Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Here is a marvelous picture that I found on my most recent internet search for Knott's photos. Good old Saint Nick taking a ride on the Log Ride. I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season.

"Photo courtesy Orange County Archives.", this is a fantastic collection of photos. They have inherited some wonderful historic Knott's stuff from Cedar Fair. I have spent many hours enjoying these photos and would recommend them to anyone that is interested in So Cal history. Thanks and Happy Holidays to the crew at the OC archives!

Take care and Thanks for Readin'

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Glass Blower - Then and Now

A quick Then and Now post on the Glass Blower's shop.

The Glass Blower’s shop from the mid 50’s I believe.

The same building today is now an extension of the general store. As you can see it is still easily identifiable with the only real change being the signage that now adorns the fa├žade.

Here is a shot of the current location of the glass blower in the old “Grist Mill”.
I will feature a Then and Now of the former Grist Mill and new home of the Glass Blower in my next post.
Take care for now, Thanks for readin'

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!


Here is a shot from a 1970's era Souvenir Guide of the "Family Dinner" display that I believe used to be in the building pictured below which is behind the Miner's Bank and the Candy Store on School Road. There is a dentist display in this building now.

Have a happy holiday, Thanks for Readin'

Monday, November 17, 2008

“Assay Office” Peek-In

This somewhat less popular neighbor to the east of Hop Wing Lee’s Laundry still exists in what looks to be original form. It is weathered but authentic. In the foreground is Deadwood Dicks Grave also a Ghost Town original. There was once an active gold mine just across the way from this Assay Office. It has gone dry and been sealed up and now they are pulling gold out of the stream over behind boothill. This little office probably doesn’t see near the business it used to but you can still see it if you make a trip out to the farm.

“The assay office was an important and necessary part of every early-day mining camp. Here the ore was sampled and assayed, and fortunes were made or lost on the results of these assays. You understand of course that the assayer determines the amount of gold in a single representative ounce of the sample brought him and then gives the miner and assayer’s certificate which shows him how much gold per ton would be in the same kind of rock. From this the miner determines whether the mine would be profitable to work or not.”

- Pg. 13 - Ghost Town History & Reference – has a great Knott’s before and after feature today, and more to come judging from the “Part 1” in the title.

"Inside the Assay office a prospector waits while his ore is Assayed."

"A close-up of the Assayer's equipmet"

Thanks for Readin'

Monday, November 10, 2008

Main St. Windmill...........Missing!


A quick post to address the fact that the windmill is missing at the end of Main Street. I am prety sure it was still there the last time I visited the park on Oct. 19th. It was most certainly gone (at least the top of it was) when I visited yesterday 11/09. Perhaps this is the next piece of ghost town to be refurbished.

"This old windmill was brought to Riverside from England by an English syndicate that laid out and subdivided Riverside in the 1860's. When we started Ghost Town we bought the old windmill and put it at the end of Main St., which at that time we thought was as far as the town was going."

-Ghost Town History and Reference-

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

New Jail in Ghost Town

This weeks post features the newly rebuilt Jail behind Goldie’s place on Main Street. The old jail was completely torn down and a new one was rebuilt in it’s place. The original Jail was still there on Father’s day of this year but when I went back by there two months later on 8/21/08 the new jail was standing in it’s place. That’s how fast these things happen. Not only has the jail been rebuilt but I am pretty sure that the guy inside is not the same “Sad Eyed Joe” that was in the original. They have also removed Sad Eyed Joe’s Fanmail (see photo) and it does not look like they plan to replace it. It’s a shame because it was little details like these that gave ghost town so much charm. I will miss this as much as the ghost Town Bulletin board that used to be over by the Miner’s Bank. Also gone is the staircase that used to be attached to the side of Goldie’s Joint.

One part of me is certainly glad that they rebuilt the Jail instead of just removing it altogether but the nostalgic part of me laments another piece of ghost town being replaced with a replica.

The old jail the last time I saw it on Father’s day 2008. As this photo shows it was slipping into a state of disrepair.

The new Jail decorated for Halloween.

Sad Eyed Joe’s Fanmail

A view looking from the jail back out to Main Street showing the staircase that was removed from the side of Goldie’s Joint.

Take care for now. Thanks for Readin’

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Miner’s Bank

Today’s post features the “Miner’s Bank” on School Road next to the Boothill graveyard. This building still exists on the farm although the interior has been reworked and it now doubles as a gift shop and the entrance to the newer much smaller “Panning for Gold” attraction. Although some of the details on the second floor and all of the attached structures have been removed the core of this building remains intact.

