(1955—Present) BACKSTORY: Welcome to page two of Daveland's Frontierland at Disneyland photographic history. On this page, you'll find contemporary photos of the park from 2000 to present as well as a few behind-the-scenes stories, such as the one below about Indian Joe and Sally Struthers.
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Quite often I get asked, “Are the wooden Indians on Main Street and in Frontierland original?” Well, finally I have some info for you!I was first contacted by a collector named Chris:
In 2005, for the 50th anniv. they FINALLY replaced both Indians with new, freshly painted models made from the exact same mold (from fiberglass) One ended up in San Francisco and one ended up with us (purchased at a small store in Buena Park).
This sparked a response by Jordan from The Perky Pickle Blog:The Indians were made out of fiberglass from a mold. They still are. In fact, I'm always amazed how flimsy they seem in the park. In fact, that's the problem. The fiberglass guys take a lot of wear and tear. They actually would be replaced every five to seven years from what I've heard. I actually bought the second Indian that the poster mentions. It was in San Francisco with an antique dealer who purchased it directly from the Disney prop warehouse. I heard there was another. The one I have is from Frontierland with the green cape. I believe the other one was from Main Street.My Injun is in pretty good shape with the only damage being a light crack in the rifle top which was always the first to go. Indian Joe was originally supposed to look like a carved Cigar Store Indian from the Victorian era. The old Disney Indians were painted that way...even with a simulated patina to look like old polychromed carvings. Original turn of the century cigar store Indians don't have flesh or wrinkles. They are meant to look like carvings. I have an original 1900s carving and it's AMAZING how much my Disneyland Indian looks like the early 1900s carving! Anyhow, thanks for posting as I was wondering where the other Indian went! we should get these two brothers together!
And in case you're wondering, the gal straddling Joe in this photo is actress Sally Struthers.
BACKSTORY: John Patrick Burke, a former show set designer for Walt Disney Imagineering, recalls:
I worked with Disney Legend Sam McKim, my mentor, on the Fronteirland Shooting Gallery when they did away with actual shooting and went to infrared targets and guns. Sam had starred with Gene Autry as a boy in his films, and knew many details about Westerns. I learned how to age a cowboy hat and how sweat stains should look from Sam's experiences for the show. Sorry his Adventureland Shooting Gallery that we designed and mocked up for the Parks to review was never funded. It was very advanced with animated targets, also using non-shooting, with a whole new direction instead. I think Sam's Adventureland Shooting Gallery was estimated at 4 million, which is why it didn't go.I went to Disney's McGlashin Enterprises for a visit about 1974; they made all the pellets for the DL and WDW shooting Galleries. I did the Fronteirland infrared Shooting Gallery with Sam about 1976-77 after doing Carousel of Progress for WDW, America Sings for DL, DL Bear Band, and Jungle Cruise DL with Marc Davis, WDW Space Mountain in 74-75, Pirates for WDW, and WED's secret Ski Resort at Lake Independence from 1974 to 76. I know there were a lot of other projects going on as well in this period. I have to relate it to the other projects going on to figure the time period. All this happened just before I started on the two Big Thunder Attractions in 77.