Let Me Introduce You To My Town-Civic Auditorium and Civic Park – Part 4

Last year, I found that Walmart was selling the game Hanfordopoly. It’s like Monopoly, but for my town. Well, I had to buy it! Then Lauren and I went around town and took pictures of each of the places on the game board. It was so much fun! I can’t wait to introduce you to our sweet little town and some of its history.

If you haven’t read the other My Town posts, you can read them here:

Part 1-Freddy the Firetruck and Carousel

Part 2– Hanford Mall

Part 3– Fox Theatre

Today I have our Civic Auditorium and Park. Isn’t this a beautiful building?

“This hall, known as the Civic Auditorium, was dedicated in 1924. It still stands today in downtown Hanford. The main auditorium is utilized extensively by community groups and organizations. In the early 1930s, following the trend of many communities, the Board of Trustees became known as the Hanford City Council. The Hanford Civic Auditorium is a great place for your special celebration, family reunion, reception or business meeting. The west wing seats 50 and the Main Hall seats 500. Built in 1924, this historic hall is said to be haunted by a few ghosts. Apparitions have been witnessed, including one man dressed in a 1940s suit and another who appears on the balcony as if watching a show. He applauds, then vanishes. And if you visit the men’s restroom, don’t be surprised if you hear disembodied voices discussing legal affairs.”

Okay. I’ve never seen or heard any ghosts, but apparently others have! I have been here for so many different events. Lauren had baton lessons here, there have been many Christmas Vendor Fairs I have attended and other types of receptions and concerts. This building is such a central part of my town.

I’ve included Civic Park in this post, It’s kind of hard to separate the two! The water in the fountain is so refreshing on a hot summer day here in the valley. The city Christmas Tree was just replanted and is right next to the fountain.

The old city jail is right across the park from the auditorium. Now this building is really supposed to be haunted!

“The name “Bastille” may churn up memories of childhood history lessons about the famed Paris prison stormed during the French Revolution.

But if you live in Kings County, chances are you might think of another jail – a former jail, actually – known as the “Bastille” in downtown Hanford.

Last week, the unique, red-brick building that looks like a castle, complete with a turret – hence, the nickname that has stuck for decades – was on the mind of the Hanford City Council, which voted to make the Court Street building in Civic Park surplus property.

It’s the first step in a process that could lead to the city putting the building up for sale, either to another public agency or private buyer.

But whoever buys the building will have considerable costs going in, as the Bastille hasn’t been occupied since 2009 due to structural problems that lead to it being vacated for safety concerns.

It has remained vacant since, and Hanford officials have said the building has continued to deteriorate.

That’s not surprising, as the Bastille is more than 120 years old, built by Kings County in 1897. It continued being used as a jail until 1964 “when the building was condemned following the discovery of the sheriff office’s ceiling strewn upon his desk and surrounding floor area,” leading to the construction of a new, larger jail and sheriff’s office in Hanford, according to WeirdFresno.com, one of several websites that identify the Bastille as being haunted.

“Could some of the prisoners who died here over the fifty-plus years still be roaming the building, claiming they are innocent and are trying to get anyone’s attention,” the website asks, noting incidents of kitchen staff reportedly seeing pots and pans move and feeling like someone was watching them after the Bastille became a restaurant.

“I have heard of that, but the city had nothing to do with that website,” Darlene Mata, Hanford’s community development director, said of the haunted building claims.

Kings County Supervisor Doug Verboon, whose mother worked at the Bastille in the 1970s when it was a bar, said, “it was haunted back then.”

City officials contacted couldn’t immediately provide much specific information about the Bastille’s history, but the WeirdFresno site states, “Over the years, the building has been home to several restaurants and nightclubs.”

As for how the former county jail came to be owned by the city, Verboon said Hanford had been leasing it from the county for $1 a year for several years and subletting it to businesses under an agreement that the city would handle and pay for the building’s upkeep.”

-The Business Journal-

This building sits right next to the Civic Auditorium and is the Veteran’s Memorial Building. Both of these buildings were built in the 1920’s. Unfortunately, the roof is in need of repair, so the building sits empty for now. It has been used for a senior center where they could meet for classes and Bingo. It was also used by the library to host reading for the kids each summer.

The park has hosted many events that go on in Hanford. It’s always a busy place and especially nice to enjoy a cold ice cream on a hot day! I hope you enjoyed this post. I would love to hear what you think!

