Monday, January 31, 2011

Downtown Santa Ana and the Howe-Waffle House

I'm researching a longer post (or maybe an article -- we'll see where it goes), so I hope you don't mind another photo tour of Santa Ana's historic architecture in the meantime.
I took today's photos last Tuesday, on a tour of Downtown for the benefit of J. Eric Lynxwiler. Eric (seen above at the Santora Building) is a graphic designer, a neon sign expert, and a knower-of-all-things Wilshire Blvd. He's involved with the Los Angeles Conservancy, the Museum of Neon Art and the historic photo collection at the L.A. Public Library. He was also co-author with Chris Merritt of the excellent recent book, Knott's Preserved.
I enjoy taking people on architecture tours because I get to see things through a new set of eyes. I've walked past this storefront in the Santora Building (1929) at least a few hundred times, but this time Eric made me stop and really appreciate details I'd missed before. Go see it yoursef at 207 N. Broadway, and be sure to check out the second floor interiors too. Amazing building. The fact that they're tearing the "Fiesta Marketplace" apart right now offered several opportunities to get clear shots of buildings that are usually obscured by signs, kiosks, lightposts, etc. This view of the Yost Theatre (1912), for instance, wouldn't have been possible a month ago. This theater, located at 305-307 Spurgeon St., began with live theater and vaudeville and later switched over to movies. These days, it seems to waver between being a Spanish-language movie theater or a church.
The photo above shows the Semi-Tropic Hotel (1888) at 312-316 W. 4th St. Note the amazing multi-layered "ghost signs" on the side of the building. The interior rooms upstairs have been turned into offices, but the lobby has been restored to reflect its roots as a hotel. An interior view is shown below. (Note the hotel clerk's window.) As Phil Chinn pointed out to me, "walking up those stairs is like walking back into the 1800s."
For what is essentially a fairly simple brick box, the Pacific Building (1925) at 225-227 N. Broadway, is somehow one of my favorite Santa Ana buildings. For some reason I never tried venturing inside until last week. There, we found that some of the original features (see photo below) -- like doors and parts of the staircase -- are still entact. Very nice.
The stretch of North Broadway between 10th and 17th has more cool little apartment buildings than any stretch of road has a right to have. This next photo is a peek over the gate into the central courtyard of El Patio Real Apartments at 1228 N. Broadway.
Having trotted a few folks around on these haphazard "lunchtime tours," I'm now curious to see how organized, official tour guides handle it. I'm hoping to join one of the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society's scheduled Downtown Historical Architecture Walking Tours. I'll stay in the back of the group and try to absorb as much information as I can. Unfortunately, I can't make it to the next one, but maybe you can...

Their next scheduled tour will begin in the formal parlor of the Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House & Medical Museum (1889), at 120 Civic Center Dr., on Saturday, Feb. 5, just before 2:30 pm. Tours are $8 per person.
This event will be held in conjunction with a special Valentine's Day celebration at the Howe-Waffle House, from noon to 4pm. The event will include a tour of this wonderful Victorian house, tea, and a "selection of delicious chocolates." There will also be displays of early valentine cards, and exhibits on the history of Valentine's Day. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and members, and $3 for K-12 students -- all of which helps support the house and the Preservation Society.

