Knott's Berry Farm
Video Game Challenge Winner
The Farm's 1983 Sinistar Challenge Winner
Knott's Berry Farm's Video Challenge
I am Sinistar
Run Run Run
beware I live
Brought to you by the Professor of Sinistar at the following site Link
Knott's Berry Farm
Knott's Berry Farm Challenge
In 1983, Knott's Berry Farm's Video Challenge among biggest of "Golden Age"
Did you know that on the weekend of May 14-15, 1983 that Knotts Berry Farm,
one of America's largest and most famous amusement attractions, held its first-
ever video game tournament. "Video Challenge Weekend." More than 1,700 players
competed in the day event, making it one of the largest contests of that era held at
one site. Williams Electronics supplied copies of Stargate, Joust and Sinistar.
David Dean, brother of Spy Hunter Champion, Paul Dean, was the champion on
the first day, winning a Sinistar machine as his prize.
Knott's Berry Farm (major amusement park)
8039 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park, CA 90620
More on Dave Dean's video game accomplishments link
Dave Dean also worked for Bud Hulbut of Knott's Berry Farm Fame, at Bud Hulbut's Castle Park in Riverside
California as a theme operator of the carousel and later as a games arcade technician at the large video
game arcade at Castle Park.
Knott's Berry Farm and Walter Knott's Beginnings - Walter Knott(born San Bernardino, CA 1889–1981)
Knott's Berry Farm grew from a small roadside berry stand 22 miles south of Los Angeles beside State
Route (Highway) 39, (The road which led from L.A. to the Orange County Beaches) into one of the most
popular amusement parks in the United States, attracting more than 3.5 million visitors in 1996.
It was privately owned by the family of Walter Knott, who started the berry farm in 1920.
Berry Beginnings, 1920
In 1911, Walter Knott, then 22 and recently married, gave up his job as a bookkeeper in Pomona, California
and bought 106 acres of land in the Mojave Desert to homestead. He later told interviewers, "With all that
land, I thought we'd get rich." Instead, the land proved too poor to farm and Knott was forced to find other
jobs, such as working in mining and highway construction, while his wife, Cordelia, stayed behind to raise
their three young children, later to become four. Then in 1915, Knott learned about a cattle rancher in
San Luis Obispo County who was looking for someone to sharecrop a few acres to provide the ranch with
The Knotts moved to the ranch and raised vegetables for the next three years, selling at market what they or
the ranch hands did not eat. When they had saved $2,500, the Knotts moved again, to Buena Park, south of Los
Angeles, where Walter Knott and a cousin, J.L. Preston, leased ten acres of untilled land to start a berry
farm. They put up a roadside stand in order to sell the berries to the locals in which the berries were
wrapped and placed in plain, clean store wrapping paper and put in baskets making for a very nice
marketing presentation. This idea worked.
Throughout the 1920s, Walter Knott and his family sold berries, berry plants and pies from
a roadside stand. Photo Circa (1920)
Knott's Berry Farm was originally known as Knott's Berry Place a Berry stand and farm was started in 1920
and was given it's present name in 1947. The Name Changed to Knott's Berry Farm and Ghost Town in
late 1947 -. In the 1920s, Knott's Berry Farm was an actual berry farm. Walter
Knott ran the place with his cousin, Jim Preston. Around 1923 they opened their first roadside berry stand.
After the partnership dissolved Walter Knott decided to build a new 80 ft. building which was erected
in 1928 along with a nursery, a berry market and a "tea room" where his wife, Cordelia, could serve
pie and sandwiches. 1930's The dessert, Knott's signature Boysenberry Pie.
In 1928 Cordelia began selling jams and jellies from Walter’s Knott's special Boysenberries, hybrid
made by crossing loganberries, blackberries, and raspberries to produce a new much larger fruit which
Walter Knott had received when visiting Boysen's abondoned farm in Orange County. This reddish-purple
berry had been growing on the farm of a man named Rudolph Boysen.
was the first person to successfully produce this new boysenberry fruit successfully. His farmhouse is where
the Knott's family built a permanent Adobe attached building to serve as a berry stand and tea room, named
Knott's Berry Place. In June of 1934 Chicken Dinners and rhubarb side dishes were introduced to the tea
room. By 1937 there was an official Chicken dinner restaurant built and now that restaurant is famous and
very successful. Since 1934, over 20,000,000 guests have eaten chicken dinners in this famous restaurant
which seats over 900 people. People lined around up around the block to get into the Dining Rooms of this
House of Chicken with its midwest recipe of success. link
Walter Knott wanted to give his waiting customers something to do while waiting to be seated at
the Chicken Restaurant and he also wanted to pay homage to the pioneering spirit of his grandparents
and his love of the Old American West. So, Walter Knott developed a Living Ghost Town in 1940 which
eventually became the first of Knott’s Berry Farm’s six themed areas. This Ghost Town had the appearance
of the 1849-1850's Wild West Gold Rush Days of Boom Towns and Busts.
Knott's Berry Farm and Ghost Town - Buena Park, CA
In 1940 a Ghost Town was introduced in which the Walter Knott took old buildings from Prescott, Arizona
and introduced them to Knott's Berry Farm and began shows in 1940 such as The Covered Wagon Show
which was introduced as the farm's first themed attraction. There were several Knott's Berry Farm
postcards and photo ops to follow. link
Calico Mine Ride - Child's Admission Ticket (35 cents) (1962)
Bud Hurlbut was the first person to be allowed to build multiple attractions in the family
owned park due to his meticulous attention to detail and upkeep. When Walter Knott decided to
demolish the Mark Smith Horse Show arena which once stood on the lot of land where the mine ride
is today, he enlisted the help of Bud to build an attention grabing attraction.