Let Me Introduce You To My Town-Hanford Mall-Part 2

Last year, I found that Walmart was selling the game Hanfordopoly. It’s like Monopoly, but for my town. Well, I had to buy it! Then Lauren and I went around town and took pictures of each of the places on the game board. It was so much fun! I can’t wait to introduce you to our sweet little town and some of its history.

If you haven’t read Part 1, click here.

Today I am introducing you to the Hanford Mall. Our mall was built in 1993, after our old mall fell into disrepair. As you can see, we have some national chain stores, but we also have some smaller local stores inside the mall.

A little interesting tidbit-I worked at Big Five Sporting Goods for 7 years from the time they opened the store. I even helped set the store up at the very beginning! This mall was a big deal! There is an 8 screen movie theater, a food court and many different types of stores typical of a mall.

I’ve seen many stores come and go from the mall. Many I shopped at for my kids when they were small, like Mervyns, which JUST happened to be right next to Big 5. Also Forever 21 when my kids got older. It was a huge store that had taken over for a local department store, Gottschalks. Now Forever 21 is gone and the space has been divided up into small stores. Sears was also one of the anchor stores and now it sits empty. Our big stores now are Ross, J.C. Penny and Kohls.

I know the mall has struggled in the past and now again during the pandemic. But I think it will always be a great place to shop, or meet up with friends, or have a good meal. Do you have an indoor mall in your town? Is it large or just a small one like this one? I would love to hear about it! Thank you for coming by!

Let Me Introduce You To My Town-Part One

Let Me Introduce You To My Town- Freddy the Fire Truck- Part 1

Good morning! How is your new year going? Pretty much the same as last year? 🙂 We are still plugging along over here!

I thought I would try something a little different for the blog. I am still going to do crafts and decorate, but last year, I found that Walmart was selling the game Hanfordopoly. It’s like Monopoly, but for my town. Well, I had to buy it! Then Lauren and I went around town and took pictures of each of the places on the game board. It was so much fun! I can’t wait to introduce you to our sweet little town and some of its history.

Freddie the Fire Truck

 I found this history from our local newspapers website:

“For nearly two decades, Freddie the Fire Truck has offered Hanford tourists the opportunity to explore the city in a historical way.

Originally built in the 1950s and used as a fully functional Studebaker fire truck within the city, Freddie was donated to the Hanford Conference and Visitor Agency in the early 1990s.

Before it started providing rides to people from all over the world, a canopy and seats were added to the back of the truck. The original Studebaker engine and transmission were also replaced with a Chevrolet engine.

Dave Jones, former executive director with the Visitor Agency, said around 40 percent of Hanford tourists would use the antique fire truck while in town.

“I think it’s the most visual representation of how we’ve gone out of our way to save the historical things in Hanford,” Jones said. “It’s movable, it has people on it and it spreads a story… just like the carousel.” 

In 2012, financial issues and city contract problems forced the Visitor Agency to go on a hiatus. Rides on Freddie were also put on hold after increased insurance requirements were requested by the city. 

When the agency later closed its doors in 2013, Freddie was purchased by the Hanford Chamber of Commerce. Since then, Freddie has once again been able to provide visitors with a unique chance to tour Hanford.”

Freddie the Fire Truck

I’ve ridden on Freddie many times when I taught at the preschool. It was one of the field trips we would take every summer. You can also hear it unmistakable horn while Freddie toodles around town. Everyone love Freddie!

Hanford Carousel

I added the carousel with Freddie because they usually go together when people visit our town. The carousel is located in Civic Park and Freddie picks up riders at the park. I spent many times going round and round on this carousel. When my kids were small, before they were in school, you could ride the carousel for free every Friday morning. Needless to say, we were there a lot.

“HANFORD – Built in the 1930s, the Allan Herschell Carousel in Civic Center Park was originally located in Tulare County’s Mooney Grove Park for more than four decades. The wood and metal Art Deco-influenced design includes 30 jumping horses and two chariots. Although it has been used as a stationary feature, it was designed for disassembly and transport as a carnival ride.

The carousel was moved to Hanford in the mid-1980s as commercial developer Max Walden worked to restore of the Old Courthouse. At that time, the vintage attraction was already in disrepair. Several of the original horses were missing, as was the original serial number plate. Over the years the carousel has undergone numerous mechanical and cosmetic restorations to keep it looking and running in top condition.

Thanks to ongoing community support and donations, the decades-old carousel continues to serve thousands of riders every year, including school children from around the Valley.” Hanford Sentinel

I love that our little town works to preserve the past and its history! Does your town have any special history? Are you able to tour special places in your city? I would love to hear about it! Have a great week!

Great Grandma’s Vintage Trunk with Havenly

A few weeks ago I was inspired with an idea from Havenly, an online site with interior designers and decorators to serve you.  It’s a convenient, personal and affordable way to redecorate your home room by room. You can collaborate with professional interior designers on an online platform and they will work with you to decorate your home. I checked it out and it looks really cool! You can read a profile on each designer and pick one that fits your style and needs the best. If you are looking for someone to help you with your home, this is the perfect place to go.

I was asked to write a post about a piece of family history that I have and how I use it in my home. I showed you this vintage trunk before and now I thought I would tell you the story behind it. Here goes a little history lesson.

finds-and-fashions-quilt-and-trunk

Mary Amelia Thomas Goodrich traveled with her family from Wisconsin to Leadville, Co., where she met her husband Elliot Goodrich. From Leadville, they traveled to Aspen, Co., where they crossed Independence Pass. They eventually moved to an area of Aspen called Oklahoma Flats. I received this map of Aspen, Co. from my mom for my birthday. It was given to her by Aunt Hazel, the same aunt who had the trunk. The map is dated 1893. The arrow on the second picture points to where we believe Oklahoma Flats was located.

great grandma wooden trunk aspen mapgreat grandma wooden trunk aspen, co oklahoma flats

finds-and-fashions-quilt-green-trunk

Elliot was a miner, who would go up into the mountains and work. Mary Amelia, washed clothing for the Chinese railroad workers that worked in the area. There are stories about her crossing the river on the railroad trestle to deliver clothing, once even crossing while a train was barreling down the tracks!  They also lived on a dairy, but we aren’t sure if that meant 4 cows, or many cows, or if they even owned the dairy. They had 5 children, the oldest was Anna. She married Peter Kelsey in 1901 and my grandmother, Amelia was born here in 1903.

great grandma old travel trunk

When Amelia was just a year old, the family moved to Grand Valley, Co., which is now called Parachute. My great-grandparents would take any kind of job to earn money for their little family. While living here, a second daughter, Velma, was born, in 1905.

great grandma trunk with pillows

The family moved again, looking for a better life and headed further west. The stopped in Yarington, NV., where a third daughter, Hazel, was born in 1910. Less than a year later, in 1911, they traveled on, crossing over Donner Pass in their horse and open wagon. I can’t even imagine traveling with three small children, including an infant. While traveling through this area, a silver spoon was found. It reads Reno, NV. and Scenes of the Truckee is printed on the cup of the spoon.

great grandma trunk truckee spoon

 

Another story passed on by grandma-it was pouring down rain and her father stopped at a cabin to ask if they had a place where they could stay and get out of the rain. The man who answered the door was an Indian! He told them they could sleep right inside the cabin. My grandma remembered small chunks of mud falling down on them from the roof because the rain was coming down so hard. I wonder if her parents slept with one eye open that night!

great grandma wooden trunk blue peony dishes

They stopped again in Placerville where they worked until they could get enough money to move on. Anna worked at a motel and Velma remembered there were dishes of candy all around the motel for the guests. Velma did this in her own home later because of her memories of this time. Finally, the family traveled through Sacramento and ended up here in the Central Valley, near Grangeville. They camped in an apricot orchard and worked there too.

great grandma trunk wooden green sugar and creamer

They eventually moved to a place called The Island and lived in a small shack. My great-grandfather was trying to get a job as a ditch-tender, but had heard nothing. He finally told my great-grandmother that when he returned home that day from his work, they would get ready to leave and move on. When he came home from work, there was a note on the table, saying he got the job as the ditch-tender! The family was able to move into a nicer house right near the river. My great-grandfather would go to each weir, where water is controlled, and he would change the levers depending on how much water is let out and which way it should go.

great grandma trunk with blue dishes

My Aunt Hazel, the youngest, ended up with the trunk and then gave it to my mom. She finally passed it on to me. I now have my wedding dishes stored in it. I keep it in my living room. I love having a piece of history in my home and sharing the story with the visitors to my home. It’s fun to imagine what kind of things were carried in here and how far the trunk traveled. I’m sure there were some special family mementos, plus clothing and other household items. It’s an honor to have such a piece. Thank you Havenly for giving me the opportunity to write about my family history!

sunshine-and-blessings-picmonkey

Other recent posts:

 

patriotic coca cola crate bottle with flags

Flower Wreath Closer

family room shelves, lantern, fish, pictures