Friday, January 28, 2011

The kerfuffle at Dwyer Middle School

This week, the students of Ethel Dwyer Middle School in Huntington Beach staged a protest, asking that huge banks of solar panels not be built (at a cost of millions of dollars) in the yard in front of their historic school. They would prefer the panels be placed around the back or side of the building or in the school district's bus parking lot. The image above shows how the panels would block the view of the front of the school. The image below, which came from Chevron, (the company building the panels), shows how they would NOT block the view of the school -- If you can magically hover 30 feet in the air.
Dwyer Middle School started out as Central Elementary School in 1933. It was the replacement for Central Grammar School, which was heavily damaged during the "Long Beach Quake" earlier that year. Luckily, the earthquake struck after school had let out. Otherwise, as Billie Kennedy (who saw the collapse with her own eyes) told me, many children and teachers would have been killed. The new Art Moderne school building was built on the same location as the earlier one.
This new structure was the work of the well-respected architectural firm of Allison & Allison, which also designed Huntington Beach High School, Newport Harbor High School, and many other significant buildings throughout Southern California. Next door to the school, at 1600 Palm Ave., is the wonderfully restored City Gym & Pool, which was built in 1931 and designed by Orange County's best known early architect, Frederick Eley.
People forget that Art Moderne/Art Deco was the signature architectural style of Huntington Beach from the 1930s well into the 1980s. This makes the few examples that have survived redevelopment especially important.
I took art and computer classes at Dwyer when I was a kid. It's a well-designed school with loads of character. And yes, I liked the sprawling front lawn.
The front of the school was once landscaped with gardens, as seen in the photo above. But for many decades now, that area has served as an athletic field, a place for the children to spend their lunch period, space for P.E. classes and 8th grade graduation ceremonies, and a de facto park.
Quick side note: In the photo below you see the older school (the one damaged in the quake) surrounded and obscured by the unsightly oil wells of the Standard Oil Company -- which later became Chevron. We improved the city by getting rid of the derricks half a century ago. Ironic, no? A hundred protesters marched around the school with signs on Wednesday, and more than 200 were there for an all-night protest on Thursday. I generally think protest marches are wasted energy, and I'm no fan of using children to fight battles for their parents (if that is, in fact, what happened here). Regardless, their cause is just.
The students rallying cry has been "We have a voice." Certainly that's what our schools teach kids about democracy. Let's see how well it works in practice.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Boy Scouts and No Doubt

This is the cover art from the June 1953 issue of Boys Life magazine, depicting scouts from everywhere headed to the Irvine Ranch for the 1953 Boy Scout Jamboree. I love this kind of colorful, decorative, detail-laden map. I still have some of the free "fun maps" of Knott's Berry Farm that I picked up when I was a kid.
At least a couple of my purist historian friends will mock me for mentioning Gwen Stafani on my blog -- but after TLAGP, how much sillier can I look? Cynthia Ward writes, "A piece not only of Anaheim history, but rock n roll history, is up for sale! The home in No Doubt video "Sunday Morning" was Gwen Stafani's grandparents' residence, now for sale. Located in the heart of the Anaheim Colony Historic District, with a Mills Act either already in place or ready to go. Live in a Gwen Stefani video with reduced taxes and great neighbors!"
I believe the house is at 319/322 S. Ohio St.
For the two people out there who don't already know this, Stefani was born in Anaheim in 1969, graduated from Loara High School in 1987, and attended Fullerton College and Cal State Fullerton. And no, she doesn't live in Orange County anymore.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Happy Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day

Hope yer all havin' a mighty fine time this Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day. As ye kin see in the pitchur above, we had a bit of a fandango down t' the County Archives today. Prospector Adam England moseyed on over fer a spell, and taught Susan how to cut a caper like Walter Huston in Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
He also brought a TLAGPD gift fer yers truly: A half-pint grizzled prospector, complete with mule. It's a German interpretation of an icon of the 'Murican Old West,... made by them Celestials! It's durn near as international as the folks what came lookin' for gold in '49. Thank ye kindly, Adam!
Course I talked like a grizzled prospector some today. And Prospector Phil stopped by fer a spell too. But Ghost Town resident Allen Palovik done outdid hisself. He chose this week to fire up a new blog, called Knott's In Print. It looks like a reeeeal corker, by gum! And the second post is about the Prospectors Day event that Knott's Berry Farm used to hold way back when. We figger if they'd just encouraged folks to talk like grizzled prospectors too, their annual event woulda had a heap more stayin' power.
We're lookin' forward to readin' what ol' Allen writes next. And we'd shore get a kick out of it if ye'd let us know how you celebrated Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day this year. (Did them city-fied folk look at ye a mite peculiar-like?)
Update: I was purty amazed to find that TLAGPD made it all the way to Fredericksburg, Virginny this year. But then I saw the story done got picked up by a newspaper in India! Well, what kin a feller say?
By the by, hats off to Miner Matt fer spreadin' the word among his fellow USC Trojans. An' thanks also to the Times Leader and Dallas Post for telling their readers about our new holiday. And if that weren't enough, the University of Minnesota's website went all sawdusty on us and upgraded the day to National Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day. Sakes alive!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day is Monday!

