Monday, June 11, 2018

Another bit of old Balboa goes under the knife

Balboa Bikes 'N" Beach Stuff, 601 E. Balboa Blvd., Newport Beach.
Seeing this old building in Balboa with the “Green Fence of Death” around it set off all kinds of alarm bells for me. However, it seems the front portion of the building is being saved even though the back portion is being rebuilt with additional stories added. It’s not ideal, but it beats total demolition by a bunch.

I remember stopping in here in the early 1990s, when it was still a bike rental shop, and finding the staff extremely helpful. I’d ridden my own bike (as I did most weekends) down from Huntington Beach and was on my way toward the Balboa Island Ferry and the rest of my journey down the coast when I got a flat tire. The folks in this shop graciously helped me patch the tire, put it back on the bike, and got me on my way at no charge. Aside from that, all I knew about the building was that it was old and that it had interesting wood floors that sounded a bit hollow and creaky. Now, having my attention drawn back to the building by this construction, I wanted to know more. Here’s what I found,…
Gus' Sea Shell Café, Balboa, circa 1929
The building was constructed around 1929 as the latest incarnation of a popular Balboa café owned by Gus Tamplis (a.k.a. G.B. Temple). Tamplis was born Kostantinos Basilion Tempelis in the small village of Kastria, Greece in the early 1890s and came to America around 1907. When he was naturalized in 1918, he legally changed his name to Gus Basilion Templis. It was under this name that he soon enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served as a ship's cook during World War I and was honorably discharged in late 1921.

In 1922, Tamplis opened “Gus and Tony’s The Sea Shell” near the Balboa Pier at 105 Main Street. The café specialized in Mexican (“Spanish”) and Italian fare and rapidly gained a large following. By 1923 it was known simply as Gus’ Sea Shell Lunch. By 1924, it was called the Sea Shell Café, and had moved to a somewhat larger space next door at 107 Main. According to the L.A. Times’ (Celebrate!, Vol. 2 historical supplement, Oct. 16, 1988), "…Everybody called him Gus Gus... He spoke with a thick accent,… and usually he only answered direct questions with a 'Yes Yes’ or a 'No No.’ Hence 'Gus Gus.'"

In 1929, Gus Gus moved again to a new location at the Corner of Palm Street and Central Ave. This move was a wise and calculated decision. This put the café directly across the alley from the new and wildly popular Rendezvous Ballroom. The Ballroom played host to some of the biggest musical acts in the country, as well as providing a home for new talent on the way up. By the late 1930s, the Sea Shell café (now serving mostly seafood and) and bar was well-established as was the place where the ballroom crowd congregated.
The Rendezvous Ballroom (the Balboa Pier would be to the right)
During World War II, Gus' cafe was also often the meeting place for the local USO executive committee. It also was the site of the first meeting of the Newport Harbor chapter of the Kiwanis Club in early 1941.

By 1952, Gus was living on Balboa Island and still owned a café somewhere, but it didn’t seem to be called the Sea Shell, and it definitely wasn’t at the corner of Palm and Central (by now called Balboa Blvd) anymore. The building at that location was now selling bamboo and rattan gifts. Later it would become a bicycle rental shop.

Gus Gus died Aug. 22, 1954 and is buried at Fairhaven Memorial Park in Santa Ana.

As for the fate of the old café building,... well,... Keep an eye on that corner!

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Anaheim's Original Pancake House

Something about fluffy pancakes, crispy bacon and fresh squeezed orange juice really fires up the imagination. Perhaps that’s why the lore behind Anaheim’s Original Pancake House (1418 E. Lincoln Ave.) has evolved rather fancifully over the years. Urban legends range from the building dating to the 1800s to the building having once been a mortuary. Nope and nope. But the real story is interesting, too.


The home that eventually morphed into the Original Pancake House was built in 1910 by Fred W. and Maria M. Lee.

Fred Lee had been a prominent merchant, sheep rancher, and investor in mining, timber and real estate in Yellowstone County, Montana. He’d also served as a County Commissioner, Grand Jury member and County Clerk there. Assuming there weren’t two men named Fred W. Lee in that part of Montana in the early 1900s, it appears he got  entangled in the infamous range wars between the sheep farmers and cattle ranchers. In any case, a local Fred W. Lee ended up spending 1903 in the state penitentiary for setting fire to a neighbor’s stockpile of hay.

