Wednesday, August 31, 2011
The program is free and open to the public. The event will begin at 6:30pm with an appetizer/dessert potluck (bring enough of something for six people if you'd like to participate). The program will begin at 7:30pm. Hope to see you there!
Want to own your own piece of back-country charm? The Trabuco General Store (1940) is now up for sale. Details appear in the Register.
Casa Romantica's aforementioned "Salute To Hollywood" exhibit opened this evening. Admission is $5. As I mentioned before, it will include some materials and artifacts of movies shot in Orange County from the recent O.C. Archives exhibit.
Friday, August 26, 2011
Been to check out the photos on the Orange County History Flickr group lately? (With over 4,000 images!) What could it hurt?
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
I believe this is Vance Colvig, Jr. appearing as KTLA's version of Bozo the Clown. He was the son of the original Bozo, Pinto Colvig. (Insert your own joke about your least favorite politician being "the original Bozo *HERE*.)
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Today's photo shows Orange City Hall in 1921. The current City Hall is at the same location, on Chapman Ave. Boy, if I had a nickel for every time somebody told me how much more they liked the old city hall...
News from Sunset Beach: Famed local surfer and surfboard maker Gordie Duane just passed away. Barbara Haynes of the Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board writes, "he had the first surfbord shop under the Huntington Beach Pier. Then, after a fire, it was moved to the corner of 13th and PCH." Read more in the Surfers Journal.
Want to help with a Civil War genealogy project? Hal Horrocks of the Orange County California Genealogical Society (OCCGS) writes, "We have taken it upon ourselves to do the genealogies of all 500+ civil war vets buried in O.C. The project will probably take from 2 to 4 years to complete. Would it be possible to make an announcement ...about what we are doing and see if anyone might be interested in helping?" Contact Hal via email if you'd like to lend a hand. (Note: This project builds on the great work already done by Charles Beal, Gordon Bricken and their associates.)
Thanks to my readers for all the comments, suggestions and information you send along -- both digitally and in person. Writing this blog is fun, but it's a lot more fun with your input. As our attentive reader (spammer), Cheap Louis Vitton Bags put it recently, "We would find much happiness in reviewing the past."
Monday, August 22, 2011
Sunday, August 21, 2011
I hear the D23 (read Disney fanatic) Convention in Anaheim this weekend was a bit toned-down from earlier years. Still, I hear there was some sort of ceremony for recently inducted "Disney Legends," including the late Jack and Bonita Wrather, who created the Disneyland Hotel. Our pal Werner Weiss recently wrote about their induction on his Yesterland site.
On a related note, Don Ballard's second book on the history of the Disneyland Hotel is now available for order. His first book was a beauty. I expect no less from this one.
Catching up: I missed this post on the Bowers Museum blog about Mrs. Ada E. Bowers and her memorial fountain. (The one in need of repair.) They mention how the Bowers left their land and money for the purposes of building a museum. Can you guess what details of the Bowers bequest are not mentioned in the article? Drop us a note in the "Comments" section if you know the answer.
Saturday, August 20, 2011
Friday, August 19, 2011
On March 26, 1968 the whole building was moved just down the road and around the corner to 9281 Banning Ave., and was turned into a neighborhood branch of the Huntington Beach Public Library. In 2007, the City hired an architectural firm to draw up plans for a new 12,500 square-foot building to replace the current one. The economy has stalled this plan for the time being, but the intent is still there.
I'm all in favor of libraries, and certainly I'm in favor of bigger, better libraries in my own backyard. But I do hope the new building pays some homage to the old one. It's a great example of 1960s Polynesian Pop Architecture and an extremely rare remaining example of the offices that were once such a central part of Orange County's historically important boom years. Maybe they could even find a way to incorporate some of the old building into the new one. I could definitely see playing up the theme more, with interiors by Oceanic Arts and subtropical plants for landscaping.
"Surf City" indeed!
Monday, August 15, 2011
Also note the zig-zaggy path from the bottom right corner of the map up toward Santa Ana. That was the short-lived Pacific Electric route that ran from H.B. to Talbert (now Fountain Valley), to Greenville and on to Santa Ana. When a flood knocked out the bridge over the Santa Ana River, it was never rebuilt. However, portions of the track from Santa Ana down through Greenville still exist.
The rest of the ad reads,...
Speaking of Huntington Beach, Snake Gabrielson's online "Surfing Library" has posted local hero Bud Higgin's memories of the earliest days of surfing in the area. Link on over.
"It is estimated that more than 500,000 people with at least 100,000 automobiles visit Long Beach annually. With the completion of a Coast Boulevard, Huntington Beach is sure to get a good share of this travel. Many are going to be impressed with our fine, high townsite and decide to stay here. Why not?
"Our three and a half miles of beach is second to none. We have back of us the richest farm lands in California, and OUR PRICES ARE THE LOWEST. Now is the time to invest before the completion of the Coast Boulevard. We have only a few close-in lots left on our special terms of NO TAXES AND NO INTEREST. Come in and see us before it is too late.
HUNTINGTON BEACH COMPANY"
Sunday, August 14, 2011
As far as the ad itself goes, I'm particularly taken with the fact that the man is enjoying the clean ocean air with his wife and child while puffing away on a cigarette. More than the old touring car, and more than the outmoded beach attire, that cigarette shows how much times have changed.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Orange County Historian Jim Sleeper once told me about an L.A. newspaper reporter who came to him to ask questions about Orange County's "provincialism." Jim answered his questions the best he could. Near the end of the interview the reporter asked one more question: "So, how often do you visit Los Angeles?"
"Hell," Jim replied, "I wouldn't drive to Los Angeles to watch Jesus Christ wrestle a grizzly bear!"
I'm told that quote ended up on the front page of the newspaper.
I can understand Jim's sentiments. Growing up in Southern California, most of my experiences with Los Angeles built a picture of a dangerous, smoggy, dirty place with way too much traffic.
But author, artist, neon expert and Los Angeles enthusiast J. Eric Lynxwiler recently convinced me to visit Downtown L.A. for a tour of its historic sites. I figured any tour Eric gave would be more than worth battling the traffic, but I remained wary.
Then he threw in an offer to visit "behind the scenes" of L.A. Public Library's massive History & Genealogy Collection. This sounded even better than watching Jesus wrestle a grizzly bear! I was in.
What I didn't realize was that Eric would bring along yet another L.A. expert and L.A. Conservancy tour guide, Shannon Simonds. I was suddenly a tour group of one, with TWO of the city's best tour guides. And for our tour of the library, we were led by yet a THIRD expert, Christina Rice, Acting Senior Librarian of the Photographic Collection.
My visit to our "mother county" was fascinating and a lot of fun. (Major thanks to all three of my guides!) I would try describing the whole day to you, but I think my photos tell the story better. To see them, check out this link to my Downtown L.A. photo series.
Friday, August 05, 2011
Monday, August 01, 2011
DPHS also has an article on their website about William Goodwin Dana, (a relative of town namesake Richard Henry Dana, Jr.,) who ran the prosperous Rancho Nipomo and served in public office in early Santa Barbara. His adobe home is currently undergoing restoration work, but it seems that tours are still available. Okay,... The Orange County link here is a bit tenuous. But any excuse to visit California's central coast is a good excuse.