Well, consarn it! A whole 'nuther year's done skedaddled right past! Come Monday it'll be Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day (TLAGPD) again! Every Jan. 24th we celebrate the discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill and the start of Californee's gold rush in 1848.
Prospector Phil and I been fixin' to start this TLAGPD thing fer years. But 'twernt 'til last year we got 'er into gear.
Last I heerd, some o' them E Clampus Vitus fellers were helpin' spread the word already. And our grizzled ol' friend Adam at the Heritage Museum of Orange County (who does a fine grizzled prospector impersonation hisself), has been a plumb tolerable press agent too.
But TLAGPD needs you to help make it the next important holiday on the calendar -- smack-dab between National Pie Day (Jan. 23) and Peanut Brittle Day (Jan. 26). So tell yer friends, mark your calendar, join our FB group, and Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector, dagnabbit!
Monday bein' a work day an' all, I reckon there's all kindsa ways ye could work yer prospector talk into conversation, no matter what your line o' work. Fer instance:
Apple Store clerk: "Yessir! We got a whole passel o' these here MacIntosh computator boxes. Belly up to one an' give 'er a go, young feller!"
Psychiatrist: "So,... How's it make ya feel to git raised up by a mother who's a horn-swogglin', four-flushin', ornery sidewinder?"
Surgeon: "We'll have that cyst out o yer neck faster'n a jackrabbit on a hot rock."
And of course, jeweler: "There's GOLD in them thar display cases! GOLD, I tell ye!! And a selection of less expensive alloys! Euuuuureka!"
Yep! Them fellers who started Talk Like A Pirate Day spin a mighty good yarn, but they ain't got nuthin on our authentic frontier gibberish.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Irvine Ranch and Laguna Beach, 1962

Today I'm sharing some beautiful photos sent in by another friend, Ken Stack. The images immediately above and below are from the Irvine Ranch in 1962.
Note the snow on Old Saddleback in the photo below. Orange County got some surprisingly cold storms that Spring. After a year of near record low rainfall, this was a godsend for the cattle ranches of South Orange County. Disappearing pasture nearly forced them to sell their herds early.
In an L.A. Times interview, Charles Weaver, head of the Irvine's cattle operations, quoted James Irvine : "When asked if he thought it was going to rain, Mr. Irvine replied: 'It always has.' In short, if you're a pessimist you shouldn't be in farming. ...We're particularly thankful for the last rain in that it allowed us to keep our breeding herd intact."
The final photo here shows the Pottery Shack in Laguna Beach -- also in 1962. It's a little grainy and fuzzy, but it's rare to see night photos of the sign like this.
A print ad for the Pottery Shack in Spring 1962 read, "LADIES LEAVE YOUR HUSBANDS! for a day and bring four girl friends to THE POTTERY SHACK. Roy, George, Don, Jim and Eric will arrange and adventure for you. Have a most exciting day browsing through the most unique and largest displays of dinnerware and gifts in California. See free demonstrations of pottery making. Your fabulous savings at THE POTTERY SHACK will pay for lunch at one of Laguna's supurb restaurants and lods of mad money left over. You will be overwhelmed with the myriads of rooms full of gorgeous china, pottery, glass, candles, baskets and flowers. A free gift to each 'husband leaver' with this ad..."
That seems like a lot more hoopla than pottery should inspire.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Knott's in the 1970s

