Knott, entirely

More comments about Walter and Cordelia Knott have rolled in since my Sept. 21 column on their ties to Pomona.

Brian Hurst and his fiancee visited the ghost town of Calico, near Barstow, on impulse on a recent drive back from Stateline. They were surprised to learn that the Knotts were responsible for the site being in San Bernardino County’s hands as a park.

“Mr. Knott bought the site of the old Calico town back in the late 1950s for about 13 grand, restored it to its heyday of the 1880s and donated it to the county about 1966. It is a monument to the Old West, thanks to the founder of Knott’s Berry Farm. It has an original mine shaft, costs a buck, but worth it. Think of the Calico Mine Train ride at Knott’s Berry Farm. Only this one is the real McCoy.”

Tommy Mushegain Sr. of Fontana, meanwhile, called to say that his family’s dairy was near Knott’s Berry Farm in the 1950s and ’60s. He knew the Knotts a little and his sister, Patty, worked for Cordelia in the Chicken Dinner Restaurant.

You won’t be surprised to hear that the Knotts were decent people. Although Cordelia apparently had an impish sense of humor: One day when Patty was leaning into a tub of ice cream, Mrs. Knott came up behind her and playfully pushed her face right into it, saying, “Get a good taste of it.”

Wonder if it was boysenberry?

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  • bflaska

    The administration invited Walter Knott to speak at a noon assembly at Claremont High School c. 1962, which he did indeed do. Attendance was mandatory.

    [As it should have been. -- DA]