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Congratulations go out to Erin Hayden who was the first to get the fire escape correctly identified as the latest Mystery Spot. The fire escape is in the alley between Midtown Sports and Links. Nice work, Erin.
1) This building was built in 1921 at a cost of $75,000.
2) It has an occupancy limit of 220.
3) It was built by R. C. Palmer and D. A. Schlemmer
4) Thirty tons of steel and 5 cars of cement were used in reinforcing the building.
Where is this building? Good luck.
Mt. Whitney Power Co. Photographs Online
Tie Rods and Wall Washers
I know the title of this story sounds like a heavy metal band, but it is not. For many years I have been interested in old buildings. I guess it’s the history they represent but the architectural features are also of interest to me. One feature I have been particularly interested in is a small almost trivial aspect of these buildings. It is the metal plates/caps found generally toward the top of brick buildings. Many old brick buildings have them and if you look inside the building you can sometimes see the metal rods that run through the building and attach to these plates or caps. The rods and caps are building supports and their purpose is to keep the building from “bowing in or out.” Basically, these rods and caps help keep the building “plumb.” I have talked with many people about these over the years trying to find out what they are called but up t this point, no one has been able to tell me. Recently, I communicated with Philip Vallejo, an architectural historian with the state of California and he suggested they could be called “tie rods and wall washers.” I now have a name for these features and I thank Philip for that. The photos that you see are all “wall washers” that can be found in some of Visalia’s old brick buildings. Let me know if you can find any more. In places outside of Visalia, I have seen more decorative ones in the shape of stars, etc.
1873 Assessor’s Book – A Treasure Trove
G & I—An Old Visalia Market
Miles Shuper—A Well-known Journalist
As many of you know, Miles Shuper reported on Visalia and Tulare County news for a long time. He actually began his career as a journalist in 1967 working for the Visalia Times Delta. Later he reported for the Valley Voice and is well-known for his regular column called “Miles Around.” I first got to know him when he was a police reporter for the Delta in the early 1970s. Miles has left the newspaper business and the area and is now living on his family property near historic Knight’s Ferry in Stanislaus County. Recently I paid him a visit at his family homestead. He gave me a nice tour of the area and we had an enjoyable day. This story is not really Visalia history, but Miles Shuper is part of Visalia history and I thought I’d give you an update on a man whose byline will forever be referred to by future Visalia and Tulare County historians. Note the street sign in this photograph, and yes, I’m sure you agree that it is nice to know Miles is still “around.”
Cattle Country Means Rodeo
Visalia and the surrounding area has been rodeo country for many years. It comes with being cattle country. As an example, the Visalia Delta newspaper reported in August 1859, “This is the season for the stock raisers to collect their cattle and separate them for the purpose of branding and marking young stock. Every few days, there is a rodeo somewhere on the plains for that purpose.” Even though these early rodeos involved hard work, without a doubt they offered the cowboys a chance to show off their skills and have some fun. Their rodeos took place in makeshift corrals on the open range, much different from the rodeo grounds of today.
A good friend, Guy Shelly, recently shared a rodeo ticket he had saved from the 1942 Visalia rodeo. I doubt that many of these have survived over the years. Thanks, Guy, for saving this one, and for reminding us of our rodeo tradition.
***Thanks also to all of you who helped determine the approximate date of the Visalia brochure in the last HH. Consensus seems to be that it was published about 1968, give or take.
***Just as a point of information, the alley behind Links/Midtown Sports was known as Shinbone Alley in at least the 1890s. (Apparently, it was named that because of a butcher shop located right off of the alleyway.)
***Doug Rains mentioned the Standard Oil fire at Santa Fe and Houston. He was wondering when it occurred. It actually started on Wednesday morning December 1, 1971. It was a big one, but fortunately there were no deaths or injuries, but lots of property damage, though.