Monday, June 08, 2009

Ralph Clark, Mrs. Knott's chicken & Dana Point

Ralph B. Clark, former County Supervisor and father of O.C. public transportation, died Saturday at age 92. He began his political career on Anaheim's City Council in the late 1960s and served as mayor in 1969. (A mutual friend of ours calls him "The Silver Haired Orator of Anaheim.") He represented the 4th District on the Orange County Board of Supervisors from Jan. 6, 1971 to Jan. 5, 1987, and served 12 terms as chairman of the Orange County Transportation District. Among his many accomplishments, Clark was largely responsible for the creation of our public transportation system, and for bringing the Rams football team to O.C.. Eventually we lost the NFL, but the buses stayed and flourished.
The Register's website features an article with more details about Clark's life.
The photo above shows Clark at his desk in the County Hall of Administration in 1971. The image below shows Clark (left) at the dedication of an O.C. Historical Commission plaque at Knott's Berry Farm in 1977. Also in the photo are Historical Commissioner Don Dobmeier and Virginia Knott.
The plaque shown above has gone missing over the years. (These things happen.) Coincidentally, the plaque will be replaced this very Saturday at an event honoring the 75th anniversary of Mrs. Knott's Chicken Dinner Restaurant. It should be quite a gathering of former and current employees, local historians, theme park aficionados, and at least one or two members of the Knott family.
[Correction (6-9-09): The old plaque has finally been found and will be re-dedicated and put back on display at Saturday's event.]
I plan to post more photos and information about this storied dining establishment as the week goes on. For now, see the Register's article about the anniversary or their readers' memories of chicken dinners past. (They also have a short video interview with Marion Knott.)
Architecture fans, please note: I've updated Friday's post about the Mr. & Mrs. Haines House in Dana Point. The mystery is not yet solved, but we have a couple more clues.


Let's Talk Knott's said...

Thanks for the Knott's info. I wish I could be there to witness the dedication this Saturday. How do you misplace an iron plaque attached to a concrete base? Hmm, oh well I am glad that they are replacing it.

Anonymous said...

When is the best time to go to the Chicken Dinner restaurant? A friend of mine tried going there a few times and never made it in the door. The lines are usually very long, a testimony no doubt to the restaurant's popularity! :) - Daralee

Chris Jepsen said...

It seems like the lines are shorter at lunch than at dinner. And obviously, between meal times (say 3pm or so) it's even quieter. Weekends, holidays and summer seem to be busier.

Eating The Road said...

Very cool. I love Mrs. Knott's: