ADELAIDA – Adelaida (pronounced Adelaid) was founded in the hills west of Paso Robles in 1878. Today, only a graveyard, schoolhouse, and the ghost of “The Pink Lady” are all that are left. Legend has it that when two young children died here in a diphtheria epidemic in 1887, they were buried here in Adelaide. The mother visited their graves every Friday. Despondent, she reportedly committed suicide shortly afterward and was buried next to her children. Over the years, some say that they have seen her on Friday nights between ten and midnight, wearing a pink dress and roaming the grounds. She became known as the “Pink Lady." The graves of Mrs. Ray and her two children are in Row F on top of the hill. The grave of Mrs. Ray has a large rock with no name on it. Next to her are Guy Ray, 6, who died on January 20, 1887 and Nellie Agnes Ray, 5, who died on February 15, 1887. Their names and the words "Crowned with the Conflict," are inscribed on their stones. The cemetery is located on Adelaida Road not far from where it dead ends with Chimney Rock Road. Once inside the gate, which is usually open, a road turns left then circles around and up the hill and makes a complete loop. Much of the grounds are covered with oak trees, poison oak and weeds. The original site of Adelaida, which once had a population of 700, was located at the NW corner of Klau Mountain Road and Vineyard Drive, the school is on the south side of Chimney Rock Road just before you get to Vineyard Drive going west. On December 10, 1922, a William Antrim died here in Adelaida at age 80 and was buried here. The stepfather of the infamous “Billy the Kid," he was later moved to the San Miguel Cemetery. From Paso Robles, drive 12 miles west on Mountain Spring Road; it turns into Adelaida Road. Turn right on Klau Mine Road and drive about a mile north. The gates are on the right, near Chimney Rock Road. GO THERE
AGNEW –- The California State Hospital for the Insane was located here in 1906 when the earthquake destroyed all the buildings and killed 100 patients. By 1925, 32 new buildings were built on 1,650 acres.
ALCATRAZ – Alcatraz Island is in San Francisco Bay. A penitentiary was established on the island in 1934 as a special prison for kidnappers, racketeers. It was home to Al Capone, George "Machine Gun" Kelly and Robert Franklin Stroud, better known as the "Birdman of Alcatraz" GO THERE
ALAMEDA – Born here in Alameda were General James Doolittle in 1896 and baseball player/manager Bill Rigney in 1918.
ALPINE – Dinosaur Land was built in 1962 as an amusement park. It was to have a roller coaster shaped like a volcano, life-size dinosaur statues, water rides, dinosaur "characters" roaming the park, and restaurants. It went bankrupt within two years, and all that remains is "Dinosaur Bob." In 2005, a mobile home park was on the site.
ALTADENA – George Reeves, TV's Superman, is buried here in Mountain View Cemetery at 2400 North Fair Oaks. His ashes are in the Pasadena Mausoleum in the Sunrise corridor, the first corridor on your left as you enter. The brass box containing his ashes are behind glass next to his mother, Mrs. Bessello.
ALVARADO– The first beet factory in America was built here.
ANAHEIM – Actress Marie Wilson was born here in 1916.
ANGEL ISLAND – The hospital building on Angel Island State Park where American troops recuperated after the Spanish-American War in 1898, was run-down and deserted in 2003. The wooden buildings on the island that housed thousands of World War I soldiers needed new roofs. The large mess hall where GIs bound for the Pacific in World War II ate their meals was so dilapidated that it may not be worth saving. The island was also the first stop for hundreds of thousands of Chinese immigrants entering the United States early in the last century. Today, it is the Angel Island State Park, but the public is barred from entering most of the park's 120 buildings because of collapsed roofs, buckling walls and foundations. GO THERE
ANGELS CAMP – Mark Twain lived here in Angels Camp for about three months in 1865 in a one-room cabin just outside of town while he prospected for gold. The cabin on Jackass Hill still looks like it did when Twain stayed in it. Twain used the camp as the setting for one of his first short stories The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County. A jumping frog contest has been held here every May since 1928 .GO THERE
ANTIOCH – Musician/songwriter Johnny Burke was born here in 1908. He was Irving Berlin’s pianist.
APPLE VALLEY – Singer John Charles Thomas was born here in 1860.
Roy and Dale Rogers are interred here in the Sunset Hills Memorial Park.
AUBURN – Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell was born here in 1933.
Auburn is home of several large solid concrete statues, a coolie, a gold miner, and an indian. The biggest is 42 feet tall and weighs over 120 tons. 391 Auburn Ravine Rd. GO THERE
BAKER – The world's largest thermometer is located here. It is 134-ft tall. 72155 Baker Blvd
BAKERSFIELD – Born here in Bakersfield were singer Lawrence Tibbett in 1896, actor Guy Madison in 1922, singer Merle Haggard in 1937, and pianist Jo Ann Castle in 1940.
Boxer Jerry Quarry is buried here in the Shafter Cemetery.
A shoe repair shop here is shaped like a shoe. It is 30-ft. long, and 20-ft high. 931 Chester Ave,
BALLARAT – Charles Manson and 24 members of his gang were captured near here on the Barker Ranch in 1969. Deserted, Ballarat is 90 miles north of Barstow and 31 miles north of Trona. In its heyday—from 1897 to 1905—Ballarat was home and headquarters for 400 to 500 people. It hosted seven saloons, three hotels, a Wells Fargo station, post office, school, a jail and morgue, but not one church. Ballarat was an oasis of fun, frolic, and relaxation—a town to go to and blow off the dust of long trails and hard work. The town began its decline when the Ratcliff Mine, in Pleasant Canyon east of town, suspended operations. Other mines nearby also began to play out, and in 1917 the post office closed and all that remained were a few diehard prospectors and desert rats Today, Ballarat has one or two full-time residents. As of June 2007, Rock Novak and his dog, Potlicker live in the town. The store is open most afternoons and weekends and Rock will sell you soft drinks and other snacks. Visitors are welcome. Many 4-wheelers use the trailer park as a campground headquarters for expeditions into the Panamints and Death Valley. The scenery is still spectacular, virtually unmarred by signs of human occupation.. GO THERE PHOTO TOUR
BARSTOW – Actress Jeanne Crain was born here in 1925.
BENECIA - Originally called Francisca, Benecia was the capital of California in 1853. Six months later the capital was moved to Sacramento. GO THERE
Concepcion Arguello, heroine of of California’s most famous love story was reburied here in 1897 in the private cemetery of the Dominican sisterhood of Santa de Siena overlooking Suison Bay. Her grave was the innermost one in the second row of the group in the S.W. corner.
BERKELEY – Born here in Berkeley were baseball player Billy Martin in 1928, writer Ursula LeGuin in 1929, and actor Robert Culp in 1930.
BEVERLY HILLS – Comedian Paul Lynde was found dead here in his home at 507 N. Palm in 1982. He was found in his bedroom which had a red-lacquered ceiling and stainless steel walls.
Gangster Bugsy Siegel was murdered here in his home at 810 N. Linden in 1947.
BIG PINE – The stone cabin of silent screen actor Lon Chaney still remains in the John Muir Wilderness in the eastern Sierra, 10 miles west of Big Pine. The 1,288-square-foot granite stone structure is hidden in a grove of red lodge pole pines and takes a three-mile hike to reach it. A sign identifies it as a U. S. Forest Service wilderness ranger cabin. Chaney had the stone cabin built for $12,000 in 1929-30. It was designed by Los Angeles architect Paul Revere Williams. Chaney owned the cabin for only a few months before he died at age 47.
BIG SUR – Big Sur is a sparsely populated region of the central California coast where the Santa Lucia Mountains rise abruptly from the Pacific Ocean. The terrain offers stunning views, making Big Sur a popular tourist destination. GO THERE PHOTO TOUR
BLYTHE – Glenn Scotty Wolfe the world's most married man is interred here in the Pal Verde Cemetery at 10700 10th Ave. His 29 marriages got him in the Guiness Book of World Records. He died at age 89 in 1997.
