Friday, March 29, 2024

Pirate Ship, 1956

Let's start today's Fun Friday (working title) with this nice photo of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship, gleaming in the last warm rays of sunlight. I could do with a little less empty pavement, but it's still a pretty shot; I like the way the Jolly Roger is waving in the ocean breeze!

I zoomed in a bit because we can see that unusual view of some construction going on to the left behind the Pirate Ship; being 1956, this must be the building that would hold the spectacular Rainbow Caverns scene from Frontierland's Rainbow Caverns Mine Ride. Once covered with dirt and planted with grass and shrubs, you'd never know the building was there.

Next is another view of the Pirate Ship as seen from the Skyway; unlike many similar photos, I like the way you can clearly see the guests aboard, including the man looking up at the sails (unfurled here, unlike in the previous image) and rigging, and the woman holding her 1956 souvenir guidebook.


walterworld said...

The 'Hook' was a fine old tuna ship...and flying the Jolly Roger too!

Thanks Major

Melissa said...

Now, THAT'S a postcard!

Nanook said...

I do believe that 'house' we see in the background of the 3rd image is the Pope House. It's still on property - but just barely.

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

There is a lone, fedora-wearing gentleman walking the decks of the Pirate Ship. A modern-day Ahab, searching for the Great White Tuna. I love the late afternoon lighting. May the ghosts of a million cans of tuna haunt whoever was responsible for destroying this beautiful ship.

Kinda neat how you have slides from two different trips to the Park showing the Pirate Ship in very similar lighting conditions. The sponsored sign behind the guy looking up at the sails looks like it says: "Chicken of the Sea Bitrate Ship". Walt was always way ahead of the times! In the background, the mountain leading up to Cinderella Castle looks very dramatic with the fog/smog muting the colors, making it look really huge and far away... no Pumpkin Coach though... unless that's it way up near the top on the left... but whatever that blurry orangey thing is, it seems too big for the Coach. Oh, and power lines!

Nanook, I was wondering about that house as well. What is the Pope House?

Nice pics on this first Fun Friday, Major. Thanks.

Melissa said...

It's where the Pope stays when he's at Disneyland.

TokyoMagic! said...

Oh, Melissa beat me to the answer! Khrushchev wasn't as lucky. Not only did he not have a house to stay in, but he didn't even get to visit the park.

I like the low angle of the first pic. Since we can't see the water surrounding the ship, the low angle and the dark pavement makes it look like it's sailing on a black sea.

Isn't that background construction taking place in Storybook Land? We can also see dirt below and to the right of the ship's mermaid masthead. It looks like it might be the earliest stages of laying out the "patchwork quilt."

Thanks for the early Pirate Ship pics, Major. And also for the rare view of Anaheim's version of Vatican City. ;-)

Bu said...

That is indeed the Pope house. The Popes were a couple that Walt knew prior to Disneyland opening that would help build the equine support system that back in the day was much more robust than it is now. Before Disneyland was built the Popes actually lived in a trailer on the studio lot, and then moved to another trailer on the Disneyland property before THIS house was moved from another place on the Disneyland lot. I don't recall which farm: there were I believe 18 farms that comprised the Disneyland lot: some of them had houses and some not: this was one of the houses. I have all this documented in some file I made from old Anaheim records, so if I can find it, I'll report back. There is an article that lists the house coming from the Witherells walnut farm bordering Harbor, but it's not in a plot plan. Much like the Dominquez lot is listed as "Knowlton" as that was Ron's mothers maiden name: as it was her property..... In any case: the Popes lived in the house until the early 70's when they went to form the Tri Circle D ranch in Walt Disney World: where Dolly Pope was the first WDW Retiree. They did not return to Anaheim. In the early 70's the house became an annex of the DEFCU...(Disneyland Employees Federal Credit Union...later Partners Federal Credit Union). That lasted until the early 80's when the house became "Media Production": or more commonly referred to as "Pony Farm Productions". I think prior to this the Circle D offices were in there too. It is fuzzy. This is where internal videos were produced by the in house production team: I forgot that guys name: Steve? but knew him casually. I've been in that house when it was in this spot and it was like stepping back in time: just steps away from a highly complex them park. I had a cup of coffee in the 1940's style kitchen (I was doing a video thing there): and the rooms still had the "old world" bungalow feel: with a charming little yard, and of course the horses next door. There were mature shade trees and it was like returning to a farm prior to Disneyland ever setting foot on these orange and walnut groves. Prior to the Star Wars thing: they knew the house would need to be moved: and it did: to the Ball Rd entrance: which was actually not that far away from this site. They restored it, and it's sitting in the parking lot very well tended. I was delighted that it wasn't demolished. If you go to Google Maps and look up Disneyland Pope House it comes right up as a historical site, and it looks like you can walk right up to it. Not sure if you can anymore. The Popes have a Main Street Window in Walt Disney World in Town Square across from the Fire House. There is a lot written about the Popes and the Pope House: a nice rabbit hole to go down. The Popes may have the dubious distinction of living in 3 Disney Parks: the Studio, Disneyland and Walt Disney World: however I cannot find documentation of that...there is one pre-WDW house still on the property that Walt actually visited: and that is another rabbit hole unto itself. Thanks Major for a Good Friday!

