Saturday, May 31, 2008
In case you missed the home tour of Santa Ana's Floral Park, about a month ago, a video was recently posted to YouTube. It's mostly still images, but it still gives you an idea of the tour.
Also posted to YouTube, are a series of highlights from the Santa Ana Historic Preservation Society's annual Fairhaven Cemetery Tour. Click on over to watch high school kids pretend to be locally famous dead people: Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3.
Friday, May 30, 2008
The folks at John Wayne Airport tell me that Martin Aviation will open an aviation museum on the west side of the airfield in August. Does anyone out there know more about this?
The Santa Ana History Room at the Santa Ana Public Library has a new guy at the helm: John Elliott. Actually, he's been in charge of the collection for several months (and has worked at SAPL for much longer), but I only got the chance to meet him today. He seems extremely well-suited to the job, and I think he'll be a great asset to the local historical community. Welcome to the wonderful world of O.C. history, John!
After 105 years, the Fullerton Women's Club was down to five members, and the youngest was 79 years old. Plans were being made to close up shop. But interest picked up after Dave Lopez of Channel 9 News covered the story, and now they claim they are "going strong again." You can see Lopez' report on YouTube. (Yes, I know I'm reporting this story a little late.)
The Bowers Blog is featuring a look at William S. "Laughing Bill" Nickols (1862-1940) of Santa Ana. Their photo of Nickols was taken by noted local photographer Edward E. Cochems (1874-1935).
Werner Weiss of Yesterland has put together a retrospective on the Hollywood-Maxwell "Wizard of Bras" exhibit/shop that was an early feature at Disneyland. It's a good recap of one of Disneyland's least likely attractions.
The Nixon Library Foundation has posted a brief essay on their website entitled, "Richard Nixon's Birthplace: I lived there, too!" by Linda Waldron Bugbee. It's interesting to see this O.C. landmark (and old Yorba Linda) through another set of eyes.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
The Pacific Coast Achaeological Society will hold a field trip on June 14 to see prehistoric rock art (petroglyphs) along the Ortega Highway.The group will meet at 9am in the parking lot of JSerra High School on Junipero Serra Rd, in San Juan Capistrano. Bring a packed lunch, hiking shoes, sunscreen, hat, and $5 for a Forest Service pass. After the petroglyph tour, Steve O’Neil will lead an optional afternoon tour of Mission San Juan Capistrano to see early Native American paintings. (Regular Mission admission costs apply.) To sign up, contact Steve via email or at (949) 548-7934 or . For contact on the day of the field trip, call (714) 290-1845.
Monday, May 26, 2008
On this day, in 1846, the Rancho Lomas de Santiago was granted Teodocio Yorba. This later became the northern end of the Irvine Ranch, including some of the land on which MCAS El Toro was built.
Bill Kirkwood, WWII Navy veteran and longtime County of Orange employee, passed away May 14th. Among his many accomplishments, he played a leading role in computerizing the Orange County Public Library. He also wrote a history of the County Library. Kirkwood's obituary - with much more information about his life - is available online.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Coming to Disney Studios in 1939, Blaine Gibson was an animator, working on such films as "Fantasia," "Bambi," "Song of the South," "Peter Pan," and "Sleeping Beauty." Walt discovered that Blaine was also a gifted sculptor, and in 1954 he put him to work on Disneyland. You'll find his work in hundreds of sculpted figures (both static and audio-animatronic) throughout Disney’s theme parks. Blaine's work graces such attractions as Pirates of the Caribbean, the Haunted Mansion, and the Tiki Room. He also sculpted Lincoln for Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland and ALL the U.S. Presidents in the Hall of Presidents at Walt Disney World. He is also responsible for the “Partners” statue, of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse, located at “the hub” in Disneyland.
Friday, May 23, 2008
Guy Ball writes, "I saw something on the [National Trust For Historic Preservation] site regarding a 'This Place Matters' project. You register online, print out a sign, and then post a photo on their site with comments. I think it would be a cool idea to embrace and will see what I can do this weekend on a couple locations. Might be something the rest of you want to have fun with as well. ...Wouldn't it be cool if we flooded them with good So Calif. images?"