Today's photo series shows a trip to Knott's Berry Farm in the late 1970s. The photos come from our Phoenix correspondent, Captain Tomorrow. We begin in Ghost Town, of course, at the Butterfield Stagecoach (above). Note how close the old loading area was to the Bottle House.
Here's another look at Bud Hurlbut's "Mexican Hat Dance" ride, which still provides a better overall ride than Disneyland's teacups.
The photos immediately above and below show Reflection Lake and the adjacent Fiesta Village area. The lake is now almost entirely filled in, replaced by the Silver Bullet roller coaster. The trees and water really added a lot of beauty to Knott's.
Knott's maven and nice guy Allen Palovik tells me the photo below is the Fiesta Plaza Stage. By the gingerbread-y pastel decor, I (wrongly) guessed it was in the Roaring 20s section of the park. Note that both younger and older people are in the audience. Knott's really did have something for everyone.
This next photo is definitely from the Roaring 20s, and shows what happens when the cast of That 70s Show tries to look like a 1920s Dixieland band. The audience of four people went wild.
The 1975 opening of the Corkscrew at Knott's was a real taste of things to come. At that point, it was a novelty. Today, most of the park has been given over to large steel contraptions geared toward teenage boys with invincible stomachs. Sorry this isn't exactly ancient history. Nor is there much insightful commentary today. But it is interesting to see how much Knott's has changed in just 35 years. (Haven't we all?)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Anaheim, art, windows, Dana Point, Scouting, etc.

Today's photo comes from the Anaheim Heritage Center and shows Downtown Anaheim, looking east on W. Center St., across Lemon, on April 2, 1946. Note the S.Q.R. department store at right.
I'm in an Anaheim frame of mind because I'm driving up there tomorrow, and because the Anaheim Historical Society (AHS) just announced several upcoming programs:
First, the AHS will take a guided tour of The Irvine Museum’s collection of plein air paintings (circa 1890-1930) on Sat., Jan. 22, 9:30am - 2:00pm. They'll be carpooling from the Von’s parking lot at 130 W. Lincoln. (Yes, that's the historic parking lot that used to be the center of Downtown Anaheim, seen above.) The tour itself begins at 11am. The cost is $5 per person and anyone volunteering to drive is free! Please RSVP via email. The group may stop for lunch after the tour, so bring lunch money.
Then, on Sat., Jan. 29, 1-3pm, learn to make your double-hung windows work like new. Dedicated DIYer Bob Morris will show historical home owners techniques that will save them a lot of money and headaches. This workshop will be held at the Molt Morris House, 1100 W. Center St. (at West St.), in Anaheim. No RSVP is required. Just show up and be prepared to learn!
The Anaheim Historical Society's Bi-Annual Home Tour will take place May 14-15, 2011. Keep an eye on their website for details as they become available. (Volunteers for this event are still needed.)
At the other end of the county, the Dana Point Historical Society will hold a potluck dinner meeting, Jan. 26th, 6pm, at the Community House, 24642 San Juan Ave. Historian Phil Brigandi will speak about the the 100th anniversary of the Boy Scouts -- both in America as a whole and specifically in Orange County. The history of scouting in Orange County is also the subject of his latest book, On My Honor. If you'd like to participate in the potluck, bring a dish to serve 8, and bring a plate and utensils for yourself.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Basques in Orange County

Today's photo shows the "world's largest orange orchard" on the Bastanchury Ranch in Fullerton.
"The Basques in Orange County" is the topic for tonight's meeting of the Orange County Historical Society. The meeting will be held tonight, Thurs., Jan. 13, 7:30pm, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., in Orange. The meeting is open to the public and refreshments will be served.
If the event puts you yen for all things Basque, be sure to ask about the OCHS members who will be driving up to Centro Basquo for dinner on Saturday. Jane Norgren, who will be at tonight's meeting, should be able to give you the details.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Mystery cattle brands