Blythe has a law on the books that says you can't wear cowboy boots unless you own at least two cows. GO THERE
BODEGA BAY – Director Alfred Hitchcock filmed the movie “The Birds.” here in 1961. Bodega Bay is 40 miles northwest of San Francisco
BODIE – Bodie is considered the best preserved real ghost town in America. It is located at the east end of State Highway (SH) 270, 13 miles east of US 395, 6.5 miles south of Bridgeport. Don’t miss this great photo tour of Bodie. GO THERE PHOTO TOUR
BRIDGEVILLE – A Northern California town put up for auction twice on EBay was for sale again in 2007, for $1.3 million. Bridgeville, population about 30, is a picturesque but dilapidated village on the Van Duzen River gained international fame five years ago when its 83 acres were put on the cyber-auction block. It was believed to have been the first town ever up for auction on EBay. The town, once a hub for a stagecoach route and a stop on the Pony Express, includes eight houses, a post office and a cafe. Daniel La Paille, 25, bought Bridgeville in August 2006 for $1.25 million In November, he died when he shot himself in the chest. The burden of maintaining the town has proved too difficult for La Paille's family, who put the town up for sale.
BROOKDALE – Surrounded by giant redwoods in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the "haunted" Brookdale Lodge was opened in 1870 as the headquarters of the Grover Lumber Mill. The mill was purchased by James Logan of Loganberry fame in 1900 and was converted into campgrounds and a hotel. From 1922 to 1945 the hotel was the second most popular resort in California. Among its many famous guests were Mae West, Joan Crawford, Tyrone Power and Marilyn Monroe, who all enjoyed the dining room that has a natural brook running through it. In the 1940s and 1950s, the hotel was a home for gangsters. Secret passageways and hidden rooms were installed throughout the lodge and rumors of buried bodies under the floor began to circulate. The lodge is also known for its many ghosts including the spirit of six-year-old Sarah Logan, the niece of the lodge owner. Sarah had drowned in the dining room brook and she is often seen in a white and blue Sunday dress walking through the lobby or near the fireplace between the lounge and Brookroom. She has also been seen playing on the balcony of the Brookroom, an area off limits to visitors and guests, and sitting beside the fire in the Fireside Room. Some people report they had been approached by the crying Sarah asking if they could help her find her mother. As they turn to look for the little girl's mother, Sarah vanishes. The lodge is located north of Santa Cruz in the Santa Cruz Mountains at 11570 Highway 9. GO THERE
UPDATE – The lodge was for sale in May, 2007 for $4.5 million.
BURBANK – Born here in Burbank were singer Harry Barris in 1905, actor John Ritter in 1948 and actor Sean Penn in 1960,
CABAZON – Two concrete dinosaurs were built here nearly 30 years ago. The apatosaurus took eleven years to build and is the largest dinosaur in America. GO THERE
CALABASSAS – Rudolph Valentino's dog Kabar, Our Gang Comedies dog Petey, and Hopalong Cassidy's horse Topper, are among the animals interred here in the Los Angeles Pet Cemetery at 24100 Ventura Blvd.
CALICO – Calico is a ghost town located in the Mojave Desert region of Southern California. Founded in 1881 as a silver mining town, today it is a county park. It is located in unincorporated San Bernardino County off of Interstate 15, 3 miles from Barstow.
GO THERE PHOTO TOUR
CALIMESA – The Garden of Angels was started here in the Desert Lawn Cemetery in 1996 by Debi Faris of nearby Yucaipa. Debi has recovered and buried the bodies of more than 50 abandoned and discarded babies from Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties since 1996. The oldest child is a 5-year-old thought to have been killed by his parents.
CALISTOGA – The Old Faithful Geyser here is one of only three Old Faithfuls in the world The Geyser is an all-natural phenomenon which tosses a scalding curtain of water anywhere from 20 to upwards of 75 feet into the air. Currently, Old Faithful is erupting approximately every 20-30 minutes.
A forest of petrified redwood giants is located here in Calistoga.
CAMARILLO – The Cal State Camarillo campus here was once the Camarillo State Mental Hospital. The campus has served as a backdrop for television shows, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to the The X-Files, and the closing scene of the 1948 classic film The Snake Pit, was filmed in the hospital's south quad dining room.
CAMBRIA – Nitt Witt Ridge is a house on two-and-a-half-acres located at 881 Hillcrest Dr, Cambria Pines. Artist/recluse/junkman Art Beal bought a hillside lot here in 1928, and spent most of the next 50 years carving out the terraces with only a pick and shovel, and creating his very own "castle on a hill," out of what other Cambrians were throwing away, as well as the natural materials on the property, in the nearby pine forests, and on the area's beaches. Some parts are also reportedly remnants from Hearst Castle where he reportedly worked for a time. Other common building materials are beer cans, abalone shells, and concrete. There are also washer drums, car rims, tile, car parts, and old stoves. GO THERE PHOTO TOUR
CARMEL – Carmel-by-the-Sea, sometimes abbreviated as Carmel, is a small town endowed with a rich artistic history. Actor Clint Eastwood was elected mayor here in 1986. GO THERE
CASTROVILLE – Castroville is known as the artichoke capital of the world. In 1947, a young woman named Norma Jean was crowned the first Artichoke Queen. She later changed her name to Marilyn Monroe.
CATALINA ISLAND – Catalina Island has a colorful history, beginning with its birth millions of years ago right up to its modern day reality.
The Catalina Casino here has been the focal point of Santa Catalina Island entertainment and culture since it opened in 1929.
Actor Gregory Harrison was born here in 1950.
CERRO GORDO – Cerro Gordo is an Old West settlement in the shadow of Mt. Whitney, on the eastern outskirts of Lone Pine. A group of Mexican miners found silver here in 1865 and named the site Cerro Gordo, after a mountain pass in Mexico. The mines of Cerro Gordo poroduced 4.5 million ounces of silver in the 1860s, '70s and '80s. The town had no schools or churches but it did have two brothels, where the ladies welcomed the miners who settled fights over women and politics with pistols. Claim jumpers tunneled into the base of the mountain from all sides, prompting more gunfights.
The town's deadliest mine disaster struck in the early 1870s when a cave-in killed at least eight and as many as 35 Chinese miners. Their bodies were never recovered The price of silver began to drop in the late 1870s, and by 1888 Cerro Gordo was practically deserted. Only 30 to 40 miners remained. In 1888, the town was abandoned.
Many movies have been filmed here including 1957's Night Passage, starring James Stewart and Audie Murphy; 1966's Nevada Smith, starring Steve McQueen; and 1967's Waterhole #3, starring James Coburn and Claude Akins.
For decades, Cerro Gordo was pretty much left to the ghosts, until 1986 when a building was turned into a bed-and-breakfast.
This tough little town, 8,500 feet high above the dry lake bed of Owens Valley, once boasted a population of 4,800 people and 1,600 mules. It had 700 working mining claims and 37 miles of tunnels, plus five hotels (The old American Hotel still stands), seven saloons, two brothels and a 600-plot graveyard.
Today, Cerro Gordo is privately owned, and the owner intends to restore it in honor of his late wife, whose family owned the 100-acre-plus town. His goal is to keep the town in a state of "arrested decay." Guests at the 1876 Bed & Breakfast have to brave an 8-mile steep and narrow gravel incline in four-wheel-drive vehicles to get to it. The home is complete with 156 bullet holes and no plumbing - just like the rest of the town. GO THERE
CHATSWORTH – Bob Crane, star of TV's Hogan's Hero's, is buried here in Oakwood Memorial Park at 22601 Lassen.
CHICO – Actor Russell Hayden was born here in 1912.
CHIRIACO SUMMIT – During WWII, General George S. Patton trained his tank corps at nearby Camp Young. GO THERE
CHOWCHILLA – Author/novelist Henry Farrell grew up here. He wrote Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte.
CHOLAME – Actor James Dean was killed in a car accident near here on September 30,1955.
CLEARLAKE OAKS – Hollywood producer Terry Garr and his daughter, 9, were found dead in the back seat of his Jeep Cherokee here in the parking lot of a convenience store on August 1, 2005. Clearlake Oaks is about 110 miles north of San Francisco.
COALINGA – Singer Jo Stafford was born here in 1918.
COLMA – South of San Francisco, Colma was founded in 1914 because San Francisco banned new burials inside it’s boundaries. Today, Colma is noted for its cemeteries and their elaborate columned structures. Patricia Hatfield, president of the Colma Historical Society recently said that the only Colma ghost story she ever heard was about the Catacombs. One night when an alarm went off, the guard found a door ajar. Then he heard the sound of a baby crying. Then more babies – a chorus of them coming from the area where children were buried.
Buried in the Cypress Lawn Cemetery at 1370 El amino Real are: Elias "Lucky" Baldwin. Santa Anita racetrack in Arcadia is on his former ranch, William Randolph Hearst, newspaper owner, grandfather of Patti Hearst and companion of actress Marion Davies, Lefty O'Doul, baseball player and manager, and Claus and Rudolph Spreckles, sugar kings.