“The Miner’s Bank is a replica of man an early day bank. This was a bank downstairs, and the E. Clampus Vitas Lodge hall was upstairs. We thought the old building with the burned-out lodge hall was so typical of the ruins in so many ghost towns that when we built the bank we built the burned-out lodge hall above it”
-Ghost Town History and Reference-

Information on the The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus can be found here.

The Miner's Bank circa 1950's

The Miner's Bank April 2008.

Behind the Bank 2008

E Clampus Vitus Sign

I'll feature the Bank's interior in a future post. Take care for now!

Thanks for Readin’

Monday, October 27, 2008

The water is back on at Boothill

I was away from the computer for a week so here is a quick post to make up for lost time. Not sure when it happened but the water in the ravine behind boothill has finally been turned back on. Yay! Now if only they would put the mountain range back in and plant a couple of trees.

These pictures were taken last Sunday October 19th, 2008

This guy had been panning a dry riverbed for quite some time.
Good to see the old water wheel turning again.

A short one for today but I will be posting again soon!

Thanks for Readin'

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Calico Ghost Town

Today we are going to venture off the farm while still remaining on topic. Off we go to Calico Ghost Town in Yermo, Ca. If you appreciate the ghost town at Knott’s then Calico Ghost Town is a must see. This past weekend was “Calico Days” and I have some photos and Knott’s references to share from my visit on Saturday.

“Calico was founded in 1881 as a silver mining town. At its height, Calico boasted a population of 1,200 people, and over 500 silver mines. During the mid 1890s the price of silver dropped and Calico's silver mines were no longer economically viable. With the end of borax mining in the region in 1907 the town became completely abandoned. In 1951, Walter Knott, purchased the town and began restoring it to its original condition referencing old photographs and recreating replicas of many of the original buildings on their preexisting foundations. In 1966, Walter Knott donated the re-built town to San Bernardino County.”

There are many similarities between Calico and the Ghost Town at KBF. Calico has peek ins, a bottle house, a mystery shack (similar to the Haunted Shack that was once at KBF), and a host of other old west buildings that are outfitted in the same manner as the original attractions at the Berry Farm.

”Dedication Plaque, Signed by our favorite farmer”

“Calico’s Bottle House, Built around the same time as the one at Knott’s Berry Farm”

“Calico’s Peek Ins, Very reminiscent of the Peek Ins at KBF. I did not get good interior photos but see below for a shot from inside the Maggie Mine office that shows the Walter Knott touch that these displays feature”

“A familiar statue of a prospector with his mule”

“Walter and Cordelia beside the Calico dedication plaque”

I hope you have enjoyed the brief tour of Calico. I plan to feature more of Calico in upcoming posts. Next week we will return to the farm to feature some of the original structures that can still be seen there.

Take care for now, and Thanks for Readin’

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ghost Town Aerial View Postcard

It is difficult to have any discussion about Knott’s Berry Farm that doesn’t lead to the topic of what’s gone and what’s left. For my first post I want to feature a Post Card that I purchased on Ebay awhile back that shows an aerial view of ghost town in what I believe is the early to mid 40’s. Most notable is the fact that so much of this stuff still remains at the farm……at least for now. Let’s briefly run down each of the featured attractions.

Jail – Still there although it was torn down and completely rebuilt a few months ago.

Ghost Town Grill – Still there and easily the second best restaurant at Knott’s next to the Chicken Dinner Restaurant.

Pitchur Gallery – Still there right behind the Hotel as it has always been.

Covered Wagon Show – The Gold Trails Hotel which housed this attraction is still there, though I read that it too was rebuilt back in the mid 90’s, but unfortunately this first attraction on the farm that once occupied the hotel lobby has been replaced by a gift shop.

Roy Bean Saloon – This building still exists but has been moved over near the underpass that now leads to the “Silver Bullet” queue. It is definitely worth stopping in for a look as the interior looks like it hasn’t changed in a hundred years.

Bottle House – This famous building stands in the very spot it was built. In this photo the adjoining music hall and stage coach office had not yet been built.

Path to the chapel – This is the only thing that really isn’t there any more. The only remnants being a portion of the arbor connected to the Bottle house. Alas the chapel that this path once lead to was razed in 2003 to make way for the Silver Bullet Roller Coaster.

Well that wraps up my first post. Hopefully this will spark some discussion so we can “Talk Knott’s”

Thanks for Readin’