I don't remember the first time we went. Was it 1952? Or was it 1946? or as far back as 1941? I just know it was a long time ago, and was with my grandparents the first time.
It was a long time before Walt Disney introduced his first wonderful world of fun and games in California. In fact, there were a lot of amusement parks across
country in those days - not the fancy and glittering super theme parks we see that usually cost an arm and leg to get into these days. But they were wonderful just the same.
There was Playland in Rye, New York, and Riverside Park in Agawam, Massachusetts; Lakeside Park in Denver (Elitches Garden was just down the road). Does any one remember the Walled Lake park outside Detroit? There's no forgetting Coney Island, and Palisades Park in the New York/New Jersey area. I remember an amusement park in Norfolk, Virginia that was the scene of a thriller movie centered on the destruction of a roller coaster when the park closed down. There were a lot of the old fashioned amusement parks. But
one of the very unique parks was Knott's Berry Farm which was just what the name implied - a berry farm.
But it was more than just a berry farm. It's theme was a ghost town complete with an old time western steam train. It had (and I think it still has) characters like Sad Eye Joe who occupied a cell in the ghost town jail. You'd also find residents like Handsome Brady and Whiskey occupying a bench not far from the hangin' tree. It was a low pressure experience in less complex lifestyle.
Well, it's still there. The ghost town. The wild west steam train. And the chicken dinner restaurant. The Farm has grown; There are a passel of rides and a big selection of attractions appealing to today's thrill seeker.
Today's blog relates mostly to the chicken dinner restaurant. It still serves up scrumptious dinners and it is till as popular as ever. In one year (1937) a little over one hundred chicken dinners were served in a year. By 1952 over a million
dinners were served. And dinners are still served to this day.
I tried to find out what the current price is for a Knott's chicken dinner, but it was not available on my computer. But chicken dinners at Zehnders here in Michigan are approaching double digit-dollars. Turkeyville, near Marshall, Michigan has dinners at around seven dollars.
But can you beat the Knott's dinner price on yesterdays menu shown above? Not likely; times, they have changed.