" Knott's Preserved " From Boysenberry to Theme Park, the History of Knott’s Berry Farm
How could one place have the world’s best boysenberry preserves, world-class roller coasters, and Independence Hall, too? Where does a Ghost Town exist alongside a two-hundred-foot Sky Jump, while people wait three hours for a chicken dinner? "Knott’s Preserved: From Boysenberry to Theme Park, the History of Knott’s Berry Farm" has all the answers— and many, many more.
Original art for the cover of the 1950 souvenir guidebook by Paul von Klieben. Note the use of the preceding picture as a basis for the design.
Walter Knott and Paul von Klieben - the second, and most influential art director of Ghost Town in 1947. Von Klieben has responsible for most of Ghost Town as we know it - he served as art director at Knott's from 1943 until 1953.
From the earliest days of the Farm, when Walter Knott, his wife Cordelia, and
their kids were serving up baskets of berries “as big as a man’s thumb” and berry pies that weighed in at three pounds, to the advent of themed rides, Camp Snoopy replete with the Peanuts gang, and the arrival of the fastest coasters the coast had ever seen — it’s all in this great Knott’s Preserved book.
Flyer - circa. 1939. The Farm begins to become a roadside attraction, with the addition of the Volcano and Rock Garden.
A view of Knott's Berry Farm Ghost Town
Written by Christopher Merritt and J. Eric Lynxwiler with a foreword by Tony Baxter Knott’s Preserved have 200 images — most of them never-before published — and reveals exactly how the Knott family turned a berry business into one of the major theme parks in the world. The two authors display—the how-it-happened of Knott’s from the earliest days. The berries and fried chicken were just a yummy lead-in to what would become a majot theme park with thrills attractions. Plus, it’s a story of how a man and a woman remained true to their values, sharing profits and credit whenever they could.
So, for everybody who ever put their arms around Whiskey Bill and Handsome Brady, screamed in terror at Knott’s Scary Farm, or marveled at the Calico Mine, this is the book that’s filled with as much nostalgia as the Farm itself. Knott’s Preserved is definitely a must for every theme park lover and all those kids at heart.
Original art for the Bird Cage Theatre by Paul von Klieben - c. early 1950s.
Among the great creative people who created Knott's attractions there was Eddie Sotto who kindly answered my questions and share his memories about Knott's.
Jump to the full article to read Eddie Sotto's great interview about Knott's Berry Farm:
Disney and more: " Knott's Preserved " From Boysenberry to Theme Park, the History of Knott’s Berry Farm