Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
For my money, the clock tower building shown in today's photo is still the most attractive of the library's many incarnations.
"In 1948, OCC's first Library was a converted Santa Ana Army Air Base barracks building. The second library, which opened in 1951, was the graceful clock-tower building that still sits in the quad today. [See photo above.] Later it was the Admissions, Records and Counseling Building, and currently serves as a “surge” structure for campus construction projects.
In 1969, OCC opened its third library facility. The four-story Norman E. Watson Library, located north of the college’s Student Center, closed in 2000. It underwent an extended renovation process and reopened last fall as the Norman E. Watson Enrollment Center.
In 2000, OCC’s library was "temporarily” relocated to a 25,000 square foot facility, consisting of 32 interlocking portable structures, and situated on the northern perimeter of the campus and west of LeBard Stadium. OCC’s fifth and most current library is located on the opposite side of the campus, next to the Arts Center and Doyle Arts Pavilion."
Bonnie Bennett Hendrie will discuss the history of the Bennett family at Sunday's meeting of the Saddleback Area Historical Society. The meeting will be held at 2pm tomorrow, at the Heritage Hill Historical Park, 25151 Serrano Rd. in what the carpetbaggers call Lake Forest.
The Amigos de la Colina, the docent group for the Heritage Hill Historical Park in El Toro, celebrated their 25th anniversary on June 21st.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Jane Newell and her wonderful Anaheim Heritage Reading Room are the subject of a full-page article in the O.C. edition of the new issue of Westways magazine. We already knew that Jane rocks, but now a few more people know it too.
And speaking of Anaheim, Marshall Duell sent me this blurb from a recent "fact sheet" from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History:
"When the Museum [of American History] reopens, the east and west wings of all three exhibition floors will be anchored by a landmark object—a large, compelling artifact that will highlight the theme of that wing. The landmark object for the third floor west wing will be a car from the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride, which reflects the blend of imagination, technology and business acumen that makes up American entertainment.
"The Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride is an original Disneyland attraction from 1955 ...The Dumbo car was donated to the National Museum of American History on June 9, 2005, on the occasion of Disneyland’s 50th anniversary."
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The full text and video of the speech are available on the Sheriff's Dept blog. The Register also posted a video including a variety of interviews, as well as an article about the event.
"...On the website for the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, there is a section titled 'History.' Taken from the book A Century of Service: A History of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, written by Pamela Hallan-Gibson, this section describes the lawlessness that existed through the 1870s in Southern California, well after California became a State in 1850. When Orange County was formed in 1889, the author noted that,... 'its citizens had a sheriff, directly responsible to them, and a new set of institutions right in their own backyard.'
"'Directly responsible to them.'
"Those words have tremendous meaning.
"For 119 years, the people of this County have relied upon the knowledge that their Sheriff, directly responsible to them, led an honorable force of men and women to undertake the task of maintaining law and order among us all. We have made tremendous strides over the history of Orange County to become one of the finest and safest places in the world to raise a family, start a business, and to stake a claim in the American Dream..."
Today's first photo (top) shows Hall's Grocery on Walker St (near N. Vonnie Ln,) in Cypress in the 1950s. The second photo was taken at roughly the same time and shows N. Danny St in Cypress.
Sorry I haven't been updating much this week. Things are a little busy here, but should get back to something resembling normal soon. I hope.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Chris Epting's new "Huntington Beach: Then and Now" photo book from Arcadia Publishing made it's debut today. He'll be signing copies at Barnes & Noble at Huntington Center (a.k.a. "Bella Terra") on July 5, 1-3pm.
I guess Sunday's 45th anniversary event for the Enchanted Tiki Room was completely crazy. I was sorry I missed it until I heard about 7-hour waits just to get into the Disneyana shop. (And they didn't even announce in advance that Bob Gurr was going to be there -- always a popular guy and a big draw.) Maybe Disney should take this as a hint and have regular tiki-related events. There are clearly more than a few fans of 1960s Polynesian Pop here in O.C.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
When William T. and Mary Juanita Newland built this house in 1898, there were no other homes in the area. Few thought this coastal region’s marshy peatlands would support agriculture. But the Newlands found ways to drain the excess water and uproot the willow trees that covered the rich soil. Soon, they had a successful 520-acre ranch. Celery and sugar beets were key crops for the Newlands, although they also grew chili peppers and lima beans. Their success opened the door to many other farmers who chose to settle in what would soon be known as the Huntington Beach area.
