Friday, March 13, 2009

Santa Ana, O.C. Fair, H.B., and Garden Grove

Today's photo shows the Santa Ana train station - probably around the turn of the century. (Can one of you rail fans out there help pin down the year for us?) Note the Southern Pacific boxcars on the left and the Ringling Bros. Circus car on the right.
O.C. Fair/SAAAB Update: One of my readers wrote to the Fair people complaining about the demolition of the Fair's Administration Building, which was once part of the Santa Ana Army Air Base. He're part of the reply he received: "While none of the buildings on the facility have been deemed 'historically significant' through the Master Plan study conducted in 2003, it does not mean that the buildings have not served a role at the property or that there is not sentimental value to them. The certified Environmental Impact Report (EIR) determined that the buildings on the property do not meet the legal definition for historical significance, but we still look for ways to celebrate and preserve the significant history of the grounds that house the OC Fair & Event Center. Look for an all-new exhibit celebrating this rich history at the 2009 OC Super Fair called "Airbase to Fairspace."
Nice. They celebrate their history by destroying it. (BTW, if you hire the right people, EIRs can be made to "determine" all kinds of crazy things.)
Another anonymous reader wrote to me on a different topic,... "What a remarkably lousy article on the Encyclopedia Lots in this morning's Register ...They [got] the date, and the publisher of the encyclopedias wrong... but I love that they also have the city of Huntington Beach as the one giving away the lots."
At least they were consistant.
Reader Mike sent in the photos of Garden Grove posted below and wrote, "This is old 1960s Harbor Blvd. between Trask & Garden Grove Blvd. On the west side of Harbor was a small shopping center called World's Fair Center. My folks used to drive past this center all the time on our way to and from Leonards Dept. Store. ...The two main stores in this little shopping center were World's Fair Imports & Gifts, and Sav-On Electronics."
Sav-On Electronics was indeed a great place to rummage for interesting equipment and parts. As recently as a few years ago they still had 8-inch floppy drives. How cool is that?! The shopping center was still there the last time I looked, but most (if not all) of the businesses have changed.


CoxPilot said...

Interestingly; I believe the store with the Worlds Fair sign above, in the corner, housed one of the first public slot car tracks in Orange County. I think that was around 1966. Used to try out experimental Cox slot cars there that we had made in the "skunk works" in the plant. We had to put generic bodies on them to hid the designs, but usually won the races.

Viewliner Ltd. said...

I have to agree with you about the date of the RR picture it is no later than 1910. But the boxcars are from the Santa Fe RR.

The Worlds Fair store... WOW! what memories. This place was my mothers favorite store. Went there many times with her when I was a youngster. Great post.

CoxPilot said...

Chis: Ref: Santa Ana Depot

The Ringling Bros Circus performed in Santa Ana in 1905, and several photos of the parade down 4th Street are on file at the Santa Ana Library. They also have a photo of the depot from the opposite side, showing the same telephone pole (probably by the same photographer). The tone of the pic, the sky, etc. all look the same.

ps: I think it's interesting that many of the photo series are not complete, and found in other places.

CoxPilot said...

pps: I found the same circus photos on the OAC Images, and the date was listed as 1910. I have found in many of the photos on both sites to be a bit inaccurate regarding dates, addresses, etc.

Steve said...

And I remember going to that Sav-On Electronics many times!

IStillNeed2Register said...

re: Fair Bldgs. One solution is to offer them for sale for $1.00 the the person who removes it to another location. You see that done all the time!

re: "Worlds Fair" center - I don't go back that far, but it was a DIPS (Discount Import Parts Shop) for years and years. I don't know if it's a 5-$10 T-Shirt shop now or some Bodega. I think the facade has had a major facelift, buth the footprint of the bldgs is the same.

RAPman said...

World's Fair is gone but their sign next to the sidewalk, including the globe, is still there. Google Maps street level view shows that on both sides of the sign in place of WORLD'S is SHOES and in place of FAIR is metro PCS. Signs of the times. The first job I ever applied for after my junior year in high school was at World's Fair. I didn't get hired.