04 June 2017

The Gaines and Brown Families of Carbon Canyon, Part 5: Olinda School, 1910s

Because it was located in a district that had extraordinary tax revenues from a booming oil field, Olinda School may have been the best-funded elementary through junior high school in the region.

For the Gaines and Brown families, whose descendant Joyce Harrington has shared many of the family photos, this meant a quality education outside of the established cities in northern Orange County like Fullerton and Anaheim.

When it came to going to high school, Olinda students would make the long bus ride to Fullerton Union High School, which gave a good education, just not with the tax revenues of Olinda!

It seemed particularly appropriate at this point, as our schools have completed their year and students are headed for their summer vacations, including some who have graduated, to post a couple of the images provided by Joyce of the Olinda School.

The facility was located near the banks of Carbon [Canyon] Creek after it flowed out of Carbon Canyon, past the confluence with Soquel Canyon and its creek and headed into what is now Carbon Canyon Regional Park.

The Olinda School, located in what is now the eastern end of Carbon Canyon Regional Park, from a circa 1910s photograph provided courtesy of Joyce Harrington.
Those familiar with the old park entrance, near which is a state historic landmark plaque for the Olinda community, will recognize in one of the photos the steep hill behind the school, which is above the park's eastern edge and where housing tracts in Yorba Linda overlook the park just to the west of today's Diemer water treatment plant operated by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

At the left of the image, behind a small tree is the covered projecting entrance of the school, situated under a bell tower with arched openings.  Again, this is pretty fancy school for such a rural area.

The other photo shows the graduating 8th grade class of 1917, exactly a century ago, posed on the front steps of the Olinda School.  As with almost all school photos, it is fun to see the varied dress and expressions of the students, some with broad smiles and others are serious, while a few students look away from the camera.  At the bottom left is the mark of Hartsook, a major photography studio with offices in Los Angeles and Oakland.

The 8th grade graduating class of 1917 at the Olinda School.  Courtesy of Joyce Harrington.
The Olinda School operated well after the post-World War II period, even as the residential population of the oil fields diminished significantly from the late 1920s onward, with the rise of the automobile allowing oil field workers to live further from their job site.  When the Carbon Canyon Dam project was completed in the late 1950s, the school was razed.

The name of Olinda School, however, was revived when the Olinda Village subdivision was built further east where the Gaines' Flying Cow Ranch was located.  Olinda Elementary School opened in the mid-1960s and operated until recent years, when new housing at Olinda Ranch and projecting subdivisions in the shuttered oil fields north of Lambert and west of Valencia prompted the move of the school to its current location on Birch Street.

Thanks to photos like the ones provided by Joyce, we can document the existence and usage of the original Olinda School.

03 June 2017

On the Skids in Carbon Canyon #s26262/26389 + Bonuses

Two recent accidents on Carbon Canyon Road indicate more reckless driving.  On Wednesday, 24 May at 10:30 p.m. that familiar sound of screeching tires and skidding followed by a metallic crunch echoed through Sleepy Hollow.

By the time a neighbor and I got over to the accident scene at the old Party House liquor store where Carbon Creek crosses under Carbon Canyon Road, the vehicle was gone, but left behind a twisted, bent section of guardrail there along the north side of the state highway.  A neighbor who lives directly across the street went out upon hearing the wreck and found a young woman hightailing it from the scene.


Yesterday about 4:15 p.m. while heading westbound from Chino Hills Parkway on Carbon Canyon Road, another accident scene was encountered, in which an older SUV was on its side and glass scattered across the westbound lane.

A Summit Ranch resident just narrowly missed being hit by the SUV, which apparently drifted off the eastbound lane, went up a dirt embankment and then skidded across the road on its side acros the opposing lane of traffic.  It has been said, but not verified, that alcohol was smelled on the breath of the driver.

Meanwhile, Chino Hills councilmember Ed Graham, as part of his regular updates to residents, which is a great service that he provides, had this to offer in his most recent edition:
Chino Hills Police conducted a Carbon Canyon Joint Enforcement Action on April 25th. The Cities of Chino and Brea participated as well. A total of 80 citations were issued by the three agencies with Chino Hills writing 50 of those tickets. Twenty of the 80 citations were for excessive speed. Several of those were in excess of 65 mph. Thirty-six citations were issued to Chino Hills’ residents. The balance were spread over a wide range of Orange County and Inland Empire cities. Interestingly, 16 citations were issued for use of cell phone/texting. As expected, a number of citations were issued to trucks, mostly for crossing the double yellow line. All of those were residents outside of Chino Hills. 
It is always a good situation when our local law enforcement personnel are out on Carbon Canyon Road, because, if they write that many citations on one day, just think how many instances of dangerous driving there are every day.

It should be added that the action took place on a Tuesday and, though not stated by councilmember Graham, was almost certainly during daylight hours.  However, those of us who live in or drive the canyon regularly know that more reckless driving takes place weekend evenings than during weekday mornings or afternoons.