Wyatt Earp is buried in the Hills of Eternity Jewish Cemetery at 1301 El Camino Real. His ashes are buried with his his wife Josie Earp.
Buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery on Old Mission Road are: Joe DiMaggio, governors Pat Brown and John Downey, Amadeo Giannini, founder of the Bank America and George Mosconi, former mayor of San Francisco, who was shot and killed by supervisor Dan White in 1978.
Levi Strauss, creator of Levi pants is buried in the Home of Peace Cemetery, next to the Hills of Eternity Cemetery. His large mausoleum is across the road from the Hills of Eternity Cemetery, along the same row as Wyatt Earp, but at the end, by Middle Road.
Arthur Barker, son of gangster Ma Barker is buried here in the Olivet Cemetery.
COLOMA – Gold was discovered here at Sutter's sawmill in 1849.
COLTON – A train wreck here on February 23, 1907 killed 23 people.
Morgan Earp, Wyatt's youngest brother is buried here in the Hermosa Cemetery at 900 N. Meridan. He was shot and killed in Tombstone in 1882. He is in the southwest corner in lot 23.
COLUMBIA – Guests at the 1858 Fallon Hotel here have told of encounters with three ghosts. One is blamed for moving a massive wooden bed to the middle of a room that was supposedly empty. Another is a little boy who takes toys. Guests with children have reported returning to their rooms to find parts of toy thrown about.Hoel staff here report hearing a child cry when there no children staying in the hotel. GO THERE
Several guests and workers at Columbia's City Hotel have reported seeing a ghost in the upstairs parlor and the front two rooms. The staff named their spirit resident “Elizabeth,'' and believe her to be a woman who lost a child.
CONCORD – Musician Dave Brubeck was born here in 1920.
COPPEROPOLIS – Black Bart (Charles E. Bolt) robbed a Wells Fargo stagecoach near here in 1883. Copper was discovered here in 1860.
CORONA – Baseball player Denny Lemaster was born here in 1939.
COVINA – Actor Billy ”Froggy“ Laughlin was born here in 1948. He was one of ”Our Gang.“
CYPRESS – Golfer Tiger Woods was born here in 1975.
Singer Karen Carpenter is buried here in Cypress Forest Lawn Cemetery at 4471 Lincoln.
DARWIN – A semi-ghosttown, Darwin is located in Inyo County and had a population of54 in 2000 GO THERE PHOTOS
DAVIS – Baseball player Myril Hoag was born here in 1908.
DEATH VALLEY – The hottest day ever in America was here on July 10, 1913 when it reached 135 degrees.
DEATH VALLEY JUNCTION – In 2004, 80-year-old ballerina Marta Beckett,was still giving performances here in her Amargosa Opera House in the middle of the desert. GO THERE
DONNER PASS – Rge Mormon Donner Party, a group of emigrants heading west to start a new life in California, became stranded here during the cold, snowy winter of 1846, and eventually some had to resort to cannibalism to survive. GO THERE
DOWNEY – Born here in Downey were singer Richard Carpenter in 1946 and singer Karen Carpenter in 1950.
DOWNIEVILLE – Downieville was named for Major Wm. Downie, leader of the first gold discovery party in Sierra County. Founded in 1849 as a gold mining town, and now the County seat of Sierra County. By May 1850 Downeiville had 15 hotels and gambling houses, 4 bakeries and 4 butcher shops. By the mid 1850's Downieville was California's 5th largest town. GO THERE
EAGLE MOUNTAIN – Eagle Mountain is a modern day ghost town founded in 1948 by iron magnate Henry J. Kaiser. The town is located at the entrance of the now-defunct Eagle Mountain iron mine, and located in Joshua Tree National Park. The town's fully integrated medical care system was the genesis of the modern-day Kaiser Permanente . GO THERE PHOTO TOUR MORE PHOTOS
EAGLE ROCK – Actress Virginia Weidler was born here in 1927.
EL CENTRO – Born here in El Centro were actor Ken Howard in 1944 and singer Cher in 1946.
EMERYVILLE – The first dog race track in America in which an imitation rabbit was used, was built here by Owen P. Smith in 1920.
ENCINO – Astronaut Sally K. Ride was born here in 1951.
The classic film It's a Wonderful Life was filmed on the RKO Studios Movie Ranch that was located here in Encino. The set of Bedford Falls covered four acres north of Burbank Blvd. and on both sides of Louise Ave. The set included a Main Street with 75 stores and buildings, a factory district and a large residential and slum area. Other films made at the ranch were The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Stagecoach both in 1938. RKO sold the ranch in 1948 and the Encino Park housing development was built on the land in 1949.
EUREKA – The Carson Mansion here is reported to be the most photographed house in America. GO THERE
Actor Steve Cochran was born here in 1917.
FAIRFIELD – The "Jelly Belly" jelly bean factory is located here. They make 30 tons of them every weekday. Located at #1 Jelly Belly Lane
FAIRMONT – A stone replica of a medieval Irish castle sits alone on a hilltop outside Lancaster. Built by real estate millionaire Richard Shea in 1925, the 17-room castle on over 1,300 acres cost $175,000 to build. It had 3-to 5-foot-thick walls, a 20-foot-high stone dam, and a 10-acre man-made lake. Four years later, Shea lost his millions and his castle in the 1929 stock market crash. Two months after his wife died in 1932, Shea jumped off the Santa Monica Pier and drowned. His body was found later near the Venice Pier. Around his neck was a small container holding his wife's cremated ashes. In 1948, the castle was purchased by millionaire playboy Tommy Stewart Lee. In September, 1949, Lee was declared mentally incompetent by a court. Newspaper articles at the time said he divided his last days between stays at the castle and a Pasadena sanitarium. Several months later, Lee jumped to his death from the top of the Wiltern Theater Building on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles. In 2000, the castle, empty for 36 years, was for sale for $3 million. The price included over 500 acres. Behind locked gates, it is located along the California Aqueduct just south of Fairmount and about 15 miles west of Lancaster.
FREMONT – In 1912, Essanay Movie Studios came here to what was then Niles Station and filmed in Niles Canyon (now Route 84) and along the main streets of Niles. The silent films starred Broncho Billy Anderson, Charlie Chaplin, Fatty Arbuckle, and Wallace Berry. The town holds a “Charlie Chaplin Days” celebration every year. On the sidewalks around town they have painted signs noting where different movies were shot, and a Niles version of the Hollywood walk of fame, with painted stars enclosing the name of famous silent film actors. Before Essanay left in 1916, they made 300 westerns in and around Niles. One of those films was Chaplin's classic The Tramp. The town of Niles has virtually disappeared today. It is now part of the city of Fremont.
FRESNO – Born here in Fresno were baseball player Frank Chance in 1877, author William Saroyan in 1908, baseball player Ewell “The Whip” Blackwell“ in 1922, director Sam Peckinpah in 1925, actor Mike Conners in 1925, baseball player Jim Maloney in 1940 and baseball player Tom Seaver in 1944.
For over 100 years, the underground gardens that Baldasare Forestiere carved on his 70 acres of land continue to fascinate the world. It’s 70 subterranean rooms, courtyards and corridors are one of Fresno's biggest tourist attractions. Forestiere began digging a cellar in 1905 to escape the region's heat. He soon expanded the cellar into several rooms, in which he made his home. During the next 40 years, he carved courtyards, niches, patios, arches, benches, peepholes and elaborate passageways 12 to 25 feet below the surface. Tours are available.
In 2005, Fresno had the worst concentrated poverty in America with 45.5% of its poor living in extreme poverty.
GARLOCK – Garlock was originallt known as El Paso City or Cow Wells interchangeably. The little town provided water for cattlemen and freighters. Several old buildings were all that was left in 1999.
In 1938, Bruno Schmidt began digging a tunnel here through solid rock. It took him eight years to complete it. GO THERE
GILROY – Gilroy is the garlic capital of he world.
GLENDALE – Actor Doug McClure was born here in 1938.
Forest Lawn Park Cemetery is located here.
GOLD COUNTRY – Stretching nearly 200 miles along the Sierra Nevada’s western slope, California’s Mother Lode is a peaceful region of small towns. But in the mid-1800s, gold was discovered here at Sutter’s Mill which ignited the largest migration in history - the California Gold Rush. Take a complete history and photo tour of the area. DON’T MISS IT! GO THERE
HAYWARD – Hayward had the largest pigeon lofts in the world in 1925.
