Sunday, June 13, 2010

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Well, we have a new winner in our latest Mystery Spot. Steve Gerrard, a regular in the Mystery Spot feature, was the first to get the location correct. Good job Steve! Yes it is the Woman’s Club building on the southeast corner of Johnson and Center. Obviously, it was built in 1952.

Now for the new one – ready, set, go!
1) This feature is on a building that sits on a corner.
2) Sunday the building seems to be quite popular
3) It is about a block away from the old Tulare County Courthouse site.
4) Many seniors live nearby
Good Luck!

Local Stage Robber Leads Life of Crime
Parker Anderson recently refreshed my memory on a Visalia bad man who eventually found, no got justice in Colorado. His name was Allen Downen and he had a history of crime starting in 1873 with the robbery of a Visalia to Tulare stage. He was arrested, tried, and found guilty. Downen went to San Quentin State Prison but escaped. He later led a life of crime throughout the west including murder in Colorado and narrowly avoided capital punishment in that state. Parker mentioned that there is a biographical book about this outlaw called Star of Blood, but is hard to find, but he mentioned that the full text of the book can be found in within another book called “Silver Dollar Tabor: A Leaf in the Storm” by Evelyn Furman. Thanks Parker, for passing this along.

Visalia Blacksmith Leaves Town and Ends Up In, Well….
Recently, Shelly contacted me and indicated she is doing some genealogical work and is on the hunt for information on a Visalia blacksmith named Burlin Pierce. According to information it looks like he was a blacksmith in Visalia during the 1850s on what is now E. Main Street (which is at the far end of the street in this photo). Apparently he left Visalia about 1861 and was found in 1880 with his throat cut and his body at the bottom of a well in Clay City, Illinois. Shelly would appreciate any more information about his Visalia blacksmithing days.

Packwood Photo Surfaces
Some time back Dan Hogan shared a copy of a photograph he had of Elisha Packwood and his wife Paulina. I had not seen the photo before, so I was thrilled to get it. The Packwood name goes back to very early Tulare County. The Packwoods lived southeast of Visalia in the 1850s. The Butterfield Overland Stage changing station stop, located within just a few miles of Visalia, took the Packwood name. The exact location for Packwood Station has never been found. The Packwoods were a prominent family in Tulare County.
Dan has quite a bit of information about the family and is willing to share. Thanks Dan

***Alan George tells me that Visalia artist Sam Pena is working on a replacement statue that would be placed on the pedestal that now sets empty at the entrance to Mooney Grove Park. Now just the base remains where the old Pioneer once stood. Sure would be nice to see something occupy that site again.

***Paul Fry, manager of the Fox Theatre, and several Fox supporters have been working on balcony bathroom upgrades at the old theater. When they are finished with the upgrades it should “relieve” a lot of bathroom pressure in the future.

***Michael Lewis of here in Visalia shared a couple of old local newspapers. One was the Visalia Times Delta from 1969 and the headline read, “Moon—Small Step for Man…Giant Leap for Mankind.” The other a Tulare Advance Register newspaper from 1949 and it featured on the front page Tulare’s own Bob Mathias. A couple of good ones Michael, and thanks.

“A very dangerous practice is indulged in here—that of breaking wild mustangs in the streets, thereby endangering the lives of pedestrians, children, etc.” Visalia Delta, October 29, 1859