This was the most valuable land, right there in Calico Square.
A Knotts employee newsletter stated, 'The Knotty Post', reported that there was an overall
joint investment of $750,000 between the Knott family and Hurlbut initially. The concept
started out as a two-story dark ride, with little cars carrying two people at a time. Eventually,
Bud's ideas turned that into a seven-story building with engines that carried upwards of 50
passengers at a time. The estimated final cost was close to $1,000,000 by the end.
CALICO MINE RIDE Knott's Calico Mine Ride, built by Bud Hurlbut in 1960, was considered the
largest and longest-running "dark ride" in the industry at the time. The eight-minute ride,
through an imaginary mine, carried 50 people on six full-sized mine trains.
Calico Mine Co.
Knott's Berry Farm
Ghost Town, Buena Park, California
Good for one tour below the 3,000 foot level.
When you walk up the mountain path to board the Calico Mine Train, you are following the
footsteps of Pete "Sluice Box" McGee, and his burro Mildred, who stumbled upon Calico Mountain
in 1882. Be sure and get some Boysenbery Punch for ten cents at the Silver Dollar Bar.
Calico Mine Ride Ticket - Knott's Berry Farm
Bud Hurlbut is an amusement park legend. "The Dean of Amusement Rides", here are some of his
Tour tickets that he saved throughout the years. Calico Gold Mine Tour tickets (50 cents) link
Calico Mine Train
A rumbling tour aboard six ore cars fitted along the sides with benches behind a fanciful
representation of a small steam locomotive on a narrated journey touring the "Calico Mine".
Operated as a concession (an apartment was hidden inside, where its builder and owner Bud
Hurlbut lived near the train storage tracks and repair shop), admission could be purchased
from the shack at the base of the trail up to the station. An underground lake, steam geyser,
shaft elevator, "Square-set timbering" construction techniques on the lift hill and several
glimpses of the "Glory Hole" could be seen aboard this power assisted gravity coaster. A
day-glow painted cavern featured several formations of stalactites hanging from the ceiling,
and stalagmites building slowly from the floor, to dramatic organ music. Dead Man's Trestle
was then crossed slowly before the train became a "runaway" through a blasting zone and
cave-in for a thrilling climax of this enclosed, power assisted gravity roller-coaster.
Along the front was an overhang built to cover the Mule Train boarding area. The mule
train was relocated across Beach Blvd, and then removed entirely when those shallow
canyons were converted to the picnic grounds. The Calico Mine Train continues to be
a popular attraction.
Wendell "Bud" Hurlbut (1918-2011 of Hurlbut Amusement Company constructed the attraction
which opened in 1960 on Walter Knott's property at a cost of $1.5 Million as a concession,
and paid Walt a portion of ticket sales. Bud was the operator of much of Knott's Lagoon
attractions - the merry-go-round, the boat rental, the Cordillia K. side-wheel steamer,
and continued to construct superior amusement park steam locomotives and trains, like
the one circling the lagoon. He would continue to create world class attractions, such
as the Timber Mountain Log Ride and others at Knott's.
In 1951 Walter Knott bought the entire Denver and Rio Grande railroad and moved it to the farm
where it was reborn as the Ghost Town & Calico Railroad, the park's first ride January 12, 1952.
It was Walter Knott's Dream to share the Western Heritage to all who came. At that time each ride
required ticket but you could walk around with free admission.
Knotts's Berry Farm became fenced in 1968 due to vandelism and added an admission park fee of $1.00
per adults and 25 cents for children competing directly with their neighbor, Disneyland. link
The park has thrived since then adding bigger and faster roller coaster rides and in 1988 Knott's Berry
Farm won the Amusement Business/Liseberg Applause Award in 1988, only the fourth park so honored.)
Bud Hulbut - Calico Mine Ride Engine, Knott's Berry Farm (1960)
Calico Mine Ride - Builder - Bud Hurlbut (1960)
"A Family Builds A Mountain" (1960)
This $3.5 million Mountain ride made in 1960 dollars has a video link to Bud Hurlbut's The Calico
Mountain Mine Ride at Knott's Berry Farm in 1960 with Bud as the Engineer in a ride through the Calico Glory Hole< link
Bud Hurlbut's of Hurlbut Amusement Company (Hurlbut Enterprises) created the Knott's Berry
Farm Mine Ride & Timber Mountain Log Ride - Timber Mountain Log Ride (formerly known as
the Calico Log Ride), (Calico Log and Lumber Co. attraction) is among many other of the
Knott's Berry Farm big amusement rides. link
The Timber Mountain Log Ride's first official public riders were John Wayne and Ethan, his son.
The Calico Mine Train is a 7-minute, richly themed, immersive attraction. Donkey Engines pulling
ore cars transport guests to the 3,000 foot level of the mine where they encounter underground
waterfalls, mysterious caverns with stalactites (Carlsbad Caverns Bud Hulbut inspiration) and
dangerous mine cave-ins. link
The Timber Mountain Log Ride drew inspiration from stories of lumberjacks riding logs down
rivers down the mountain to a sawmill by usage of flowing water.
Walter Knott brought in inventive theme park-attraction designer Bud Hulbut to build and operate
various themed rides at Knott's Berry Farm property as well as creating the Bell of Independence.
