Wednesday, March 6, 2013

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We have a new winner! Al Williams who just happened to be the co-editor of the Oak Yearbook in 1954 was the first to get the mystery spot correct. The mystery spot was the building that housed the Automobile Club of Southern California at 520 W. Mineral King. It was there for a number of years and in 2004 to was moved to make way for the multi-story Kaweah Delta hospital building that occupies the space now. The old Auto Club building now sets on the northeast corner of Oak and Stevenson streets (732 W. Oak). This mystery spot proved to be a very difficult one, so Al, good job!

Now for the new one. Here are the clues
1. This building served as a residence for Dr. James Combs and his wife.
2. It was built in about 1902.
3. It is a beautiful downtown office building now.
4. It has the building owner’s name in letters over the front entrance.
Where is this building? Good luck.

Visalia’s Fascinating and Mysterious Mill Creek
Not many towns can boast a creek flowing through the middle of it, but Visalia can. Mill Creek is one of the many water channels that are part of our area, creating a delta (Kaweah Delta.) Historically because of these channels we were right in the heart of what was known as Four Creeks Country. Mill Creek has quite a history. It has been the source of terrible grief and the cause for great pride. I am doing an article about the local waterway and I’d like to hear your stories and experiences with it. I especially want to hear from anyone who took inner tube rides through the subterranean channel as it flows underneath downtown buildings, parking lots and streets. Please email me your Mill Creek stories.

Lynne Brumit Shares Local History
Lynne Brumit has been an HH follower for a long time and she has also been a keeper of relics of local history for even longer. Recently, she shared many of her treasurers including her books, newspapers and memories. Even though she does not live in Tulare County now, she returns occasionally to visit friends. Of special interest to me was this 1983 Visalia calendar. As you can see, these 30-year old calendar features the City Council at the time. In that year Visalia had a population of slightly less than 55,000. Now we are over 125,000. Thanks Lynne for sharing your goodies.

Pioneers in Paradise – New Book by Sophie Britten
A new book has just been released written by Three Rivers native Sophie Britten. Pioneers in Paradise: A Historical and Biographical Record of Early Days in Three Rivers, California 1850s to 1950s is the only publication I know of that focuses on Three Rivers history. The book has been a long time overdue and Sophie was clearly the one to do it. Obviously Three Rivers is the focus, but Visalia also plays a role in the book. You can order Pioneers in Paradise by going to  Thanks Sophie for such a nice historical gift to Tulare County and especially Three Rivers.

John Shannon Gunned Down
Back in December of 2012 Ron Greenlee, a supervisor at the Visalia Cemetery, let his curiosity get the best of him. He had just read Wild Tulare County—Outlaws, Rogues and Rebels and when he got to the chapter about William G. Morris killing John Shannon over  a political dispute, he had to see if Shannon was buried at the Visalia Cemetery. He did the research and found out that Shannon was buried there and he was able to find the unmarked burial spot. He shared his discovery with his co-workers at the cemetery and they decided that Shannon needed a headstone. They got a headstone, contacted Ron Westbrook at Visalia Granite and Marble Works next door and he generously donated the labor to create the headstone. In the near future it will be placed on Shannon’s grave. Thanks Ron Greenlee and all the cemetery staff for the good research and putting in the effort. Thanks also Ron Westbrook and your crew at Visalia Granite for making the stone. By the way, Shannon had been a newspaperman in Auburn, California before coming to Visalia in 1859 and the Auburn Journal newspaper recently did a story on Ron Greenlee’s discovery, too.   See it at   I’m sure many of you read the nice local story in the Visalia Times Delta, February 26, 2013 written by Luis Hernandez.

***Thanks to all of you who provided information with respect to the hot dog stand that was in question in the last HH. Appreciate your effort on this.

 ***Barbara Hinds Joseph has asked about a distant relative named James S. Clack. He was married to Julia Hinds Clack. She (and me too) would love to have a photograph of him. He was an attorney and judge in Visalia. Can anyone help with a photograph or information about him?

“Doctors state that Visalia is in a good sanitary condition, and that there is very little sickness prevailing in the city, except in the southern portion, where a stinking slough breeds malaria.” Visalia Weekly Delta, October 22, 1891.

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