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Ollie Johnston Depot at Walt's Barn: Dedication Ceremony [photos]

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  • Ollie Johnston Depot at Walt's Barn: Dedication Ceremony [photos]

    A little over a week ago, I braved 100 degree temps to visit Walt Disney's Barn and attend the dedication ceremony for Ollie Johnston's Depot. Some quick background information: Walt's Barn was part of his home and personal 1/8th scale railroad in his backyard. The Barn was moved to its present location in Griffith Park--next to the Los Angeles Live Steamers--after Walt's home was sold.

    Ollie Johnston, one of Disney's "Nine Old Men", was also a train enthusiast and had his own scale railroad in his backyard. A Victorian-era depot from Ollie's railroad was recently restored and moved next to Walt's Barn. The Carolwood Foundation and Society, operates Walt's Barn and had a dedication ceremony for Ollie's Depot on May 18th.

    Despite living relatively close to Griffith Park, I had never visited Walt's Barn, which is only open (usually), every third Sunday of the month. This dedication ceremony seemed like a perfect opportunity to fix that oversight.

    Approaching Walt's Barn in Griffith Park

    A crowd had begun to gather for the dedication ceremony on the other side of the barn. You can see Ollie Johnston's depot (yellow structure) to the left of this photo.

    The master of ceremonies is Michael Broggie, founding chairman of the Carolwood Foundation and Society.

    There were some special guests on hand, including two Disney Legends: Blaine Gibson and Harriet Burns. Here, Blaine Gibson talks briefly about Ollie Johnston.

    The ribbon cutting ceremony with Michael Broggie and aspiring Imagineer, Austin Meyers. Young Mr. Meyers is currently being mentored by Blaine Gibson. That's one lucky young man!

    Picture time: Blaine Gibson, Harriet Burns and Michael Broggie.

    The Depot. After the ribbon was cut, a candlelight was turned on and is visible through one of the windows. This is a nod to the light that is on in Walt's Apartment above the Firehouse in Disneyland.

    Another view of the depot

    There are "bricks" in the ground just in front of the depot with the names of the donors who helped fund the restoration and move the depot to Griffith Park. Among the familiar names: John Lasseter and Tony Baxter.

    For more information about Walt's Barn and the Carolwood Foundation & Historical Society, be sure to visit the Carolwood Foundation website.

    Note to mods: I wasn't sure if this was the correct forum for this. It didn't seem to fit "Other Disney Offerings" (it's not officially associated with TWDC) or any other forum, but feel free to move it if there's a more appropriate location.

    Okay, I'll be back in a bit with pictures from inside Walt's Barn itself.

  • #2
    Re: Ollie Johnston Depot at Walt's Barn: Dedication Ceremony [photos]

    After the dedication ceremony ended, I checked out the other main reason for this visit: Walt's Barn.

    Actual section of track from Walt's backyard railroad

    Ollie Johnston's Tool Box is appropriately on display

    Monorail display

    Interior of the Barn

    Walt's workbench with actual tools that he used

    A couple exterior shots

    Overall, it was a very wonderful way to spend a few hours. I highly recommend visiting Walt's Barn and you'll get a really terrific sense of Walt's passion for trains and railroading. With so many other activities in Griffith Park, you can easily combine a visit to Walt's Barn with a trip to the L.A. Zoo, Griffith Observatory or just a picnic in the park.

    Note: you can click on any photo to go its Flickr page for larger versions and EXIF data. Or click here to go to my Flickr set with several more photos from the Barn and Dedication Ceremony. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to look at this thread!


    • #3
      Re: Ollie Johnston Depot at Walt's Barn: Dedication Ceremony [photos]

      Neat. Thanks for the report.


      • #4
        Re: Ollie Johnston Depot at Walt's Barn: Dedication Ceremony [photos]

        Fascinating! I've always wanted to visit this, but never had the chance! Thanks.


        • #5
          Re: Ollie Johnston Depot at Walt's Barn: Dedication Ceremony [photos]

          What an amazing adventure! Wish I was going to be in So. Cal. on a 3rd Sunday sometime soon! Since I'm not, thank you for sharing your trip and photos.


          • #6
            Re: Ollie Johnston Depot at Walt's Barn: Dedication Ceremony [photos]

            very cool! Great trip report!
            A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes....


            • #7
              Re: Ollie Johnston Depot at Walt's Barn: Dedication Ceremony [photos]

              Thanks for all the comments everyone!!! It was a really fun trip, even in the heat. LOL! I may try to go back when the Barn is open in June as it looks like the Carolwood Society has arranged to have an "Imagineering Reunion". And best of all, it's all free. You can't beat that.


              • #8
                Re: Ollie Johnston Depot at Walt's Barn: Dedication Ceremony [photos]

                I am SO BUMMED I never made it out there. Thanks for the tr!
                Good morning, son
                In twenty years from now
                Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
                And I can tell you 'bout today
                And how I picked you up and everything changed
                It was pain
                Sunny days and rain
                I knew you'd feel the same things...



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