Beyond The Shutter Photography

A Photo Story – Panning For Gold

Panning for Gold Knott’s Berry Farm 


Knott’s Berry Farm was one of the vacation stops I have wanted to make with my family for a while now. We decided to take a small vacation at the end of summer this year, and found a way to fit it in before heading to San Diego and the beach.

I was armed with my trusty iPhone 6 plus cell phone and was ready for anything that might attack us at this fabled theme park; one that got its start in the late 1920’s in the suburb of Buena Park southeast of Los Angeles.

I had mentioned to my dad that we might stop there on our trip, and he told me of the time his father, my grandfather, took him to Knott’s Berry in 1958, when he was 6 years old. That is the same age my son Zeke is now, and one of the the things he remembers most from that visit 57 years ago was panning for gold. They gave him a very small jar with his “Gold” find from that day. It was his most prized possession for quite a long time.



The park is very big, and I did not know if we would have time to stop and do something as old fashioned and uneventful as panning for gold, but I would try. We did not even know if they still did that old western trade at the park anymore. After 57 years, would it still be an attraction?

On my way to taking my son to one of his last rides we found the panning for gold attraction. As we looked at the long water bin that contained the sand and mining pans, Zeke said he wanted to try it.

An older man, dressed like a miner, gave him instructions — and Zeke carefully sifted the sand and found a few flakes of gold. He was thrilled, and so was I!

As it turns out, he told me it was his favorite thing he did that day.

Do me a favor, please don’t tell my dad.

For more information on this amusement park, click on Knott’s Berry Farm.

Panning for Gold Knott’s Berry Farm

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