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Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

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Knott's Berry Farm: 1964

Knott's Berry Farm: 1964

The 1960s saw several SoCal family vacations to visit my sister and her family, and this time the whole slew of us took in Knott's Berry Farm, where I took 18 color slides, as opposed the over 40 I shot in Disneyland. So that'll show you. Faux-reality fan that I was, I liked wandering around Knott's old western-style buildings, cement cliffs and miniature buildings, but no doubt about it, Disneyland was my heaven on earth. Oh, and it was nice seeing the family, too. View full size.

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We used to go there often in the 60's and 70's. Boysenberry sherbet was the best. The transformation exhibit was cool too, and the seals. My grandpa and I used to feed the sparrows when he would get tired.

Knott's Fun

1962-1964 Knott's had more to offer than Disneyland as far as I was concerned. Loved to drive the cars you could actually steer and step on the gas. Then loved the trout farm. My grandmother did not since she did not really like cooking trout.

Calico Train ride was great. They had a real guy talking instead of a recording which is what Disneyland used.

And...the steam train ride. The robbers would come thru holding the place up. I convinced my older brother that we should fight back. So one day we brought our cap guns (Mattel Shootin' Shell pistols). And we shot back!

My Mom, well, we learned some new words that day. But it was fun.

Lots of good memories.

Never been to Knotts

I've never been to California. My cousin Joe lived in Santa Ana until retiring to New Hampshire. My Uncle Joe (his dad) visited him quite regularly and brought back a lot of stuff from Knotts.

Being from Indiana and never any farther West than Kansas City, Kansas, I was always fascinated by the lure of the West Coast.

Still, I'll probably never venture out there. California just that.

Grandma's trip

Back in 1970, my cousins took my 90 year old Hungarian grandmother to SoCal for several months and the part of that trip that tickled her the most is when they took her to Knott's Berry Farm to buy "chelly" and then to "Dixieland". She talked about that trip for the next six years until she passed away.

Berry different now

I remember Knott's Berry Farm from those earliest years, when it was much quieter. No rides that I remember, but I never forgot the fun of panning for gold in the sluice box. I also remember Disneyland when it was surrounded by orange groves, an island of fun in a sea of orange. I think I liked both places better then.

Sundays at Knott's

During the late 50s and early 60s Knott's had no fence and no admission fee, which made casual Sunday family events possible and affordable. By the time I returned from Vietnam in 1970 the fence and admission fee were in place. "The hippies" was the reason I was told.

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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