Friday, February 6, 2009

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Mysterious Sign Revealed – Billboard?

Some of you may remember the old barns along the road advertising “Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco”. Well, it seems Visalia has its own version of that billboard. No, it isn’t “mail pouch”, but instead “L. Guggenhime Dealer in Wagons, Farming Implements & Grain”. These words were discovered recently on a building wall that is believed to have been the old Pioneer Warehouse. When the building to the east was torn down on the northwest corner of Willis and School, the sign was revealed. Miles Shuper, a longtime reporter for the Valley Voice, wrote about it as did Lew Griswold, a veteran reporter for the Fresno Bee. The faded sign is somewhat mysterious because I have not found the name Guggenhime ever in Visalia history. My belief is that the wall was used as a billboard for the L. Guggenhime Co., perhaps out of San Francisco. A Historic Happenings (HH) subscriber, Brian Stone, who lives in San Francisco found the name L. Guggenhime in the 1890 San Francisco Directory at 1119 Post. Another subscriber, Patrick Barszcz, found that L. Guggenhime was a partner in a gold mine. But the mystery of the sign remains. Why was the ad in Visalia and why on this building? As always, any help would be appreciated.



Mooney Grove Park is 100 Years Old

In 1909, the Mooney family sold the land that is now Mooney Grove Park to the County of Tulare for a bargain price on the condition it would become and remain a park. It did and it has, and now this famous hangout is celebrating its centennial. Mila Magana, Tulare County Donations Coordinator, is working on a suitable event to celebrate. More information will follow on the centennial activity as it becomes available. One more thing: Recently I found a newspaper article from 1893 announcing a picnic at Mooney’s Grove, a full 16 years before it became a county park!




More Tunnels!!!!

Recently, a subscriber to HH asked for help. He indicated that he had looked “down the hatch” in the foyer of L. J. Williams Theatre some time back and there appeared to be doorway structures at both ends of the basement. He indicated that the doorways appeared to be filled with sand, dirt and debris, perhaps covering what may have been passageways or tunnels. He couldn’t see beyond the doorways, but is curious to know if there were passage ways or tunnels beyond those doorways. Is there anyone who might know about possible tunnels? As some of you know, the building that is now L. J. Williams Theatre was originally the Montgomery Auditorium and it was built in 1932. In 1972, the building was refurbished into the L. J. Williams. The site on which the theater sets has been part of a high school campus since 1910. Any information on these mysterious passageways would be appreciated.



Another Celebration –70 Years
in Recreation

John Bradley, Recreation Supervisor for the City of Visalia has informed me that the Parks & Recreation Dept is celebrating its 70th Anniversary. Starting in 1939, the department has operated under many names, but they have always been the lead agency providing recreation activities to the community. Their responsibility is broad, but the most visible part of their duties is the care of 42 parks and 249 acres of developed parkland. John is looking for any historical park photographs to add to the photo archives of the department. If you are willing to share, please contact him at 713-4585. More Parks and Recreation history can be found at http://www.ci.visalia.ca.us/civica/filebank/blobdload.asp?BlobID=6640




Assorted



{{}} It looks like the fundraising goal for the Robin Fountain at the Tulare County Library in Visalia has been reached. Now we just need to find a vendor who can install the pump/ filtration system. It is anticipated that there will be a re-dedication of this interesting piece of art in April, the date to be announced.

{{}} Ground has been broken and construction has begun for the new agricultural museum at Mooney Grove Park. Just south of the existing museum grounds, you can see dirt flying.

{{}} I have contacted the only known relative of Celia Miller in Arizona and am still waiting to hear from her family to see if it’s okay to publish the Miller story in Arizona. I’ll keep you posted.

{{}} A couple of weeks ago I heard from John Bianco, an HH subscriber, who said he happened to be watching TV and a commercial came on for “Carhill.” As he watched, the commercial flashed photographs of old time diners and one of them was Mearle’s Drive-In. The old 1940 drive-in may be idle now, but it continues to be symbolic of an earlier age. Thanks John, for the heads up.



Dogs—Our town is overrun with that most intolerable nuisance—a surplus of dog flesh. We are the friend of intelligent, respectable canines, but as for these “curs of low degree,” we are decidedly down on them, and hope that some philanthropic individual will devise a speedy and effectual plan to abbreviate their sojourn with us. September 7, 1862, Visalia Equal Rights Expositor




4 comments:

Patrick Gorman said...

The Montgomery Auditorium is one of the stages on which I first performed as an actor and dancer. I started high school on the campus where the theatre/auditorium was located. I did plays, talent shows, performed in COS musicals and saw my first professional traveling stage company performance there. Many happy memories. I am a professional actor of some 60 years and I even vote for the Oscars. I'm still at it, in fact. And for me, it all started here and at the Fox Theatre. Thanks for the memories.

Patrick Gorman said...

The Montgomery Auditorium is one of the stages on which I first performed as an actor and dancer. I started high school on the campus where the theatre/auditorium was located. I did plays, talent shows, performed in COS musicals and saw my first professional traveling stage company performance there. Many happy memories. I am a professional actor of some 60 years and I even vote for the Oscars. I'm still at it, in fact. And for me, it all started here and at the Fox Theatre. Thanks for the memories.

Nuri Banu said...

Great!

Nuri Banu said...

The total arrangement is so cute! I love Wunder Bar—A Wunderful Discovery!
perfect trip