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Although I’m disappointed that I didn’t get the job myself, this transition period has been a real eye-opener. I’ve learned just how MANY great friends I have in the historical community, in local government, in archival circles, among our patrons, and among the community in general. With the exception of a few people who I asked to be my references, I didn’t solicit anyone’s support – But BOY did I get it anyway! I’m deeply touched by all of you who have told me that you were pulling for me, praying for me, writing letters of support, etc. You have no idea how much that groundswell of support meant (and means) to me. Thank you!
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
The Old Towne Preservation Association (OTPA) in Orange will hold their next meeting tomorrow, May 21, 7pm, at the Orange Public Library, 407 E. Chapman, in Orange. The topic is, "How Our New Main Library Archives & Preservation Online Can Help You." I understand the history room at Orange Public a good collection and staff. But as long as their archives charge an $85-per-photo use fee, their helpfulness will remain somewhat limited.
The OTPA is also looking to fill positions on their board for 2009. If you're interested, call them at (714) 639-6840.
The Santa Ana Historic Preservation Society recently posted back issues of their newsletter (1989-2008) to their website.
Monday, May 19, 2008
Sunday's L.A. Times included an article about SoCal's Googie Architecture. The article was largely based on interviews with Daniel Paul, Alan Hess and myself. I'm not sure how I became "Anaheim-based," (as the article says,) but I can think of worse accusations. (Related note: The same issue of the Times also featured an article on Programmatic Architecture.)
The Seal Beach Historical Society’s next meeting will be held May 22, 7pm, in the Senior Center at the Mary Wilson Library, 707 Electric Ave. Speakers Joan Stegman and Gordon Shanks will discuss the Society’s early efforts to preserve Pacific Electric “Red Cars,” including the transformation of one car into the Seal Beach Red Car Museum. [The museum (next to the library) will next be open to the public on May 24 and 25.]
The Dana Point Historical Society’s (DPHS) 7th annual Founders Day event will be held May 28, 7pm, at the Dana Point Tennis Center , 24911 Calle De Tennis. Call (949) 248-8121 for details.
The DPHS will also host a "Romantic Stroll Through Historic Homes & Gardens on the Bluff above Dana Point Harbor" on Oct. 5, 2008. I mention this in case you’re the type who likes to plan ahead.
Huell Howser’s week-long tribute to Orange County began yesterday on KCET. Episodes will air at 7:30pm and 12:30am each day.
Sunday, May 18, 2008
Yesterland recently expanded their coverage on Disneyland's Rocket to the Moon and Mad Tea Party (a.k.a. "the Teacups"), and the Disneyland Railroad's Fantasyland Station. Werner has also added a new section on Seasons of the Vine - an attraction at Disney's California Adventure that recently became history.
Ever notice the gazebo toward the back of Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach? Well, there's a little story that goes with it, and Daveland is sharing that story with us.
(Sorry for the double-dose of Disneyland. I post what comes my way -- And this week, a bunch of Disneyland stuff came my way.)
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Today I'm posting two more video clips of Disneyland in the summer of 1957. (See my May 7th post for others and background info.) The first shows Fantasyland, and the second is a tour of an amazingly primitive Jungle Cruise.
Heritage Hill Historical Park in El Toro will host the annual Rancho Days Fiesta on Saturday. It includes living history depictions, exhibits, entertainment and children’s crafts.
CSUF’s Center for Oral & Public History continues to document the history of the El Toro Marine Corps Air Station by collecting oral histories. They are currently concentrating on the WWII and Korean War eras. If you have memories of MCAS El Toro (as a civilian or as military) and would like to participate, call (714) 278-8415, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
A tour of San Juan Capistrano's historic Los Rios District and the Michael Graves-designed city library (a.k.a. "Casa de Claustrophobia") will be held Saturday, May 17, 11am-3pm. Tickets are $10 and are available through the SJC Library, 31495 El Camino Real, and at City Hall. The 2-hour tour will include historical displays and re-enactments. Proceeds will go to the city's Historic Preservation Fund.
