Monday, April 11, 2011

Bud Hurlbut & OCHS history books/authors event

Last week, I went over to Bud Hurlbut's shop and offices and began moving his papers over to the Orange County Archives. It's mentioned in an article in today's Register. For those who don't know, Bud created high-quality and innovative attractions for theme parks all over the world. However, he is most associated with Knott's Berry Farm, where he once built, owned and operated all the rides himself. He even designed such groundbreaking attractions as the Calico Mine Ride (1960) and the Timber Mountain Log Ride (1969). Along with his papers, the Archives is also receiving some artifacts, including two scale models of the Log Ride.

These models were created to show what the attraction would look like when completed. The photo above depicts Bud showing Walter Knott the first and smaller of the two models in 1967. This version included tunnels in the "mountain" through which Knott's steam train and burro rides would pass.
The second and larger model (6'3" long), shown immediately above, includes a lot more detail and is more accurate to the attraction as it was ultimately constructed. I keep noticing more details (as shown below) each time I walk past it.


Thanks to Steve Oftelie for helping me move all this stuff, to Chris Merritt for sharing his knowledge, and most importantly to Philip Coulson and the Hurlbut Estate for making it possible for us to preserve Bud's legacy.



Come learn about new Orange County history books and meet their authors at the Orange County Historical Society’s annual Authors' Night, this Thursday, April 14th, 7:30 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., in Orange. Featured authors include Guy Ball (Images of America: Tustin), Michael T. Barry (Final Resting Places: Orange County’s Dead & Famous), Chris Epting (Orange County Then & Now), Karin Kline (50 Hikes in Orange County), and Joe Santiago (Ebb & Flow: 100 Years of Huntington Beach). Each author will speak about their book, after which there will be time to purchase books and have them signed. Refreshments will be served. As always, this OCHS event is open to everyone. For more details, see the OCHS website.

15 comments:

Capt. Tomorrow said...

Glad to see that you made this happen!

Anonymous said...

I don't know you from Adam, but was it Bud’s wishes to have you and your cohorts put his private possessions in a van and simply haul them away? Doesn’t sound too Kosher to me.

outsidetheberm said...

Oh brother...

Allow me to step in here. I do know Chris from Adam. Bud's collection would have a hard time finding a more fitting home than the ORANGE COUNTY ARCHIVES.

Hang in there, Chris.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. I can't think of a better place than the OC archives.

Anonymous said...

Some small archive in OC that barely anyone knows about is hardly the place to store Bud's legacy. As far as the models go, a better home would be to display them at the Western Trails Museum at Knott's where thousands of people could view them every week. But since this is Señor Jepsen's blog, I don't expect the many homers that post here to understand this.

Capt. Tomorrow said...

Anonymous/Dave (that's right, I read your trash on the OC Register site). I have known Chris for a long time and I can honestly say that there aren't very many people that care about OC history as much as him. Can the same be said of you? As a PUBLIC organization, the OC archives will be the guardians of Bud's legacy for all to see and research for free. Unlike Cedar Fair, L.P. that at their will could just trash anything and everything relating to Bud. Considering corporate America mentality, they probably would do just that. It is YOU that really doesn't understand how to best preserve Bud's legacy.

OCKid said...

Anonymous Dave:

Perhaps you don't know that the Orange County Archives already holds the Knott's Berry Farm Collection, given to the county by Cedar Fair, so it would be protected and available to the public. It includes thousands of photographs, printed material, and films. So Mr. Hurlbut's papers will be a natural addition. Anyone who wants to do serious research on Knott's will always be able to find them there.

Or would you prefer they had been sold off to a private party? Even you, perhaps? Or sold off piecemeal to the highest bidder on eBay?

Phil B.

rick said...

Thank goodness for the OC Archives and people like Chris Jepsen!! And thank you for the "O.C. History Roundup!"

MIKE COZART said...

Wow! this is great news! (Sad about Bud however) Great the collection has remained in tact --and it's whereabouts are know. I hope the larger Timber Mountain Log Ride model will one day be exhibited. As a model maker I'd love to view it. Maybe you can feature more images of it (and the others) down the line.

Chris Jepsen said...

Thanks, everyone.

Capt. Tomorrow: Thanks for the kind words. I did want to correct one of your comments however. I understand your concern about the common corporate mentality -- But Cedar Fair made sure their Knott's historical materials found a good home at the Archives. They didn't have to do that, but they did, and they were (and continue to be) great to deal with.

OCKid/Phil: I think you probably hit the nail pretty close to the head.

Rick: Aw, shucks! Thank you!

Mike: The smaller (early concept) model is already on display. And we spent part of today figuring out how to display the larger one. Hopefully it will be in place in the next week or so. Come by the Archives when you get a chance. (BTW, I love the models you post on your blog!)

Capt. Tomorrow said...

CJ: Thanks for the correction. What I wrote and what I was trying to say were 2 different things. I think my point was that as a corporation Cedar Point COULD (if they had wanted to) just trashed everything they had regarding KBF and Bud. Thankfully the were proactive and recognized the value of what they had. Sometimes it's not that way. I remember reading that when Chrysler was sold to FIAT that a LOT of the archive materials were just trashed. And just out of curiosity, were you and your "cohorts" wearing black ski masks when "simply hauled away" Bud's stuff? :-)

Major Pepperidge said...

I am SO glad to see that you were able to get some important items from Bud Hurlbut's shop. As I said in another blog, it is sad that everything can't be kept together and displayed, but I know that as great as that would be, it would also be unrealistic (and expensive). Forry Ackerman kept trying to give his (priceless?) collection of sci-fi/horror memorabilia to Los Angeles if they would just provide a home for it, and they turned him down!

Anyway, kudos to you for your hard work... that model is a treasure. Will you blog about some of the other items (papers, records, whatever) that you managed to obtain?

Chris Jepsen said...

Yes, I'm sure I'll blog about some of the stuff we find in the collection when we start processing it.

CoxPilot said...

Chris: It's wonderful that in these times that there are people/institutions like you and yours. Much of history is lost to us just out of a lack of interest or money. I know when Hughes Aircraft Co. shut the doors in Fullerton, I was one of the last ones to have access to the advertising and publications archives. (In fact, I was charged with destroying them.) I kept as much as I could. Especially the paintings, brochure artwork, photo files and a ton of original drawings. Someday I hope to have the energy to start a blog.

Chris Jepsen said...

CoxPilot: Thanks for the kind words! And good for you for saving as much as you could from Hughes! The aerospace industry is a very important part of our local history as well as our national history. If you ever decide that material needs another home,... ;-)

CJ