Perhaps because of that awkward situation, or perhaps for his asthma, he and Maria left Montana for California around 1910 along with his ailing mother, Harriet Malvina Lee. It appears Fred had the little house built for his mother, and they lived there with her for some or all of the remaining two years of her life. She died of senility in Anaheim in 1912 and was buried across the street, at the Anaheim Cemetery.

The house was then bought and sold several times until someone finally really settled in for any length of time. Citrus rancher Frank (Francis) Norbert De Cock (1864-1939) and wife Mary (Maria) De Cock purchased it in 1920. The De Cocks were from Iowa, had seven children (including future Anaheim policeman Frank, Jr.), and would live in the house for fourteen years. 
Norbert (Frank Jr.) DeCock, 1954 (Photo courtesy Anaheim Heritage Center)
In 1936, with Frank in poor health and the economy in the tank, the property soon fell into the hands of the First National Bank of Santa Ana. It was then purchased by Casper C. and Nellie A. Reinert who in turn gave it to their son, Afton, and his wife, Mary.  But the Reinerts weren’t there for long, and the house sat vacant for several years during the Great Depression. The house became a rental again in the later 1930s and early 1940s and tenants included Marion E. and Lydia E. Shafer, and Marjorie (Mrs. Clifford B.) Chalenor and her children.

James H. and Anne S. Johnston bought the house in 1942 but sold it in 1945 to the couple who converted the first floor into a restaurant.


Wilber Wade Parker (1909-1947) of Anaheim had married soda jerk Dorothy May Close of Santa Ana on Aug. 25, 1939. They settled into a home on Philadelphia St. in Anaheim with his two children from an earlier marriage, Arthur and Sharen. In Oct. 1942, Dorothy purchased Finch’s Café at 242 W. Center St. Later Wade and Dorothy ran the Parker House Café at 120-122 E. Center St. In 1945, they also bought the property at 1418 E. Center. They initially just lived there and continued to run the Parker House Café. But in November they sold the business, presumably to focus on opening a new restaurant at 1418 E. Center.
The Dorothy-Wade Café (Photo courtesy Original Pancake House, Anaheim)
Sometime in 1946, their Wade Dorothy Café began operating in the future Original Pancake House. In the directories of the day, Dorothy Parker was listed as the proprietor of the café, which went by a variety of names: The Dorothy-Wade Café, Dorothy & Wade's Restaurant, the Dorothy & Wade Dinner House, etc.

By 1953, the proprietor signed her name as Dorothy Parker Ford on building permits for an addition to the building. She expanded the café 18 feet west, enlarging the kitchen and dining area. Public restrooms were in a separate building out back.


Meanwhile, up in Portland, Oregon, the groundwork was unwittingly being laid for the café’s future. Alpenrose Dairy salesman Ray C. Birkland had just found a pair of friendly regular customers in Lester Earl “Les” Highet (1897-1985) and Erma Emma Marie Hueneke (1908-1968) – the owners of a popular new restaurant called the Original Pancake House.
Les Highet and Erma Hueneke
Although Highet had only a second-grade education, he learned the restaurant business working his way up through the kitchens in hotels and taverns across the Pacific Northwest. By 1953, he’d saved enough to open the Original Pancake House. Two years later, the first franchise has was spun off in Salem, Oregon by his initial business partner, Erma Huenke and her family.

“My father, [Les Highet,] figured out how to market the food of middle-class European housewives to a mass audience,” Ron Highet told Portland Monthly magazine in 2009. “The average person at that time had never seen big, fluffy pancakes with apples and cinnamon—at least not in a restaurant.”

In contrast to the self-taught Les, his wife, Doris Highet, was a medical doctor with a PhD in biochemistry. Her expertise, the Highets claimed, was the secret to their success. Doris found a way to break down the gluten in the wheat flour used in their batter. Her secret formulas for the restaurant’s five main batter types (German, French, Swedish, buttermilk, and waffle) resulted in pancakes that were consistently “light, airy,” and with excellent “flavor and body.”  Only franchise owners and prep cooks are allowed to see these recipes.
Les Highet serves breakfast at the original OPH.

Birkland watched the growth of the Original Pancake House with interest – especially when the they began to spin off franchises in 1955.

