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Knott’s Berry Farm memorabilia to sell at Heritage Auctions

Historic memorabilia from Knott’s Berry Farm will be offered for sale at Heritage Auctions later this month.

Known as "America’s 1st Theme Park", the attraction first opened in 1940 and today welcomes almost four million visitors each year.

The sale will offer more than 220 lots from the Knott’s Berry Farm archive, including original props, rides, signs, artwork and antique coin-operated games.

Knott’s Berry Farm began life in the early 1902s, when the Knott family opened a roadside stand selling berries, berry preserves and pies made on their farm.

By 1934 the family had opened up a Chicken restaurant on their property, which became a popular stop for tourists along California’s State Route 39, and in 1940 Walter Knott began building an Old West Ghost Town.

It was the first of many attractions, which soon came to include a theatre, a haunted house, roller coasters and water rides.

Notable highlights from the sale will include artworks by the park’s original art director Paul von Klieben; vehicles ranging from a 19th century covered wagon to a ‘tricked out’ 1965 Monster Halloween Haunt Hearse; original signs from rides such as the Haunted Shack Ghost Town and the Calico Mine Ride; and a range of mannequins and figures, including animatronic bears from the popular Knott’s Bear-y Tales Ride.

"This is the first time that it has offered its historic items in a public auction to thank its global legion of fans," said Jim Lentz, Heritage Auctions’ Director of Animation.

"This auction showcases the history of Knott’s Berry Farm with rare items from Ghost Town, the famous Chicken Restaurant, Knott’s Scary Farm, and even the fan favorite, Knott’s Bear-y Tales Ride.

"From the park’s humble beginnings as Walter Knott’s berry stand to the theme park that now attracts more than 3 million people per year. This special event celebrates the 75th anniversary of the famous Ghost Town."

The Heritage Auctions Knott’s Berry Farm Signature Auction takes place at Buena Park, California on March 31.

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