Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Newport Harbor, H.B., Tony Forster, Fullerton, etc.

Local Civil War historian Charles Beal recently won this cool postcard on eBay. It shows the Methodist Auditorium and tent city in Huntington Beach, circa 1910. The Civil War veterans of the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic) held annual conventions here for many years.

Tony Forster, great-great-grandson of Don Juan Forster, died on June 12th at age 71. Among his many accomplishments, Tony was President of the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society for 17 years, Mayor of San Juan Capistrano in 1970 and 1971, and was on the Board of Directors for the Mission Preservation Foundation. A guestbook is available online for those who knew him to leave comments.

The last couple years have not been good to Newport Harbor. First the Fun Zone was nixed. Then, last June, the glass-bottom Phoenix sank. Last fall, Rupert the black swan was killed. Then the Balboa Island Ferry substantially increased its fares. And this week, the Reuben E. Lee is being dismantled. I’m not sure what to make of this trend, but it’s certainly a sad one.

And speaking of sad trends… It looks like Knott’s is building yet another thrill ride on the edge of Ghost Town, leaving us to wonder what will be demolished to make room for it. Construction walls have been erected between the historic Jeffries Barn, the old Miniature Train Shop and the original Downey Post Office building.

The Register recently ran an article about a Cypress Barrio reunion in Orange. And today's issue includes an article about the new "history walk" display in Anaheim.

Author Don Ballard is still looking for blueprints of the Disneyland Hotel. Seems he may even have a second book about the Hotel in the works.

The plans for the expanded Fullerton transportation center include space for a museum dedicated to Southern California railroad history.

Sharon Avey (formerly of the Old Courthouse Museum) stopped by to visit today. Never one to sit still for long, she's now getting involved in the Eastern California Museum at Independence, California. It sounds like her three acres of land is also keeping her busy. She described her new Victorian garden as “four feet wide and 48 feet long.”

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