Monday, March 31, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
- Ocean Blvd is now part of Pacific Coast Highway
- Smeltzer is now Edinger Ave.
- Wright is now Brookhurst
- Gerhart is now part of Heil Ave.
- Hampshire Ave. is now Beach Blvd.
- Los Patos and Wintersburg (like Delhi in Santa Ana) are now part of Warner Ave.
Saturday, March 29, 2008
The Bowers Museum has featured a few posts relating to local history recently. Their "Objects of the Week" have included a statue from Mission San Juan Capistrano and the Yorba family, an 1897 painting of a Mission confirmation class, a handful O.C.'s mysterious cogstones, and a photo of Charles and Ada Bowers at their Santa Ana home.
Friday, March 28, 2008
Scenes depicted on the map include an Indian village, Portola's expedition, a stagecoach heading up El Camino Real, a bear hunt, Mission San Juan Capistrano, the wetlands at Bolsa Chica and Talbert Gap, McFadden's Wharf, and various adobes. The map also shows some of the cattle brands used by the ranchos.
For those of you following the recent it's a small world debacle, Mary Blair's family has now come out against the proposed changes to the attraction.
And for those following the story of the controversial rectory garden at Mission San Juan Capistrano, the Register has an update about that too.
The Register also posted an interactive database of 37 Orange County wildfires since 1958.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Rob Selway is retiring from his long-term gig as head of Historical Parks & Programs for Orange County's Harbors, Beaches & Parks Dept. The rumor of Rob's impending retirement circulates every so often. (One HBP employee said, "It's had more performances than South Pacific"). But this time, the rumor has been confirmed. Congratulations, Rob.
Nominations for the Old Towne Preservation Association's annual Preservation Awards are due April 10th. Individuals or groups can be nominated for their restoration efforts in the community. For more information, visit OTPA's website.
For the record, I just noticed that you can still purchase windows salvaged from the poor old Reuben E. Lee. I only wish I had some use for them.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
- Central Ave is now Sand Canyon Rd.
- Como Rd is now Harvard Ave.
- Crosstown Rd is now University
- Lane Rd is now (more or less) Main St.
- Laguna Rd is now Laguna Canyon Rd.
- Myford Rd is now Old Myford Rd. (and another Myford Rd has been created.)
Monday, March 24, 2008
The photo above, which ran in a July 15, 1955 insert to the Register, shows C.V. Wood (left) vice-president and general manager of Disneyland, along with Herndon J. Norris, president of Hollywood-Maxwell.
Here are a few excerpts from the article that accompanied the image:
“[The] exhibit features the Wonderful Wizard of Bras on a revolving stage, on one side of which is a complete re-creation of the fashions and intimate wear of the 1890s, and on the other side a showing of the fashions of today… On stage, acting as master of ceremonies, via a tape recorder, is the Wonderful Wizard,…
“The exhibit will portray a typical 19th Century shoppe. The Wonderful Wizard and modern day clothing will occupy one-half. The remaining part will be devoted to a Victorian ‘front-room’ complete with period fireplace, drapes, large mirror, sofa, and old fashioned showcase. A most unusual… part of the display will be an authentic Singer Sewing Machine circa 1860. In addition, 3-D illusion boxes will be featured depicting both outer and intimate apparel of the by-gone era.”
The image below shows the Wizard as he appeared in a Hollywood-Maxwell ad in the same newspaper supplement – but not as he appeared in the Main Street display. Copies of the Wizard’s audio-taped spiel were once sold via the “Disneyland Forever” CD kiosks in the park, and copies continue to float around the Internet.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
"Olinda was once a booming little village that grew to about 3,000 by the turn of the century. Oil production eventually slowed and much of the acreage was turned into citrus groves and subsequently, in the present day, to housing. However, preservation of a 12-acre parcel under a partnership between the City of Brea and California State Parks led to creation of a small museum that continues to collect artifacts representing the life and work of local pioneers. A unique natural heritage is also appreciated with a two-mile hiking trail into the hills."
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
It's March 19th, so the swallows should now have returned to Capistrano from their annual trip to Goya, Argentina. The image above shows San Juan Capistrano in 1856, just six years after California joined the Union.
And now for a few Capistrano links:
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Just a quick reminder that Phil Brigandi will be giving a slide presentation tomorrow at noon on the subject of Mid-Century Orange County. See my Feb 22 post for details. (That $7 lunch is optional, by the way. You can just come for the presentation.)
A set of two DVDs entitled "Dana Point... My Home Town" was recently created with the help of the Dana Point Historical Society. The DVDs are aimed at third graders and teach about the area's history. The set was produced by Ross Teasley, Nancy Jenkins and Adam Richman. Does anyone know how to purchase a copy?
Speaking of Dana Point, the Dana Plantation Motel (now the Dana Marina Motel) on PCH will soon be demolished to make way for 22 new homes. The motel was built in 1948, and is something of a local landmark.