That same year, back in Anaheim, Disneyland had opened and a booming local tourist industry was beginning to unfold. But old fashioned roadside cafes and hash houses weren’t bringing in the traffic they once had. In 1957, Dorothy tried to rekindle public interest in her business by redecorating and rebranding her place as Dorothy Wade's "Gay 90s" Restaurant.
Newspaper ad, 1957.
But the new name and theme didn’t help, and in 1958 Dorothy (now also known as Dorothy M. Brothers) sold both the property and all the cafe's fixtures and equipment to Ray and Anita Cadonau Birkland, who by then had purchased the rights to open what would be the fifth Original Pancake House franchise from Highet and Hueneke. (Today there are more than 100 in the chain.)

The Birklands did major reconstruction and remodeling before opening their restaurant, although the bones of the old 1910 house were still under there somewhere. Ray and Anita lived upstairs and handled every detail of the restaurant’s operations personally downstairs. Ray was great with the customers and a well-liked figure, but was a bit of a tyrant in the kitchen according to even some of his most admiring employees. Things had to be done a certain way – the right way!

The Birklands hired Ronald A. “Ron” Voll as a cook. Years earlier, Voll, fresh out of the Marine Corps., had started washing dishes at the original Original Pancake House location and quickly moved up the ladder. He later moved to Southern California and they sought him out to help them at their new franchise. Voll started work at the Anaheim restaurant on opening day as a cook and would have a long career there. 

When Anaheim’s Original Pancake House began advertising heavily in early 1961, their hours were 6am to 8pm. Over time, it must have become clear that it didn’t make financial sense to remain open after 2pm -- their now long-standing closing time. But for those who love breakfast food for dinner, it seems a cruel twist that one of the best restaurants in town isn’t open at night.

On May 25, 1963, a major fire broke out in the kitchen, heavily damaging most of the first floor interior. Everyone escaped unharmed, but portions of the building had to be reconstructed. While they were at it, a large new addition to the front of the building was added, including the current entry room and waiting area, restrooms, front dining area, and a large A-frame façade that makes the building easily identifiable from the street.
Detail from elevation for 1963 redesign of the building. (Click to enlarge)
When the Birklands finally retired in 1986, they continued to own the property and to live upstairs. But Ron and Nancy S. Voll took over the business. Ray Birkland continued to help out and acted as unofficial greeter. Meanwhile, Voll expanded the business and added another location in Yorba Linda.

Around 2000, the Birklands moved back to Portland, and in 2002 Ray Birkland died, leaving the property to Anita. She sold the property to the Volls two years later. The Volls retired in 2006 and transferred ownership to their sons, Adam and Gary. "I'm going to miss a lot of it," Ron Voll told the Orange County Register. "I've made an awful lot of friends.”

Anita Birkland passed away in Portland in 2013. As of 2018, the owner of the Original Pancake House property in Anaheim was Apache Productions Inc., of San Juan Capistrano.
Original Pancake House, Anaheim, 2014 (Photo courtesy ARG)

Around 2014, a report on the Original Pancake House’s historical status was compiled by Architectural Resources Group for the City of Anaheim. The report noted that although the 1963 addition may prevent the old house underneath from being considered a “Historically Significant Structure,” the fact that the addition itself is more than 50 years old may qualify the whole shootin’ match as a “Citywide Historically Significant Structure.” The report also indicated that the circa 1958 pole sign out front may, on its own merits, qualify as a Historically Significant Structure “due to its representation as a significant style of signage and its being a significant visual feature of the City.”
Panoramic view from the waiting area, OPH, Anaheim (Photo by author)
[Thanks to Jane Newell of the Anaheim Heritage Center, Christine Nguyen of the Anaheim City Planning Dept., Anaheim City Councilman Steve Faessel, the Orange County Archives, and historian Cynthia Ward for their help with this article.]

Monday, May 14, 2018

Neon History (Event!)

La Palma Chicken Pie Shop sign enters Museum of Neon Art. (Photo by Adriene Biondo)
The art and history of neon on our local roadsides will be the topic of author J. Eric Lynxwiler’s eye-popping program at the Orange County Historical Society’s Annual Dinner, June 14 at the Phoenix Club, Anaheim.  He’ll also highlight the work of the Museum of Neon Art, which saves favorite signs like La Palma Chicken Pie Shop’s giant chicken. Enjoy good food, fun, a silent auction, and an amazing speaker. Members and non-members welcome. Register by May 31. To register or for more information, visit
Linbrook Bowl, Anaheim. (Photo by Chris Jepsen)
 I'm really looking forward to this! Hope you can be there!
Restored sign at Fun Zone, Balboa, Newport Beach.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

