Thursday, February 17, 2011

Knott's Berry Farm - Goldie's Place Update & Another "Major" Photo Comparison

Hey everyone, it's time for a Goldie's Place Update! The last time we took a look at Goldie's, construction was still taking place. Well, Goldie's is now finished and just like the Assay Office, Wing Lee's Laundry and the Barber Shop, I think it turned out pretty darn good. Before looking at the "today" photo, let's first look at some "before" and even some "in between" shots. These next five photos show a camera angle that I had previously not posted. This first pic was taken in 2007.


POOF! Goldie's is gone! This shot was taken in September of 2010 after Goldie's had been demolished.


Goldie's went back up pretty quickly. This next shot was also taken in September of 2010.


The exterior was actually finished by the time the Knott's Christmas Crafts Festival began, but the interior sets had not been completed. Here's a shot taken in November of 2010. Note the Christmas wreath on the facade.


And here we have the completely finished product.


The sets were installed just three weeks ago. The furnishings look great (although I do miss that tapestry that hung on the back wall for decades). The figures also look wonderful with new clothing, wigs and "makeup."



The leg has returned!


The outhouse behind Goldie's has returned as well! The guy that provides the voice of Sad Eye Joe in the jail is also back in the front window of Goldie's. I'm hoping this is something that never goes away! I was at the park last night and the guy was shutting down just about 15 minutes before park closing. I noticed after he left that there was a pre-recorded audio of Sad Eye Joe talking, but it was coming from the outhouse! Too funny! I'm just hoping that Sad Eye Joe is never turned into a permanent pre-recorded "peek-in".....so the next time you're at Knott's, make sure you stop by and say hello to Sad Eye Joe!


And now for another Major Pepperidge of Gorillas Don't Blog "Before and After" photo comparison. Here is a photo (used here with permission) that the Major posted back in December showing the Ghost Town Antique Store and it's courtyard area.


Here's the same angle today. The covered patio on the right has since been enclosed and that door now leads to a backstage area for the Calico Saloon. The Antique Store space is now part of the Western Trails Museum. Note the bottles stuck into the cement and used as a garden border.


Here's another vintage shot taken from a Knott's souvenir booklet.


And two more "today" shots showing close-ups of the garden statue.


Awww, he's holding a chicken!


Here's a photo I took last week of a fountain that sits next to the Emporium (formerly the International store and before that, the Basket Shop). The figure looks very similar, but not quite identical. This one has water trickling down from a small bowl. Does anyone know the story of these figures or where they came from? Are they Claude Bell creations by any chance?


And since we're on the subject of the Antique store, here are some antique items that I just recently noticed for the very first time. These pieces of china can be found in a glass case in the Chicken Dinner Restaurant and are part of Walter and Cordelia's original wedding china from 1911. Cordelia Knott supposedly served her very first chicken dinners to the public on her wedding china.


Here's a water pitcher that is also from 1911. The interesting thing here is that next to the typed cards labeling the items, are scraps of paper hand written in pencil, presumably written by Cordelia herself. One of the pieces of paper has the initials "C.K." on it.


Below, is a hat that was custom made for Walter Knott by Stetson in 1966.


This photo was taken sometime in the 1950's and shows Walter and Cordelia standing in front of the Original Berry Stand that started it all. In the foreground is the Ford Model T that brought them to Buena Park in 1920. When I worked at Knott's, there was a huge painting of this scene that went from the floor to the ceiling in the breakroom of the Cable Car Kitchen. Within a year, the employees had peeled enough of the paint off the wall that it required repainting and they did not bother to repaint the mural. People! I remember a Disneyland employee telling me back in the 80's that they replaced their breakroom furnishings with "prison furniture" because the employees were so destructive.


This last item is a copy of the letter from Walter Knott that was sent out to employees in March of 1968, informing them of the fence that was going to be put up around the property and the reasons why. Hmm, I wonder if they still have a profit sharing plan? They still had one back in the eighties.


Well, I hope everyone enjoyed this Knott's post. I have been going to the park much more now that I have an annual pass. I must say that seeing the restoration Cedar Fair has been doing has given me somewhat of a new appreciation for Knott's and the stuff that is still there. Now Cedar Fair, bring back the Haunted Shack.....and Knott's Berry Tales too!

To see my earlier posts showing the demolition of Goldie's as well as different stages of the construction and vintage post cards of the exterior and interior, click here: Goldie's Place (and then scroll down past the repeat of this post.)

8 comments:

jedblau said...

Terrific post. I love before-and-after shots. I was there with my kids a couple of months ago, and seeing their eyes pop when Sad-Eyed Joe already knew their names was priceless.

Davelandweb said...

Great post Chris - glad to see Goldie's is back in biz—WITH the leg out the window!

Dan Alexander said...

I think the Knott's people visit this website, and get inspired to fix things up!

TokyoMagic! said...

Jed, I remember being a kid and being amazed that Sad Eye Joe knew my name, age and where I was from.

Dave, I was glad to see the leg, but I forgot to ask the guy in Goldie's to pull on the cord that makes it "kick." Oh well, next time!

Dan, Thanks....I wish! Or should I say that I HOPE!

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Outstanding post, thank you so much for the detailed update and comparisons.

Major Pepperidge said...

Yes, another wonderful look at Knott's. I didn't know that the leg at Goldie's was operated by a cord that somebody had to pull on!

The display of significant Knott's artifacts is very cool too, nice to see the history acknowledged in some way. Think how many people visit the park without ever knowing anything about how it came to be!

Connie Moreno said...

How did I miss this post? It's great! I love the before and after shots and I am so happy that Sad-Eyed Joe is still surprising people. I remember back in the 60's some cousins came to visit us from Texas so naturally we went to Knott's. Imagine their shock when Sad-Eyed Joe asked them how things were back in Texas!

Regions Beyond said...

Great post, and look forward to seeing the newly reconstructed Goldie's next visit as well as checking out the personal items inside the Chicken Dinner restaurant.

Love the old-and-current photos as well, really nice content.