The cast of the Liberty Bell was originally sculpted by Bud Hurlbut. link
Bud Hurlbut. Since his start in the 1940's, he has designed and manufactured rides for "kiddie parks",
owned and operated a collection of rare carrousels, helped Walter Knott expand Knott's Berry Farm into
Disneyland's quiet competitor, designed and installed their two biggest themed attractions, and worked
with Walt Disney on a number of occassions. ("E" Ticket magazine issue #35)
Bud Hurlbut married to Lucille: got his start in the industry building small trains for parks,
many of which are still in operation. There location of business: Hurlbut Amusement CO
Hurlbut Amusement Company, 7860 Western Avenue, Buena Park, CA 90620 714-523-1060 Just a half
mile from Knott's Berry Farm in which the Knott's Berry Farm rides are still serviced at times
by Bud Hurlbut's Amusement Company.
Bud Hurlbut of Hurlbut Amusement Company owned and operated all of the rides including the original
1907 Dentzel Carousel. There would not have been an Amusement Park if not for Bud Hulbut an Engineer
and friend of the Knott family daughters from school days, convinced Walter Knott to let him build and
operate some rides in exchange for renting the space from Walter Knott. Bud Hulbut operated most of
these rides at Knott's Berry Farm for over 30 years. Bud Hulburt built and owned, operated, hired and
trained all of his own employees to run the Knott's Berry Farm theme rides. Nostalgia, scenery and fun
were what these rides were all about.
Knotts Berry Farm Amusement Park
8039 Beach Blvd, Buena Park, CA 90620
Don Koll (structural steel contractor), Bud Hurlbut(Park Designer/Operator) and Walter Knott (Founder Knotts)
looking at the scaled down 1849's era model of the attraction Timber Mountain Log Ride (1968)
Bud Hurlbut, Walter Knott and Don Koll looking at the attraction model at the ground breaking
for the Timber Mountain Log Ride on July 29, 1968.
The first two attractions built by Bud Hulbut were the Calico Mine Ride "dark ride" an idea Bud Hurlbut
had from visiting the Comstock Mine (The first major U.S. discovery of silver and gold ore - Comstock Lode)
in Virginia City, Nevada and the Timber Mountain Log Ride - (July 11, 1969) at 1 million dollars (Timber
Mountain is 75 feet in height). The Timber Mountain Log Ride has carried more than 150 million guests
since it's inception on July 29, 1968. link
Bud Hurlbut manufactured sold rides and also owned a small "kiddieland" amusement park in El Monte, CA.
in the early days.
Paul von Klieben - Saturday Night In Calico
Paul von Klieben Mural in Calico Saloon, Knott's Berry Farm
Paul von Klieben painted a large mural for the Calico Saloon which opened in 1951, it featured a
massive painting behind the bar called "Saturday Night in Old Calico." which is now in the upstairs
Paul von Klieben a Knott's Berry Farm Artist and Painter designed many of the buildings at
Knott's Berry Farm as well as the Gold Mine and Calico Ghost Town. He spent his free time
exploring the ruins of real ghost towns and camps in California’s isolated areas. His contributions
formed Knott's from a Berry Farm into the Amusement Park it is today.
Bud Hurlbut and Walter Knott, 1969
Ride creator and operator Bud Hurlbut shows Walter Knott
how the 125 horsepower pumps work for the Log Ride flume
at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park.
Bud Hurlbut developed the ride's revolutionary free-float flume movement for Knott's Berry Farm
in 1969. This artificial water way is an open artificial water channel that allows 450 pound logs
to float freely down the 2,100 foot waterway to re-create the loggers practice of riding their logs
to the sawmills to be processed with a rapid descent and splashdown into a body of water known as the
log pond at the thrilling bottom of this drop. This flume is six feet wide pushing logs from 8 to 22
feet per second with a final descent of a 20 foot water drop controlled by three 125 horsepower pumps
circulating 24,000 gallons of water per minute with a reservoir of 350,000 gallons of water being
rotating through the flume system.
Bud Hurlbut also designed the original miniature trains at Knott's Berry Farm.
The first log flume amusement ride is said to be El Aserradero ("The Sawmill" in Spanish), built
by amusement company Arrow Development (later known as Arrow Dynamics, and now part of S&S/Arrow)
in 1963 at Six Flags Over Texas in Arlington, Texas. link
Cedar Fair, L.P., acquired Knott's Berry Farm from the Knott's family in December 1997.
Park Designer Bud Hurlbut: was also the Founder of Castle Amusement Park a local Riverside, CA
Arcade and Miniture Golf Course. Owned by Bud Hurlbut from 1976-1999. Castle Park is a
25 acre amusement park in Riverside, California
Knott's Berry Farm history link
Knott's Berry Farm official web site link
Today's Knott's Scary Farm: for Halloween:
Over a thousand specially employed monsters are scattered throughout the park during the
Knott's Scary Farm Halloween Haunt Event. During the month of October, Knott's Scary Farm
Season of Screams generates half the revenue for Knott's Berry Farm's fiscal year.
Not for the weak at heart, Knott's Scary Farm is an extreme take on all of the senses.
With the right lighting, fog and music throughout the entire park this makes for an
incredibly hard place to focus on what lurks in the shadows. To find out what is lurking
in the shadows is for only the brave at heart. The mazes and attractions leave no room to run.
See more details on Knott's Scary Farm link
The early gravity defying Haunted Shack came from Calico Ghost town and opened at Knott's Berry
Farm on June 19. 1954, then closed in September of 2000 to make room for a new ride.
