Monday, June 09, 2008

Katie Wheeler Library, St. Andrew's, etc.

I already posted some exterior photos of the new Katie Wheeler Branch Library (OCPL) thanks to Glenn Frank. But I finally got out to Irvine to take a look for myself, and thought I'd also post a couple of my own photos. The place is quite impressive.
In addition to the library's exterior, which is an exact replica of the original Irvine Ranch House, a few interior details also mimic the old place - including the stairwell and several fireplaces. The painting over the main mantel (see inset image) is the only original artifact from the house to be transferred to the library. The painting depicts Harvey M. Rice (1800-1891), an Ohio State Senator, and the father of Nettie Rice Irvine.
The library also features a small display courtesy The Irvine Company, depicting the original ranch house before, during and after the 1965 fire that destroyed it. There's even a monitor showing old film footage of firemen fighting the blaze. Considering the library's space limitations, it's nicely executed.
As you may have noticed, I've been looking for Orange County historical items on YouTube lately. Among the videos I've stumbled across is this brief history of the first 40 years of St. Andrew's By-the-Sea United Methodist Church in San Clemente.
Don't forget: Thursday evening is the Orange County Historical Society's June (election) meeting, and Friday is the Anaheim Historical Society's annual dinner.


Stephanie said...

For those interested in more Irvine Ranch history, consider Piecing the Past Together, by Nicholas Magalousis and David Knox. It’s a collection of oral histories conducted in tandem with the archaeological field work at the Irvine Ranch headquarters, 1999-2002. Some of the narrators include Jim Sleeper, Linda Irvine Smith, Katie Wheeler, and Irvine Ranch employees, Jack Marscellas, Gene Shepherd, Floyd “Buck” Holland, and Robert Scott.

All of these oral histories are held at the Center for Oral and Public History (COPH).

The publication can be purchased at COPH or through their online bookstore:

colony rabble said...

Thanks for the lead Stephanie, I will have to get that! The Anaheim Historical Society is planning to hold our Annual Ice Cream Social at the Katie Wheeler Library/Irvine Historical Park with guest speaker Jim Wilson of 30th Street Architects, the gentleman who painstakingly designed the reconstruction. I trust Chris will, as usual, give us the shameless plug when we get that scheduled. But Chris...since when do they let you out of your cage during library hours?

Chris Jepsen said...

Steph: Thanks for the book info. Sounds interesting. Too bad they chose such a cryptic title. I hope "Irvine Ranch" at least appears in the subtitle somewhere.

CR: You're right - I haven't been able to leave the Archives for more than 10 minutes since Phil left in January. (Good thing I haven't gotten sick.) But luckily, the library was open on Sunday afternoon! (I think that's what they call a "busman's holiday.")

Steph said...

Chris --

The secondary title is: Oral Histories in Conjunction with Archaeological Studies at the Irvine Ranch Headquarters.

I was afraid to post it for fear of consuming your available bandwidth.

Chris Jepsen said...

Heheh... No, I don't think that used up too much bandwidth. Thanks, Steph.

When it comes to long titles, I prefer the kind Jim Sleeper comes up with. For instance,... "Great movies shot in Orange County that will live forever (or at least until 1934)," and the classic "A Grizzly Introduction to the Santa Ana Mountains: A Boys' Book of Bear Stories (Not for Boys)"

Anonymous said...

Katie Wheeler. As a replica? It is gorgeous. In its capacity as a library? It sucks.

Too small, too noisy, not enough desks.....


Anonymous said...

My grandfather is jack Marscella. he dies several years ago but we have pictures of the house on irvine Ranch.