Saturday, August 21, 2010

Knott's Berry Farm - Farewell to Goldie's Place

It's time for a Knott's Berry Farm post. Let's start off with a "then and now" photo comparison because I LOVE those! This is Goldie's Place....sort of a house of....well, a chicken ranch I suppose. (Even though the postcard is labeled Goldie's Joint, the sign on the building reads, Goldie's Place.) Note the leg hanging outside of the upstairs window on the left side of the building!

In the downstairs window on the left, you would find a man that provided the voice of Sad Eye Joe, who sat in the Ghost Town Jail located just behind Goldie's. As a kid, my Dad would tell my brother and me to go get in line to talk to Sad Eye Joe, then he would come up with an excuse to leave for a moment. What we didn't know was that our dad was giving the guy in the window our "personal information" so that when we got up to the jail, Sad Eye Joe knew our names, ages, where we lived, etc. I don't remember at what age we figured this all out, but as a kid it was a pretty amazing trick

Through the downstairs windows on the right and also the upstairs windows, guests could catch a glimpse of some ladies of the......well, they worked on the chicken ranch. Let's call them ranch hands.

The picture above is from a vintage postcard and I took the two below in 2007.

Here's another vintage postcard showing the exterior.

And a few more shots from 2007.

The guy providing the voice of Sad Eye Joe would occasionally pull on a rope above him that would make the leg hanging out of the window "kick." The heel of the high top shoe would then swing back and hit the side of the building with a loud bang, attracting everyone's attention.

The sign at the bottom of the stairs leading to the second floor reads, "Not Today"!

These two guests are talking to Sad Eye Joe.

Well, now I have some sad news for Knott's fans out there. Goldie's Place is in the process of being torn down. Here's a shot taken last night while standing in the same spot as above and looking down towards the jail. Sad Eye Joe can actually be seen through the small window in the distance.

Now we're going to pan slowly to the right....

Just inside the framework on the right, is where the person that provided the voice of Sad Eye Joe sat.

The area to the right of that was the interior of Goldie's. The red wallpaper is the same as what we saw in the interior shots. I hope all of the other set pieces were saved!

And I hope Cedar Fair intends to rebuild this classic Knott's "peek-in" just as they did the Assay Office, Barber Shop and Wing Lee's Laundry up the street from Goldie's (I won't mention the butcher job that was performed on the Silver Dollar Saloon....oops, I mentioned it!)

We'll end today with one more vintage shot. Wow, there are cars parked behind Goldie's. This photo looks like it was taken even before the Birdcage Theater was built or the school house was moved to Knott's.

(POST UPDATE: Goldie's Place IS being rebuilt! To see photos of the construction click here for my latest Goldie's post.)


Major Pepperidge said...

Arg! Do we know why they are razing and then rebuilding these historic structures? Is it in order to meet modern building codes (you know, because of earthquakes and stuff)? Even if they DO rebuild it, it will never be the same.

outsidetheberm said...

Evening demo shots are really creepy, aren't they? One wants to look for ghosts.

The walls of Goldie's were pretty termite eaten - so guess it was time to go. But there are ways to stop termites...

Good post. Thanks for the look.

TokyoMagic! said...

Yes OTB, there are ways to stop termites! I just recently had a small area in my garage where I saw evidence of termites and had someone come out and get rid of them....and the work was guaranteed! Why didn't the Knott family or Cedar Fair stay on top of this....especially with these historic structures???

I agree with the Major, they can rebuild it (and they had better rebuild it!) but it will never be the same.

The Knott's Berry Farm Museum said...

Speaking of then and now...

Just thought I'd mention that
"Knott's Berry Farm: Then & Now" (a new PDF book) is exclusively available for sale at The Knott's Berry Farm Museum. It contains over 200 photos of original Knott's attractions alongside their current incarnation.

Let's Talk Knott's said...

Thanks for the coverage of the demolition, as sad as it is. It's too bad that the originality of these structures wasn't given a higher value. Rebuidling them is not the same as preserving them.

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...


Darrin.. said...

Man.. I'm with you! I sure hope they rebuild it!! That pic of Sad Eye Joe peering out the window DOES look kind of creepy!