Things are extra busy here this week, so I may miss a few posts. If I do, it's not from lack of interest. I really look forward these nightly blog entries and, more importantly, to your comments and insights. For the record, sometime within the next week I'll be posting more of that 1957 Disneyland footage.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Also the IRG development company is planning the conversion of MCAS Tustin's north hangar into an indoor-outdoor park.
Civil engineer Floyd George McLellan, Jr. (1925-2008) passed away recently. From building inspector to agency director, he served the County's Department of Building & Safety for 37 years. He was instrumental in the development of South Orange County and was known throughout the state for instituting new policies and practices that have since become widespread.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Until the cupola was removed from the top of the Orange County Courthouse (after the 1933 earthquake), it was common practice for newly married couples to go up to the top of the courthouse for a panoramic view of the surrounding countryside. The photo above shows a view from the cupola in about 1910, looking northeast, toward what is now the intersection of Civic Center Dr and Broadway.
The movie posted above gives a 360-degree view from the top of the Old Courthouse, intercutting modern video with early views of the same locations. Most of the still images date from around 1910 to around 1923. Phil Brigandi shot the modern footage with my digital camera a few years ago. The fact that the old cupola was slightly higher accounts for the small change in perspective. The music is a 1914 recording of our state song, "I Love You California."
A panel of speakers will discuss "Celebrating Our History & Our Heritage" at Mission San Juan Capistrano's soldiers' barracks on Monday (tomorrow), 7-8:30pm. This will be the first of a number of events in Capistrano celebrating National Preservation Month.
Speaking of Costa Mesa, I recently stumbed across a really strange bit of video relating to "the history" of the Costa Mesa Speedway history. It's an episode of an Old-West-themed webcast called "The Haunted Saloon." I have no idea what cowboys have to do with motorcycle racing.
Don't forget: The Tustin Area Historical Society's annual home and garden tour will be held May 17.
Friday, May 09, 2008
Tomorrow (Saturday) will be the 96th anniversary of the first water-to-water airplane flight. Santa Ana's Glenn L. Martin accomlished this on May 10, 1912, taking off from the waters of Newport Beach and landing in Avalon Bay at Catalina.
Tomorrow with also mark the 100th anniversary of the Fullerton Fire Department. They will celebrate with an open house, 10am-2pm, at 312 E. Commonweath Ave, including firefighting demonstrations and tours of their headquarters.
I posted a bunch of photos in the O.C. History group on Flickr today. I posted all the old pier photos for a writer at Coast Magazine, who needed them for an article. Other photos I posted incude shots from last night's Orange County Historical Society meeting, and from the ongoing restoration work on the historic Howe-Waffle House in Santa Ana.
I thought I'd figured out how to post videos here, but I'm told some people still see black squares where the videos should be. I'm not sure what the problem is, but if you're experiencing technical difficulties with these movies (like the ones I posted Wednesday), please leave a comment or send me an email and let me know.
Also, I will not be giving up on my traditional photo posts in favor of video. I'd just like to mix things up from time to time.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
Today I've posted two excerpts from a great 1957 home movie of Disneyland in Anaheim. Our intrepid Phoenix correspondent, Greg Ottinger, found this footage in a thrift shop and mailed me the reel. Today's clips look at Tomorrowland and Frontierland as they appeared very early in the park's history. Both feature many long-extinct attractions. The Tomorrowland segment includes rare color footage of a very short-lived attraction: The Viewliner train. I'll post more segments of this film in the future.
I added the audio to this footage, which was originally silent. The vacation footage also included trips to Marineland and the Grand Canyon.
By the way, don't forget tomorrow's Orange County Historical Society meeting in Orange.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
The Anaheim Historical Society will present a guided tour of Helena Modjeska’s home, "Arden" on May 31. The home of the famous Polish actress was designed by architect Stanford White and is now part of a County historic park. The tour will begin in the morning with a bus trip beginning in Downtown Anaheim. It’s $25 for transportation and $5 for a box lunch (unless you want to bring your own). For further details or to sign up, contact Helen at (714) 774-2077.