Halloween Haunt came about when Bill Hollingshead, Martha Boyd, Bud Hurlbut and Daryl Anderson got
together to figure out how to get visitor attendance up at Knotts Berry Farm. Ghost town became the
place for haunt. Each person had their own task with Bud Hurlbut over at the engineering and in
charge of the construction of this project. In the beginning there were only seven street characters
for this two day event. link
Conceived in 1973 by Bill Hollingshead from Entertainment, with George Condos and Martha Boyd from
Marketing, Halloween Haunt was a three-day event. The Haunted Shack was turned into a scary walk
through called ‘The Monster Maze.’ And with the help of Hurlbut employee John Waite, the Calico Mine
Ride and Log Ride were turned into nightmarish attractions with scenes. link
Knott’s Berry Farm already preparing for Halloween Haunt 2010 link
Knott’s Mine Train still rolling after 50 years link
November 12th, 2010, 3:19 pm by Michael Mello, The Orange County Register
One of Knott’s Berry Farm‘s most iconic attractions came into an existence with a simple
From that simple, paperless contract between Walter Knott and engineer Bud Hurlbut grew a
classic train ride featuring dim caverns with twinkling stalagmites, scruffy, hard-working
miners, and even a dynamite explosion blasting riders out of the exit.
This month, the Calico Mine Ride celebrates 50 years. It’s now surrounded by multi-million
dollar roller coasters, but crowds young and old still line up to take a trip deep into
the heart of a plank-and-plaster mountain.
“This was our first dark ride, our first mechanical ride that was built inside a building,”
said Steve Knott, Walter Knott’s grandson. The ride was Knott’s first with self-contained
scenes. “This is a ride my granddad very much enjoyed. My granddad worked in the Calico mines
in San Bernardino County.”
That was before Walter Knott tried his luck growing berries in the 1920s outside of a tiny
burg called Buena Park. Walter Knott grew up in San Bernardino County near Calico, which
is east of Barstow. At one point, he purchased the ghost town and ran it as an attraction
before donating it to the county in the 1960s.
When the Calico Mine Ride came aboard, Knott’s Berry Farm had already been established as
one of Southern California’s premier attractions, and the mine ride was one of the few rides
of its kind.
“I knew it was going to be good,” Hurlbut, now 93, said, sitting surrounded by his trains
in his Buena Park workshop.
Hurlbut designed the whole thing, from the wooden rail cars to the crystal-encrusted walls
to the burping mudpots to the tireless miners swinging their pickaxes.
(Bud Hurlbut didn't want diesel or gasoline to be used on the engines, as the exhaust fumes
within the narrow, low-roofed and claustrophobic tunnels inside the attraction would have
been unpleasant to smell - and possibly even dangerous. He purchased modern battery powered
mining locomotives, built by General Electric. The final theming to make them look like engines
of the 1800s would be done by Hurlbut.)
It opened on November 22, 1960. Rides on the Calico Mine Train ride cost 35 cents.
Bud Hurlbut began early concepts along with Dick Bagley and Harry Suker sometime in mid-1959.
Until that time, Hurlbut operated small amusement rides here and there. He worked a deal with
Walter Knott to operate a few attractions at Knott’s Berry Farm, including a carousel. Back
then the park had no outside fence and visitors paid for each ride, with Hurlbut paying Knott
a portion of the proceeds from the attractions he operated.
In the late 1950s, Walter Knott needed something big to replace a horse arena at the farm,
where there had been shows.
“(Knott) said, ‘You know that’s the best piece of land left on Knott’s Berry Farm, so it’s
got to make some money,’” Hurlbut recalled. “That scared me a little bit.”
It took about a year of design and construction, all of which cost about $1.5 million, a sum
equal to about $9 million today.
As work went on and Hurlbut needed more money, he sold part of his ranch outside of Whittier,
his Cadillac, and his home to finance construction.
“One day,” Hurlbut recalled, “(Knott) came over and said, ‘Bud, are you sure you know what
you’re doing?’ I told him, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I never lied to him again.”
Older Knott’s Berry Farm employees still tell the tale about Hurlbut’s daily grind during
the construction. Once in a while, a man sharply dressed in a jacket and tie would show
up, spending hours outside of the incomplete Calico Mine Ride watching Hurlbut’s labors.
That man was Walt Disney.
Hurlbut and Disney sometimes exchanged ideas. One day after the Calico Mine was finished,
Disney wanted to take a ride on the train. Disney explained that he was in a hurry, so
Hurlbut ushered him through the crowdless enrtance into the faux mountain. That’s when
Disney encountered a throng of 200 people waiting in line to ride the train.
“Bud had invented the hidden switchback queue – something used by theme parks all over
the world to this day,” said Chris Merritt, a theme-park historian and author of “Knott’s
Preserved,” a book about the park’s history.
Hurlbut overcame the more-than-occasional challenges.
“He engineered the chain drive that pulls the trains up a very steep grade into the
Cavern Room scene. He told me he had to — he couldn’t find an engineer who would design
it for him for fear of liability,” Merritt said. “He was able to run that chain lift for
27 years before having to replace it.”
Hurlbut worked hard to provide authentic touches for the ride. During the design phase,
he befriended real miners and wandered through active mines in the Mother Lode region.
the Calico Mine ride’s caverns and the workmen who filled them reflecting what he saw.
“Some of the tools were tools that miners actually used,” Steve Knott said.
Then there’s the thundering dynamite explosion near the end of the ride, which is the
actual sound of vaporizing dynamite. Hurlbut went out into the desert with and blasted
some actual dynamite to record the sound.
“We did that about a block away, and rocks were still falling on our heads,” he said.