HILLSBOROUGH – Actress Mary Pickford filmed “Little Lord Fauntleroy” here on the Kohn estate in 1921.
Singer Bing Crosby raised his second family here in a 14-room mansion.
Heiress and onetime kidnapping victim Patty Hearst grew up here.
Other mansions here are:
–Carolands, built by Harriet Pullman Carolan, heiress to the Pullman railway car fortune. It is reported to be one of the largest residences West of the Mississippi.
– Skyfarm, built by William W. Crocker, grandson of Charles Crocker of California's Big Four railroad magnates..
– Uplands, built by Templeton Crocker, as a gift to his fiancée Helène Irwin, heiress to the C&H Sugar family fortune.
INDEPENDENCE – Independence is the county seat of Inyo County. The population was 574 at the 2000 census. Independence is home to the Eastern California Museum. The home of author Mary Austin is preserved as a museum located at 235 Market Street.
INGLEWOOD – Born here in Inglewood were swimmer/actress Esther Williams in 1923, and comedienne Vicki Lawrence in 1949.
IONE – Baseball player Ernie “Tiny” Bonham was born here in 1913
Buried here in the Ione Public Cemetery is actior/comedian Albert Theodore "William" Courtright (1848-1933). He is buried next to his first wife, Mary Jane "Jennie Lee" Courtright, a well known actress of early silent films.
– (Directions: From Main St. S on Church St. (hwy 124) .2 mile to Sacred Heart Church entrance and access to cemetery. Continue .15 mile to Public Cemetery entrances on left).
IRVINE – The Lion Country Safari park was located here from 1970 to 1984. The park was home to a lion by the name of Frazier. Despite his old age, he sired 33 cubs during his two-year residence and became somewhat of a local folk hero until he eventually passed away in 1972. The Verizon Ampitheatre is now on the site. The Wild Rivers water park is nearby.
JACKSON – A fire at the Argonaut Gold Mine here on August 27, 1922 killed 47 miners. It was the worst mine disaster in California history. Eleven of the miners are buried in the Saint Sava Serbian Orthodox Church Cemetery. Others are buried in the Jackson City Cemetery, east of Church Street and off Cemetery Lane, northeast of downtown Jackson. GO THERE
The Kennedy Mine, famous for being one of the deepest gold mines in the world is located here.
The Native Daughters of the Golden West was founded here in Jackson in 1886.
Buried here in the Jackson City Cemetery are:
– Victims of the 1922 Argonaut Gold Mine disaster.
– Mike Tovey (1842-1893) Distinguished Wells Fargo shotgun messenger and rider. Was shot and killed by a robber who attempted to hold up the stage on which he was traveling as guard.
– James T. Farley (1826-1886) Gifted orator and politician. State Assemblyman, State Senator 1869-1865, U.S. Senator 1878.
– Anthony Caminette (1854-1923) State Senator 1880s, U.S. Senator 1890s. Introduced the bill making California's Admission Day, Sept. 9th, a state holiday. Secured for Amador County the Preston School on Industry in Ione.
– Hiram Craig Meek (1788-1881) Native of Virginia. Major in the War of 1812. Thought to be the only man buried in California who personally knew George Washington.
– (Directions: From the Catholic Church - continue around on Church St. to entrance on left).
Buried here in the Jackson Catholic Cemetery are:
– Marie Suize or Swize (1824-1892) Also known as "Madam Pantaloons". French immigrant arrested in Jackson and Virginia City, Nevada for wearing men's clothing. Owned Amador's most successful winery near Clinton. .
– Angelo Noce (1847-1922) Sought recognition of Christopher Columbus for discovery of America, and was founder of Columbus Day as a legal holiday in the U.S.
– Andrew Kennedy (1803-1871) Discoverer of the Kennedy Mine, at one time the deepest gold mine in the world.
– (Directions: From hwy 49/88 intersection with Main St. - left on N. Main St. 2 long block to Church St.; turn right; go 2 blocks to main entrance).
JOHANNESBURG – Johannesburg, a few miles from Randsburg, had a population was 176 in 2000. The town was founded to support mining operation at Randsburg. The town cemetery is located on a hill bounded by Mt. Wells Ave., Sunset Ave., Ophir Street and Fremont Street. The town once had a nine-hole golf course, boarding houses, banks, churches, a music hall and two saloons. The historic St. Charles Hotel was still thee in 1974. The remains of the King Solomon Mine, discovered in 1896, were still there. GO THERE
JULIAN – Julian is a rustic retreat with an authentic Gold Rush era ambiance. A small town with vibrant community spirit, Julian has grand stories to tell of fame, fortune and dreams come true. The town's old storefronts stretching from one end of Main Street to the other, date back to the 1870s and offer visitors a unique combination of history and natural beauty in which to explore unspoiled and peaceful countryside.
KINGSBERG – Actor Slim Pickens was born here in 1919.
LA JOLLA – Born here in La Jolla were actor Gregory Peck in 1916 and actor Cliff Roberston in 1925.
LAKE ARROWHEAD – Santa’s Village opened here in 1955 and closed in 1998.
LAKE TAHOE – Sonny Bono was killed here at the Heavenly Valley Ski Resort on January 5, 1998 when he ran face first into a tree while skiing, GO THERE
LAKEVIEW TERRACE – After a wild freeway chase, ex-con, Rodney King was beaten here in 1991 by police in front of 11777 Foothill Blvd.
LA MESA – Basketball player Bill Walton was born here in 1952.
LANDERS – When Frank Critzer moved here in 1929, he settled in a shack near a huge rock that was 7-stories high. In his spare time he used dynamite to hollow out two rooms in the base of the giant rock, drilled air shafts in the side of it, carved out several small windows, then moved into the 400-ft-square home. In 1942, Crizer blew himself up inside the rock when the Sheriff came to arrest him because he didn't register for the draft. In 1947, George Van Tassel moved his family onto the land around the giant rock and used Critzer's rock home for storage. In 1953, Van Tassel claimed that a space ship from Venus landed near the Rock and the aliens took him on board where they told him to build an intergration. In 1959, thousands of people attended conventions here at the Rock in hopes that a space ship would appear. Van Tassel died in 1978 and the site was abandoned. GO THERE
UPDATE – In 2000, the Giant Rock split into two pieces but they still remain at the isolated and deserted site. Van Tassle's 16-sided, dome-shaped Intergraton sits a few miles away. It is 38-feet high and 50-feet in diameter. The Giant Rock is about 2 miles past the end of Linn Road. The Intergraton is at 2477 Belfield Road.
LA PUENTE – A drive through doughnut shop, the Donut Hole is located here at 15300 Amar Road.
LINCOLN – Actor Fred Clark was born here in 1914.
LLANA – the twentieth century, 1914, a socialist colony was started in Llano del Rio, located in the western Mojave Desert, just north of Los Angeles. The group utilized water that flowed down from nearby hills in order to pursue an agricultural existence. In 1917, an earthquake diverted the colony's water supply, forcing them to move away and abandon their newly built dwellings. GO THERE
LOMPOC – Actor Morgan Wallace was born here in 1888.
A train wreck here on May 11, 1907 killed 36 people.
LONE PINE – The Alabama Hills, just outside Lone Pine, are known as "Movie Flats." They are a rugged, jumble of granite and brush-covered plains, perfect for outdoor films. Scenes from over 300 movies have been shot here, including "Charge of the Light Brigade with Errol Flynn, Westward Ho with John Wayne, and High Sierra with Humphrey Bogart. Recent films shot here were Gladiator, and Star Wars.
As per her wishes, actress Barbara Stanwyck was cremated and her ashes were scattered over the Alabama Hills where she had made several western films.
LONG BEACH – Born here in Long Beach were bandleader Spike Jones in 1911, actress Barbara Britton in 1919, actress Sally Kellerman in 1937, tennis player Billie Jean King in 1943, singer Michelle Phillips in 1944, and actress Bo Derek in 1956.
An earthquake here on March 10, 1933 killed 17 people.
