Friday, February 18, 2011

Knott's Berry Farm exhibit

Sometimes an unforseen roadblock forces you down a road that's better than the one you were on.
At the Orange County Archives, we were told that a "new display case" was to be installed soon, and could we please assemble an exhibit to showcase our wonderful Knott's Berry Farm Collection? We assumed the new case would be like our old ones -- Flat, wide, and "one story," and developed the exhibit accordingly. (Much of the early version was assembled by our intern, Nichole.)
When I saw that the new case had exactly the same dimension of the phone booth that once stood in its place, I knew we had to rethink everything. I started by rummaging again through the Archives and then through my personal collection. But that barely made a dent.
Luckily, necessity afforded me the opportunity to twist the arms of our friends at Knott's and ask to borrow some 3-D artifacts. As you can see, they were most obliging. We rummaged around "backstage" for a couple hours and came up with great stuff. The effort also resulted in finding some additional historical materials they were willing to donate outright to the Archives. (Thanks again!)
Anyway, I posted a photo of the exhibit to Flickr, and included notes that pop-up as you roll your cursor over each item, telling you what each one is and where it came from.
I think my favorite artifacts are the hats from Walter and Cordelia Knott, Walter's shoes, and the barrel which once hung on the side of the wagon in the old Covered Wagon Show in the Gold Trails Hotel.
This exhibit will be on display through at least April 2011 in the lobby of the Hall of Finance & Records (Building 12 of the Civic Center), 630 N. Broadway, in Santa Ana. Come by and see it! The building is open from 9am to 4:30pm, Monday through Friday (although this Monday the building is closed for the holiday). Also be sure to stop by the Orange County Archives, just across Broadway in the Old Orange County Courthouse.


Connie Moreno said...

Oh how cool!!! Yes, I will check it out next week!!!

Chris Merritt said...

Very cool! Wish I could be there in person to see it!

Kevin Kidney said...

Oh boy, this is great! We'll be there.

Chris Jepsen said...

Connie and Kevin: It's a pretty small exhibit, but I hope you find it worth your time. Please also stop by the Orange County Archives (across the street, in the big red sandstone 1901 courthouse) and I'll give you a tour. Come past around lunchtime (I have a break from noon to 1pm) and maybe we can get lunch together too.

BTW, there's at least one very cool artifact we borrowed from Knott's that didn't fit in the case. I'm guessing you'll dig seeing that too.

Chris M: Yes, well, I wish I could see the stuff *you're* designing these days. Much more exciting than my boysenberry phone booth.

Ramblings of the Recently Retired said...

Could you post Tustin Area Historical Society's upcoming event, "A Tour of Tustin's History," Annual Promenade of Homes and Gardens, on Saturday, May 14, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit our web site for information: