Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas in Orange County

Before I give myself a little Christmas vacation from blogging, I'm posting an assortment of images from Orange County Christmases past. The image above shows the parlour of the Keech House at 201 E. Washington St. in Santa Ana in about 1910. It remains one of the city's most attractive homes even today. Among his various accomplishments, E. E. Keech was one of Orange County's first prominent attorneys. He also founded the Orange County Law Library, was a president and founding member of the Orange County Bar Association, and trained a young Earle Stanley Gardner (creator of Perry Mason) in the law. I'm sure I'll be writing more about Keech and his interesting family in the coming year.
The next photo shows the Irvine family home (current site of the Katie Wheeler Branch Library) at Christmas 1944. James Irvine's beloved hunting dogs are asleep under the tree.
The third photo, (below,) shows the Church of Reflections (next to the Lake of Reflections) at Knott's Berry Farm at Christmas in 1963. Both the church and the lake were recently removed, although bits of the church have been incorporated into a new version of the building on the other side of Beach Blvd. This removal, along with the removal of the Little Chapel by the Lake, meets the Constitutional requirement of separation of church and theme park.
My final image for today, (below,) shows Santa Claus visiting the Orange County Board of Supervisors at the County Hall of Administration in December 1988. Supervisors Tom Riley and Don Roth are contributing gifts to a toy drive. Later, Roth resigned in a scandal that involved him accepting gifts.
If I don't post again before the 25th, I'd like to wish you all a Merry Christmas!


giddy girlie said...

I love the "separation of church and theme park" which is even more hilarious because we saw the ice skating show at Knott's last week and there is a whole pitch for Christianity in it (I know that most of it is taken from the Peanuts Christmas Special, but it was weird to see a giant Linus on ice skates telling us to believe in Jesus). :) Happy holidays!!

The Viewliner Limited said...

A Christmas message from Richard on board the Viewliner Limited:

May this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note
and make way for a fresh and bright new year.

Here's wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

outsidetheberm said...

Nice evening shot of The Church of Reflections. You might be happy to learn that the offspring of the large (now removed) Eucalyptus tree you see in front of the structure are currently growing here with us at the ranch - all raised from seed!

Matterhorn1959 said...

Happy Holidays Chris! Thanks for all the goodness you post all year long!

colony rabble said...

A very Merry Christmas to Chris and the Beautiful Artist. Here's to more history in 2009!

James said...

I think the Keech Christmas photo was taken 1917. E.E. Keech died that year (his portrait can be seen under the tree). The age of the people in the photo also date it: Douglas Keech (standing left), Amelia Keech (seated, hand on floor), Helen Keech holding her infant Patricia, Royal (in train track), Madelaine (seated, with sailor collar), and Hugh Keech seated at the piano with his wife Lucia.