Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Disneyland, Willard Smith, old newspapers, etc.

Norman Smith, grandson of the late Orange County Supervisor Willard Smith, recently donated boxes of wonderful photos, news clippings, documents and ephemera to the Orange County Archives. We've only begun to look at this stuff, but I thought I'd share these photos that were near the top of the stack. Both were taken in December 1954 at Disney Studios in Burbank, seven months before the opening of Disneyland. Walt Disney himself is clearly schmoozing the local politicos and giving them a sneak peak at his plans for the park.
In the first photo (top), Willard Smith is on the far left and fellow Supervisor Willis Warner is in the center, sticking his elbow out the stagecoach window. The lineup in the front row of the second photo (left to right) is longtime Anaheim Mayor Charlie Pearson, Willis Warner, Walt Disney, Willard Smith, and Orange County Planning Commission Chairman Dr. W.L. Bigham. I'm not sure who the other folks are, but I'll work on it.
Are the old newspapers grandpa gave you worth a lot of money? Sharon Clairemont helps you find out in her latest ASK post.
I hope to see you at tomorrow night's Orange County Historical Society meeting, 7:30pm, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 2400 N. Canal St., in Orange. Lou Carlson of Fairhaven will discuss the history of the old Santa Ana Cemetery, including its connections to the Civil War.


outsidetheberm said...

Outstanding, Chris! Can't wait to see the others. Thanks for the look.

Anonymous said...

Disneyland was one of the reasons I moved my family into Orange County a couple of years back. My wife and I enjoy taking our two sons to the park at least twice a year but that was tough when we lived in Arizona. After speaking and working with a great Realtor in Orange County however we were able to find and move into a home that was reasonably close to Disneyland and some great schools.

colony rabble said...

I love Walt's tie!

Daveland said...

Walt sure knew how to work it! Great photos.

Chris Jepsen said...

colonyrabble: I doubt you can tell at this resolution, but his tie tack is the "STR" logo for Walt's Smoke Tree Ranch.

Chris Jepsen said...

I now have it on good authority that two of the other people in these shots are A.E. "Pat" Arnold, and Dick Haster.