Then in November, the big day came.
“You never know until you turn the switch on how good it is,” Hurlbut said. “Everything
worked, and it excelled. It was always busy.”
The Calico Mine Ride was a big hit when it opened. At peak capacity, it shuttled hundreds
of riders through each hour. Hurlbut got his money back quickly.
Except for occasional maintenance and a few minor safety upgrades, the ride is basically
the same as it was when Hurlbut crafted it a half-century ago.
The only major things that have been replaced are the train’s cars, which over the decades
were worn down by riders’ derričres. Also there are the batteries —weighing several hundred
pounds — that power the trains’ locomotives.
“Every night we plug them in. It takes between four to six hours to charge them,” said
Jason Ellis, the Knott’s Berry Farm maintenance man who keeps the trains rolling. After
that, “they can run all day.”
WENDELL "BUD" HURLBUT - Obituary - (June 13, 1918 - January 5, 2011) "Wendell Ray Hurlbut"
Hurlbut, Wendell "Bud", passed away quietly at his house in Buena Park, CA, Wednesday, January 5, 2011
at age 92. Bud was born in the little town of Watertown, South Dakota on June 13, 1918 to Ray and Emma
Hurlbut, and was an only child. The Hurlbut family moved to Whittier, CA where Ray managed a very
successful oil tool company. Bud graduated from Whittier High School; he worked at a printing company,
ushered at many Hollywood theaters, and was preparing himself for a career in pattern making. Using his
skills in woodworking he was employed by Vulltee Aircraft in the highly secret Aircraft development
section. While working at the printing company, Bud met a cute young lady in high heels and his heart
was smitten. On February 15, 1941 Miss Lucille Steffen and Bud Hurlbut tied the knot and established
a home in Whittier, California. Bud is very well known in the amusement industry. He designed and
operated the Mine Ride and Timber Mountain Log Ride at world famous Knott's Berry Farm. He designed
and built the Castle Park Amusement Park in Riverside, California and is known in the Amusement community
for his quality and architectural authenticity. He has manufactured miniature trains for sixty years
and has them running in many parts of the world. The operational excellence of his trains is unequalled.
His occupation gave him a wonderful sense of fun and happiness. He loved life and lived it well. Service
to be held Monday, January 10, 2011, 3:00 pm at Rose Hills Memorial Chapel, Gate #1, 3888 Workman Mill Rd,
Whittier, CA. Interment at Rose Hills Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the
charity of your choice.
Castle Park creator, 'Bud' Hurlbut, dies at 92 link
10:54 PM PST on Friday, January 7, 2011
By KIMBERLY PIERCEALL
The man who built a castle off Highway 91 in Riverside after having built a mountain at Knott's
Berry Farm has died.
Wendell Ray Hurlbut, better known as "Bud," was already an icon of the Southern California
amusement park industry when he opened Castle Park in 1976, a 25-acre "hobby" park he filled
with mini-golf courses, an arcade and, later on, rides. Years earlier he had designed and built
several attractions at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, including the Calico Mine Ride and
Timber Mountain Log Ride.
He died Wednesday evening at the age of 92.
Special to The Press-Enterprise
It’s not surprising that Wendell Ray Hurlbut, better known as “Bud,” was all smiles as he
sat in the engineer’s compartment of his Calico Mine Ride engine from Knott’s Berry Farm
in the early 1960s. Hurlbut’s slogan to theme-park employees was, “If you’re not wearing
a smile, you’re not dressed for work.”
A slogan that had been affixed to a door of the log ride at Knott's Berry Farm summed up
Mr. Hurlbut's outlook. "If you're not wearing a smile, you're not dressed for work," said
Harry Suker, who helped design and build some of Mr. Hurlbut's rides and trains. Suker said
he and Mr. Hurlbut were the best of friends for 50 years.
"What he tried to impress on us, all of his employees, was to be pleasant, nice, smile and
give the customer the service they deserved."
Reached by phone at Hurlbut Amusement Co. in Buena Park, the 85-year-old Suker said his
friend's mine ride at Knott's Berry Farm in 1960 was the first of its kind, including its
ability to "hide" the line so ride-goers didn't think there was a long wait until they got inside.
"Once they got in, they were stuck," Suker said, laughing. It was an idea that nonetheless
entertained guests as they waited in line since they snaked through the ride itself, and
Disneyland has made it a feature of nearly all of its rides.
Mr. Hurlbut was born on June 13, 1918, according to Rose Hills Memorial Park & Mortuary
He sold his creations to Knott's in 1984 after operating the rides as an independent
concessionaire, earning revenue from each.
Mr. Hurlbut's company continued to design and build miniature trains much like the one he
built for Santa's Village near Lake Arrowhead, closed since 1998, that is now on a track
at the Santa Ana Zoo.
Mr. Hurlbut had reportedly invested an initial $3.5 million in his "hobby" park in Riverside,
later spending up to $40 million to improve it through the mid-90s.
The 25-acre Castle Park is open year-round and has employed a few hundred people during
In 1999, he sold Castle Amusement Park for an undisclosed sum; four corporations have
owned it since then.
"Bud would still come by and see how (Castle) Park was doing," said Brent Sakamoto, who
worked in security at Castle Park for nine years and befriended Mr. Hurlbut. Now a park
duty manager at Pharaoh's Adventure Park in Redlands, the 39-year-old Sakamoto said
Mr. Hurlbut led by example, often sweeping up spilled popcorn on the park's grounds and
emptying trash cans.
"He would always get out there and work. He was never too good for anything," Sakamoto said.