F. B. Silverwood and Our State Song (Part 10)

Senaida Sullivan, 1965
 [Continued from Part 9]

More than twenty five years after Silverwood's death, Senaida Sullivan, state music chairman of the Native Daughters of the Golden West, with support from her organization and the Al Malaikah Shrine, led the lobby to have "I Love You, California" made the official state song. Many other state songs had been posited over the years, but none of the others had staying power. Senator Jack Tenney and Assemblyman Frank Lanterman (who loved playing the song on pipe organ) made the case to the California State Legislature. In 1951, their resolution passed. However, equivocating politicians had reworded the language to make "I Love You, California" “an” official state song, but not “the” official state song, leaving room for future waffling.
Silverwoods president Stephen C. Bilheimer (right) cuts ribbon at first Orange County store, at the Broadway Center on Euclid Ave. Anaheim, April 5, 1957.
In 1984, Assemblyman Dan Hauser authored a bill to officially make “'California, Here I Come,” our state song. It was defeated 41 to 30. Hauser complained that “I Love You, California” should be relegated to “state hymn or even better, funeral dirge.”

In 1987, to honor the memory of Frank Lanterman, (but because the song was falling out of copyright the following year), freshman Assemblyman Tim Leslie proposed a bill to unequivocally make “I Love You, California” THE state song. The idea was not universally loved. “I can't believe we're doing this,” said Assemblyman Dave Elder. “It might've sounded great on Frank Lanterman's organ after about four drinks -- if you had them, not him.” Assemblywoman Jackie Speier flat-out called it “a terrible song.”
Frank D. Lanterman at the organ.
Yet somehow the measure passed and was put into effect in 1988. It had been seventy five years since Silverwood published the song, but it finally fulfilled its intended roll. It may have sounded leaden to 1987 ears (accustomed as they were to modern talent like Whitesnake, Wang Chung and Kenny G), but its time had finally come.

Silverwood’s chain of stores grew along with Southern California, added women’s professional apparel to their repertoire, moved their headquarters to Santa Ana, and became part of the family of Hartmarx Specialty Stores. They closed after the 1991 Christmas season due to slumping sales.
Silverwoods (on left) at Fashion Island, Newport Beach, circa late 1970s.
In 1924, the year of his death, Frank Silverwood wrote a poem entitled “Just Tell Him Now” that was not only prescient but also seemed to capture his philosophy.

Just Tell Him Now

If with pleasure you are viewing any work a man is doing,
If you like him or you love him, tell him now;
Don't withhold your approbation till the parson makes oration,
And he lies with snowing lilies o'er his brow;
For no matter how you shout it, he won't really care about it,
He won't know how many teardrops you have shed.
If you think some praise is due him,
Now's the time to slip it to him,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he's dead.

More than fame and more than money,
Is the comment, kind and sunny,
And the hearty, warm approval of a friend;
For it gives to life a savor, makes you richer, stronger, braver--
Gives you heart and hope and courage to the end.
If he earns your praise, bestow it;
If you like him, let him know it;
Let the word of true encouragement be said.
Do not wait till life is over and he's underneath the clover,
For he cannot read his tombstone when he's dead.

Indeed, Daddy Silverwood isn’t reading many tombstones (or blogs) these days, either. But we Californians really should return his love by at least remembering him and by singing our state song.
Francis B. "Daddy" Silverwood, 1920.
[Click here to return to Part 1]

Friday, April 27, 2018

Thar she blows!

Okay,... So this has nothing particularly to do with Orange County history, unless you take into account that whales were once hunted off our coast. But I'm posting it specifically with my friend Bob Minty of Dana Point in mind. Bob portrays Richard Henry Dana at events on the Pilgrim, and he's a great collector of information about whales and the old whaling industry. If there's something he hasn't seen yet, perhaps it's this: Whale bone toilet seats!

Yes, we once slaughtered the whales wholesale -- not just for oil and ambergris, but also as something to poop on.  I stumbled across the ad in the pages of the Feb. 1922 issue of The American School Board Journal, which advertised nearly every product a school could want, from fire escapes to crayons.

Update: Bob has already responded: "The term 'whale bone' referred to baleen (not skeletal bones).  They used baleen for anything where we use plastic today."

I then asked him if that meant "whale bone corsets" were actually made of baleen.
Bob Minty at the Dana Point Historical Society, circa 2016.
"Yes," he replied. "Corsets, combs, policeman’s saps, buggy whips, bedsprings, fishing poles were all made from whalebone (baleen). When baleen is heated, it can be bent or twisted to any shape. The only use for skeletal bone, other than fertilizer, was to whiten cane sugar during the refining process.  (C&H Sugar -Terminal Island)."

