Friday, May 27, 2011

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Art Browning correctly identified the last mystery spot as the old Purity Store building on the northeast corner of Center and Court streets. Congratulations, Art! This is two in a row for you.

Check out the new mystery spot. I don’t think you can miss this one. Here are the clues:
1) Julius Levy was an early founder of the organization that continues to occupy the building.
2) It was known as the Brown Building for many years because it was built by Samuel Carr Brown.
3) The building at one time housed the Model Department Store
4) The building had a serious fire in 1949.
Where is this building? Good luck!

Kaweah Hospital
Art Browning and Barbara Hinds Joseph both shared early recollections of old Visalia and both mentioned the early Kaweah Hospital. Barbara in fact was born there, and so was Pauline Crutts Bowers. Art recalls after it ceased being a hospital it was converted to an apartment building called the Victoria Apts. Art and his wife rented the old operating room after the Brownings were married in 1958. By the way, the old Kaweah Hospital served from 1921-1937 and its address was 415 W. School, where the Visalia Times Delta is now. Before becoming a hospital in 1921, it was owned by J. V. Garcia and some still refer to it as the Garcia Home. Before the Garcias, it was owned by Donald Malloch.

Woolworths/Sam Goody—Visalia Fair Mall
In the last issue of HH, I mentioned that an HH follower asked about a photograph of Woolworths and Sam Goody, businesses in the old Visalia Fair Mall. I actually had a photo showing Woolworth’s located on the north side of the mall. Regarding Sam Goody, I’m told it was where Red Robin is now. I have found no exterior photographs, but here is an interior photo showing, on the left Karen Russell Kirkpatrick and on the right Ann Celery Hansen, both Sam Goody employees in the mid 1980s. Notice the shelves lined with music cassette tapes—almost all museum pieces now. Karen is a faithful HH follower and thanks for allowing me to share this photograph. One other historical point. Visalia Fair Mall reportedly was the first of the San Joaquin Valley’s air conditioned mall shopping centers. It was built in 1964.

Old Visalia Illustrated Map
Recently, native Visalian, Alan George gave me a copy of a historically illustrated map of Visalia. It is marked Visalians, Inc. 1992 on the lower right corner. Very nicely done with great artwork. Anyone know who did the artwork? Thanks Alan.

Interior Hotel Johnson—A Beauty on the Inside, too.
In the last HH, the Hotel Johnson was featured. In its heyday, it was a real beauty and James Hitchcock asked about interior photos. Here are a couple during its glory days in 1938. As mentioned before, it was located on the northeast corner of Main and Church streets and built in 1917. A fire destroyed it in 1968. By the way, Nancy Barnes mentioned that her aunt and uncle ate every lunch and dinner at the hotel for over 20 years. That’s pretty amazing!

***A couple of postings back of HH, I mentioned the “Blood Bucket.” HH follower George Reece recalls a bar near Linnell Camp unofficially called the “Blood Bucket.” He was a liquor control officer in the early 1950s and recalls the bar acquired the rather descriptive name Blood Bucket for obvious reasons.
***After several years of preliminary work, the Home Builders Tract of homes just north of Mt. Whitney is edging closer to historic status. The 100+ homes represent 1920s and 1930s architectural and deserve recognition as a historic district. The area lies between Watson and Conyer and Mineral King and Myrtle streets.
***Pauline Crutts Bowers would like to know if anyone knew any member of the Cigrand and Crutts families of Visalia. Let me know and I’ll pass along the information.
***Art Browning shared that he thought the Visalia Chicken Hawks team was a girls softball team. Any former Chicken Hawks out there?
***Erin Hayden believes Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, after a Visalia Country Club Golf Tournament, visited the Crowe’s.

The Slop Man

Slowly he drives around the town
With his ill-smelling load,
And as he goes a trail of filth
Streaks and defiles the road.
A scene like this disturbs one’s nose
And aggravates one’s sight;
The city dads should make the chap
Pursue his rounds at night.
Visalia Daily Morning Delta, February 25, 1897

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