Services are scheduled for Monday at 3 p.m. at Rose Hills Memorial Park at 3888 Workman Mill
Road in Whittier in the Memorial Chapel.
Reach Kimberly Pierceall
LA TIMES NEWS:
Wendell 'Bud' Hurlbut dies at 92
January 18, 2011
Wendell 'Bud' Hurlbut dies at 92; (January 5, 2011) designed, built attractions for Knott's
Berry Farm By Keith Thursby, Los Angeles Times
Wendell 'Bud' Hurlbut is credited with helping to turn Knott's Berry Farm into a modern amusement
park. He created several rides for the park, including two signature attractions: the Calico Mine Ride
and the Timber Mountain Log Ride.
Wendell "Bud" Hurlbut sits in the back of a log ride boat with Walter Knott in the front
Wendell "Bud" Hurlbut sits in the back of a log ride flume boat with Walter Knott in the front
Wendell "Bud" Hurlbut, who helped turn Knott's Berry Farm into a modern amusement park by designing
and building two of its signature attractions, the Calico Mine Ride and the Timber Mountain Log Ride,
has died. He was 92.
Hurlbut died Jan. 5 at his home in Buena Park, Knott's said. No cause of death was given.
Over the years he designed and built several rides for Knott's, as well as a replica of the Liberty
Bell, crack included, for the park's replica of Independence Hall.
"We lost a wonderful guy. He was so talented," said Steve Knott, grandson of the park's founder,
Hurlbut operated his own company in Buena Park while working with Knott's and was a "concessionaire,
partner and friend," Steve Knott said.
Knott's General Manager Marty Keithley said in a statement that "there would not be a Knott's Berry
Farm theme park today if it were not for the talent, determination and creativity of Bud Hurlbut."
The Calico ride opened in 1960, taking customers through Hurlbut's version of an Old West mine, complete
with the sounds of dynamite exploding near the ride's end. Timber Mountain, a water ride with customers
traveling in what resembles hollowed-out logs, opened in 1969.
Hurlbut's longtime associate, Harry Suker, said the rides were designed to provide just "enough thrill
to make it fun."
"We always wanted to encompass the family," said Suker, general manager of the Hurlbut Amusement Co.
"The log ride was for anyone from a baby to 80."
Hurlbut was born June 13, 1918, in Watertown, S.D., the only child of Emma and Ray Hurlbut, and grew
up in Whittier. He graduated from Whittier High School and married Lucille Steffen in 1941. After
working at several jobs, he started apprenticing as a pattern maker. He designed and made patterns
for drill bits and locomotive parts, he told The Times in 1980.
Hurlbut really wanted to be "a big-time amusement park manufacturer," said Richard Harris, author
of "Early Amusement Parks of Orange County" and a former employee of Hurlbut's. Skilled at woodworking,
Hurlbut began building miniature trains. By the mid-1940s, he had sold several trains and opened
a small amusement park in El Monte.
Knott's started modestly in Buena Park. Walter Knott and his wife, Cordelia, opened a tearoom,
berry market and nursery to sell berry plants in the 1920s. By the 1940s, they had a successful
chicken dinner restaurant and added a ghost town.
Wendell 'Bud' Hurlbut dies at 92; designed, built attractions for Knott's Berry Farm
Wendell 'Bud' Hurlbut is credited with helping to turn Knott's Berry Farm into a modern amusement
park. He created several rides for the park, including two signature attractions: the Calico Mine Ride
and the Timber Mountain Log Ride.
January 18, 2011| By Keith Thursby, Los Angeles Times
Hurlbut, who went to school with two of the Knotts' children, started working with them in the 1950s,
operating a merry-go-round at the farm.
"Knott's found out that I had this merry-go-round in storage. They wanted one for the farm for use by
the kids while parents were waiting to get into the chicken dinner restaurant," he told The Times.
"The merry-go-round had a 50-foot diameter, but [Walter Knott] didn't use architects or surveyors.
He just paced off the distance. Using his toe to mark the ground, Mr. Knott said, 'Here's where we'll
put the center pole.' He wanted it where none of the trees would be damaged. That's the way it was
with all of the rides — the trees came first."
Hurlbut also owned Castle Park in Riverside, which opened in the mid-1970s as a miniature golf
course and arcade, adding rides in the mid-1980s. Hurlbut sold the park in 1999.
"He was probably the most down-to-earth person you'd want to meet," Harris said. "He was very
quiet and didn't want anyone to know who he was. He didn't like the fanfare."
Hurlbut's wife died in 2004, and they had no children.
Knott's Timber Mountain Log Ride Celebrates 30th Anniversary July 11 as Nation's First Log Flume... link
Publication: Business Wire
Date: Thursday, July 8 1999
BUENA PARK, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 8, 1999--
The venerable Timber Mountain Log Ride in Knott's Berry Farm's Old West Ghost Town(R) -- recognized
as the world's first theme park log flume attraction -- celebrates its 30th anniversary July 11 during
an anniversary ceremony and reunion of past "Loggers," the park's nickname for past and present Log
Opened July 11, 1969, by actor John Wayne and his son, Ethan, the Timber Mountain Log Ride was built
by Walter Knott at a cost of $3 million and remains among Knott's three most popular attractions ever.
The ride has carried more than 150 million guests in its 30-year history and still competes with
GhostRider(TM) and Supreme Scream(TM) for the highest "ride counts" at the park.
