Friday, February 29, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
You may remember my recent post about artist Milford Zornes' 100th birthday. Sadly, I have to report that Mr. Zornes died Feb. 24th. I was glad I got the chance to meet him and learn from him. He lived a long, full life, and he leaves an enormous legacy of art and inspired students.
Civil War historian Charles Beal asks a good question about this photo in today's Register. Namely, what's the story behind the cannon? In fact, there are two cannons at Savanna High School in Anaheim. Does anyone know their history?
Of course, the big history story in today's Register was actually a pre-history story. See "Unearthed Bones Reignite Dispute." In an email I received today, fellow Huntington Beach resident Marinka Horack expands on the story. She writes...
"Flossie Horgan, executive director of the BCLT [Bolsa Chica Land Trust] broke this story to the Register. She discovered this scandal while in Sacramento a couple of weeks ago when she had a meeting with Dave Singleton of the Native American Heritage Commission.
“Apparently, Hearthside Homes has dug up dozens of ancient human remains in this past year of construction on the Upper Bolsa Chica Mesa. They did not report them right away to the O.C. Coroner as they are required to do. Some 174 human remains have been found on the construction site which is directly over ORA 83, a Native American site that has been dated to go back as much as 8,500 years ago.
“Dr. Daniel Rogers of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History has stated that ‘ORA 83 is the kind of site that could significantly broaden our understanding of human cultural history with implications that extend far beyond California.’
“Despite this, Hearthside was allowed to build on top of ORA 83…
“The two Native American moderators quoted in the article are paid very well by the developer to observe the archaeological work and approve of the developer's procedures...”
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
Speaking of old Southern California tourist attractions, one of the better blogs dedicated to that subject is going into semi-retirement. OutsideTheBerm has provided us with some great images and interesting discussion-fodder since it went online. However, I understand that OTB's blogger-in-chief has some amazing real-world projects in the offing which we'll all enjoy. Stay tuned.
Warning: There's a little profanity and crudeness in the last segment of today's blog entry. If you're one of the rare squeemish readers who actually made it past the photo of Texas Tiny, this would be a good time to put on your peril-sensitive sunglasses.
Orange County Ice, at Claudina and Santa Ana St. in Anaheim, has been making ice since the 1920s when they packed it into citrus box cars for shipping. Unfortunately, the building is almost completely rotted out, making preservation impossible. Before we knew about the physical condition of the building, Keith Olson wrote an email that rode the line between rant and poetry. It illustrates how attached we become to buildings that remind us of an age before Walmart and mobile phones.
THIS SUCKS. I MEAN REALLY, REALLY SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"There are very few things I cherish (and the number is dwindling)
"There are very few things that are reliable, dependable, and consistent (and the number is dwindling)
"There are very few things that near perfection. Things that do one thing and do it very very very well. (and, yes, the number is dwindling).
"One thing that fits in all the above categories (and other similarly wonderful categories) is the ice house (or company if you wish) on Claudina and Santa Ana Streets. Orange County Ice, but we've always called it The Ice House. They make ice. A plain, square, ivy covered non descript building where they make ice. They've been there forever doing one thing and doing it perfectly. They're always there. They always have ice. You walk up the steps, hand the guy $8 and he goes into the giant freezer and brings you a big assed 50 lb bag of ice. Perfect. I always go there for ice. I love that place. I went there today with Charlie. We got ice. We got our $2 change from a ten. And a notice. They're moving to SANTAGODDAMNANA and will be gone at the end of March. Shit.
"The city bought the building. Gee I wonder what will happen to it.
"I hate everything about this. May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the pubic regions of anyone even remotely involved in this despicable undertaking."
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Today marks the 91st anniversary of the incorporation of Brea. At the time, in 1917, the town only had 732 residents.
Tomorrow (Sunday) will be the 151st anniversary of the formation of the Los Angeles Vinyard Society in San Francisco. This group of German immigrants would soon found a new vinyard colony in Southern California, and would name it Anaheim.
Sam U'Ren will present a slide show about the preservation of the adobe buildings of Mission San Juan Capistrano at noon on Tuesday. The show will be included with the regular admission at the mission.
Friday, February 22, 2008
The Old Courthouse Museum Society's next meeting will be March 19, noon, at the Old Orange County Courthouse. Historian Phil Brigandi will give talk on "Orange County in the 1940s and 1950s" featuring images "from the Bob Geivet Collection." Lunch will be $7. Please make reservations in advance by mailing your name and payment to John Sorenson, 14932 Gainford Cir., Irvine, 92604. (Checks payable to Old Courthouse Museum Society.)
