Admiral in the united states navy now In 1954 Walt Disney was looking for a naval
expert to help him with the building of the Mark Twain which was under
construction. Fowler was hired to work on the Mark Twain, but stayed around for quite a while as he became the construction boss for the entire Disneyland project. Going way beyond his responsibilities for the Mark Twain and after Disneyland was completed, Fowler stayed as the general manager of the park during it's first 10 years. He also assisted with the construction of Walt Disney World Florida and retired from the Walt Disney company in 1978.
He continued to be a consultant. Admiral Joe saw Disneyland as if both he and Walt were building a real city. Keeping in mind that many of the people who helped designed Disneyland were from Hollywood and had a much more temporary view on construction. They typically were used to building temporary sets, but Admiral Joe wanted to build Disneyland like a real town. One of the things that he knew was that the riverboats would need a dry dock to be serviced. Walt didn't want to spend money on this so there was push back. After a couple of decades, Admiral Joe won and Walt said, "fine we'll give Joe his little ditch". Fowler's Harbor is named after Joe Fowler and in 1999, one of the ferries that crosses the seven seas lagoon in Walt Disney World, was renamed the Admiral Joe Fowler in his honor. Fowler passed away at age 99 in 1993.
The Rivers of America span Frontierland, New Orleans Square and Critter Country.
While visiting Frontierland, Disneyland park guests can cruise back in time on a 14-minute sightseeing voyage aboard a recreation of the glorious 19th-century steam-powered paddlewheel riverboats that carried people and cargo up and down the mighty Mississippi.
A Legendary Vessel
Board the 110-foot-long, fully rigged Columbia and sail away into a long-forgotten time. Marvel at the towering mainmast and inspect the cannons and deck-mounted guns the crew used to repel pirate attacks.
As you cruise around Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island, relive the pioneering adventures of the original Columbia, the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe.
It took the real Columbia 3 years to sail around the world, but your voyage will last about 15 minutes.
Venture below the main deck and find historical displays recreating the living conditions of 18th-century sailors. Celebrate the dedication and sacrifice of the brave explorers who filled in the final details of the world’s map.
The Mark Twain Riverboat and Big Thunder Mountain are reflected in the Rivers of America in Frontierland at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif. Frontierland brings to life the natural beauty, excitement and promise of the American West in the 1800s.
The landscaping of Critter Country creates a backwoods area that looks as if it had been created by Mother Nature herself. When the area was redesigned in the 1970s, more than 165 trees were planted, adding to the 100 trees that were already transplanted from other areas of Disneyland. One Canary Island Pine weighed more than 18 tons. The main trees in Critter Country are monterey, Canary Island, aleppo and Italian stone pines, honey locust, white birch and evergreen elm. Overgrown grasses and a large selection of shrubs add to the land’s forest feel.
The tranquil Hungry Bear Restaurant is a relaxing area to have a meal. Extra seating overlooking the Rivers of America can be found on the first story of the shaded terrace.
Along the Mississippi
The Mark Twain is an authentic reproduction of the historic vessels that ferried people up and down the mighty Mississippi River. A working steam engine converts the water from the Rivers of America into steam that in turn powers the large paddle that propels the boat.
Featuring meticulously detailed wood craftsmanship, the 28-foot tall, 105-foot-long riverboat is comprised of 4 pristine decks:
Pilothouse, also known as the top deck, features the wheelhouse and Captain’s Quarters
Promenade Deck includes a salon and a collection of vintage photos and maps
Texas (or Sun) Deck is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors as you float down the river
Main Deck includes the boiler and pistons that run the paddlewheel
A gorgeous new Columbia Gorge section is the backdrop as guests enjoy their journey aboard the Disneyland Railroad, one of the original Disneyland attractions. Guests also enjoy this new landscape, including five spectacular waterfalls, from the Mark Twain Riverboat, Sailing Ship Columbia and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes.
The north bank of the Columbia Gorge, complete with a beautiful waterfront and 5 sparkling waterfalls.
A rustic frontier cabin,
An idyllic Native American village,
A busy beaver at work chewing on the train trestle,
Mountain lions relaxing in the sun,
The Disneyland Railroad steaming into the wilderness .
Growing up in Los Angeles in the 70s/80s we visited Disneyland on a regular basis and often after school, before "Annual Passes".