I'm hoping you can help the folks at Pechanga Cultural Resources identify some old cattle brands. (Their sketches are at the end of this post.) A large number of branding irons were
offered to the Temecula Museum, which accepted some of them -- But the rest were donated to Pechanga. They think they are Southern California brands, but don't really know from whence they originally came.
The photo above shows cowboys Nick Gonzales and Henry Serrano branding a calf on the Starr Ranch. The photo below shows cattle branding on the Rancho Mission Viejo in 1964. And now for the "mystery brands" themselves. (I've added a number next to each brand to hopefully simplify the process.) If you can identify any of these, please post the news here and also send the information to Teresa Lorden, Curator at the Pechanga Indian Reservation. Her phone number is (951) 308-9295.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Historic Downtown Santa Ana

I decided to take a couple of the Orange County Archives' newly-acquired B.F. Conoway photos of old Santa Ana and compare them to modern views. The shot above shows Fourth St., viewed from Bush St., on Decoration Day (Memorial Day) in 1891. The image below shows the same angle today. Only the Otis Building (which got a new facade in 1925) seems to show up in both.
The next two photos show Fourth St. looking east from Sycamore: First in 1891...
...and again today. Once more, the Otis Building is the one identifiable landmark remaining. Some of the buildings just east of the Otis Building may still be standing today, but received new facades over the years -- most notably after the 1933 earthquake.

I realized the other day that I've been (somewhat randomly) shooting photos of Downtown Santa Ana's historic architecture for about seven years now. Sitting at home with a cold/flu bug, I decided to start compiling these into a Flickr set, so people could take a virtual tour of the area. Hopefully, the virtual tour will inspire some folks to get out and do some actual boots-on-the-ground tours.
You can see the photos at Historic Downtown Santa Ana. Your comments are definitely welcomed!.As I find time, I will try to add more photos to this set and fill it in a bit. So far, the set has 95 photos in it, which barely scratches the surface. I still have lots more old images to round up.
Also, there are plenty of sites I haven't gotten around to photographing at all yet -- Which gives me a great excuse to stretch my legs at lunchtime.
Speaking of Flickr, our Orange County History Flickr group topped 200 members at the New Year and is now up to 210, with our latest initiates adding some really amazing images. I am constantly tempted to steal their photos and re-post them here.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

PT-109, JFK, and Ray Starkey of Garden Grove

On a moonless night in the Solomon Islands in 1943, Torpedo Boat PT-109, commanded by Lieutenant, junior grade John F. Kennedy, was smashed to pieces when a Japanese destroyer plowed right through them. Some were killed, but 10 American sailors survived. The nearby larger islands had enemy camps on them, so the survivors swam four hours to a tiny deserted island with no food or water. Kennedy later swam to and scouted other islands and led his men to one with both water and coconut trees. Six days later, friendly natives in a canoe found them. Kennedy carved a message into a coconut for the natives to take to the nearest Allied base. Soon, they were rescued.

That's a short version of a very famous story. But until someone emailed me from Ireland, I had no idea there was a significant Orange County connection. Con McGrath wrote,