This two-story, nine-room, redwood-framed Victorian house was built Dawes & Kuechel of Santa Ana. It stands on a bluff overlooking the Santa Ana River delta, and has views of both the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Ana Mountains. Because there were originally no roads in the area, Mr. Newland hauled the lumber along the beach all the way from McFadden’s Wharf in Newport Beach with a horse-drawn wagon. The cement foundation is made of gravel that he hauled up from the beach.
Already a local pioneer, William Newland went on to play a critical role in the founding of the City of Huntington Beach. He was a stockholder in the West Coast Land & Water Co., which organized Pacific City (the original name of Huntington Beach) and sold the first lots. He also helped establish the town’s first newspaper, the First National Bank, the Methodist Church, and the Huntington Beach Canning Company. He also served on the South Coast Improvement District, the Board of Trade, and the School Board. Mary Newland also served on the School Board and founded the town’s first P.T.A.
The Newlands also made a major contribution in lobbying railroad magnate Henry Huntington to bring his Pacific Electric Railroad “red cars” to the area – a move that launched the local tourism industry and put Huntington Beach on the map.
William Newland died in 1933. Mary continued to live in their home until her death in 1952. Ten Newland children had been raised in the house, but none chose to live there after their mother’s death. For the following two decades, employees of the Signal Oil Co. lived in the house.
In 1972, the Huntington Beach Historical Society was re-activated by the H.B. Junior Women’s Club for the purpose of restoring and preserving the badly-neglected Newland House. Over 200 city residents volunteered their time and talents to return the city’s oldest house from the brink. Today, the house is available to the public as a museum, depicting life in the earliest years of our community. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Thanks to the preservation evangelism of Guy Ball, four Orange County historic structures have been inducted into the National Trust for Historic Places' "This Place Matters" program. All four are in Santa Ana. They are the Old Orange County Courthouse, the Spurgeon Building, the Kellogg House, and the Howe-Waffle House. Click here to see the entries. The National Trust's website explains how you can add historic buildings from your area to this national listing.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
“Well, this all goes back a long, long time, to 1919. [T.C.] “Tinny” Peterson and Jack Colvin got together enough money to buy a J1 Standard. They bought it on time and flew it to Santa Ana. They were flying it out of a field on the end of West 4th St…
“Eddie, being the rich one in the family, gave Peterson $100 and he was going to teach Eddie to fly. He took five hours flight instruction from him. Tinny Peterson had been a WWI pilot and I considered him, at that time, to be one of the finest pilots we had known. Eddie was ready to solo in three hours, but they couldn’t solo anyone, as their plane was on a contract. However, it wasn’t long before their plane cracked up due to high wind. This happened up north somewhere and meant a temporary end to flying in Orange County…
“Two years later, in 1921, Eddie and I started a flight school… That was aviation’s second start in Orange County…
“When a student came out to take up flying, the first thing we did was sit them down and talk to him for a while, then try to sell him a helmet and goggles. If he had enough money to buy them, we would then tell him how great he looked in them, then send him on his way to tell his girlfriend he was flying. And that guy would rob a bank in order to keep on flying. We had to have a gimmick, but it worked out well. That’s the reason we have a Martin Aviation today.”
Monday, June 16, 2008
I need to catch up on some old news from CSUF's Center for Oral & Public History (COPH). For starters, Art Hansen retired from teaching last month (after 42 years), and also stepped down as COPH's director. Natalie Fousekis will begin as the new director in August. Cora Granata will be associate director, and Ben Cawthra and Ray Rast will be associate directors.
This week, my continuing search for vintage O.C. video on YouTube turned up footage of Knott's Berry Farm's now-defunct Kingdom of the Dinosaurs. This dark ride opened in 1987, replacing the Rolly-Crump-designed Knott's Bear-y Tales. It closed in 2004. This ride-through footage comes from 2001. (Am I the only one who thought the music - especially in the Ice Age areas - sounded like Pink Floyd's "Terminal Frost"?)
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
The O.C. Agricultural & Nikkei Heritage Museum and the Placentia Historical Committee will hold a special program together on June 22. The subject will be the history of water in Orange County. Carl Nelson of the American Society of Civil Engineers (and former director of Orange County Public Works will be the featured speaker. Contact the museum for more information.