The Long Beach Pike was considered to be the West Coast's Coney Island. It opened in 1902. In 1949, the park expanded on the beach between Pine and Cedar avenues and was renamed the Nu Pike.The Plunge bath house closed in 1966. The Cyclone Racer closed in 1968 and was later demolished. The Municipal Auditorium and bandstand area were demolished in 1975 to make way for the Convention & Entertainment Center. The Pike officially closed in 1979. The new Pike at Rainbow Harbor dining, retail and entertainment development is now on the site. PHOTOS
LOS ANGELES – GO THERE
.Take this remarkable photo tour of Downtown Los Angeles. DON’T MISS IT! GO THERE
LUDLOW – Ludlow is a ghost town in the Mojave Desert. The town started as a water stop for the Atlantic and Pacific Railroad in 1883. Ore was found in the nearby hills leading to a boom. By the 1940s, mining in the Mojave had ceased and the town was left with only the tourist traffic from Route 66. When Interstate 40 was built, there was no business left for the town and the residents left leaving empty buildings that still stand beside the old Route 66. A very small portion of Ludlow abutting Interstate 40 is still constantly inhabited as it contains a gas station and a small tire and repair shop.i PHOTO TOUR
LYNWOOD – Tennis player Venus Williams was born here in 1981.
MADERA – Author/novelist Henry Farrell was born here in 1921. He wrote Whatever Happened to Baby Jane and Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte.
MALIBU – The city of Malibu is a 27-mile strip of Pacific coastline; a beachfront community famous for its warm, sandy beaches, and for being the home of countless movie stars and others associated with the Southern California entertainment industries.
GO THERE PHOTOS
MANZANAR – 10,000 Japanese Americans were interned here from June, 1942 to November, 1945. The camp was fenced-in by barbed wire and guard towers. Located along Highway 395, halfway between Lone Pine and Independence, little remains of the camp today other than two sentry posts, the camp auditorium/gymnasium, and the camp Cemetery After Manzanar closed, barracks were auctioned off to returning veterans, and to businesses in nearby towns.
See Townsite Map HERE GO THERE PHOTOS
MARCOS – Singer Jaye P. Morgan was born here in 1931.
MARTINEZ – Born here in Martinez were baseball player Joe DiMaggio in 1914 and baseball player Tug McGraw in 1944.
Naturist John Muir is buried here on the Muir ranch.
MARYSVILLE – Bandleader Art Jarrett was born here in 1888.
MAYWOOD – Actress Dana Plato was born here in 1964.
MERCED – Born here in Merced were actress Janet Leigh in 1927 and baseball player Jim Brewer in 1937.
MILL VALLEY – Born here in Mill Valley were actress Eve Arden in 1912, actress Kathleen Quinlan in 1954 and actress Mariel Hemingway in 1961.
MODESTO – Born here in Modesto were director George Lucas in 1945 and swimmer Mark Spitz in 1950.
The remains of Washington intern Chandra Levy are buried here in the Hughson Lakewood Memorial Park. She was murdered in 2002 and her lover Congressman Gary Condit was a suspect.
MOJAVE – Track athlete Florence Griffith Joyner was born here in 1959.
MOKELUMNE HILL – Room 7 in the Hotel Leger here is reportedly haunted. Some guests have checked out in the middle of the night, spooked by unusual noises. Also there is a rocking chair that rocks on its own, phantom footsteps in the hall, and apparitions in a mirror.
MONTEREY – Film comedian Edgar Kennedy was born here in 1890.
MONTEREY PARK – The hills above Monterey Park Road in Monterey Park are reported to be riddled with tunnels where a Padre from the San Gabriel Mission hid the mission's gold and treasure in 1834. In 1932, a local rancher searched for the gold under the guidance of the ghost of the Padre. The gold and treasure which was supposed to be worth $92 million at that time, still lies under the homes that now cover the hills.
MORRO BAY – The town's most striking feature is Morro Rock, a 176 m high volcanic plug. Morro Rock stands at the entrance to the harbor, and a causeway connects it with the shore.
GO THERE PHOTOS
MOUNT OPHIR – The first fifty-dollar gold piece was manufactured here on February 20, 1851 by the Moffat Assay Office.
MOUNT TAMALPAIS – Just north of San Francisco's Golden Gate is Mount Tamalpais, 6,300 acres of redwood groves and oak woodlands with a spectacular view from the 2,571-foot peak. With the Gold Rush of 1849, San Francisco grew and people began to use Mount Tamalpais for recreation. A railway was completed in 1896, and became known as "The Most Crooked Railroad in the World." It was 8.1 miles long, had 281 curves, the sharpest curve was 90 degrees. The double Bow Knot at Mesa, halfway to the summit, was the unique feature of the line. Here the track paralleled itself five times, within 2000 feet. The railroad was abandoned in 1930 after a wildfire damaged the line. Directions to Mount Tamalpais: From Highway 101 take Highway 1 to the Stinson Beach exit and follow signs up the mountain.
MT. SHASTA – Actress Ann Little (Mary Brooks) was born here in 1891.
MURPHYS – When outlaw Joaquin Murrieta and his brother were arrested here for robbery in the 1850s, he was tied to a tree next to the jail and brutally beaten. His brother was hanged from the same tree. Joaquin's wife was then dragged out into the middle of the street and gang raped. GO THERE
NEEDLES – The river bath scene in the 1940 movie Grapes of Wrath starring Henry Fonda, was filmed here in Needles. GO THERE
Clark Gable and Carole Lombard stopped here at the Harvey House for a steak dinner on March 20, 1939 the day after they were married in Kingman Arizona. GO THERE
NEVADA CITY – Actor Tully Marshall was born here in 1864.
NEW IDRIA – A ghost town, the remains of New Idria in the Diablo mountains, are located southwest of the Panoche Hills, on the slope beneath San Carlos peak. It was once North America's second most productive mercury mines (its sister mines in New Almaden to the north were number one). GO THERE
NILAND – When the Navy base near Niland, east of the Salton Sea, was dismantled after World War II, squatters began pitching tents and parking trailers on the concrete slabs that were left. A community has been there ever since. Its amenities now include a Christian church, a library, a country club with gravel "greens" and an outdoor nightclub called the Range, named for the aerial gunnery range in the nearby Chocolate Mountains. 129 feet below sea level and four miles east of Niland, Slab City isn't actually a city, its a loose community of squatters, snowbirds and nomads who've pitched camps across 640 acres of open desert. GO THERE
NILES – The California Nursery here in 1925 was the largest and oldest in the state.
NIPOMO – One of the most famous photos in American history, Dorothea Lange's "Migrant Mother" was taken here in Nipomo in the 1930s. In March of 1936, photographer Dorothea Lange was driving north along Highway 101 when just after passing through Santa Maria, on the outskirts of Nipomo, she passed a crude wooden sign on the side of the road that read, “Pea-Pickers Camp." Curious, she turned onto a muddy road and discovered a sprawling, squalid campsite of nearly 2,500 migrant farm workers battling starvation and the elements. They had been lured to the camp by newspaper advertisements promising work in the pea fields, only to be left stranded when late-winter rains destroyed the crop. Lange noticed a woman and a handful of children huddled in a tattered, lean-to tent and she quickly snapped six pictures of the rag-tag family. One of the photographs was a portrait of the mother, her despair-ridden eyes staring anxiously off-camera. Lange talked to the woman only long enough to learn that she was 32 years old but never asked her name. It was later learned that the woman was Florence Owens Thompson who had stopped in the camp with her husband and seven children. They were poor, migrant farm workers. GO THERE . PHOTOS
UPDATE – Florence, 80, suffering from cancer, died of a stroke in her son's home in Modesto on September 16, 1983. She was buried in a Cemetery in Empire, a few miles outside of Modesto. Her gravestone reads: "Migrant Mother" A Legend of the Strength of American Motherhood." In 1998, a stamp set "The Great Depression" was issued and one of them was the famous 1936 picture taken by Dorthea Lange of Florence Thompson with three of her children. After the stamp was issued, the J. Paul Getty Museum purchased a print of the 1936 photo for $244,500 at an auction house.
OAK GLEN – Actress Susan Anton was born here in 1950.
OAKLAND – Born here in Oakland were comedian Eddie “Rochester” Anderson in 1905, swimmer/actor Buster Crabbe in 1907, actress Jo Van Fleet in 1919, singer Rod McKuen in 1933 and swimmer Mark Hamil in 1951.
Elizabeth Short “The Black Dahlia” is buried here in Mountain View Cemetery at 5000 Piedmont. Her butchered, nude body was found neatly cut in half at the waist in an empty lot in Los Angeles in 1947.
PACIFIC GROVE – There is a law on the books here that calls for a $500 fine for molesting butterflies.
PALM SPRINGS – When Elvis and Priscilla got married in 1966, they spent their honeymoon night here in a home that he leased. The four-bedroom house with a circular living room is at 1350 Ladera Circle.
