Thursday, October 25, 2007

Stolen plaques, Santa Ana, Brea, and mummies

Now that two thieves... er,... (*ahem*) suspected thieves are in jail, I can finally write about the brou-ha-ha in Downtown Santa Ana last week. (I was asked not to discuss it until now.) Two "urban campers" decided to make some pocket money by prying all the historical plaques off of Santa Ana's landmark buildings. Luckily, the markers were recovered before they were melted down for scrap. Plaques were stolen from the Old Orange County Courthouse, the Howe-Waffle House, the YMCA Building, the Ebell Club, the Episcopal Church of the Messiah, the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, the Dibble Building, the artist village, and other sites. Unfortunately, a number of the plaques were damaged as they were pried off, although some are still nearly perfect.

Many thanks to the Santa Ana Police Department for a job well done. (The photo above shows a stack of the recovered plaques in the back of a S.A.P.D. car, waiting to be returned to their rightful owners.)

One surprise came out of the plaque thefts: We discovered a dedication carved into the Old Courthouse's cornerstone, which had been hidden under a plaque for many years. Although it's now in rough condition, you can tell that the carved granite included the same information as the plaque. Retired court reporter Lecil Slayback, who knows the Old Courthouse better than anyone, says the plaque was added during the building's 75th anniversary celebration in 1976.

Today's Register includes a story about the opening of the new Brea Museum & Heritage Center's grand opening this Saturday. The museum will include displays on oil, aerospace, sports, and life in Brea in the 1920s.

And speaking of the Register, my thanks to Martin Wisckol for plugging O.C. History Roundup on his Total Buzz blog. This came about after we ran into each other at The Olde Tyme Bento Bowl in Downtown Santa Ana yesterday. (How's that for a restaurant name, eh?)

Halloween News: The mummies will soon be staggering away for good. The Bowers Museum's exhibit "Mummies: Death and the Afterlife in Ancient Egypt" will be moving out in December after a two-year stay. If you still want to see a lifeless empty husk after December, I would recommend Disney's California Adventure or Costa Mesa's Triangle Square.

1 comment:

itsnotaplace said...

that is really amazing how the thieves removing the plaques revealed the carving in the corner stone of the courthouse! Glad they caught them and got back the plaques!