Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Knott's collection comes to the OC Archives

Knott's Berry Farm has donated a large collection of historical materials to the Orange County Archives. For the first time ever, the public will have access to documents, films, ephemera and the more than 20,000 photos that tell the story of the Knott family and the business empire they created. The collection spans from the 1910s to the 2000s. When it arrived at the Archives, it filled more than 30 large boxes. (It has since been transferred into metal file cabinets.)

The only catch to this wonderful gift is that so few of the photos came with notes or captions. As such, Phil and I are researching the "backstory" of KBF ourselves, using this newly aquired collection in conjunction with old newspaper and magazine articles, land records, other historical collections, employee newsletters, and the memories of those who knew and/or worked for the Knotts.

So if I seem a little nuts for Knott's these days, it's because I'm more or less immersed in it 24/7. There's nothing actually wrong with me. I just love my job.

[Note: The photo above shows Main St. in Ghost Town at Knott's Berry Farm during the 1940s. Notice that Calico Square and the train (both 1952 additions) aren't there yet, and that visitors' cars are parked directly behind Goldie's and the Jail.]

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