The OutsideTheBerm blog recently posted rare interior photos of the Balboa Fun Zone's late "Scary Dark Ride." Also, enjoy a look back at the Buffalo Ranch in Newport Beach.
The Dana Point Historical Society will hold walking tours of historic Dana Point on March 1, 2, 8 and 9. The tours will begin at 2pm at Bella Bazaar at the corner of PCH and Blue Lantern. These tours coincide with the City’s annual Festival of Whales.
Finally, I wanted to share another website I found relating to Johnie's Broiler, which I should mention was originally known as Harvey's Broiler. (See yesterday's post.)
Thursday, February 21, 2008
I seldom write about non-O.C. news, but this particluar saga near and dear to my heart... Some time ago, the current owner of Johnie's Broiler (1958) in Downey bulldozed most of this googie landmark without pulling demolition permits, doing environmental abatement, or alerting anyone in any way. In addition to angering the whole city (and Johnie's fans everywhere), I'm sure he also bought himself a peck of legal trouble. Anyway, the next chapter in the Johnie's story is about to be written, and you can help strike a blow for Mid-Century preservation...
Chris Nichols of the L.A. Conservancy's Modern Committee (MODCOM), writes: "MODCOM needs your help!... Bob’s Big Boy is very interested in restoring Johnie’s Broiler... It [would be] a FULL REBUILD per the original plans. WOW. This is not just a local issue, it’s a grand piece of California Car Culture that we all want back. We need YOU to show up 7pm, next Tues., Feb. 26th at Downey City Council. We need your in-person support, it’s VERY important that you come – TV News is coming - we're trying to pack the council chambers - welcome Bob’s - and impress on [the] owner... that there is total support for their effort to rebuild Johnie's. Big Boy banner, hats, pins---- [We] need to pull out all the stops in support. If you really can’t attend and still want to help, please send a letter of support to the City Council. PLEASE ATTEND AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR JOHNIE’S BROILER! This could make all the difference. THANK YOU. Fun times - Coffee after."
The Heritage Coalition of Southern California will hold its next meeting on the evening of Feb. 28 at the Heritage Square Museum, 3800 Homer St., Los Angeles. Tours will begin at 5:30pm, and a dinner meeting and roundtable will begin at 7pm. The cost should be about $18. Although the event is in Los Angeles, this site -- which includes eight historic structures -- would likely be worthwhile for anyone with an interest in architectural history. For reservations or more information, call Helen Brown at (562) 921-4218.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
"The Historical Society desperately needs to find historical photos of the Casino or Sebastian’s building, especially photos of the interior.
"As you may know, there is a proposal currently before the City to slide the historic Casino building to a corner of the property, demolish its original historic “Patio of the Stars” and other historic out-buildings, and build a large condo complex on the parcel. This project would demolish the historic importance of the Casino building.
"Thanks to the efforts of many Society volunteers, an Environmental Impact Report was ordered for the project.
"But there are virtually no pictures we have found that show how the building looked, especially the interior, in years past. Without such documentation, the community is at greater risk of losing the historic resource.
"If you have any historical pictures of the building, please contact me as soon as possible. We just need to make copies of your historical photos. Please help to save the Casino!"
Monday, February 18, 2008
The next meeting of the O.C. Mexican American Historical Society (OCMAHS) will be held Feb. 23, 10am-Noon at SolArt Gallery, 511 E. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana. Author Mary Garcia will present “Researching the Barrio: The Role of the Mexican American Community Historian.” Mary recently published Santa Ana’s Logan Barrio: Its History, Stories, and Families.
The Register recently ran an article about the aforementioned Black History Month display at the Old Orange County Courthouse.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Assembly Bill 531 (AB531) passed the Assembly last month and will now move to the State Senate. If approved, this legislation would require that all California schools teach their students about the Mendez v. Westminster desegregation case of 1947. Read more about the bill's history and current status online.
I had a great time at the Vintage Postcard & Paper Fair in Glendale today. I ended up buying a big bunch of postcards -- many of which will undoubtedly show up on this blog in the future.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
- Heil served in a variety of public capacities including as a longtime member of the Orange County Water District's Board of Directors, beginning in the late 1930s.
