Friday, December 22, 2023

A Nice Pair From the 1950s

I have two beauties from the 1950s today! Starting with this pretty afternoon view of the March Twain approaching the landing, gleaming in the sunlight. The hillsides look particularly barren, but there's a reason for it.

If you look at the top of the hill, you can see some scaffolding outlines of what would eventually become Rainbow Ridge structures. Pretty neat to see! I assume that makes this picture from 1956 (Rainbow Ridge and the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train debuted on July 2nd). Just look at the crowd waiting to ride the steamboat - even though the Twain itself does not appear to be super crowded (see the next image).

We get a nice look at one of the original Keelboats, and more glorious dirt to the left.

From a different lot comes this great photo of a grandmother and her granddaughter smiling as they return from their trip through the Snow White attraction. Notice the little two-person mine car vehicle, it looks so tiny! We also get a good look at some details of the painted mural out front. 


Nanook said...

"Starting with this pretty afternoon view of the March Twain approaching the landing..." Is that related to the March Hare-??

I DID spot the early signs of construction of Rainbow Ridge. Pretty swell. Looking carefully at the bow of the "March" Twain, the posts and chains are barely visible, making it appear passengers could just 'pop into' the Rivers of America for a quick dip if the spirit moved them.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

Ah yes, the "March Twain". A rare photo indeed! It was in use for only the first month after the Park opened. Then it was replaced with the "Mark Twain", a.k.a. the "March Twain mark 2".

OK, enough silliness, I got it out of my system. (I used MiraLAX.) This really IS a nice photo! Beautiful lighting. Good view of the Gullywhumper. And Rainbow Ridge still under construction, which makes it doubly interesting.

In the close-up, I wonder if they used 1x3 lumber instead of 2x4s? Y'know, the 5/8 scale thing. It really does look weird to see the early framing of the Town. I tend to think of it as always having been there. There is at least one girl sitting on the railing in the queue.

In the 2nd close-up, Yep, that dirt truly is glorious; the happiest dirt on Earth! In fact, I should capitalize "Dirt", like I do with "Park" and "The Dent", etc. (I think I need some more MiraLAX; I've still got some silliness in my system.)

I have vague memories of riding the Snow White attraction (or was it called a 'ride' back then?) in its original form, as we see here. I was only four at the time (in 1957). I remember sitting in the clunky, rough-hewn mine car, trundling through darkness. And I remember the Old Hag using her walking stick to pry a boulder loose to crush us... that's about it; no more memories, other than feeling somewhat afraid through the whole thing.

Nanook, I knew I wouldn't be the first one to spot Major's typo. I think everyone should point it out; it's THAT egregious of an error!

Thanks, Marcher. ;-)


Technically that isn’t construction framing for RAINBOW RIDGE …. But sightline framing to check overall height and massing of the townsite by the art director. This was frequently done at Disneyland with simple framing …. Mainly to show a building’s outline. Sometimes it’s done with balloons to check height relationships between structures.

You can see the framing for Rainbow Ridge’s highest town structure , the church. Also Appleseeds Grocery #1 can be seen in lumber outline.

Lou and Sue said...

WOW! That first image is amazing. Thanks, Mike, for the information, too.

Thanks, Major.

JG said...

Major, these are prize views, so early in the career of the Happiest Dirt on Earth. (JB, try prunes!)

Sight line framing & balloons are still used today to estimate size and bulk of proposed structures, usually controversial ones with opponents. Even though we have splendid computer tools that can show a detailed drawing inserted in a photograph with perfect perspective, sometimes the touch of reality is what is needed.

I notice the March Twain’s ears do not yet have fancy gold tips. Waiting for Chuck to say something about all Disney monorails being named Mark and the Twain is a monorail since it runs on a single track.

The little girl with her granny is a seriously cute picture.

Thanks Major!


Steve DeGaetano said...

Did you know March Twain had a son who is a writer? You know what they called him? Choo choo. Choo choo Twain. That was in the digest!

Nanook said...

@ JB-
"...the Snow White attraction (or was it called a 'ride' back then?)"

No - 'attractions' and 'adventures' - just what do you think Disneyland is... an 'amusement park'-?? Geesh-! However, the original guidebook did refer to it as the Snow White Ride-Thru; and later Snow White's Adventure Ride, presumably 'ride' was used to help guests understand just what it was.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, sometimes typing fingers have a mind of their own. I saw the error at 2:30 in the morning and thought I would fix it, but then thought, “Who am I kidding? The early birds have already seen it and commented on it!”.

JB, I’m assuming that this was early 1956, which would have been an amazing time to visit Disneyland. Generally low crowds, and so much stuff in its still-rough stages, with changes already underway as Walt sought to improve his new park. I was going to say something regarding the wooden structures, but reading ahead, I see that Mike Cozart already addressed it! I certainly saw an early version of the Snow White attraction, but I don’t remember it to be honest. I do know that I liked that it was a little bit scary. Those mine cars look so small!

Mike Cozart, I wasn’t sure of the correct term, but I used “scaffolding outlines” to mean the same thing that you said. I sure never knew that the grocery store was called “Appleseeds Grocery”.

Lou and Sue, it looks kind of like a picture your dad would have taken!

JG, I use balloons all the time, maybe I am an architect or engineer? Probably! I’m not sure the March Twain got the golden tips until the 50th Anniversary.

Steve DeGaetano, OUCH.

Nanook, yes, there are MANY instances of rides being referred to as… well, “rides”, I’ve been looking at some 1955 and 1956 gate handouts, and “ride” is used liberally and without shame. In a way it is more specific than “attraction”, which could just be a big skull, or a shooting gallery.




Presented by Appleseeds Grocery - B Street , Rainbow Ridge . Watch for our new location on Front Street!!

Dean Finder said...

Steve, that Choo Choo Twain reminds me of some chemistry joke (CHO2 CHO2) I've forgotten since organic chemistry was a few decades ago.