Monday, December 22, 2008

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Well, It’s Done and It's A Beauty!

Local author Bill Allen has provided the Tulare County Historical Society with the much anticipated reprint of the Michael Mooney book. This is a limited reprint, so if you missed the first printing in 2002, don’t miss this one. It has beautiful red leather hard covers with gold print, and is autographed. The books are available through the Tulare County Historical Society, and for HH subscribers, you’re welcome to make arrangements for pickup in Visalia. $24.95 for the reprint or $39.95 for both volumes 1 and 2, plus tax. If you want it shipped, we can do that too. Call for more information (559) 732-5829. Still a couple of days left before Christmas, so don’t miss this one.

Prominent Arizona Man Loses His Daughter to Suicide

Some time back I asked a friend in Arizona about a pioneer family that was prominent in his home state. The family had a wayward daughter named Celia who came to Visalia and associated with a less than desirable crowd. She ended up taking her own life and is buried at the Visalia Cemetery (1892). Her story is interesting and tragic and is one that has been circulating here for quite a while. But a new wrinkle has surfaced. Some of Celia’s descendents are still alive and live near the family’s homestead in Arizona and probably do not know the fate of their unfortunate young relative. And likely don’t know the Visalia connection. Celia’s death was apparently not reported in the Arizona newspapers probably because of the family embarrassment it would cause. I have been asked to write an article about Celia and the circumstances surrounding her death, but I’m waiting to hear from historians of that area to make sure it’s not going to be uncomfortable for the living descendents. Cecil’s father is pictured at the left. I will fill you in on the details when I can share them.

History Sells!

On December, 13, 2008, local history books were flying off the shelves at the Visalia Costco store. Six local authors gathered to talk with fans and sign their books. Lots of Christmas wishes will be satisfied as result of that day, I’m sure. Rarely does one get an opportunity to have such a gathering in one location. Thanks Costco and especially Jon Carlton for making this nice event possible. After witnessing the event, it’s pretty clear to me—history is popular and it sells. [Shown left to right are: Robin Roberts, John Bergman, Bill Secrest, Ron Hughart, Chris Brewer, Jay O'Connell]

Visalia’s First Officer Killed in the Line of Duty

On November 5, 1946, Visalia Police Sergeant Charles “Hugh” Garrison was shot and killed by a stolen vehicle suspect in the alley by the Garden Street Plaza. He was the first Visalia police officer killed in the line of duty and for a long time there has been talk about placing a permanent plaque in his honor near the site of the shooting. Interest is building to make it happen. Details are being worked out, so please stay tuned. Were you a witness to any part of the incident, or did you hear family stories about this tragic event? I’d like to hear from you.


{{}} “Mystery Post” puzzle solved? David Miller, a Historic Happenings subscriber, believes the mystery post at Liberty and Main Street was probably a post that held a post office “collection box”. The metal box is gone; probably removed years ago. Thanks to David Miller, the mystery surrounding the post appears to be solved, and we appreciate his effort on this. One question I still have though, is why are there no more of these posts remaining? Well, Joseph, looks like the mystery is solved. Any more for us to work on?

{{}} In the last HH, I mentioned a group of local photographs that had surfaced. A couple depicted Gilmore Oil trucks at the CTC Battery Shop at 114 No. West Street. I shared these photos with the Gilmore Co. archivist in LA, and he was thrilled to add them to their collection. Gilmore oil and gas products were very popular here, and he sent a list of all the Gilmore stations in the area.

{{}} We are off and running! The new Tulare County agriculture and farm labor museum bid was awarded to Webb & Sons out of Porterville, so ground breaking cannot be far behind. Historical material is being sought from you and others that can help tell Tulare County’s agricultural story. If you have a family history in agriculture, we’d love to hear from you. Now is your chance to highlight your family and get them recognized in the museum.

There are a least twelve specimens of humanity in this town that have not done a day’s work in the past two years. It does not seem that it would be hard to convict them of vagrancy. Visalia Delta, February 28, 1892.

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