Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Little Old House

I’d like to share a discovery I made while researching Knott’s history. There is a little old house in a back corner of Ghost Town (Behind Goldie’s place and across from the Birdcage Theatre) that I believe is the Candle Maker's Shop referenced in the following excerpt from the “Ghost Town History & Reference”

When we moved here in 1920, this was an old house on a neighboring farm. We don’t know when it was built. We added an additional room onto the weaver’s side in 1955. Mr. and Mrs. Knott went to their first party in this old house after settling here.”

1950's map showing location of what was then "The Candle Maker's Cottage". The Weaver's Cottage is now the gun store. The little old house sits quietly beside it.

Chances are that the house was not new even back in 1920 when the Knott’s first settled in Buena Park which means that it is probably well past the century old mark. This little building fascinates me as it is not only a piece of old west history, but also a piece of Walter & Cordelia’s personal history as well.

The little house is easily overlooked as it is tucked back behind some of the more popular ghost town attractions. The history behind it is even less obvious. I have found that it is often closed but there have been a couple of times when the front door was open and I even saw a lady sitting on the front porch last summer making lace. Unfortunately I have not yet had the opportunity to get interior photos. I am not sure if the general public is allowed inside this structure but I am going to do my best to get some pics of the inside as soon as I possibly can.

If anyone knows anything else about this little house I’d love to learn more about it.

That’s all for today!

Take care, and Thanks for Readin’

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

“Hello Main Street”

This is a follow up post to “Goodbye Main street”. The construction walls on Main Street have come down and the peek-ins are back up and to be honest they look pretty darn good. This was much more than I was expecting. The peekins look fresh and inviting and I noticed they were drawing quite a lot of attention on Saturday when I was out at the farm. has posted a full update on the return of the peek-ins that includes a short video that is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t seen it.

"Assay Office"

First off the Assay Office looks great. They put the original figures back in and used many of the original set pieces. They have restored the animation and now the Assayer’s scale rocks back forth as he assesses the ore samples. It is good to see the awning back on the front of this building. It is also nice to be able to see in the side window now since they relocated the sign painter that was butted up against that side wall. For some reason this building looks to be a little wider or shorter than it was previously, perhaps the awning skews the proportions. Still overall this building looks fantastic.

"Hop Wing Lee’s Laundry"

Another stellar job. Hop Wing Lee looks rested and refreshed. He is back at work and thanks to the restored animation is actually pressing clothes again. Nice to see the Laundry hanging on the line above. I am so happy that they put the original door back in. Who doesn’t remember peeking through that little round hole when they were little?

"Barber Shop"

The Barber Shop looks pretty good but it appears that either time or money ran short as there are some important details missing. First off there is no lettering on the windows. Also the barber’s pole is no longer on the outside of the building. Lastly the wanted poster inside could have been done better, it needs to look like the guy in the chair or the humor is lost. Actually maybe the guy in the chair is to blame, either way they need to match. Still the overall appearance is an improvement. Maybe they just haven’t had a chance to finish the details. Let’s hope!

"Silver Dollar Saloon"

I don't think anyone expected the Saloon to return to it’s former role and unfortunately the results live up to the expectations. This is the only let down in the whole bunch. The ugly green target board has returned, the raccoon on a stump has also returned to add an air of realism to the proceedings. The exterior lines of the saloon we’re retained but it is now an unfinished shell for the shooting gallery. The decorative steel grille is all that is left from the old Saloon. I am also hoping that they are not done with the details here as well but I fear that they are.

Deadwood Dick’s grave

D.D.’s grave is still there but the grave markers have been redone. Unfortunately they, like some of the grave markers in Boothill, do not look very authentic. I forget where but I read that back when Ghost Town was originally built they made the signs look weathered by painting the letters on and then sandblasting the wood to give it that aged look. The painted letters would stay raised up while the wood on the background was worn down. I wish that they would give that a try these days.

Overall I think that Cedar Fair has done a very good job rebuilding this part of Main Street. I hope that as much care goes into the next part of ghost town that gets "refurbished".

That's all for now. Take care and Thanks for Readin'