Thursday, May 6, 2010

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Congratulations go out to Carl Switzer who was the first to correctly identify the location of the fire department marker. This marker was taken from one of the old fire department buildings and now is mounted near the site of the old fire station near Church and Acequia. The nice old marker has been preserved over the years and now is on a wall of the Convention Center near the old fire station site.

For those of you ready to tackle a new mystery spot, here is a much easier one. You probably don’t need many clues, but I’m going to provide some just in case. On what building can this architectural feature be found?
1) The building fronts a street that was once called Cottonwood Street
2) The building’s architectural style is called Spanish Colonial Revival
3) The building is located across the street from the site of the old Carnegie Library.
4) There is a large herd of elephants inside this building.

Old Home Photograph Disappears
Melanie Nelson owns a Victorian home at 614 S Court Street and passed along that some years ago she obtained an old photograph of her house taken in the horse and buggy days. She proudly framed the photograph and displayed it on a shelf in her front porch. Recently, she discovered the old photograph was missing—apparently someone had taken it. She put a note on the front gate encouraging the person who took it to return it to her, but no luck, so now she’s asking if by any chance anyone has another old copy of her house photograph. She knows it is a long shot but she is proud of her home and would like to get another copy. Email me, if you can help and I will pass it along to her. The photograph shown here is one taken out of the Visalia Heritage book when the house was photographed about 20 or so years ago.

Home Needed for Old Musical Instrument
Susan Mangini, recently mentioned her grandfather, Glenn A. Stanton, who was the leader of the American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps in Lindsay, and her father, Glenn Jr., a member of the Corps. They passed down this instrument to her. She calls it a xylophone and she is looking for a home for it. Her hopes are to place it in a school or museum or with some musical instrument buff that appreciates this type of instrument. If you have an idea for it, please contact Susan directly at Susan wonders if this could have been used on a wheeled cart and played in a marching band. If that’s the case, maybe it even rolled along Main Street in Visalia, who knows? Or maybe, just maybe, Professor Harold Hill used this when he was organizing the River City Boy’s Band. (I added this for all of you Music Man fans?)

Feast Your Eyes on this Beauty
JM and Peggy Bragg surprised me the other day with a real treat. They had an original TAD’s menu. TAD’s as you know turned into Mearles. TAD’s, a name formed from the first initials of the 3 brothers who opened the famous restaurant in 1940. Ted, Abe, and Dick Beshwate owned the restaurant until about 1946, then it became “D’s”. So this menu dates back to that period. Take a look, New York steak dinners $1.35 or a milkshake for 20 cents. Amazing keepsake here. Thanks to the Braggs for being such packrats and sharing the loot with all of us.

Eleanor Bergthold recently shared that her grandfather, Orlando Moore, was one of the early residents of the area just north of Tulare Ave and Giddings. Orlando obviously owned considerable property in the area and as the streets developed he was given naming rights on at least one existing street. Raymon was one of Orlando’s sons, became the namesake for the Visalia street named Raymon. It is a short street, 2 blocks long, and runs east off of Giddings to Sowell. By the way, when Raymon was born there was discussion within the family as to whether his name should have a “d” on the end. Orlando thought that by leaving the “d” off, it would “save a lot of writing over the years.”

Historic Visalia Walking Trail Brochure
In 2005, Edmund “Eddy” Gubler completed his Eagle Scout project called the “Historic Visalia Walking Trail.” He identified many of Visalia’s historic locations, marked and described them, then created a self-guided brochure, allowing Visalians as well as visitors a way to enjoy Visalia’s historic points of interest. Jostens did a very professional job of printing the brochure and the supply of brochures was quickly exhausted. Now Leslie Caviglia, Visalia Deputy City Manager, has announced the good news, “Jostens recently reprinted the Historical Walking Tour that Ed Gubler did. We have some at our office [ Visalia City Hall ], and the Downtown Visalians have some. It’s a great brochure and I wanted to let you know that it’s available again. Ed is coming to the May 17 council meeting to announce that it has been reissued.” That is good news and those of you who don’t have a copy, make sure you stop by and get one. I’m sure they will have them at the council meeting on the 17th, so stop by then and you can get Ed’s autograph on it at the same time.

***Speaking of the Visalia Airport during World II, and by the way we have been doing a lot of that in the last postings of HH, but its all interesting and Carl Switzer shared the following: “I was about 11 years old and my father had the contract to deliver gas and oil to the contractor that built the air base and the large dirt areas where they housed the planes. The planes were night fighters. I used to ride on the gasoline truck with father as they had to deliver oil and gas to keep the big carry alls and bulldozers running twenty-four hours a day as they were in a hurry to complete the project and get the airbase operational. It was during the winter and the guards at the gate were cold as they had to stand duty around the clock. The guards dug a hole in the ground and my dad would give them some stove oil that they would pour in the hole, then toss a match in, and they would have a warm fire for a few hours. I believe Gordon Ball was the construction company.”

***Also about the airport, Dana Lubich shared a website that lists all the aircraft that flew out of the Visalia Airport during the war. Other interesting information also. Here is the website.

“H. Sumida & Co., General Merchandise—Center & Bridge sts. Wood, General Fuel Supplies—explosives a specialty—Call Main 217 prompt delivery.” Advertisement in the Visalia Morning Delta, February 5, 1915. (Editorial comment: You just don’t find outlets for explosives that much anymore!)

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