In it, guests board hollowed-out logs for a journey deep into 75-foot-high Timber Mountain, passing
through a working sawmill and animated forest scenes before taking the 38-foot plunge to Timber Mountain
Lake below. The ride's revolutionary "free-float" movement -- developed by Knott's in 1969 and since
copied at theme and amusement parks worldwide -- enables the 450-pound logs to float freely down the
2,100-foot waterway, recreating the loggers' practice of riding their logs back to camp after a
The Orange County Register posted by Michael Mello, The Orange County Register
Knott’s Berry Farm icon dies link
January 6th, 2011
Bud Hurlbut created some of Knott's Berry Farm's centerpiece rides, died Wednesday.
He was 93. link
Wendell "Bud" Hurlbut worked for years with Walter Knott, the founder of Knott's Berry Farm.
There, Hurlbut designed and built the Calico Mine Ride and the Timber Mountain Log Ride --
two attractions that, decades after they were built, remain among the most popular rides in the park.
Bud Hurlbut, 93, stands by a train at his shop near Knott's Berry Farm.
Hurlbut designed and built the Calico Mine Train and the Timber Mountain Log Ride at Knott's Berry
Farm. The Calico Mine Train celebrated its 50th anniversary on Nov. 22.
MARK EADES, FILE PHOTO
MORE PHOTOS "More from Buena Park-Cypress-La Palma-Stanton link
Hurlbut became known in the industry for his innovation -- like the locomotives' electric
motors on the Mine Ride -- and attention to detail. Even into his nineties, he could be
found in the middle of his workshop, just across La Palma Avenue from Knott's Berry Farm.
"Here's the thing, I always was independent. I didn't have to answer yes or no to noone,"
Hurlbut told the Register's Mark Eades in an interview last year. "I paid my bills. And
I've kept the shop going and kept working because this is my golf game. It's my enjoyment
and that's why I keep doing it."
"He loved to create those things. That was his life," said Marion Knott, Walter Knott's
The news spread quickly among Knott's employees, many of whom have known Hurlbut for years.
"There would not be a Knott's Berry Farm theme park today if it were not for the talent,
determination and creativity of Bud Hurlbut," said Marty Keithley, general manager of
Knott's Berry Farm. "We will be forever grateful for the attractions that he created.
His legacy will live on and generations to come will know of his talent."
"It is a huge loss," theme park designer and historian Christopher Merritt said of
Hurlbut's passing. "Bud Hurlbut was a titan of the theme park industry. He influenced
me with his designs in such a major way. Bud lived a life worth living - and I will
always be grateful to him for his friendship and advice."
Landmarks all over Southern California display Hurlbut's work. He crafted the Liberty
Bell replica that hangs in Independence Hall at Knott's Berry Farm. Hurlbut toiled for
two weeks to make sure that the bell in Buena Park sported a crack exactly like the
original's, according to the book "Early Amusement Parks of Orange County" by Richard Harris.
Castle Park in Riverside is another Hurlbut project. He established the park in 1976,
later selling it.
Hurlbut designed the replica 1880s steam train that now runs at the Santa Ana Zoo in
The train originally puffed around Santa's Village in the San Bernardino Mountains
(near Santa Cruz, CA) before the Santa Ana zoo bought it in 1999.
In the late 1950s, Hurlbut built the Calico Mine Ride on a contract basis for Knott.
Hurlbut agreed to build and maintain the ride, paying Knott a portion of the ride's proceeds.
It took about a year of design and construction, all of which cost about $1.5 million.
As work went on and Hurlbut needed more money, he sold part of his ranch outside of
Whittier, his Cadillac and his home to finance construction.
"One day," Hurlbut recalled in an interview earlier this year, "(Knott) came over
and said, 'Bud, are you sure you know what you're doing?' I told him, 'Yeah, sure.'
I never lied to him again."
He knew what he was doing. The ride was an instant hit when it opened in 1960.
Hurlbut, Marion Knott, said, "lived the true life of an entrepreneur. That's why
he and Dad got along so well."
Hurlbut's work made an impression on the industry. Walt Disney frequently came to
watch Hurlbut's work on the Calico Mine Ride.
Bud Hurlbut was the first to create "themed" rides, Marion Knott said, ideas that
later were imitated elsewhere.
"Both of the rides he did were just as viable today as when he built them. There isn't
a log ride at any other park that compares to the log ride at the Farm."
“Times may be tough, and people my not have much food to eat, but they’ll always be able
to come up with a nickel to put little Jimmy on the merry – go – round”
Hurlbut was married for decades to Lucille Hurlbut who passed away in May of 2004.
They had no children.
Tom Guagliardo says: link
January 7, 2011 at 12:39 pm I was privileged to work with and learn from Bud while a manager
at Knott’s Berry Farm and later as General Manager of his Riverside CA Family Fun Center –
Castle Park – for 10 years in the seventies and eighties. Bud’s drive and attention to detail
were legendary. Everyone who worked with Bud learned a great deal. I owe my 45 year career in
the Amusement Business to the lessons Bud taught me. You will be missed my friend – rest in peace.
“A Bud for Bud”
A toast to you, my dear friend! Here’s to The greatest boss EVER!
Bud Hurlbut, ride designer and park developer, dies at 93 link
Credited with building Knott's Berry Farm's Log Ride, Mine Rides; also created Castle Park
Bud Hurlbut, the creative genius who produced some of Knott’s Berry Farm‘s centerpiece
rides, died January 5, 2011. He was 93.
Wendell “Bud” Hurlbut worked for years with Walter Knott, the founder of Knott’s Berry
Farm. Hurlbut designed and built the Calico Mine Ride and the Timber Mountain Log Ride –
two attractions that are still among the park's most popular rides.