A former home of Elvis Presley here was for sale for $2 million in 2002. The home, owned by Presley when he died in 1977, was on two acres, had five bedroom suites, a sauna and a steam room. Ray Kroc, owner of MacDonald's hamburgers, bought the home after Elvis died. It is located at 845 Vista Chino Canyon Road.
Buried here in the Desert Memorial Park Cemetery at 69920 Ramon in Cathedral City are: Frank Sinatra, Sonny Bono, William Powell, Jolie Gabor and songwriter Jimmy Van Huesen.
PALOS VERDES – Marineland of the Pacific on the Palos Verdes Peninsula near Point San Vicente in the Portuguese Bend area between Redondo Beach and San Pedro, opened in August 1954 and closed in 1987. Marineland was demolished shortly after. GO THERE MORE
PANAMINT CITY – Panamint City is a ghost town in the Panamint Range, near Death Valley. It is the site of the largest and most elaborate group of Coso Painted Style pictographs. The presence of these pictographs indicates that Surprise Canyon was once inhabited by Shoshone and/or Kawaiisu. GO THERE PHOTOS
PARLIER – This town of about 12,000 is ringed by fields of grapes, peaches, plums and nectarines. So are children. Their playgrounds abut groves of fruit trees. Unfortunately, the stink of chemical pesticides has wafted into their classrooms. And, increasingly, their lungs are strained by asthma and other respiratory ailments. The 1.6-square-mile enclave of mostly farm worker families is 97% Latino with a median family income of $24,000. Nearly 40% of the residents are under 18 years of age. Parlier is about 20 miles southeast of Fresno.
PASA ROBLES – Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe spent their wedding night here in the Clifton Motel on January 15, 1954. The motel is now the Clifton Apartments at 125 Spring.
PEBBLE BEACH – Pebble Beach is a small private coastal unincorporated community in Monterey County, which is best known as a golf destination and also one of the highest profile spots in the US. Technically, Pebble Beach is not a city at all, but rather a corporation owned by the Pebble Beach Company and managed as a small town. GO THERE
PETALUMA – The world’s ugliest dog contest is held here every year in June at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.
On October 1, 1993, 12-year-old Polly Class was kidnapped from her home here and was found dead several days later near Cloverdale.
PIONEERTOWN – In 1945, Roy Rogers and the singing group "The Sons of the Pioneers," built a western movie set town here. They named it Pioneertown. Today, many of the original buildings still remain, including the sound stage, the restaurant, the Red Dog Saloon, a bowling alley, and a 19-room motel. Room 9 in the motel was nicknamed "Club 9" by Gene Autry because it was where he and his friends drank after a long day of filming. Room 4 is called the John Wayne room. Room 10 was Gail Davis' room when she filmed the TV Annie Oakley show here. Room 13 is the "ghost room." People who have stayed in room 13 reportedly have had weird dreams. Pioneertown, its dirt streets and its few residents, is located on Pipes Canyon in Yucca Valley. GO THERE
POMONA – Baseball player Mark McGwire was born here in 1963.
PORT CHICAGO – Navy ammunition ships exploded here on July 17, 1944 and killed 322 sailors. Port Chicago is just east of San Francisco.
RANCHO SANTA FE – On March 26, 1997, 39 members of the Heavens Gate religious cult killed themselves here at 18241 Colina Norte. Rancho Santa Fe is 18 miles north of San Diego and 5 miles northwest of Del Mar.
PRUNEDALE – Prunedale has a law on the books forbidding two bathtubs in the same house.
RANCHO MIRAGE – On May 10, 1976, Red Skelton’s 54-year-old former wife, Georgia, shot herself to death in the garden of her home here at 37-715 Thompson Road. Her death came 18 years to the day after the couple’s 9-year-old son Richard, died of leukemia. There was no suicide note. Georgia, Red, and Richard are together in a private room in Forest Lawn in Glendale.
Bing Crosby built the Blue Skies Trailer Park here in 1953 at 70-260-Hiway 111. It had a pool, dance hall, a nine-hole pitch and putt golf course and 140 palm trees. He named it after his hit song Blue Skies. He named the streets, Jack Benny, Burns and Allen, Bing Crosby, Claudette Colbert, Greer Garson, Danny Kaye and Barbara Stanwyck. Today, the trailer homes have facades resembling Oreintal-style, Egyptian, with King Tut on the front, a New England Colonial, one that looks like Tara, and one like an Italian mini-mansion.
RANDSBURG – Randsburg is the best semi-ghost town in Southern California. Several hundred people still live in the old buildings that remain. The town Is located northwest of Barstow, a mile west of US 395. GO THERE
RED BLUFF – Choral conductor Roger Shaw was born here in 1916.
Actor Leo Gorcey is buried here in Mount Molinas Cemetery. He played “Spit,” one of the original Dead End Kids.
REDLANDS – The Abraham Lincoln Museum at the Smiley Library has a piece of Lincoln’s hair.
RED MOUNTAIN – Red Mountain. Few miles from Randsburg, was one of the wildest “wide open” boom towns in mining history. During the 1920's, both liquor and women were a necessity. At one time, thee were 30 saloons running wide open. Hotels had busy bars and gambling tables. The brothels were upstairs or just outside. The most popular girls worked at the Silver Dollar and Eva’s Place. In 1974, the Silver Dollar, and the Owl Garage were still open, In 2000, the old Owl Inn, once a gambling hall and brothel, rented rooms for $55 a night, including breakfast. Legend has it that prositutes and illegal liquor were hidden in the tunnels below the hotel. GO THERE
RIALTO – The Wigwam Motel is located here at 2728 W. Foothill Blvd.
RICHMOND – The Standard Oil Refinery was built here in 1901.
RIVERSIDE – Born here in Riverside were baseball player Bobby Bonds in 1946, and baseball player Barry Bonds in 1964.
ROBBERS ROOST – Robbers Roost here is located in the 300-foot rocks near the San Benito River a few miles south of the Willow Creek conjunction. The site was used by the bandit Tiburcio Vasquez and his gang as a hideout from where they robbed stages and freight wagons carrying gold and silver bullion from the mines of Bodie and the Panamint Mountains to Los Angeles and Bakersfield. Today, the site is visible from Highway 14, just southwest of the junction of Walker Pass (Formerly Freeman Junction) and California 14 and 178. It is rumored that some of the gold loot is still hidden there GO THERE
RODEO – Baseball player Lefty Gomez was born here in 1909.
ROUTE 66 THROUGH CALIFORNIA – Tour Route 66 from Needles to Santa Monica. Visit and see the towns and atttractions on this one-of-a-kind photo tour. GO THERE
SACRAMENTO – Born here in Sacramento were actor Robert Warwick in 1878, actor Ray Collins in 1890, baseball player Stan Hack in 1909, actor Earle Williams in 1895, baseball player Woodie Held in 1932, and U.S. Supreme Court Judge Arthur Kennedy in 1936.
SALINAS – Born here in Salinas were actress Verna Felton in 1890 and writer John Steinbeck in 1902.
SALTON SEA – During the 1950s and 1960s, the Salton Sea drew more visitors than Yosemite. Water skiing, boating, bait shops, night clubs, and hotels lined the shores. It was billed as Palm Springs-by-the-Sea. Sonny Bono was a familiar sight skiing on the lake. Salton City had a championship golf course where Desi Arnaz, Harry James and Johnny Weissmuller were members. The exclusive North Shore Beach & Yacht Club on the north end of the Lake, was the hangout of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bing Crosby, Jerry Lewis and the Marx Brothers. The Beach Boys and the Pointer Sisters were regular performers at the club. Today, the club sits boarded up and rotting. Hundreds of dead fish now cover the beach in front of the club where the rich and famous of Hollywood once sunbathed. An empty, dirty pool and the remains of the boat dock sit nearby. Other motels in the area are boarded up and all that is left of the many buildings that once lined the west shore of the Sea are their foundations. The entire area is isolated and spooky. Only a few people still live in the remaining structures PHOTOS MORE PHOTOS
SAN BERNARDINO – Born here in San Bernardino were actor/director Marshall Neilan in 1891, film comedian Roscoe Karns in 1893, baseball player Bob Lemon in 1920 and actor Gene Hackman in 1931.
The first McDonalds opened here on North E Street.
The 1950s Wigwam Village Motel is still located here on old Route 66 at 2728 W. Foothill.
Adelia Earp, sister of Wyatt, Allie Earp, former wife of Virgil Earp, James Earp, brother of Wyatt, and rock musician Randy Rhodes are buried here in Mountain View Cemetery at the northeast corner of Highland and Waterman.