"I am doing research on the war career of President Kennedy and the men he served with on PT-109. Among his men was Torpedoman's Mate 2/c Ray L. Starkey, ...from Garden Grove, California, [who] was twenty nine when he joined the crew of the PT-109. He came aboard to replace Edmund Drewitch, who had been injured earlier on the PT-109."
McGrath went on to ask what I could tell him about Starkey, and whether I knew of any family members. Truth be told, it was all news to me. However, I did some research and came up with quite a bit, including the following:
Raymond Lee "Ray" Starkey was born in California, Feb. 24th, 1914. In the 1920 census, Ray, his parents, Ray N. and Ruby F. Starkey, were living in Los Angeles with his maternal grandfather, Joseph Pletts, and his uncle, Bob Pletts.
By 1930, Ray, Ruby and little Ray had moved to Emerson Street in the unincorporated community of Garden Grove, and a daughter had been added to the family: Francis M. Starkey.
As a young man, Ray worked on his father's ranch, just off what is now Brookhurst St. It appears that sometime around 1938 Ray married a girl named Camille (no sign of them in the O.C. marriage records). The two of them were living on Emerson St. -- likely in a different house on the same property.
By 1940, Ray and Camille were living at 308 Frances St., in Garden Grove, and Ray was working for Miller Brothers Co., a business that ground chili peppers. The growing of chili peppers was a major industry in the area at that time. However, Ray's work in that field didn't seem to last long, and they were back on Emerson the following year.
For some reason, I can't find any military records for Starkey, but we know that by the time of the famous PT-109 incident, he was a Torpedoman's Mate, Second Class.
Ray doesn't appear in the 1947 Orange County Directory and did not file his military discharge papers here, but he eventually came back home.
In 1960, Ray got some publicity as the chairman of Citizens for Kennedy of Garden Grove. The photo below shows him giving campaign brochures to Mrs. Gerry Borok.
Three years later, the movie PT-109 hit the big screen, with Cliff Robertson in the role of JFK, (President Kennedy himself selected Robertson for the role), and with Sam Gilman portraying Ray Starkey.
Meanwhile, the real Ray Starkey was back living on Emerson Ave., and was an oil worker for Signal Oil Co. in Huntington Beach. His father had worked in the oil fields in the 1920s and '30s, so petroleum ran in the family.
That same year, Ray attended (as a VIP) the opening of a life-sized diorama from the film at Movieland Wax Museum in Buena Park. (By the way, if you want to own part of that Movieland exhibit, it's available for sale.)
Ray L. Starkey died in Westminster on Oct. 8, 1970. His obituary in the L.A. Times said he was a resident of Santa Ana and continued,... "He leaves his wife, Mrs. Camille Waite of Capistrano Beach, two sons, George of Garden Grove and Ray of Las Vegas, a daughter, Mrs. Shirley Neighbors of Riverside, and four grandchildren."

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Bud Hurlbut (1918-2011)

