Local News

The Downtown Report: Mid February Edition

FUHS Auditorium update

If you were anywhere near Chapman and Lemon last week, you had to notice the huge crane soaring up into the blue sky and wondered what has been taking place lately. The massive concrete and steel buttress is in place, so the main earthquake support is ready for any action that may be in the offing care of Mother Earth. You may also notice the work being done on the front of the building next to the two support columns. The same material that will cover the tower will be applied there, further strengthening the building. Still to be completed are the new bathrooms inside the addition on Lemon, which will also be a new ADI entrance and will include dressing rooms and a green room.  Extensive work on the interior continues and the hope is that everything will be completed so it can be ready for business in June. We all hope so, especially the students who look forward to once again putting it to good use. The integrity of this very important structure is being preserved.

Fullerton Agriculture: Part 2

Dolores at Berumen Farm.

Thanks for the comments regarding the photo quiz and some details regarding our agriculture past and present. Good to know that Berumen Farm strawberries and produce can be found at the Wednesday Farmers Market as we mentioned, so if that is more convenient for you, head over. It’s in the back lot at the Community Center.

Orange packers in Fullerton, 1895. Photo courtesy of Fullerton Public Library Local History Room.

Observer Dave mentioned there is one other packing house left in Fullerton, and of course it is no longer serving that purpose, but below are some historic photos of the Elephant Packing House and other packing houses courtesy of the Fullerton Library History Room, as are the other historic photos on this page.

Elephant Packing House, Fullerton. Photo courtesy of Fullerton Public Library Local History Room.

Inside an old Fullerton Packing House. Photo courtesy of Fullerton Public Library Local History Room.

New in Town

New warehouse buildings going up on the site of the former Kimberly Clark orange groves.

The last large citrus grove was bulldozed at the Kimberly Clark location on Orangethorpe just over one year ago, and now, one of the behemoth tilt-up warehouses is going up quickly, and soon metal posts will be installed, followed by the roof. All the trades working below will be happy when that happens, with summer heat upon us already.

Framing is going up now in SoCo as two new restaurants are taking shape, hopefully injecting some new energy to the area. Fullerton welcomes Rio Do Brazil (Brazilian steakhouse) and Lagos Mexican Cuisine.

New restaurants being built in the SoCo district.

Hit hard by COVID like everywhere, restaurants have cut hours in order to remain profitable but will be ready to go back full force when the time comes. SoCo hope springs eternal.

Happy to see the Fullerton Motor Parts, ah, the Capri Shoes building at 142 West Commonwealth is not sitting idly by any longer. Lace and Luck Women’s Boutique moved in a while back and we wanted to welcome them and promise great success.

Photo Quiz

Bastanchury Ranch in Fullerton. Photo courtesy of Fullerton Public Library Local History Room.

Last issue: Thinking big, Bastanchury Ranch in Sunny Hills had the largest herd of sheep in the area and then they converted the ranch into the largest citrus grove in the world in the 1920s.  The photo posted above shows some of that ranch in the distance, and oil wells in Coyote Hills, but what about that sandstone cliff in the foreground?  As you can see from the recent photo below, things look totally different, so apparently when the area was graded, the sandstone had to go. I could not get the exact angle, trees, etc. in the way. Research is still underway.

Recent photo of former Bastanchury Ranch.

BTW, the Gilman ranch is where Cal State Fullerton is now and was the first Valencia grove in 1875.  Many of the homes build in and around downtown in the 1940s and 50s came with an orange tree planted in the front and back yards. Do you have one?

A fuse was lit on this one, and there are still some who believe the photo may not be exactly where we think it is. The street in question is said to be Helen Drive, some say it is Marion Boulevard. To get the right perspective, and the final answer, an updated aerial photo may be the way to solve this.

This issue: Walnut citrus labels are hard to find; please tell us why. Send answer to Mike at AllMedia@sbcglobal.net.

1 reply »

  1. It’s always great to see the past and future of Fullerton. Another great article along with pictures from Mr. Ritto.