Virginia Cooksey Earp, mother of Wyatt Earp, Annie Alexander Earp, second wife of Wyatt's father, Nicholas, and Nellie Earp, former wife of Wyatt's brother James, are all buried here in Pioneer Cemetery at 211 E. 9th St. They are buried in the old section at the southwest corner. The exact locations are unknown as the headstones were destroyed years ago.
SAN BRUNO – Actress Suzanne Somers was born here in 1946.
SAN DIEGO – Born here in San Diego were baseball player Ted Williams in 1918, and football player Marcus Allen in 1960.
San Diego's old town has many haunted houses and hotels.
SAN FRANCISCO – Take a photo tour of San Francisco
GO THERE MORE
Take a photo tour of the Golden Gate Bridge HERE
Take a photo tour of Alcatraz Island HERE
Actress Virginia Rappe died after being reportedly raped by actor Fatty Arbuckle here in the St. Francis Hotel in 1921.
Joe DiMaggio grew up here at 2047 Taylor street in the North Beach section of San Francisco. The DiMaggio family lived in a bottom flat of a three-story building for which they paid $25 a month. Joe attended Hancock Grammar School, San Francisco Junior High and Galileo High.
Joe DiMaggio and actress Dorothy Arnold were married here in the Cathedral of St. Peter and St. Paul at the corner of Filbert and Powell on November 19, 1939. 20,000 people jammed the streets around the church.
Helen Hunt Jackson, author of the classic "Ramona," died here in her home at 801 Leavenworth Street on August 12, 1885.
SAN GABRIEL – Born here in San Gabriel were General George S. Patton in 1885 baseball player Mike Garcia in 1923, and actor Billy “Froggy” Laughlin in 1932.
Laura Scudder, the Potato Chip Queen is buried here in the San Gabriel Cemetery at 601 W. Ross.
SAN JOAQUIN – Actor Darrin McGavin was born here in 1922.
SAN JOSE – Born here in San Jose were film comedian Fatty Arbuckle in 1887, actor Lloyd Bacon in 1890, actor Edmund Lowe in 1892, film comedian Vernon Dent in 1900 and singer Chuck Berry in 1926.
The Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum here houses the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts on exhibit in the western United States including six genuine mummies. The museum is run by the Rosicrusian Order which considers San Jose the center of the universe. The museum is located at 1342 Naglee Ave. between Naglee and Randol.
The 160-room Winchester Mystery Mansion here was built beginning in 1884 by Sarah Winchester, widow of the son of the inventor of the Winchester rifle. It is located at 525 South Winchester Blvd. Tours are available. GO THERE
SAN LEANDRO – Actor Lloyd Bridges was born here in 1913.
SAN LUIS OBISPO – The first motel in America opened here on December 12, 1941.
SAN MATEO – Born here in San Mateo were actress Lina Basquette in 1907, talk show host Merv Griffin in 1925, actor Barry Bostwick in 1946 and actor Keith Carradine in 1949.
SAN MIGUEL – On December 5, 1848, a group of men stopped at the San Miguel Mission here which at the time was owned by John Reed who had bought the mission from the Mexican government and turned it into an Inn for travelers. While there, Reed bragged to them that he had hidden some gold in the Mission. After they left the next morning, the men doubled back and searched for the hidden gold. When they could not find it they murdered Reed and ten family members. Their bloody remains were buried in one mass grave behind the church. People say that some of the victims still haunt the Mission. A ghost wearing a Navy peacoat has been reportedly seen stepping out of the wall of the Church accompanied by a woman wearing black and gliding six inches off the ground. The ghosts were believed to be Reed and his wife. The first burial in the Cemetery next to the mission was in 1798 and records show that are 1,249 Indians buried there. On December 22, 2003, the Mission was badly damaged in an earthquake and was closed. San Miguel is a few miles north of Pasa Robles.. GO THERE
William Antrim, Billy the Kid's stepfather is buried here in the San Miguel Cemetery across the Freeway from the San Miguel Mission. His tall. large, red stone. In 1873, Antrim married Catherine McCarty who had two young sons, Henry and Joseph. The family later moved to Silver City, New Mexico where Catherine died. Antrim raised the two boys as his own. It was while living in New Mexico that Henry McCarty Antrim changed his name to William Antrim Jr. and became known as the infamous "Billy the Kid." After "Billy the Kid" was killed, Antrim moved to Adelaida and spent his final years here as a miner. The small Cemetery is on Cemetery. Road that runs along the west side of the 101 freeway. Cross under the freeway at 10th street from San Miguel and turn left. Go past Little Travis Creek, the Cemetery will be on your right.
SAN PABLO – Actress Blossom Seely was born here in 1892.
SAN QUENTIN – San Quentin State Prison is located on 432 acres on Point Quentin, north of San Francisco. Opened in July 1852, it is the oldest prison in California. It was built by inmates who were housed on the prison ship Waban during the construction. San Quentin held both male and female inmates until 1934 when the women's prison at Tehachapi was built. GO THERE
SAN SIMEON – Hearst Castle was the palatial estate of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. It is located near San Simeon, California, on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Donated by the Hearst Corporation to the state of California in 1957, it is now a State Historical Monument and a National Historic Landmark, open for public tours. GO THERE MORE MORE
SANTA ANA – Born here in Santa Ana were film comedian Al “Fuzzy” St. Johns in 1893 and singer John Raitt in 1917.
SANTA CLARITA – When the St. Francis Dam in the San Francisquito Canyon broke in 1928, it killed 450. Among the dead were six members of the Ruiz family, mother and father and four of their children ages 8, 11, 19, and 29. They were buried in a small Cemetery on their ranch just below the dam. After the part of the ranch where the Cemetery is located was sold in the 1980s, the new owners began to notice strange happenings. Soon after they had painted the door of an old house on the property, the hand print of a small child appeared in the wet paint. The owners did not have any young children. At other times they heard the cries of a baby and other canyon residents tell stories of "Old Man Ruiz" roaming the hills at night. The Ruiz Cemetery is about 2 miles north of the intersection of San Francisquito Canyon, Copper Hill and Seco Canyon. The Cemetery is on a hillside on private property in a grove of trees on the west side of the Canyon.
SANTA CRUZ – Actress Beverly Garland was born here in 1929.
The loganberry was first introduced here by Judge James Harvey Logan in 1881. It was a cross between a California wild blackberry and a red raspberry.
SANTA MARIA – Baseball player Jim Lonberg was born here in 1943.
SANTA MONICA - Born here in Santa Monica were actor Jack Webb in 1920, actress Shirley Temple in 1928, football player Frank Gifford in 1930, actress Mara Corday in 1932, actor Robert Redford in 1937, actress Linda Gray in 1940, singer Kathy Lennon in 1942, actress Shelley Fabres in 1944, actress Bonnie Franklin in 1944, actress Geraldine Chaplin in 1944 and actor Kevin “Moochie” Corcoran in 1949.
SANTA ROSA – Born here in Santa Rosa were cartoonist Robert Ripley in 1893, singer Julie London in 1926 and actress Karen Valentine in 1947.
Robert Ripley is buried here in the Oddfellows Cemetery in Lot 214. He created the “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” series..
Horticulturist Luther Burbank is buried here.
The graves of 75 known victims of the great 1906 San Francisco earthquake are buried here in the Santa Rosa Rural Cemetery on Franklin Street.
SAUGUS – Actor Harry Carey Jr. was born here in 1921.
SAUSALITO – Sausalito was for many years the home of the poet Daniel O’Connell, grand nephew of Daniel O’Connell, the Irish patriot.
SHAFTER – Boxers Jerry and Mike Quarry are buried here in the Shafter Memorial Park Cemetery. Brothers, both died of boxer’s dementia - Jerry at age 55 and Mike at age 53.
SISSONS – Novelist Anita Loos was born here in 1893.
SKIDOO – Skidoo is a ghost town located in Death Valley National Park. It was famous in the first decade of the 20th century when gold had been found in the area. Within a few years the town had been abandoned, however, and now no standing structures remain.
SONOMA – Baseball player Thornton Lee was born here in 1906.
SQUAW VALLEY – Actor/comedian Stu Irwin was born here in 1902.
STOCKTON – Artist Bob Montana was born here in 1920. He created Archie comics.
