

I love how the hand coming in from the left side of the frame in the first photo sort of mirrors the hand on the sign pointing to the Chicken Dinner Restaurant. I am assuming the rest rooms referenced on the sign are the ones by the Rock Garden and the reproduction of the Mount Vernon fireplace, which were closed to the public when I ate there last November. Was really hoping to see that again; the previous time I had been there, Knott’s Preserved hadn’t been published yet and I had no idea of their historical importance as the first additions to give guests something to look at while they waited to get a seat.

The second photo shows my favorite part of Main Street at Knott’s. Not sure why, but when I think “Knott’s,” this is usually the first mental picture I get (by contrast, when I think “knots,” the taut line hitch usually springs to mind).

I didn’t remember that that so many former flag officers had settled in Ghost Town. I remember General Store’s place but had forgotten about General Blacksmithing. And let’s not forget General Admission; without him, there’d be no way to get into Knott’s.

In the third photo, we mercifully only get a tiny glimpse of the rear of Red Cliff’s tender in that awful dull red, vomitous ochre, and fecal brown paint scheme. Glad I finished breakfast before noticing it. There appears to be a gentleman in striped overalls, a striped cap, and a pastel plaid or striped shirt striding purposefully towards the camera. Not sure if he’s a train crew member or possibly Evan Middleton who owned the Train Shop across Museum Lane from Jeffries Barn (I have seen photos of him in the shop dressed in striped overalls).

Thanks for a great start to the day, Major! Much more fun than changing the oil in Mrs. Chuck’s car, for which I have run out of reasons to continue to put off getting started.

JG said...

It’s been so long since I’ve been to Knotts that I can’t orient myself to these photos, except no. 3.

Thanks Chuck and Tokyo for describing what we are seeing.

Is the mule in photo 1 harnessed to an arrastra? Probably grinding corn for the chicken restaurant cornbread.

Thanks Major, always enjoy views of the old Knotts. I really must go back someday.


Major Pepperidge said...

Hello homies, I am back, and ready to bring joy and happiness to everyone. Well, OK, about a dozen people, but that works for me.

JB, hasenpfeffer?! HASENPFEFFER? Cordelia’s restaurant was ahead of the curve, offering underpants to customers who arrived without their own. She really thought of everything. Hmm, I’m not seeing antlers, though it might be because my eyes are closed. I think the little girl/fire hydrant is carrying a drink of some kind, though it is hard to tell for sure. The man walking toward us is definitely wearing railroad stuff, good eye!

TokyoMagic!, oh yeah, I see the burro, isn’t that Seldom Seen Slim’s pal? I can’t see the word “geode” without thinking of a person I knew who thought the word was “gonad”. Interesting about the wall, I wonder how much arguing and discussion took place amongst the family about charging admission?

Chuck, seeing those “pointing hand” graphics always reminds me of a book that my parents had when I was a kid, it was full of old broadsides with the crazy lettering and lots of arrows and such. For some reason it fascinated me as a child, I remember trying to draw my own posters in that style. Is the old Rock Garden still there? I honestly have no idea. Hmmm, now I’m trying to think, what do I picture when I hear “Knott’s Berry Farm”? I guess the Ghost Town, but maybe the Calico Mine Train too. As an Officer, I am always pleased to salute General Admission and General Blacksmithing. Boy, you sure hate the colors of the Red Cliff! To me they are odd, but not vomitous. I think I have some black and white photos of the Red Cliff, even in B&W you can tell that it had not yet been painted into those yucky colors just yet. I’ve always wondered if they chose the colors based on a real railroad? I used to like helping my dad change the oil in our old cars, but of course he did most of the work to be honest.

JG, yes, the burro is hooked up to an arrastra, there is even a sign nearby describing the process. Glad you liked these.

Anonymous said...

It's been so long since I've been to Knott's. When visiting family on annual trips a couple decades ago, we'd traditionally all head over for a chicken dinner and to enjoy the shopping experience with many of the shops being family owned and operated. After a long absence, on my last trip down to SoCal a couple weeks ago, (family all gone down there now), I was informed that the Knott's label (jam/preserves business being sold to Smucker's) no longer sells boysenberry. Hey, that's what helped put Knott's on the map! It was a BERRY FARM!

Fortunately, a friend gave me two small jars of it, available at the Berry Farm but now it's now a specialty product produced by another entity. Talk about the loss of tradition.

Are the Ghost Town streets now deserted? KS


Smuckers purchased the logo/Knott’s Berry farm label rights … but none of it has been Knott’s jelly in almost 30 years …. It was just Smuckers with a Knott’s label on it. To my understanding Smuckers is no longer offering the Knott’s labels in stores … if you see it .. it’s the last of the stock.

