Sunday, March 20, 2011

Meanwhile, back at Knott's Berry Farm...

On a rainy day in 1952, the "Original Berry Stand" at Knott's Berry Farm was dedictated in its new location near the rose garden. In the photo above, Rev. Claude Bunzel, (who would later run the Church of Reflections and help Walter with his Freedom Center), speaks while the Knott family and members of the Native Sons of the Golden West look on.
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There's a lot of debate about just how many times the Original Berry Stand was rebuilt. Comparisons between photos of the stand in different eras indicate that at least a few versions existed. So the good news about them tearing the stand down in 2004 is that it wasn't all that historic after all.
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"Ambassador of Americana" Charles Phoenix will hold a "Retro Knott's Berry Farm Slide Show" at the Bird Cage Theatre on May 15th a 2pm. Eric Lynxwiler, co-author of Knott’s Preserved, will join Charles on stage. Visit Charles' website for details and to purchase tickets. It should be a hoot!

10 comments:

Connie Moreno said...

That was interesting since I had no idea that the original berry stand hadn't really been preserved.

Anonymous said...

I heard it was 65 bucks, even with a season pass!!! Alienating us Knotts fans right off the bat with an outrageous admission price for a short slideshow sounds a bit money hungry to me. Think I'll pass.

Major Pepperidge said...

Are you sure this wasn't taken near the Haunted Shack? The people appear to be either freakishly small (all those folks to the right) or strangely huge!

Chris Jepsen said...

@MajorP: I believe the (tall) folks in the foreground are standing on a wooden platform. But I like your reasoning better than mine.

@Anonymous: Yeah, $65 seems kinda steep, but I'm sure KBF required that the ticket price ($57) be included. (No, I don't know why they won't give annual passholders a rake off.) They may also have tacked on a fee for use of the Birdcage. Then you have to figure the cost of programs and promotions. And of course, Charles really shouldn't be expected to do this as a public service. He's a popular entertainer, and this is what he does for a living. So I can see how the price ended up where it did.

The perceived value issue is why we bundled a whole DAY's worth of activities together when Chris, Eric, Phil and I did that "Knott's Preserved" event last April. We knew it would cost a certain amount per ticket just for the basics, but we found we could squeeze in a lot of additional activities for not much added expense. Also, I think all four of us did the event for free. Chris and Eric worked for free because they wanted to launch their wonderful new book in a really amazing and dramatic way. Phil and I worked for free because we're crazy local history evangelists with a poor grasp of personal finance.

Allen P said...

The original location of the first berry stand was on Grand Ave. about were the Emporium is now.

Chris Merritt said...

Yes - Eric and I not only did the event last year for free - but also paid the admission for our special guests (Rolly Crump, Dean Davisson, etc. etc.). It was a lot of work - but I think everyone seemed happy with the events of the day. We were all exhausted with the planning and running around (we started planning it back in 2009) - but it was worth it in the end.

Re: this new event - Charles always puts on a very entertaining show, and he and Eric will be using some of the elements from my lectures in 2010 - so it should be a fun event!

Jack said...

I've written to Knott's who have yet to even acknowledge I even wrote them, but I asked if there was any chance they'd replicate the old Berry Stand, just for old times' sake, and for old time Knott's buffs. Chris, Chris, Eric and Phil-- have you heard anything about a restoration (I mean, a reconstruction, perhaps sticking the small stand along the wall where the hearses used to be parked... to stage right, and to the side of the outdoor stage?)

Thank you all, by the way, for the Knott's Preserved book and event, The Knott's Berry Farm/Arcadia Publishing book and all of these websites and articles which keep the Park alive-- something current Park administrators seem to care not a bit about.
-- Yours, Oswald Jackson

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Major is on to something here, it sort of does look like a trick photo!

The Charles Phoenix thing sounds fun, I'll be getting a ticket!

Thanks again to everyone who did the event in April - Didn't occur to me that you all did it for free, wow. Can not thank you enough!

Anonymous said...

You will never get a response from Knotts management. They could care less about the past, let alone resurrecting the Berry Stand. Why would they? The Berry Stand doesn't generate revenue. The gangbangers and kids who frequent Knotts today go for the roller coasters, not to see the past. As far as this new slideshow event goes, the only way I'd dish out that ridiculous amount to see Phoenix, et al, is if they propped up Walter & Cordelia on stage in their current state of decay (tongue planted firmly in cheek). It's nice to know some of your followers (Jepsen) are independently wealthy that they want to pay for this travesty. I always took Knotts fans as working class people who lived on moderate budgets.

P.S. I worked at Knotts in the 70s, so I have just a tad of experience of what I speak.

OC Lawyer said...

Great website. I just came across it. I live in Anaheim and its fascinating to look at pictures of how the areas of Orange County use to look. I didn't realize how many times the original Berry stand had been rebuilt.