SWANSEA –-Now a ghost town, Swansea was a boomtown located on the eastern shore of Owens Lake. Spawned by the success of the silver mining operations in the nearby Cerro Gordo Mines in the late 1860's, Swansea became a hub for smelting the ore and transporting the resulting ingots to Los Angeles over 200 miles away. In 2007, only one building and a smelter foundation remained alongside California State Highway 136 (about 10 miles southeast of Lone Pine). PHOTOS
TERMINAL ISLAND –- Terminal Island is an artificial island located between Los Angeles Harbor and Long Beach Harbor. Originally a mudflat known to the Spanish as Isla Raza de Buena Gente, and later called Rattlesnake Island, it has officially been Terminal Island since 1918. GO THERE
TIBURON – Baseball player Sam Chapman was born here in 1916.
TRAVER –- Actor Paul Hurst was born here in 1888.
TREASURE ISLAND –- Treasure Island is an artificial island in the San Francisco Bay between San Francisco and Oakland. It is connected by a small isthmus to Yerba Buena Island. It was created in 1939 for the "Golden Gate International Exposition" by dredging fill from the bay. GO THERE
TRONA –- The town of Trona was established in 1914 by the American Trona Corp., which owned the community outright. It built the schools, homes and dance halls and issued its own money to be used in town. In 1954, the company, then American Potash & Chemical, sold its homes to employees.
In 1978 the company had 1,450 employees. In 1982, more than 400 chemists and engineers were relocated to Oklahoma. For many, this was the beginning of the end. Layoffs and bitter strikes followed. The workforce shrank. Houses that couldn't be sold were abandoned.
Over the years, Trona, once a thriving community of 6,000 on the ragged edge of Death Valley, 100 miles north from Barstow, has shriveled to just 1,800. Drug dealers looking for cheap housing have moved in. Parolees abound. Arsonists have torched dozens of vacant homes, leaving charred skeletons behind. Business owners, unable to make a profit, have simply locked up and walked away. Meanwhile, many Tronans are fleeing to Ridgecrest, 25 miles away, leaving mostly senior citizens behind.
Today, most of the 650 workers at Searles Valley Minerals, the major employer, now live elsewhere. The high school has just 160 students with a graduating class last year of 15. The football team, unable to field 11 players, now plays with eight.
The smell of sulfur, the blast-furnace heat and barren landscape make it a tough place to live. Residents endure months of 120-degree temperatures and winds that fling boulders down mountainsides. Seniors golf at the Trona Golf Club, hitting balls on a mostly sand and dirt course while dodging the occasional rattlesnake. The Trona Tornadoes, named after dust devils spinning off dry Searles Lake, may be the only high school football team outside Alaska to have an all-dirt field. Astroturf would blow away, they say. The white lines contain eye-stinging sodium sulfate to better stick to the field.
Homes here are among the cheapest in California, with a median price of $40,000. Many streets are lined with burned out houses.
Parts of "Planet of the Apes" and "Star Trek V: The Final Frontier" were filmed at the Trona Pinnacles, towering mineral formations near town. Conspiracy buffs have long held that Trona was the site of NASA's "moon landings." The town was a stopover for the Manson family, who loaded up on water before heading to Barker Ranch about 20 miles east, where they were eventually arrested in 1969.
Trona is a place where a lot of people have been forgotten. When a house burns down, it's charred remains stand for 10 or 15 years.
TULARE – Born here in Tulare were actor Paul Hurst in 1888 and track athlete Bob Mathias in 1930.
TULE LAKE – During WWII, the Tule Lake Japanese-America Interment Camp was located six miles south of the California-Oregon border. It occupied 7,400 acres of land in the dry lake bed of the Klamath Falls Basin, and was fenced-in with barbed wire and guard towers. The last internee left Tule Lake on March 20, 1946. Today, a California State Historical Landmark plaque and monument along the north side of State Highway 139 identifies the camp site. Some of the original barracks buildings have been converted into contemporary housing facilities. Farm labor housing, airport terminals and runways now occupy portions of the land that once was the home of 18,000 Japanese Americans. The camp was located near Newell, 35 miles southeast of Klamath Falls, Oregon, and about 10 miles from the town of Tulelake.
VAN NUYS – Actress Cindy Williams was born here in 1947.
VENICE – Pacific Ocean Park Amusement Park (POP) was located here from 1958 to 1975 GO THERE PHOTOS MORE
The Venice Canals were built here in 1929,
GO THERE PHOTOS
VIDAL – In 1906, Wyatt Earp worked a gold mine claim near here. He and his wife Josie lived in a cottage in Vidal. The home is still there. Vidal had a population of 27 in 1925.
VISALIA – Baseball player Larry French was born here in 1907.
WEEDPATCH – Between 1935 and 1940 over one million people left their homes in Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas and Missouri to escape the wind, dust, and drought and set out for California on what was referred to then as the "Mother Road", Route 66. They came to California to find work picking crops. One of the farm workers camps where they stayed was located between Weedpatch and Lamont. In 1936 the camp known as the “Weed Patch," housed about 300 people in one-room tin cabins and tents. It was the same year that John Steinbeck stayed near the Weed Patch Camp in the neighboring community of Weedpatch, and began gathering material about the "Okies" for his best-selling novel The Grapes of Wrath. When the movie was made, some of the scenes were filmed here at the camp including a scene where the post office was used as the manager's office.
UPDATE – The post office, the library and the large community building still remain from the original camp. The former Weedpatch Camp, now known as the Sunset Labor Camp (AKA Arvin Federal government Camp), is located next to the Sunset School at 8301 Sunset Blvd in Lamont, just north of the town of Weedpatch. Today, hispanics make up 88 percent of Lamont's population and the old Weed Patch Camp houses Mexican migrant workers. GO THERE
WEST LOS ANGELES – Nicholas Earp, father of Wyatt, is buried here in the Los Angeles National Cemetery. He is in the old section north of Waterford St. between Wilshire and Bolas.
WILLITS – Seabiscuit, the famous race horse spent his final years here on the Ridgewood Ranch ten miles outside Willits. When he died in 1947, his owner Charles Howard buried him on the ranch. Some say he is buried under an undisclosed oak tree somewhere on the ranch and others say he is buried in front of Howard's home. Today, the Church of the Golden Rule owns the ranch and Seabiscuit's barn and Howards home are still here. Tours are available.
A huge boulder on the old highway near here, known as Black Bart Rock, is said to have been the hideout of the fabled bandit who robbed a stage here in 1880. Black Bart (Charles E. Bolton) was America's most celebrated stage coach bandit. He often left funny and clever rhymes at the scene of his crimes, such as:
I've labored long and hard for bread,
For honor and for riches,
But on my corns too long you've tread,
You fine-haired sons of bitches.
YORBA LINDA – U.S. President Richard Nixon was born here in 1913 and is buried here.
YOSEMITE – Yosemite National Park was established on 01 October 1890, and is the Nation's third oldest national park. PHOTOS
YUBA CITY – In 1971, Juan Corona, a farm labor contractor, killed 25 migrant workers with a machete, then buried them in shallow graves on farms outside Yuba City.
ZZYZX – Zzyzx (pronounced Zy-Zix, rhymes with Isaacs) Mineral Springs and Health Resort was a town created out of nothing in 1944 by one of the Mojave Desert's characters, Curtis Howe Springer, who combined religion with "miraculous" health food and water cures. In 1944, Springer filed a mining claim on 12,000 acres of federal land, south of Baker. Once an 1860 Army post, all that was on the land was a railroad station and a few abandoned buildings. Springer then built a two-story, 60-room hotel he called the “Castle on the Boulevard of Dreams." During the next several years, he built a food-processing and printing plant, a recording studio, dining hall, chapel, a cross-shaped swimming pool, his own private airstrip called Zyport, and a man-made lake called Lake Tuendae. Then he opened Zzyzx, a Christian resort where he preached the curative powers of its mineral waters and the evils of drink. In 1969, Springer was convicted of falsely claiming that one of his products would cure baldness. In 1974, Springer was evicted after he failed to pay the government $34,187 in back rent.
UPDATE – In 2000, Zzyzx was an educational retreat, home to the California Desert Studies Center, where scientists from all over the world conduct desert research. Zzyzx highway signs can be seen on Interstate 15 southwest of Las Vegas. GO THERE
Copyright © 2012
All rights Reserved
Find California Hometowns Here
They’re All Here in California!
Black Bart - Manzanar -The Earps - Lost Treasure
Murders - Ghosts - Hollywood - Attractions - Trips - History
Best & Worst Hotels
Guide to California Unusual Travel Attractions