K. Martinez said...

I was reading recently that Disneyland is now a historic district, and that the Pope House was going to be part of that as well as the Main Street Depot, Pirates of the Caribbean and Hungry Bear Restaurant.

Anyway, nice pic of the Pirate Ship Restaurant. Thanks, Major.

JG said...

Wow, early Pirate Ship pic! The entry door in the original position! Anyone remember what the interior layout was like with the door there? Based on my memories of the revised interior, it must have been quite different, since this location would open behind the later counter position.

Note the plain green, pre-1957 trash can too.

Major, you posted some pics some time back of the Rainbow Caverns show building construction. I remember the excavator company was still in business today.

Speaking of backstage things, were the tall trees original, or were they planted to be the backdrop of the Pirate Ship?

Bu, thank you for the Pope house story.

Ken, thanks for the historic link, hoping this is good news.

Major, thank you!


Major Pepperidge said...

walterworld, the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship looks especially nice here!

Melissa, that would be an awesome postcard!

Nanook, I’m pretty sure we can’t see the Vatican from there. Ha ha, I’m hilarious!

JB, that poor old coot, he’s wondering why nobody likes him. Two words: body - odor. A friend would tell him the truth. I have misled you, JB, both of these are from the same batch of photos. Now you will never trust again, and will fall into drink and drugs. I feel kind of bad about it! I’m not sure the pumpkin coach would be visible from either of these angles, but I’m always wrong, so I guess I will just shut my yap. Owen Pope and his wife lived on the “pony farm” behind Disneyland, Owen took care of all of Disneyland’s livestock. I’ve read that he was considered Disneyland’s only full-time residents.

Melissa, the Pope loves ponies!

TokyoMagic!, I think most people didn’t like Khrushchev because his name is hard to type. So annoying. He should have changed his name to “Vladdie K”. Maybe I’m wrong about the Rainbow Caverns construction, as I said to JB, I’m always wrong! But… I think it’s the caverns show building?

Bu, thank you for filling us in on the Pope family history! Now I can sit back and eat bonbons, as I tend to do when I am being extra lazy. Do you have all of that knowledge in your brain, or did you have to look it up? Maybe you had to know it as a TG. I didn’t know that the Popes went to Florida, I wonder if they hated the idea at first, and then loved it there? “The humidity makes me sweat, and I LOVE to sweat!”. I need to have my own ranch, and will get started acquiring livestock immediately. Oh, and land, I guess I need that too. Do you have to feed livestock? What a pain! I’ll just hire some teenager. They are dependable. When the Pope house was moved it seemed to be big news, or maybe that’s just because I look at a lot of Disney sites. I wonder, does the house sit empty all the time?

K. Martinez, thank you for the link to that article!

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, you commented while I was commenting! I never went in the PIrate Ship ever, so I will need somebody with a lot more knowledge than I have (low bar). I believe that the tall eucalyptus trees were left over from one of the farms, you still see stands of those trees that were used as “wind breaks”.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I LOVE today's images and comments! Especially Bu's personal experience with the Pope house - and all the details and history surrounding the Pope family. Bu, sign me up for your next tour of the Pope House & History Walk....that would be fascinating to see with you; and I bet others would agree.