As the City of Chino Hills moves to phase two of a Carbon Canyon Road traffic study, the obvious conclusions in phase one's basic engineering analysis were presented last month to the planning commission.  That is, traffic volumes are in the D or F ranch for Level of Service (LOS); that volume will be increasing as more housing is built in the Inland Empire; and that there are some improvements that can be suggested to Carbon Canyon Road with the goal being to increase efficiency of movement on the state highway.

However, of the dozen or so speakers who addressed the commission, many asked for traffic lights at Canon Lane or Canyon Hills Drive so that residents seeking to turn (especially left) onto Carbon Canyon Road can do so more easily.  As a canyon resident who has to turn left all the time, but won't even have the opportunity to have traffic signals to assist because of the sight line issue in Sleepy Hollow, I really do empathize with those residents.


But, adding more traffic signals, while it may benefit a few, will actually slow traffic down and impede movement through the canyon for the larger numbers of commuters on the road.  As a state highway, Carbon Canyon Road has to be looked at in terms of the broader, rather than the more localized, impacts.

Again, I experience the same issues and frustrations of trying to access the road as do those speakers, but more traffic signals will be counterproductive and lead to more stoppages, less access, and slower commute times.

Here, though, is the bottom line in the big picture.  There are too many of us, me included, driving ourselves solo.  There is no way to improve existing freeways, highways and arterial roadways to address the real problem of inefficient volume.  The huge amounts of money and time spent on the 91 Freeway widening and the improvements of the 57/60 interchange, two of the worst traffic areas anywhere in the United States are the proverbial "finger in the dike," and won't address long-term traffic problems.

More carpooling, trains, subways, and, especially, buses are the only way to deal with volume.  For those who love to drive or want the convenience (compromised as those may be by lengthening commute times) of controlling our time by driving ourselves solo, we have to decide how much more we can put up with.

The Carbon Canyon Road traffic study is needed and it is good to see the city taking this project on, but the reality is that solutions will be temporary and minor.  What our elected officials and citizens need to do is embrace getting away from solo vehicle occupancy to mass transit in its varied forms.  Otherwise, it is more time wasted, more pollution generated, and our quality of life diminishes further.

31 May 2017

Tres Hermanos Ranch and Tonner Canyon Plan Reported

This came out several days ago in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune concerning the City of Industry's plans for Tres Hermanos Ranch and other land in Tonner Canyon directly north and adjacent to Carbon Canyon.

Here is the link to the article discussing those plans for a large solar farm in the area and quoting from nearby officials, including Rad Bartlam, city manager of Chino Hills.

14 May 2017

Carbon Canyon Historical Artifact #55: La Vida Mineral Water Company Stock Certificate, 1930

With many thanks to Dorothy Infantado, who sent this item a few days ago so that it could be posted on this blog, this entry highlights a stock certificate from La Vida Mineral Water Company, which used the water from the resort here on the Brea side of Carbon Canyon and bottled it with a variety of added flavors as a healthful beverage.

A stock certificate for 20 shares of preferred stock in La Vida Mineral Water Company, issued to Charles and Lulu Rose of Long Beach, 2 September 1930.  Donated by Dorothy Infantado.

Previous posts here have given some of the history of the La Vida Mineral Water Company, but this is the first time that a stock certificate has surfaced.  The seal of the firm shows an incorporation date of 27 February 1928, with posts on this blog stating the company started producing water in 1927 and then, evidently, decided to sell stock in the company to raise capital for expansion.  This definitely happened as La Vida water was marketed heavily throughout the West Coast in following years, peaking in 1931.

The president of the firm was C. [Charleston] A. Kleinman, whose signature is on the certificate, along with the company's secretary, whose name, however, is largely faded and indecipherable.  Information about Kleinman was included in earlier posts here from 2012.  This is certificate number 500, dated 2 September 1930, and 20 shares were issued to Charles E. and Lulu Rose.  It is not known what the par value of the stock was

The front panel of the stock certificate--likely the Roses did not receive much in the way of dividends and equity from their shares.

The stock purchased by the couple was preferred stock, which means that any dividends or any payments made on dissolution of the firm would go to holders to this type of stock before those who held common stock in the firm. La Vida Mineral Water issued a quarter million shares of capital stock, with half being preferred and the other half common.

As to these stockholders, they were not wealthy investors.  Charles E. Rose was a native of Illinois and was about 47 years old when he bought the stock.  He worked as a streetcar motorman, probably for the Pacific Electric system.  His wife Lulu Evans, who hailed from Michigan was a few years younger, and the couple resided in a modest bungalow north of downtown Long Beach.

An ad for the firm in the San Bernardino County Sun, 19 June 1931.
Even though the Great Depression began a little under a year prior to the Rosses buying their shares of stock in La Vida Mineral Water, the company's rapid growth and breathless promotion of the many health benefits of its product obviously convinced them that it was worth the expenditure.  But, it is unlikely they ever got much out of their investment in terms of dividends or equity.