I was a little surprised at the lack of response to the Knott's Berry Farm videos I posted on Friday. Clearly, I'm unable to guess what people will find interesting. Sometimes I'll run out of time and post an image I think is sub-par, only to find a string of 10 comments following up on it. The only predictable thing about my readers is that you're unpredictable. It's a good thing I like surprises!
Monday, May 05, 2008
I noticed a mention in the paper of the "Questers" - a San Juan Capistrano group interested in local history and in restoring historic buildings. Does anyone know more about this group? I can't find a website for them.
This week, new author Kai Weisser will be selling and signing his history of the Huntington Beach Lifeguards at two events. On Wednesday, he'll be at the Sugar Shack in downtown Huntington Beach, 10am-Noon. On Saturday, he'll be at Barnes & Noble at Huntington Center ("Bella Terra" for those who just arrived on the turnip truck), from 1-3pm. Also, Kai is interested in doing more book signings, so let him know if you'd like to set up an event of your own.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Today's post rounds out our series on changing Orange County street names. I'm sure it won't be the last you'll hear on the topic, but the bulk of the information is either here or is linked from here. So, for your reference and amusement, here's another list:
- Alameda (Orange) is now Hewes St.
- Bay Blvd (Seal Beach) is now Seal Beach Blvd.
- Brea Canyon Rd (Fullerton) is now Brea Blvd.
- Bryant (Garden Grove) is now Orangewood Ave.
- Cypress Ave. is now State College Blvd.
- Hansen is now Knott
- Hiatt (La Habra), Nicolas (Fullerton), and Verano are now Euclid Ave.
- Huntington (Garden Grove) is now Nelson St.
- Miller (Buena Park) is now Valley View St.
- Oak St (Westminster) is now Hoover St.
- Old Newport Rd., Berrydale and Greenville St are now Fairview St.
- Palisades Rd. is now Bristol St.
- Pioneer (east of State College) is now Yorba Linda Blvd.
- South Main Extension is now MacArthur Blvd.
- Sugar St and (the old) Fairview St are now McFadden Ave.
- Taylor is now Lakeview Ave (south of Orangethorpe)
- Villa Park Rd and Vista (in the City of Orange) are now Katella Ave.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Today we're taking a look at the Calico Mine Ride, which opened at Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park in 1960. This attraction was designed, built and owned by the innovative Mr. Bud Hurlbut, who also gave us such trend-setting attraction as the Timber Mountain Log Ride.
This is also my first attempt at posting a video to my blog, so please be patient with any technical difficulties. I boiled this footage down from the half-hour long 1960 film, "A Family Builds A Mountain," which we have a copy of at the O.C. Archives. In my edited version here, only small portions of the attraction can be seen.
A historical society for the City of Rancho Santa Margarita was launched on April 23rd.
The History Channel is trying to encourage young people to become historical preservationists through their Save Our History grant program. Museums, historic sites, historical societies, preservation organizations and libraries are invited to partner with a local school or youth group and apply for funding to help preserve the history of their communities. Deadline: June 6.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Former Orange County Supervisor Robert W. Battin died Tuesday at age 78. He served on the Board from January 1969 to July 1976. Among other things, he was instrumental in the creation of the Orange County Historical Commission.
The Anaheim Neighborhood Association (ANA) will hold a fundraising progressive dinner (at three of the Anaheim's best historic homes) on June 14, 6-10pm. The cost is $150 per person or $225 per couple, but the money goes to a good cause. The ANA is largely responsible for saving the Anaheim Colony Historic District from death by redevelopment. For details, click on the small image of the event flyer. (Yes, I know "neighborhood associations" usually goose-step for fun, and yes, I know that "progressive" is usually code for "far-left wingnut" - But neither is the case here. Trust me on this one.)
The pictorial exhibit, “Fire in the Morning,” will be on display throughout May at the UC Irvine Student Center (W. Peltason Dr at Pereira Dr). The exhibit features 100 photos depicting Mexican Americans of Orange County, from about 1915 through WWII. (Thanks to the exhibit’s creator, Yolanda Alvarez, for the info.)