"Another odd idea was  Mr. Wrigley (of gum and Catalina Island fame) wanted to develop a whale milk farm. They would use Orca whales as 'sheep dogs'.  I have the newspaper article."

Thursday, April 26, 2018

F. B. Silverwood and Our State Song (Part 8)

Frank B. "Daddy" Silverwood, circa 1920.
 [Continued from Part 7]

By the early 1920s, Francis B. Silverwood’s menswear chain had five stores throughout Los Angeles County, and it would continue to grow. Every Monday he set out letters (a.k.a. “wise talks from the office boy”) to his sales staff, sharing his thoughts on how business should be conducted, professional self-help tips, and how customers should be treated.

“I want the man in overalls to receive the same polite attention as the man in the silk hat and frock coat," he wrote in 1915. "I want the looker to be accorded the same attention as the buyer: A looker to-day is a buyer to-morrow. What is needed most in business to-day is more kindness. I want you to do unto others as tho you were the others. I want you to love your work and cultivate a happy disposition: happiness is a habit and I want every Silverwood employee to get the habit.”
Silverwood's store at 6th St. & Broadway, Los Angeles. (Photo courtesy
In another such letter he promised, "If your heart is in your work you won't have to proclaim your progress: you'll be so conspicuous I'll discover it long before you do. If you outgrow your job I'll make a bigger one for you. Don't think because you don't see me every hour of every day that I'm not keeping a line on you..."

In 1920, Silverwood opened a large new flagship store on the northeast corner of 6th St. and Broadway in downtown Los Angeles, replacing a smaller one at the same intersection.  The new store was said to be the largest retail clothing store in the United States.
Silverwood's at 6th St. & Broadway, circa 1905. Note sign reading, "Home of Silverwood's Office Boy." (Photo courtesy L.A. Public Library)
Next time: Departures

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

F. B. Silverwood and Our State Song (Part 9)

Frank Silverwood's 1922 passport photo.
[Continued from Part 8]

In early 1922, Silverwood handed over the reins of his company to his longtime business partner George E. Nagel and planned the vacation of a lifetime. Having already been around the world twice, this time he applied for a passport that cleared him for visits to India, Constantinople, Java, Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Borneo, Burma (Myanmar), Tahiti, the Cook Islands, Tonga, Greece, the Society Islands, Italy, France, the British Isles, Spain, Egypt, Switzerland, Belgium Holland, and part of what’s now Malaysia. In reality, he spent most of the next two years in Australia.

In January 1924, Silverwood suffered a stroke in Honolulu while headed back toward California for a visit. It was the beginning of the end for him. George E. Nagel – now head of the F.B. Silverwood Co. – left for Hawaii to attend to him and to bring him back to Los Angeles.
George Nagel in 1931.
For all his business success and charitable work, Silverwood’s most famous contribution would remain “I Love You, California.” Silverwood wrote other songs, of which he once said, “Oh, I'm no poet. I just want to keep the cheer-music going, so I write jingles.” (And none of those jingles proved as popular as his ode to the Golden State, which he’d felt so strongly about.) His other works included "The Golden Poppy" (1922, with music by Raymond Hubbel), a number of Hawaii-influenced numbers like “Honolulu, I’m Coming Back Again” (music by David S. Lindeman), and the more philosophical "We Want the Flowers Now" (1917, with music by Byron Gay). After suffering a stroke in 1924, lying on his deathbed, he turned to a relative and quipped, "Well, I'm getting my flowers now, anyhow."

Francis B. Silverwood died on March 11, 1924, in Los Angeles, with less than $10,000 to his name, having shared much of his business' success with his employees via profit-sharing, having spent a good deal on travel, and having given much more of his personal wealth to charity. He also gave many large gifts to friends and loyal employees in his later years.

Next time: We Finally Get A State Song!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Pioneer Preacher Puts Gospel in Gospel Swamp

Rev. Isaac Hickey
Isaac Hickey was born to John and Sarah Hickey in Marion, Tennessee on May 29, 1819. At the age of 20, he married Malinda Jane Marshall in Tennessee and the couple soon moved to Titus County, Texas where they began their family. Over the course of 25 years they had 15 children.

