Tuesday, March 30, 2010

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Thanks for visiting Historic Happenings! If you are not on the email list yet, and would like to be notified via email when a new posting of this newsletter is made, please email Terry Ommen at histerry@comcast.net. I will add you to the list. I will not share your email address with anyone without your permission.

Congratulations go out to Peter Cowper who was the first to correctly identify the Mystery Spot as the Visalia sign at the top of the Depot Restaurant. Good job Peter.

For those of you ready for the next Mystery Spot challenge, here it is. Where is this tank located? Here are some clues:
1) It is connected to a building officially opened in 1924.
2) The building to which this tank is connected has many ornate art deco features inside.
3) The building is on a corner.
4) The numbers of the address of the building, when added together become a “prime number.”

Another Visalia Church Anniversary Coming Up!
In 1961 Christ Lutheran Church began in Visalia. It started small, meeting at various downtown locations and eventually the congregation bought land on Tulare Ave just west of Demaree, and it was there they built their church building, which is where the church stands today. In 2011, the church will celebrate its golden anniversary and I am in the process of writing a 50-year history of the church. I would appreciate any information that you may have about Christ Lutheran Church.

The Save Mearle’s Effort Joins Visalia Heritage, Inc.
The effort to save Mearle’s College Drive-In has made a positive step forward. Rather than create a new organization, the group has affiliated with Visalia Heritage, Inc. to work toward saving Mearle’s. This is a very important step. Visalia Heritage has a very positive reputation in the community and has a very enviable list of accomplishments. By the way, TAD’s opened in September 1940, and so in just a few short months, the building that became Mearle’s will be 70 years old. Sounds like a celebration to me! For the fun of it, Google Mearle’s Visalia on the internet and see what happens. There is no question about it, Mearle’s has been a positive influence in our community and needs to be again.

ViZalia or Visalia?
Recently, Rob Hansen asked a very interesting question about the correct pronunciation of the name Visalia. We’ve all heard non-locals pronounce it and in some cases slaughter it. Or did they? Those that live here, have a certain way of pronouncing it, but how did Visalians living here in 1853 pronounce it? How would Nathaniel Vise have pronounced it? ViZalia or Visalia or ? I really don’t know the answer to that, and I really don’t know how to find out. Anyone have a clue? But the question got me thinking. Maybe there are some HH followers who have never seen photographs of Nathaniel Vise or his wife, Matilda, so here they are. Nat Vise of course is considered the namesake for our town.

War Memories Abound
All the talk in past HH newsletters about Sequoia Field, World War II and the military use of the Visalia Airport, brought back memories for Rita Loffland Cooley and her sister Janet Loffland Moffett. Both lived here as children in their home near Willis and Oak streets during the war. Rita recalls having trains coming from Goshen into Visalia at night, pass her home and as they did , she and Janet “would crawl to the foot of our bed, put our pillows in the windowsill and watch the servicemen sitting at the [train] windows.” The soldiers were reporting for duty at Sequoia Field and were being dropped off at the train depot [now the Depot Restaurant]. Rita remembers Visalia streetlights painted over to dim the light they emitted. She also remembers saving tinfoil and string. Bed sheets were hard to come by and she recalls standing in line with her mom at Montgomery Wards on Main Street hoping to buy a set. Janet recalls the crescent shaped mounded enclosures at the airport which she thought were created to protect the parked aircraft. But she’s anxious to know more about the enclosures as well. Janet also asked if anyone knew what happened to a man named Eddie Nolan (sp?) who was an instructor at Sequoia Field. He was also connected to the First Christian Church in Visalia. Can anyone help Janet? She also believes that after the war the Sequoia Field buses became Visalia’s buses used in their first municipal rapid transit system. By the way, this World War II era Visalia airport photograph shows the airport during the war years. Sure looks like protective enclosure for the planes or maybe gun enclosures, or both. Thank you Dana Lubich for taking this photo from the photo hanging in the pilot's lounge at the Visalia Airport.

***Peggy Perazzo discovered HH because I had previously mentioned the granite quarry at Rocky Point Granite Works near Exeter. She has a website dealing with stone quarries and in this website she lists 17 pages of stone quarries in Tulare County and has some photographs. As you recall, much of Visalia’s granite curbing, building trim, etc. came from the Rocky Point Granite Works. Take a look at her website at http://quarriesandbeyond.org/states/ca/quarry_photo/ca-tulare_photos.html

***Bill Allen who is writing a sesquicentennial history of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Visalia, will stop at nothing in his pursuit of historic morsels. He has apparently found a “bone yard” of old church building blocks that were salvaged from an earlier church building demolition.

***Recently I had a contact from a biographer looking for information on George Bucknam Dorr. According him, Dorr was a member of a trans-Sierra group in 1904 who started their 3-week journey to Mt Whitney from Visalia. Dorr became the founder and first Superintendent of Acadia National Park in the state of Maine. Visalia has played host to many prominent visitors.

“The Oak will be on sale for three weeks beginning Monday, January 12 and closing definitely January 30. There will be one and only one sale, and in order to get your Oak at the close of school you must pay your $1.25 to one of the salesmen on the campus.
Price Remains Same
The price of your yearbook has remained the same, $1.25. Oaks may be purchased from these salesmen: Nishon Moorvartian, Alene Smith, Eula Lee Hiner, Masahara Hashimoto, Jim Cook, Clement Renzi, Maurine Condit, Mada Faucet, Janice Condit, Elwood Cantrell, Ellen Nelson, and some members of the Oak staff.”
“The Pioneer” newspaper, Visalia High School, January 9, 1942.

1 comment:

Kaci Hansen said...

Nishon Moorvartian is my great-grandfather! I would love to see the newspaper that this was in. I miss him so very much.