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back in the mid 90’s, but unfortunately this first attraction on the farm that once occupied the hotel lobby has been replaced by a gift shop.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’


outsidetheberm said...

Nice start!

You might be interested to know that just about the entire structure from Gold Trails to the Pitchur Gallery has been rebuilt and is not original. In fact, the north side of Main now looks substantially different than what was there originally. As you probably know, the 'boarded over' Covered Wagon Bar was removed in the process.

Anyway, welcome to your new blog!

Let's Talk Knott's said...

I knew it looked different but I did not realize that entire side of main street had been rebuilt. This is exactly why I started this blog so that I could learn stuff like this. Thanks for the reply and thanks for the motorcycle chase/soap box racers post that you put up today as well!

TokyoMagic! said...

Congratulations on your first post!!! I worked at Knott's through most of the 80's and I hate what has been done to it now! Actually, some of that destruction was taking place back then, too. I was working there when they tore down most of the Fire Station and just left the ruins with a few picnic tables inside. I also was working there when they took out the Tijuana Taxis and Knott's Berry Tails and a year after I left, they removed the Corkscrew. Even the Knott Family didn't seem too concerned about their own park's history. Sad! That's the great thing about these blogs....we can now relive those good old days and share with others. Good luck with your new blog!

Chris Merritt said...

Thanks for posting - looking forward to what you have to say!

Let's Talk Knott's said...

Thank you all for your comments. I look forward to learning more about my favorite farmer and the park he created. "tokyomagic" I have been trying to find out what happened to the fire station for awhile now. I thought maybe it collapsed in an earthquake or something. Thanks for the info.

TokyoMagic! said...

LTK, I can give you a little more info about the fire station. They revamped the Ghost Town in 1985 (the promo for the remodel was "Ghost Town Alive In '85"). Management's complaint was that most people would enter Ghost Town on Market St. (the street with the Bottle House) and would go straight down to Calico Square and the amusement sections of the park and skip the Ghost Town. So they decided to put a large planter next to the Wagon Camp that would keep people from automatically going down that first street that they came to, and force them to go down Main St. instead. They moved the little cabin that sat next to the Fire House (where the lady used to give demonstrations on how to spin wool into yarn.) That was relocated near the bathrooms and lockers by the exit and it became the Parasol Shop. They felt by moving the cabin and by also tearing the fire house down to just a few feet of bricks, that the fast food restaruant on Market St. (Sutter's) would be more visible to park guests since they were now being directed down another street. They were afraid that by having traffic re-routed, it would affect business for that restaurant unless they made it more visible. They then placed tables and chairs within the ruins to create more seating for the restaurant. I don't know what hapened to the fire engine or equipment inside. The large iron gates remained attached to the ruins for a long time, but I believe that they have now been removed....but not completely sure. Shame on Cedar Fair and the Knott Family!

dregerClock said...

Awesome... another blog with info on Knott's! I look forward to your future postings!

FV Tom said...

We lived in Buena Park in the mid- to late 60s. Some days, after school, Mom would take us over to Knott's so we could run around Ghost Town. good times.

Let's Talk Knott's said...

Thanks for the great info tokyomagic! I can't beleive that the Firehouse was demolished intentionally by the Knott family. That was one of my favorite buildings. I rememeber sitting atop the fire engine as a youngster. So sad.