Thursday, January 30, 2020

Souvenir of Knott's Berry Farm

This photo was taken on a visit to Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, California around 1947. That's little me (Clair Harris Zarges), with my mother (Elva Crabtree Harris) sitting behind me on the right side of the photo. I don't know who the two friends were, but they were probably either from San Francisco or relatives from southern California. It was over 400 miles to Buena Park from San Francisco, where my family lived, so this would have been during one of our (almost) annual road trip vacations to southern California. 

You'll notice that my mother has me all rigged out in a coat (that she probably made), a hat, and a little purse.

The back of the post card sized photo

I do recall that, as a child, I thought of the place as "Knottsberryfarm," not realizing that it was actually a BERRY farm. It was a real treat to go to what was actually the first theme park in the United States. (Britannica). To see what the place looks like today, go to Knott's Berry Farm. I have to admit, though, that I am happy with my memories of a simpler time and place. 

A little history from WikipediaThe park sits on the site of a former berry farm established by Walter Knott and his family. Beginning in the mid 1920s, the Knott family sold berries, berry preserves, and pies from a roadside stand along State Route 39. In 1934, the Knotts began selling fried chicken dinners in a tea room on the property, later called "Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant." The dinners soon became a major tourist draw, and the Knotts built several shops and other attractions to entertain visitors while waiting for a seat in the restaurant. In 1940, Walter Knott began constructing a replica Ghost Town on the property, the beginning of the present-day theme park. The idea of an amusement park really picked up in the 1950s when Walter Knott opened a "summer-long county fair.

The site continued its transformation into a modern amusement park over the next two decades, and an admission charge [25 cents] was added in 1968. In 1997 the park was sold to Cedar Fair for $300 million, just two years after the Knott's food business was acquired by Conagra, Inc. in 1995."