Remember last week's post about Sam's Seafood in Huntington Beach? Well, now I'm trying to find out more about the place's history. If you have any old photos or bits of information, please drop me a line.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Many of you know Sharon Avey from her many years at the Old Orange County Courthouse Museum, her book, or her many other historical projects and activities. Sadly, Sharon's husband, Ken Avey, passed away recently. The funeral will be held on Saturday the 15th, in Independence, California. However, there will also be a memorial held locally on Sunday, March 30, 2pm at Key Ranch in Placentia.
"About 25 people showed to the 'informal' meeting held by the owner of the land Sam's sits on... I think the coup de gras came when I asked if they had contingency plans if the Sam's building became a designated landmark. The partner looked at me like I was speaking a foreign language! His 'deer in the headlights' look showed everyone that ...they had not considered this a potential obstacle!
"...If the [restaurant] owners hooked up with some historical society members and some tiki freaks, they could (and should) pursue the idea of turning the Sam's building into an historical landmark. The current managing partner of Sam's seems wiling to do what it takes to make the restaurant become successful again. ...I'll keep optimistic about the immediate future of the last remaining tiki temple in the O.C."
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Harbor Blvd is another street with a significant number of name changes. In Fullerton alone, it was known variously at Spadra, Fullerton Rd, and Palm Dr. It was also known as Palm in Anaheim. To further confuse matters, the northern portion of today’s Harbor Blvd was once also part of Highway 101.
The Dana Point Historical Society will hold a meeting March 26, 7pm, at the Surfing Heritage Museum in San Clemente. The meeting will begin with a guided tour of the museum.
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Saturday, March 08, 2008
Eli is something of a legend among fans of Polynesian Pop, and his shop featured tikis by such noted carvers as Milan Guanko. Today, Hedley's grandson, Ben Bassham, runs a similarly-themed shop in Huntington Beach, called Bamboo Ben's.
Before the big street-name unification effort in the 1960s, Highway 39 (Beach Blvd.) had many different names, depending on which community you were driving through. From the beach past downtown Huntington Beach, it was called Hampshire Ave. North of that, it was called Huntington Beach Blvd (the source of the current name) until it reached the intersection of Trask Ave. and became Stanton Ave. The Highway continued to be on Stanton Ave. until it zigged over onto Grand Ave. in front of Knott’s Berry Farm. And it appears that at one point the northernmost section of Beach Blvd. was once called Buena Park Rd. (Update: "Bulldog 24" writes, "...Beach Blvd was 'La Habra Road' from Stage Rd in Buena Park north to Whittier Blvd in La Habra.")
Today of course, it's all called Beach Blvd., but in some places, remnants of the old street names can still be found. We'll spend a little more time with old and new street names in future posts.
Thursday, March 06, 2008
We knew the classic 1964 "it's a small world" ride at Disneyland had temporarily closed for renovation. We didn't know Disney was changing the content of the ride. Mary Blair's impressively-designed rainforest will be replaced with a cheesy-looking "tribute to America," and Disney cartoon characters will be added throughout the attraction. In doing this, they are not only defacing a work of art -- They are also exchanging the ride's themes of world peace, whimsy and childhood innocence for yet another crass marketing tool. The Re-Imagineering blog has a wonderful opinion piece about the changes.
There's been a lot of flap over the attempt to build a big out-of-place monstrosity in one of the Eichler tracts in Orange. One of the solutions being suggested is to make these tracts historic districts. That's not such a crazy idea.
The Register's recent article about the O.C. Agricultural & Nikkei Heritage Museum's new exhibit begins with the headline, "Exhibit recalls why it's called 'Orange' County." This incorrectly implies that we were named for our citrus industry. But there wasn't a single orange grove in the area when we adopted that name. See this PDF from the O.C. Archives for the real story.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Articles about the 1938 flood:
- Steve Faessel article
- Memories of Arthur G. Porter
- L.A. Times article
- OC Weekly article
- Timeline of floods in Huntington Beach. (Oh, how well I remember 1983!)
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
Sunday, March 02, 2008
In Jan. 1957 Howard Hughes loaned Donald Nixon $205,000 to keep the chain of burger joints out of bankruptcy. But it only postponed the inevitable, and soon the business was sold off to pay creditors. Unfortunately, I don't know which of the restaurants is pictured above, but it was taken when the chain was scrambling to get back on its feet.
According to the Arcadia postcard book about Fullerton (Morris/Richey/Thomas), "Donald Nixon's questionable business practices remained a lifelong embarassment to his brother,... and the president had his younger brother's telephone wiretapped in order to monitor his financial activities."
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Gustavo Arellano asked if I’d post a link to his recent O.C. Weekly article about Emilio Martinez, the late O.C. corrido/folk singer. I'm happy to do so. I appreciate Gustavo’s noble goal of highlighting lesser known historical individuals and events, even if I don't always agree with his opinions.