- The most likely reason to name the street Heil? Simply because it ran past his property.
- The birth dates given for Robert and William Heil were approximations.
- I'm not a "history buff," I'm a local historian, thankyouverymuch.
This would also be a good opportunity to mention Frank J. Heil, who I think was Vernon's uncle. Frank was a brick mason from Gospel Swamp who ran unsuccessfully for the office of County Assessor in 1894. In fact, he finished last in the race, behind candidates Jacob Ross Jr. and David F. Greenleaf, and far behind the winner, incumbent Frank Vegely.
However, the three losers in that long-forgotten election each have a modern Orange County street bearing their name: Ross and Greenleaf Streets in Santa Ana, and Heil Ave in Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
- Today, much of the previously open area is now filled with trash cans, huge banks of strollers, and a sea of decidedly un-futuristic umbrella tables.
- The Skyway is gone.
- A tower was added near the Submarines and the Monorail track.
- The foliage is much larger. (I particularly like the now-large stand of palm trees at the entrance to the Submarines.)
- The ticket booths are gone.
- The "speed ramps" to the Monorail are gone. (What kind of future doesn't have speed ramps?!?)
- The top of the Tomorrowland Terrace stage mimics but does not truly replicate Rolly Crump's original design.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Saturday, February 09, 2008
The Mission San Juan Capistrano Woman's Guild, which raises money for mission preservation, will hold its annual membership luncheon at the Solidier's Barracks (at the mission) on Feb 17, 11:30am. $16 per person. For information, call (949) 493-3634.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
The old Mandic Motors complex on Main St in Huntington Beach was torn down yesterday. This circa 1925 Western falsefront had been the home of the Mandic family business since 1939. I'm sure it will be replaced by something colorful and exciting, like a beige stucco box with a frozen yogurt shop inside.
Speaking of Huntington Beach, the H.B. Women's Club is celebrating its 100th anniversary this week!
On the evening of March 4, the Garden Grove Historical Society's general meeting will feature architect and author Richard H. Dodd and his presentation on "Historic & Unique Orange County Buildings." For more information, call (714) 530-8871.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Monday, February 04, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
JunkFoodBlog -- building on a post at OCThen -- is unraveling the mystery of Carl's Jr's old crinkle-shaped french fries. Now that we know what they were and how they were made, where can we still buy some? Those were great!
The Katie Wheeler Branch of the Orange County Public Library will be dedicated Feb. 23, 10:30 am, at 13109 Old Myford Road in Irvine. The library is built on the same spot where the Irvine ranch home stood until it burned in 1965. The new building is designed to look just like the old house. The whole area surrounding the old Irvine Ranch Headquarters (PDF link) is being turned into a County historic park, including barns, ranch operations buildings, farm equipment, various residential buildings, etc.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
The Orange County Historical Society will hold their next meeting Feb. 7, 7:30pm, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., in Orange. Speaker Carl Nelson (former Director of Public Works for the County of Orange) has prepared a PowerPoint presentation on the history of the Anaheim Union Water Co.
Starting today through Feb. 28, a portion of the proceeds of your purchases at Barnes & Noble can be donated to the Santa Ana Black Historical Society (SABHS). Just bring a special voucher from their website in when you make your purchase.
In honor of Black History Month, the SABHS will also present an exhibit, "African American Women Trailblazers in Orange County, 1875 to Present," at the Old Orange County Courthouse. The exhibit will be on display throughout February.
A reader asked if there's anything new to report about the "sign situation" at the Orange Lock & Key building (ca 1914). In a word, no. However, in cleaning out the place before the move, several large and mysterious boxes were discovered in the rafters. Katie Schroeder and Phil Brigandi were on it in a flash and discovered that the large boxes were full of old cigar boxes, which were, in turn, full of documents. Unfortunately, the papers weren't as exciting as we'd hoped. They were mainly receipts from various local businesses in the 1950s. They're definitely worth keeping, (if only for the letterhead) but not exactly buried treasure. Still, it's important to check these things out. "Mysterious boxes in attics" have been the source of some of my best finds.
Friday, February 01, 2008
After a 5-year stint, Thursday was Phil Brigandi's last day as Archivist at the Orange County Archives. He'll still work with us as a consultant, and you can schedule appointments with him if you'd like his help. But Phil will mainly return to being a full-time local historian: researching, writing books, lecturing, etc.