I'm sad to report that themed attraction entrepreneur/genius Wendell "Bud" Hurlbut passed away on Wednesday at age 92. He designed, built and operated Knott's Berry Farm's best attractions, including the Calico Mine Ride (1960) and the Timber Mountain Log Ride (1969). His business understanding with Walter Knott -- to operate rides on his property -- rested for all those decades on a simple handshake deal, never a signed contract. A gentleman's word was his bond in those days, and both Walter and Bud were, by all accounts, honorable gentlemen.
The photos immediately above and below show Bud tinkering with the inner workings of the Calico Mine Ride. (All of today's photos come from the Knott's Berry Farm Collection, which is held by the Orange County Archives.) This ride turned 50 just three months ago.
Hurlbut was an innovator, and his inventions, like flume rides and various motors, were adopted later by much of the theme park industry. Anyone I've ever talked to who worked for him loved working for him. His obituary in the O.C. Register states that "Even into his nineties, he could be found in the middle of his workshop, just across La Palma Avenue from Knott's Berry Farm."
In the photo above, Bud shows a scale model of his proposed Log Ride to an intrigued Walter Knott in 1967. In the image below, the Hurlbut and Knott families gather to announce the groundbreaking for the Log Ride.
Unlike Disney, which has teams of talented Imagineers and other specialists to help create each new attraction, Bud had mainly himself to rely on. This is all the more amazing when you consider how much more elaborate, say, the Calico Mine Ride was in comparison to Disney's Matterhorn -- opened just a year apart from one another.
Walter and Bud took the log ride for a test "spin" or two (or more) well before John Wayne and his son Ethan became the first official guests to brave this thrilling ride.
Although the Timber Mountain Log Ride and Calico Mine Ride stand out as Bud's masterworks for Knott's, he also provided most of the other early amusement/theme-park attractions. In fact, the first such attraction at Knott's was a Merry-Go-Round (seen below in 1955) which Bud had to talk Walter into allowing onto his property. Other Hurlbut attractions included the well-loved Antique Auto Ride (seen below), which was later renamed the "Tijuana Taxi" when that area of Knott's was re-christened "Fiesta Village." Bud made sure the ride was not simply a car on a track, but that the passengers would experience an adventure going through all kinds of terrain and past a variety of colorful and amusing scenes.
Bud's miniature trains are somewhat legendary in the industry, and one of them circled Knott's Lagoon, which is now parking area behind Independence Hall. (Shown below in 1958.)
Another Hurlbut addition to the Lagoon were miniature paddle-wheelers. Below is the Cordelia K in about 1963. At least one of the boats reappeared years later, across the street in the Reflection Lake.
Walt Disney knew Bud and would come over to see his progress on various projects. When Walt came to see the new Calico Mine Ride, he had no idea that the apparent entrance to the ride was only the beginning of a hidden, winding, and attractively themed queue area. Even with a long line, it would appear to passers-by that the line was short. And once in line, the guests were appeased by the colorful and dynamic surroundings. "You sneaky S.O.B.!" Walt exclaimed to Bud, upon discovering about a hundred people were already ahead of them in line.
Today, of course, Disney uses this innovation in all its theme parks.
When Walter Knott announced he was building an exact replica of Independence Hall, Bud set to work on a gift for Walter: An exact replica of the Liberty Bell to place inside the Hall. Cast in the same alloy as the original, and with attention paid to the tiniest detail, the bell still adorns the Hall's entrance today. In the photo above, Bud and foundry workers toil away at what became a major undertaking.
Many of the older attractions in Fiesta Village also began as Hurlbut concessions. Many of these were relatively familiar rides from a mechanical perspective, but were made colorful and unique by Bud's focus on appropriate theming and detail.
The photo above shows the Happy Sombreros, a "Tea Cups" clone that featured colorful chili bowls topped with huge fiberglass sombreros. Note that even the operator's booth and wrought-iron fencing and arches reflect a sense of Old Mexico or Early California.
When Bud finally sold his attractions to Knott's outright, the changes were almost immediately evident. Soon such touches as the beautiful hand-painted murals on the back of each "Mexican Whip" (Tilt-a-Whirl) car were replaced with simple blocks of color.
Bud continued bringing rides to Knott's into the early 1980s. One of the last was the Dragon Swing (a favorite of mine, as a child). The photo above shows Knott's executives with Bud (center) during the installation of the Dragon Swing in 1980.
But by the time of Walter Knott's death, the whole business arrangement became less appealing to Bud. As I noted earlier, he soon sold many of his attractions to Knott's. Others (and parts of still others) reappeared at Castle Park in Riverside -- a theme park Hurlbut established himself in 1976. Bits and pieces of some of your favorite old Knott's rides can still be found out there.
You can also find a refurbished Hurlbut miniature steam train (formerly of Santa's Village) at the the Santa Ana Zoo in Prentice Park.
The 2007 photo below shows (L to R) Walt Disney Imagineering Sr. V.P. of Creative Development Tony Baxter; Orange County's Assistant Archivist Chris Jepsen; Bud Hurlbut; and renown Disney artist Kevin Kidney. We all drove up to La Crescenta to hear Imagineer and "Knott's Preserved" author Christopher Merritt give an excellent talk on the history of Knott's Berry Farm. Bud's work was heavily featured during the presentation.
Bud will be missed. But it's hard to think of a better legacy than pushing the boundaries of your industry forward and upward while simultaneously bringing joy to millions and millions of people.
I'm one of those people, and I suspect you are too.