Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Travel back to the 1920s aboard the Pacific Electric

The Big Red Cars in Orange County, (a look back at the Pacific Electric Railway), will be the topic of this year's annual dinner of the Orange County Historical Society, June 21, 2013. Even if you're not a member, you need to attend if you're interested in local history, the P.E., the 1920s, architecture, or just meeting friendly people. Let me explain this multifaceted evening of fun:

The event will be held at the beautiful Santa Ana Ebell Clubhouse (built 1924, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places). It will kick off with a social hour with a no-host bar and and great music of the 1920s, courtesy Josh McIntosh's outstanding record collection. Several rounds of walking tours of the historic French Park Neighborhood will also be offered during this time. The buffet dinner will feature beef, chicken, fish and (special order) vegetarian entrée, all kinds of good sides, and dessert. Extremely rare silent film footage of the P.E.'s cars running through O.C. will run on the screen while we enjoy our meals and the company of friends old and new.

But the big feature of the evening is a fascinating and well-illustrated program about the Pacific Electric by Steve Crise and Michael A. Patris, authors of Pacific Electric Railway: Then & Now. I've heard wonderful things about a version of this program they've presented for historical groups in Los Angeles, and for this occasion they're reworking their material to put the focus more on Orange County.

Reservations are a must, so please RSVP by June 11. As of this writing, tickets are still available (and surprisingly affordable). For more information, visit OrangeCountyHistory.org or go directly to this PDF of the flyer/registration form. Confirmation will be made by email. If you attended OCHS' 2012 dinner at Knott's Berry Farm, you know you don't want to miss this year's event.
Ebell Club, Santa Ana, designed by noted local architect Frederick Eley in 1924.

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