Sunday, June 14, 2009

A banner day at Knott's Berry Farm

I'm posting a few of the photos I took yesterday at the 75th anniversary celebration for Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant at Knott's Berry Farm. It was an amazing day and the place was packed with some really interesting people. The photo above shows the biggest star of the day, Marion Knott, talking about her parents, Walter and Cordelia. Marion was born on the Knott's berry farm, and grew up working there, living there, and eventually involved in management.
The place was packed with historians, government officials, and many many former employees of the restaurant. This group shot brought together CDR staff from many generations. Linda F. "Pam" Elliott - who's sitting to the right of Marion Knott, and wearing a white cardigan - was a waitress there for 51 years! Mrs. Knott gave her the name "Pam" because there was already a Linda working at the restaurant. The name has stuck to this day. Jo Burdick, on the far left,, was a waitress, but also danced in the Calico Saloon and went on to a career in showbiz, working with the likes of Frank Sinatra. I'm sure each of these people has interesting stories to tell, and I'm sorry I didn't have time to hear more of them than I did.
The day was capped off with the re-dedication of the Orange County Historical Commission plaque that was originally placed at the Farm in 1977. The group above includes Commission members, Marion Knott and State Senator Lou Correa. They are standing between the park's ticket booths and Grand Ave.
Here, Historical Commission Chairman Don Dobmeier holds up a photo I brought showing the original plaque ceremony in 1977, in which he also appears. (He was Chairman that year too.) You can see the image more clearly in my post from last Monday.
I want to thank Jennifer Blazey, Marty Keithley, and everyone who worked behind the scenes to make this event such a ringing success. It was wonderful to bring together the people who recognize that Knott's Berry Farm is much more than just another amusement park. It's a significant part of Orange County history, it teaches us about Western U.S. history, and it has a fascinating history of its own.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Chris. Great series about Knott's Berry Farm.