What happened to this certificate is uncertain--Lulu Ross, who was previously married, had two children and it is likely the document passed to them.   However, items like this can wind up in other hands in any number of ways.  For example, perhaps a later owner of one of the homes the Rosses lived in found it.

A testimonial to the myriad health benefits of La Vida Mineral Water from another Sun ad, 26 March 1931.
In any case, many thanks to Dorothy for passing this along so that it can be shared with readers of this blog.

13 May 2017

Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council Brush Drop-Off Day a Success

Today from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Canon Lane next to Fire Station 64, north of Carbon Canyon Road, there was a steady stream of Carbon Canyon residents from the Chino Hills portion who took advantage of the Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council's brush drop-off day.

The first bin was set aside and the second one was put into place during today's brush drop-off day.
This program, with the support of the City of Chino Hills and Chino Hills (Republic) Disposal, has been held for the last several years, often in the spring and fall, and allows for local residents to dispose of their brush and help keep the fire risk in the canyon down.

Several Council volunteers were on hand to help with off-loading and piling of the debris into large roll-off bins and there were sometimes three vehicles at a time waiting to drop off the material.

Local residents participating in the drop-off day; in this case, this vehicle made several trips to drop off material.
By mid-morning, the first bin was getting full and, fortunately, the disposal company had another empty one nearby in Chino Hills, so it took just a few minutes to bring it and haul away the first one.

As 1:00 neared, the second bin was just about full and one late arrival had to be turned away as the bin was being hauled out.

With something on the order of 7,500 pounds of brush dropped off, that means that much less of a fire risk in the canyon.
In all, an estimated 7,500 pounds of brush was brought down and then taken away.  With the deadline of the 15th looming for local residents to remove their brush by order the fire department and with the weather being just about perfect, this was the time to get the work done and it was great to see those residents who took advantage of the project.

There may be a fall date for a second brush drop-off day this year, so look for more information here, on the Chronicle Facebook page, on Next Door Sleepy Hollow and on the Chino Hills Connection site.

08 May 2017

Dangerous Left Turns Into Left Turn Lanes on Carbon Canyon Road

Last Wednesday, the Chino Hills Planning Commission meeting featured a presentation of the first phase of a Carbon Canyon Road traffic study.

More on that in a coming post, but there was a statement made by the traffic engineer for the consultant, KOA Corporation, that there are too many cars on the state highway for the type of road that it is.

When it came time for ten canyon residents to express their concerns during public comment, several of them stated that turning left onto Carbon Canyon Road can be a stressful and frustrating experience, which is true.  The road mentioned most often was Canon Lane and concerns about accidents stated.

However, just forty-five minutes ago, while I was heading east on the highway, a late-model BMW 5-series sedan turned left from Canon and, because the road was not clear for that turn, the driver used the left turn lane on westbound Carbon Canyon to southbound Canon Lane as a collector lane.

Sure enough, a black sedan entered that left-turn lane to go south onto Canon just as the BMW was starting to exit it and cut in front of the driver ahead of me to get onto the eastbound lane of Carbon Canyon.

This is the second time in the last several days that I've seen/experienced this.

Last week, I was heading the same direction and a new-looking Mercedes SUV made the same maneuver and was looking to enter the roadway from the westbound left-turn lane, but I happened to be there, so the driver stopped and had to wait in that lane before heading on to Carbon Canyon Road.  In this case, there was no one turning left, but what if there had been?

Residents of the canyon know all too well the frustration of waiting long periods to try and turn left (or right to a lesser extent) onto Carbon Canyon Road during busy times.

Risking injury or death by making dangerous turns onto the roadway using a left-turn lane others might use, however, is lunacy.

In both these cases, these weren't young, inexperienced drivers, they were mature adults in their 40s to 60s.  They really should know better.

Among the comments at last week's meeting was that traffic signals at intersections like Canon Lane and Carbon Canyon Road would make turning left onto the state highway a great deal safer.  It's hard to argue with that, though there are many other factors about such issues traffic flow and delays to bear when considering these changes.

For now, though, people have to be more patient.  In both cases, when I looked into my rear view mirror after those maneuvers, there was room for those vehicles to turn left behind me within seconds.

Is it really worth it to try and shave off a few seconds of time to make a dangerous and illegal left turn?

07 May 2017

Brush Drop-Off Day Next Saturday the 13th

Next Saturday the 13th from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Carbon Canyon Fire Safe Council, with significant support from the City of Chino Hills and Chino Hills (Republic) Disposal, is holding its spring brush drop-off day.



Residents of the Chino Hills portion of Carbon Canyon only can bring their cut brush to a roll-off bin on Canon Lane next to Fire Station 64, just north of Carbon Canyon Road, where Fire Safe Council volunteers will help load the material into the bin.

Remember, there is a Chino Valley Fire District-imposed deadline of the 15th to remove brush from properties in order to reduce fire risk, so next Saturday is an opportune time to take that material down for disposal.