Ken, thanks for the link of more info!

Dean Finder, I'm sorry I missed your unbirthday, yesterday. Happy Unbirthday!

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

It's a real pope-pourri of information today!

Nanook said...

The Pope House has kinda been in the news lately. NO... not the Pope's House-! (And besides, I hear he prefers living in an old shoe...)

Bu has given us the inside scoop but, LOOK HERE for other info and images - and tons of pop-up ads-!


Interesting fact besides all the homes that were on the property wall pot that Disneyland was on Walt and his brother Roy owned dozens and dozens of homes in the Los Angeles area that they began buying up in the 1930s and 40s I found out about this one time in documentation control at WDI they had stacks and rolls of drawings for all kinds of homes from the 20s and 30s in Los Angeles and they said these are the homes that Walt and the studios had purchased overtime one of course was the one for his parents but I didn’t realize that the prior to that that Walt had been purchasing so many homes in the few cases, he went to new developments and bought three or four homes all next to each other. I don’t believe the Disney company owns the homes today or if the family on them, but what Disney Imagineering has the blueprints for all of them!

Also also, Disney owns almost every single structure surrounding the blocks of industrial buildings around Walt Disney Imagineering in Glendale. You can usually tell even if the building is leased buy some other company, but the number building for the address is in the shape of a gigantic Disneyland name badge.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, yes, it was fun to learn a lot about the Pope house. I knew a little - but now I know more!

Melissa, OUCH

Nanook, thank you for the link to that story - and the popup ads!

Mike Cozart, huh, I’d never heard that Walt and Roy bought up dozens of houses around L.A. I wonder why? Just a savvy investment? Did he know something that nobody else knew? Of course real estate is almost always a good thing to buy - no matter what, you’ve got property. I’m going to buy a vacant lot and build a little Disneyland for ants. I knew that Disney owned many buildings down near Imagineering, but wasn’t sure if they’d sold some off during the period when it was thought that all Imagineers would be moving to Florida.

Anonymous said...

To continue that tangent… many of older buildings around WDI got touched up during covid, while many moving trucks seemed to be hauling the insides away for months. It is really nice to see the campus coming back to life again now these days. I walk with my dog around there regularly (and just learned that Bob Gurr grew up only blocks away).

Also, it does appear that Disney Studios owns every single house across the street on its east side. Certain tiny details are all the same. While a public street, it can act effectively as a back lot. I walk there frequently too.

One more mention. I think I recall that Owen Pope made impressive leather goods, then Walt talked him into raising miniature ponies for the park a year ahead of the park opening, thus necessitating them to live on the Studio lot, then move to “the Pope house”, before doing it all again in Florida.

Hey while were at it, lets touch on some of those original houses on the land Disneyland would be built on. One would become a command center for construction…where Walt was said to have slept before the apartment was ready. Then there is the another one that was holding things up, but magically burned down one night…problem solved! Resourceful lot!


JB said...

Melissa, I deliberately left my "Pope House" comment wide open just so one (or more) of the Jr. Gs could make a joke... you win!

Gotta be quick, Tokyo!!

Bu, thanks for the in-depth info on the Popes and the Pope House!

Major, yeahbut, the Pirate Ship has furled sails in one pic but not the other! It's kinda neat to think that the sails were unfurled one minute/hour and furled the next.

Major Pepperidge said...

MS, I haven’t spent much time around the WDI area, though I did go over for two interviews. They didn’t hire me! Their loss, right? I didn’t know that Bob Gurr was from Glendale, though I have his book. Clearly I don’t remember much of it. Wow, I used to go for walks during lunch around the neighborhoods east of the Disney Studio, it never occurred to me that those houses might be owned by Disney. Crazy! Owen Pope leather goods? A sub-category of Disney collectible! I’ve always suspected that some of the land adjacent to Disneyland was snapped up by Walt (or his company) back in the early days - it only makes sense.

JB, I let Melissa make all of my best jokes too! ;-) Hmmm, good point on the furled/unfurled sails, which I did not even notice. Could it be that the sails were furled between photos?? They look like they were taken at almost the same time, however. A mystery.