Viewliner Ltd has posted some great photos of Buena Park's Japanese Village & Deer Park from 1968. He's also posted a wonderful 1958 aerial photo of Disneyland.
After a long rehab (and just in time for summer), the old Orange Plunge reopened in Hart Park today.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
"...Disneyland was fun the first year, because they weren’t really very well organized and we did a lot of things that were a little bit off the record. For example, we had an employee card that said we were a justified employee, and we could stay and ride the rides after hours, although they weren’t real keen on that. So, you would meet a girl during the day that worked in Disneyland, and you’d say, 'Hey, you want to dance a little bit this evening?' 'Sure,' she would say. So, you’d meet her after work and you’d go dancing, and we’d get a snack, maybe take in something we haven’t seen before, or some new ride, or some new exhibit, and so forth. And it was fun. On the jungle boats, we picked our own costumes and made up our own spiel. We all had really crazy spiels. One thing I did that was totally ridiculous, we’d be coming towards the waterfall and I would say, 'Oh my gosh the steering wheel’s come lose. We better get out of here.' And I’d start to jump on one of the islands. Well, half the boat was ready to jump with me. So, I put the steering wheel back on. We didn’t steer anyway. They [the boats] are on rails."Today's photo shows the Jungle Cruise in 1955 - the year Disneyland opened. It comes from the Disney & More blog. (Special thanks to Stephanie George for alerting me to Asa's quote.)
Jason Schultz (of the ever-informative Disneyland Nomenclature) has weighed in with the first review I've seen of Chris Strodder's new Disneyland Encyclopedia. Jason freely admits his biases and points out that he's working on a similarly themed book. But it's interesting to get a sneak preview of a book that might be worth having on the shelf.
The Orange Unified School District voted last week to delay a decision on whether to demolish the only historic structures in the City of Villa Park: The two buildings that make up the old Villa Park Elementary School. The vote came in the wake of the County's offer of $100,000 in matching funds to help either salvage or mothball the buildings. You can read the rest of the story in the Register.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
"In an odd move, [Supervisor Janet] Nguyen asked for a vote on paper, perhaps as a way to pose a secret ballot. But county lawyers stepped in and said secret ballots are forbidden. So the supervisors wrote their choices on a slip of paper, the clerk placed those in a coffee cup, and they were then read aloud. "
"Until 1975, when Jim Musick retired undefeated, every Orange County Sheriff... was defeated at the polls. In 1974, Sheriff Musick's endorsed choice for Sheriff, Brad Gates, was elected and served until he voluntarily stepped aside in 1998, when Mike Carona bested Paul Walters to become Sheriff. When Carona resigned, he became the first Orange County Sheriff not to serve out his term."
Monday, June 09, 2008
Saturday, June 07, 2008
There's good news about Sam's Seafood (recently renamed Kona) in Sunset Beach. Co-owner Chuck Purrington writes, "The landlord... has shelved his plans to develop the site! We are moving onward and upward! I will be introducing Tiki Sundays at KONA beginning Fathers Day the 15th with The Smoking Menehunes playing live... The Tikiyaki Orchestra is also booked for Friday, July 11 and Friday, July 25th." Although it's been tweaked a bit since it re-opened, Sam's/Kona can still claim the title as the last surviving Polynesian-style restaurant (and/or bar) in Orange County. In other words, outside the Enchanted Tiki Room, this is the last authentic place in O.C. to get your Mid-Century tiki fix. Show your support by stopping in and asking to have your mai tai served in a tiki mug.
Someone posted footage to YouTube of the historic Whitaker-Jaynes Estate and the Bacon House. Both homes are located at the Buena Park Historical Society's "historical petting zoo," just off Beach Blvd.
Friday, June 06, 2008
The mark their 30th anniversary, the Diocese of Orange has issued a book about their history entitled, Learning, Loving Living Our Faith. From what I've heard, it's a bit like Disney's Disneyland: Then, Now & Forever, in that it's definitely the company line, but still includes some good stuff. Copies are available for $25 through local parishes.
Thursday, June 05, 2008
The second photo comes from The Westerners' Brand Book #10, and was taken in July 1930. The caption read, "Terry E. Stephenson and Wm. McPherson under the branch from which the bandits Ardillero and Catabo were hung in January 1857."