However : if you purchased the Knott’s BERRY MARKET preserves you are purchasing the jams and jellies and other products from cordial Knott’s original recipes. They are great - but very pricey and produced in small batches which often leads to shortages : most often with anything BOYSENBERRY.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Pic #2: "Drilling Contest" ?? What is that all about?
JB, I do see those antlers. Rudolph-sized antlers.

Pic #3: Major, do we get extra points for spotting a floating log, like when we spot a bobsled on the MH?

JG, don't feel bad. I haven't been to KBF since 1976. The last time I tried to go, it was raining - so they closed the park. AND the chicken restaurant. Frustrating.

KS and Mike, thank you for the boysenberry info. I just Googled Knott's Berry Farm Marketplace - and see the Berry Market Boysenberry jelly for sale. Maybe I'll have to treat myself and purchase something tasty.
Bu, aren't you growing Boysenberries in your garden? Any luck this past season? I would gladly purchase some of your homemade jam.

Major, all 12 of us are glad you're home. It's never the same when you're not here. Did you bring us anything? ;oP

Chuck said...

The Knott family initially sold the food line to ConAgra a couple of years before they sold the theme park to Cedar Fair. ConAgra later sold it to Smucker’s, which, as Mike said, has scaled back the brand. I have mixed feelings about Smucker’s; they are an Ohio brand that I grew up with, but their massive operation and lack of regional focus has had negative effects on the Knott’s brand, which saddens me. In this area, you can go to many restaurants and find a metal jam rack on the table with an embossed “Knott’s” logo full of individual packets of Smucker’s jam.

Major, the antlers are at the top of the building to the left of the Gold Trails Hotel in the second photo. Find Handsome Brady and Whiskey Bill on their bench and track upwards.

Bu said...

Boysenberries are super delicate little things: which is why (if at all) you would see Boysenberries at your market. It's kind of amazing that a berry that doesn't travel well made it's way into the hearts and stomachs of zillions of people across the globe. From personal experience: Boysenberry plants are not so much "fussy", they just need somewhat perfect geographic, soil, water, etc to thrive. For those interested in jam/syrups from a real Boysenberry plant: from the original stock the "other Walt" got from Anaheim (originally from Napa) and then to Buena Park: I found that authentic Boysenberries, cloned from the original vines...have a different flavor that when commercially processed. Sorry Sue! My Boysenberry plants (10 of them) produced a grand total of ONE berry this year! They are on two year plants now, so I am hoping for a better crop next year. The berry that they produced I will say had a very unique taste and flavor: and the acid content was perfectly balanced. The berry is delicate, unlike the somewhat sturdy blackberry. Fun fact: New Zealand is now the #1 producer of Boysenberries.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Thank you, Bu! I will order from Rudy's, then. And, if you do some jamming next year, I'll gladly purchase from you!

Bu said...

As I went down the fascinating Knotts story/rabbit hole yesterday...I found a photo of Mrs. Knott stoically standing by her front door in the mid '60's on the Knotts property...with a giant bougainvillea overtaking the house. Digging in, I found that she lived there until her death, but Mr. Knott had to be somewhere cooler (temperature wise)....a double-wide down the road (?) Her health dictated warm, where Mr. Knott's dictated cold. I guess the kids moved to the mansions of Newport Beach or whatnot....does anyone know if any homestead remnants are still on property? I know that there is a house that was on the property long ago, and turned into a display of sorts...but they didn't live in that one. The Knott story is an interesting one....and I'm hard pressed to find any photo of MM Knott where they are smiling or even appear "happy". Maybe there is some first hand intel on the family out there.....stories on line tend to get watered down....

TokyoMagic! said...

Bu, I don't know a lot about the older home, but it was above The Berry Market and what is now the Knott's Bakery, with a doorway/entrance on the ground floor, "backstage." I don't know what that space is used for today, but there are still four windows on the second floor, that look out onto Grand Ave.:,-117.997954,3a,47.9y,301.99h,92.9t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1szuXMniJ6hvaBTuWHVaxRIQ!2e0!7i16384!8i8192!4m14!1m7!3m6!1s0x80dd295ff57f78a3:0xae8e394e901e3055!2sKnott's+Berry+Farm!8m2!3d33.8443038!4d-118.0002265!16zL20vMDE3ejM3!3m5!1s0x80dd2be1cad8f1f3:0x696c422df7630ca7!8m2!3d33.8424482!4d-117.9981739!16s%2Fg%2F11hbl51s1z?entry=ttu

Walter Knott's mobile home/trailer remained standing backstage, until about 5 years ago or so. It was located next to the Knott's Wardrobe building, not too far from the other residence. It is my understanding that after Walter Knott died, it was just locked up and not used for much of anything. I spoke to a Knott's security officer shortly before it was torn down. He said that "weird" things go on inside the trailer, including lights turning on and off. I forget if he mentioned any other "things." He said they had a key to it and would occasionally have to go inside.

I have a photo of the trailer, but I took it at night, so I don't remember it turning out very well. If I can find that pic, I'll post another comment here with a link to it.