Sometime between early 1863 and the beginning of 1866, Rev. and Mrs. Hickey and some of their many children trekked from Texas to California along with twenty-five other families in ox-drawn wagons. The arduous trip took nine months. They initially stopped in San Bernardino and and settled in the Rincon ranch area near Chino in 1868. Isaac, an ordained Baptist minister, became the founding pastor of a Baptist congregation that met in the El Rincon schoolhouse.

Soon thereafter, the family uprooted to Julian, California, where Isaac again served as a preacher.

In those days, unclaimed public land was considered open for homesteading. The Santa Ana River - which had long been used as the boundary line for several ranchos - had changed course in 1825, leaving ownership of the rich and damp land between the new and old channels hazy. In 1870, the Hickeys, like many other families, saw an opportunity for free land and moved to this apparent no-mans land.

Specifically, Isaac and Malinda Hickey moved to the marshy southern outskirts of the new township of Santa Ana. Some of their children settled on adjacent parcels. Together the property was known to locals as Hickey's Settlement.

Isaac Hickey listed himself as a “Trader” on his voter registration entry, but he made his mark in the community as a bible-thumping preacher. Hickey, said historian Jim Sleeper, "sloshed his way into this rich over-flow land" to bring salvation to anyone who'd accept it. He had a fire and brimstone style of preaching, which he said was his way of "paving the way for the kid-glove men who would come in the future." Hickey volunteered his services without pay at a small nondenominational church that served most of Santa Ana and he was said to be the first to preach a sermon in the town.
Malinda Jane Hickey
He would also serve as the first pastor of what became the First Baptist Church of Santa Ana, where the parishioners called Isaac and his wife “Father and Mother Hickey.” There were initially only thirteen Baptist Church members: Rev. Isaac and Malinda Hickey, son John Hickey and hiswife, a young “Miss Hickey,” G. L. Russell and his wife, Robert English and his wife, Mrs. William Tedford, Mrs. Orma G. Vance, Miss Annie Cozad (Santa Ana's first school teacher), and Mrs. Lizzie Sears.

Until March 1871, when services began to be held in the newly built schoolhouse at Sixth and Main St., most services were held in members' homes. After one of these animated residential gatherings, a well-known local grumbler named George Lynch declared that "Gospel Swamp" would be a good name for the community. The name stuck and was reinforced by others (mostly Southerners along with some Reorganized L.D.S.) who also came to the marshland and preached, held revival meetings and practiced their faith among the tule weeds. Even today, one occasionally hears the name Gospel Swamp attached to the South Santa Ana area (or sometimes erroneously to less gospel-y/swamp-y parts of Fountain Valley or Huntington Beach).

The Hickeys and their neighbors came in for a rude awakening when the Stearns Rancho Co. claimed ownership of the land they'd be living on. The company owned the Rancho Las Bolsas, from which the river had cut the disputed territory. Largely fruitless attempts were made to shoo the squatters off the land. Finally, in 1877, the federal government decided that the land between the old and new river channels was still part of the Rancho Las Bolsas. Legal challenges raged for several years until eviction notices were issued in October 1879. A few squatters were able to buy the land they'd lived on, but most moved away. One of the most popular resettlement spots was Julian, where the Hickeys had lived prior to Santa Ana.

But the Hickeys weren't headed back to Julian. From at least 1878 through at least 1882 they lived and farmed just outside Phoenix, in Arizona Territory. In July 1879, Isaac and Malinda were called as witnesses in the trial of their teenage son, Price L. Hickey, who had been arrested for robbing the Wells Fargo stagecoach. (Price was not found guilty, went on to become a prospector, and returned to Santa Ana prior to 1900 to raise his own family.)

Isaac Hickey died on January 11, 1893, in Creston, California. A street in Santa Ana was named for him, but has since been renamed 8th Street.

A 2013 Orange County Register article declared that Hickey was "a man lost to time," and that "his existence is now condensed to a few passing references in history books and essays." Let's hope this blog post helps raise his profile a little.

[Addendum: Anyone wanting to do further research on Isaac Hickey would probably be well served to check with the Santa Ana History Room at the Santa Ana Public Library. When the First Baptist Church of Santa Ana was closing up shop, I helped shepherd their records over to SAPL. I'm not sure if that collection is processed and available for research as of this writing, but if not, it should be someday soon. Another good resource would be historian Carolyn Christian, who's done a great deal of good work on Gospel Swamp, albeit more often from the RLDS side of things.]