"The bodies of the two bandits were left strung up to the sycamore for six months when some vaqueros who lived over in the Santa Ana canyon cut them down and buried what was left of them in a shallow grave at the clump of sycamores. It was two years after that that I became foreman of the Wolfskill Ranch.... Two men, named Armento and Canyero, who were working for me, told me that they had helped cut down the bandits' bodies and bury them. The coyotes had dug into the shallow grave, and the bones of the two men were scattered around on the surface of the ground. I went to the place with Armento and Canyero, and we dug a new grave about four feet deep, gathered up the bones and put them in it. My remembrance is that one of the skulls was missing."
Upon visiting the site in 1920, Pleasants noted that "The limb is several feet lower than it was sixty years ago when it was first pointed out to me by Armento and Canyero." He continued, "We put some stones around the grave, but they are all gone now."
Phil Brigandi (who supplied me with most of these references) writes,
"I believe we found the tree when we were there in 1989, but that was based on old photos and a general sense of what looked right. My recollection is that the branch was quite thick -- probably 18-inches or more across -- and ran out rather straight, but as the Judge says, closer to the ground in old age. I don't think it was even tall enough to stand under when I was there.
"The best single source is probably still Don Meadows' 1963 article "Juan Flores and the Manillas" which appeared in The Westerners Brand Book #10 from the Los Angeles Corral of The Westerners."
Wednesday, June 04, 2008
Thanks to Charles Beal, (friend, historian, and Senior Land Surveyor for the County of Orange,) we now know a little more about the fate (and the exact location) of the hangman's tree in Precitos Canyon, as well as the historical marker/plaque that accompanies it.
"Using some of my previous research material, burn area aerial photos for the Santiago Canyon fire, and an old 1987 photo of the plaque that was found on the Internet lead us to the area. Just west of the Eastern Transportation Corridor (30-40 feet below the road elevation) near a ravine of trees, the foliage has grown high again since last year’s Santiago Canyon fire but the plaque remains... Coordinates for the plaque location are: N33° 45' 47" W117° 44' 00".The plaque can be seen in the photo above. It reads, "Under this tree, General Andres Pico hung two banditos of the Flores gang in 1857. Dedicated [by] El Viaje de Portola Ride, April 1967." At first, I was afraid the old tree was gone, because there isn't one immediately adjacent to the marker. But Phil Brigandi's comment gives me room for hope:
"I believe the actual tree is one of the larger ones on the left. It has (had?) a long, thick branch, parallel to the ground."
Viewliner Ltd. has posted a bunch of interesting photos from Orange County, dating from the 1960s, '70s, and early '80s. Go take a look.
Former Angels outfielder and author Jay Johnstone will speak at the June 12 meeting of the Orange County Historical Society. He will discuss "the wacky past of Angels baseball," including the 1960s, when Gene Autry brought the team from Los Angeles to Anaheim. The meeting begins at 7:30, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., Orange.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
Ramberg & Lowrey was based in Santa Ana and worked on a number of projects throughout Orange County in the 1960s, including the Santa Ana Police Department headquarters, a nursing home in Dana Point, and the North Broadway Law Building in Santa Ana.
Most notably, however, they teamed up with Richard Neutra to design buildings for the County of Orange, including the County Communications Center and the Central Justice Center [a.k.a. the Orange County Courthouse (1968) in Santa Ana].
Donald Albert Ramberg was born 8-21-1919 in Fargo, North Dakota. Prior to partnering with Lowrey, he worked with A.C. Martin & Associates. Ramberg also designed the Santa Ana Elks Lodge. It appears he was still living in Southern California as recently as the 1980s.
Robert Sidney Lowrey was born 6-18-1925 in Arkansas. He died 9-25-1989 in Los Angeles County.
If you have any other useful information about these architects, their work, or their firm, please contact me via email or post a comment here on this blog. (Thanks to Chris Nichols for his earlier input and advice.)
Sorry about the grainy newspaper photo above, but it's the best I have to illustrate this post. I believe it shows Ramberg and Lowrey flanking Richard Neutra (center) as they inspect plans for the Courthouse.
Monday, June 02, 2008
ConAgra Foods just sold the Knott's Berry Farm line of preserves to Smucker's. The plant in Placentia will close and all 90 employees will be laid off. Knott's preserves have been produced and sold in Orange County for at least 73 years, beginning with the first jars in Cordelia Knott's kitchen in Buena Park.