Monday, August 1, 2011

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Congratulations go to Joseph Vicenti who was the first to get the latest mystery spot. He correctly identified the old brick building located on the west side of West Street between Main and Center streets—probably best known as the Wilson’s Cyclery building.

The next mystery spot should be easier. Here are the clues:
1) It is located on Studebaker Corner
2) Divine intervention helped to save this building
3) At one time this building was connected to “Monkey Wards.”
4) Toys played a big part in this building’s history.
Good luck.

Things Go Better With Coke
Art Browning, a loyal follower of HH, worked for Coca Cola from 1959-1969 delivering coke products throughout Visalia and the general area. As a result, he knows a lot about Visalia’s earlier businesses and buildings. Here is his 1953 era International delivery truck in front of the company location at 1020 E. Acequia (northwest corner of Edison and Acequia). The local Coke Company was owned by Coca Cola of Fresno. Building still stands today but hardly is connected to Coke. Thanks, Art for sharing.

Grant Street
Huet & Ethyl Grant inherited land from the S. J. Kelly estate. The Grants grew Thompson grapes, boysenberries, dried raisins and had walnuts in the mid 1940s. They also raised chickens. When this land (just south of Mt. Whitney High School) was subdivided, Grant Street began appearing on the maps.

Better Kaweah Hospital Photographs Surface
In the last HH, I displayed a fairly poor photograph of the Kaweah Hospital. Marian Cote found a couple better photos that I want to share. They are part of the “California’s New Deal Project.” Sure glad they found these pictures. In the aerial shot the hospital is in the foreground and you’ll notice the Fox Theatre in the background. Thanks for finding these photographic treasurers, Marian.

Interior View of the Palace Hotel
Back in May, HH included a couple interior pictures of the Hotel Johnson. Since then I have had a request from Kaci, an HH follower, for an interior photo of the Palace Hotel. The Palace dates back to 1876. It has gone through a number of remodels and changes, but the building still stands on the northeast corner of Main and Court. Notice the old picture hanging on the wall.

What Happened to the Playhouse at Recreation Park?
Sue Browning, Art’s wife, remembers a little playhouse that was at Recreation Park in about 1945. It was near the swimming pool and she wonders what happened to it. Sue is the little girl by the playhouse in this photograph. You can see the railroad tracks in the background near where the recreation building is today on Jacob Street. Anyone know where the playhouse went?

*** Melba Moss Bishop, a former Visalian, use to live with her grandmother, Ona Moss, in a little house in a little area called Ben Maddox Way Courts or Cabins. Melba is trying to find out where the “courts” or “cabins” area was. There was a little store in front with gas pumps and the cabins were placed in a circle.
***Thanks to all of you who passed along your combined high school graduation ceremony information. It was very helpful.
***The McDonald’s Café item in a past HH brought out lots of memories. The photograph of McDonald’s Café on Main brought out memories but the McDonald’s Drive-In at 110 No. Floral (Center and Floral) stirred some interest also. Sure like to see a picture of the drive-in.
***Norm Atkins did some detective work on the last HH photo of orange shaped Reed & Bell. He noted that on the Fox Theatre marquee it said Chester Morris & Virginia Grey. He found out that the movie was Thunder Afloat released in 1939. He concluded that because the Fox played first run movies, 1939 would be the date of the photograph. Good work, Norm.

With no new cases reported since Saturday, the poliomyelitis epidemic in Visalia appeared to be on the wane today. The fact that the outbreak is apparently under control is expected to result in the lifting of the ban on amusement centers, and it is reported that the city council may take action at a meeting to be held tomorrow night recommending that health authorities allow theatres, dance halls and other establishments to reopen after being closed for the past two weeks.  Visalia Times Delta August 26, 1935.

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