Hurlbut became known in the industry for his innovation, like the locomotives’ electric motors
on the Mine Ride, and attention to detail. Even into his nineties, he could be found in the
middle of his workshop, just across La Palma Avenue from Knott’s Berry Farm.
“Here’s the thing, I always was independent. I didn’t have to answer yes or no to no one,”
Hurlbut told the Orange County Register’s Mark Eades in an interview last year. “I paid my
bills. And I’ve kept the shop going and kept working because this is my golf game. It’s
my enjoyment, and that’s why I keep doing it.”
In 1960, Bud Hurlbut is seen inspecting a scene inside the Calico Mine Ride.
Walter Knott, waving his hat and Bud Hurlbut, seated in back, take a ride on the Timber
Mountain Log Ride. Designed by Hurlbut, both rides remain icons at Knott's Berry Farm today.
“He loved to create those things. That was his life,” said Marion Knott, Walter Knott’s daughter.
The news spread quickly among Knott’s employees, many of whom have known Hurlbut for years.
“There would not be a Knott’s Berry Farm theme park today if it were not for the talent,
determination and creativity of Bud Hurlbut,” said Marty Keithley, general manager of
Knott’s Berry Farm. “We will be forever grateful for the attractions that he created. His
legacy will live on and generations to come will know of his talent.”
Landmarks all over Southern California display Hurlbut’s work. He crafted the Liberty Bell
replica that hangs in Independence Hall at Knott’s Berry Farm. Hurlbut toiled for two weeks
to make sure that the bell in Buena Park sported a crack exactly like the original. Hurlbut
designed the replica 1880s steam train that now runs at the Santa Ana Zoo. The train originally
rode the rails around Santa’s Village in the San Bernardino Mountains before the zoo bought
it in 1999. After selling his two rides to Knott's, he used the profits to design and develop
Castle Park in Riverside, California Opening in 1976, the 25-acre (FEC) Family entertainment
center was an instant hit with guests due to Hurlbut's attention to detail. His park, and
its four award-winning landscaped miniature golf courses quickly nicknamed Castle Park as the
Disneyland of FEC's.
In the late 1950s, Hurlbut built the Calico Mine Ride on a contract basis for Knott. Hurlbut
agreed to build and maintain the ride, paying Knott a portion of the ride’s proceeds. It
required a year of design and construction, all of which cost about $1.5 million. As work
continued and Hurlbut needed more money, he sold part of his ranch outside of Whittier, his
Cadillac and his home to finance construction.
“One day,” Hurlbut recalled in an interview earlier this year, “Knott came over and said,
‘Bud, are you sure you know what you’re doing?’ I told him, ‘Yeah, sure.’ I never lied to him again.”
He knew what he was doing. The ride was an instant hit when it opened in 1960.
Hurlbut, Marion Knott, said, “lived the true life of an entrepreneur. That’s why he and dad
got along so well.”
Hurlbut’s work made an impression on the industry. Walt Disney frequently came to watch Hurlbut’s
work on the Calico Mine Ride.
Bud Hurlbut was the first to create themed rides, Marion Knott said, ideas that later were
A a cost of $3 million, the Timber Mountain Log Ride was opened by John Wayne and his son,
John Ethan, who took the first ride down the flume as part of the opening ceremonies July 11, 1969.
Since opening day, Timber Mountain Log Ride, located in Ghost Town, has been one of the most
popular rides at Knott’s.
“Both of the rides he did were just as viable today as when he built them. There isn’t a log ride
at any other park that compares to the log ride at the Farm.”
Even after selling off his amusement interests at Knott's and Castle Park, Hurlbut never left the
amusement industry, as he continued to work at his Buena Park-based Hurlbut Amusement Company where
they continued to build miniature trains for the amusement industry. Longtime friend Harry Suker told
Amusement Today by phone the company will remain open for much of the coming year to complete all
current train orders. It's the right thing to do and what Bud would have wanted."
Hurlbut's wife of 63 years, Lucille, passed away in May of 2004. They had no children.
Services were held on Jan. 10, at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Whittier, Calif.
Bud was a shy guy who never accepted an accolade comfortably. He shunned the spotlight
and gave all credit for his Knott's Berry Farm achievements to Knott's and the Knott family.
Twin Galaxies Official Book: Second Edition 2007
Arcade Video Chapter 1, Page 6, Twin Galaxies' Official Video Game & Pinball
Book of World Records by Walter Day - Coin-Op video games:
2007 Second Edition: Arcade Volume Link
More info on Dave Dean and his Guinness Player Friends Link
IN 1984, Dave Dean was one of the Nominees Selected By The Electronic Sports League,
Inc. and the Twin Galaxies International Scoreboard Link
Bud Hurlbut was a partner of Knott's Berry Farm and founder of Castle Amusement Park, where
Dave Dean worked as a arcade technician and was good friends with the illusive millionaire
of Amusement Parks.
Knotts Berry Farm is the 12th most-visited amusement park in the country link
Youtube: History of Knott's Berry Farm (Walter Knott) Part 1 link
Youtube: History of Knott's Berry Farm (Walter Knott) Part 2 link
Youtube: History of Knott's Berry Farm (Walter Knott) Part 3 link
Dave Dean - Aerospace Engineer
In current times, Dave Dean has been an Engineer working on the B2 and has
done other interesting assignments. He was recently married in Brazil
to a lovely lady. They have two children and Dave Dean now in the States working
as a Lead Engineer in another field.