Monday, May 02, 2016
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We are extremely proud of all the California's Gold shows we have produced over the past 20 years on our State's rich history, cultural diversity, natural wonders, and amazing people.
Our program is also endorsed by a number of organizations including: the California Teachers Association; the California Federation of Teachers; the California State Library Foundation; the California Library Association; the California School Boards Association; the California Council for the Social Studies; and the California Historical Society.
Thanks again for your support, and as always, you are invited to join the adventure as we continue our search together for California's Gold.
California's Gold #2001 - FIRST THEATER
On this adventure, Huell goes in search of California's "First Theater." As usual, nothing is simple in California because there are actually two first theaters. From Monterey to Sacramento we uncover California's theater history.
Huell starts his search in Monterey at "California's First Theater". An English sailor by the name of Jack Swan completed his saloon/boarding house in 1847 and very quickly US soldiers stationed in Monterey where putting on shows in his building. The building went through many incarnations over the years until 1937 when it was re-opened as a theater. The Troupers of the Gold Coast (the oldest continually performing theatrical company in the world) have been entertaining audiences ever since. Huell gets a tour and sees a performance in California's first first theater.
Next its off to Sacramento to California's second first theater, the Eagle Theater. Mr. Zadock Hubbard and Mr. Gates Brown, owners of the Round Tent Saloon located on J Street near the corner of Front Street, financed the construction of the Eagle Theater in 1849, to provide entertainment for the hordes of miners and emigrants coming to Sacramento during the Gold Rush. Construction began in July and the building was completed by September 1849.
Huell gets a wonderful tour and again we get to see a performance on a very historic stage.
California's Gold #2002 - PT. SUR LIGHTHOUSE
Jutting out into the Pacific Ocean from the spectacular Big Sur Coast, the Point Sur Lightstation stands as a silent sentinel to a bygone era. Point Sur, a National Historic Landmark, is the only complete turn-of-the-century lightstation open the public in California.
From 1889 until 1974, families lived and worked in the buildings atop Pt. Sur. The families are gone but the unique stone lighthouse still guides ships with its light. Many ships perished on the rocks off Pt. Sur, but the most famous "ship" was the USS Macon, a helium filled navy dirigible that crashed and sank in 1,450 feet of water killing all but 2 on board. The stories go on and on and if the lighthouse could talk it would fill volumes.
In his usual style, Huell goes up, over, in, under and all around this spectacular example of California's Gold.
California's Gold #2003 - SWALLOWS
The miracle of the "Swallows" of Capistrano takes place each yearat the Mission San Juan Capistrano, on March 19th, St. Joseph's Day. Legend saysthe swallows, seeking sanctuary from an innkeeper who destroyed their nests,took up residence at the old Mission. They return to the site each year to nest,knowing their young can be safe within the Mission walls. As the little birdswing their way back to the Mission, the village of San Juan Capistrano takes ona fiesta air and visitors from all parts of the world, and all walks of life,gather in great numbers to witness the "miracle" of the return of theswallows. In this episode, Huell travels to the old Mission to visit this trulyCalifornian phenomenon. There will be all sorts of surprises including a specialversion of the song, "When The Swallows Come Back To Capistrano". It'sa celebration you don't want to miss.
California's Gold #2004 - BIRD ROCK
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your very own island? What about an island off the southern coast of California? Join Huell and the family that owns this special island as they return to their little slice of California. It takes three separate boat rides to get there and your feet might get wet, but it is well worth the trip.
California's Gold #2005 - MUDPOTS
In this muddy adventure, Huell travels to some very remote areas to take an up close and personal look at "mudpots".
Mudpots only occur three places in the US and one of them is right here in California. Our first stop is the Imperial Wildlife Area. Huell and a member of the Fish and Game take a look at huge mounds of bubbling, oozing, popping and exploding mudpots. This is a public are that is open to mud lovers one and all.
Next its off to some privately owned land which has some extraordinary mudpots. Photographer Jack Hobart has made some amazing images with still and video cameras over the years at this secret spot which he shares with Huell.
California's Gold #2006 - HOT CREEK
If you love to soak in really hot water and love the out of doors, you haveto watch this show. Huell travels to the Eastern Sierra's in search of a goodplace to have a soak. Hot Creek Geological Site is nestled in the Inyo NationalForest close to the town of Mammoth Lakes. We take a ride out to the site withDebbie Nelson who is a Recreation Specialist for the forest.
Huell gets a first hand look at this beautiful spot with water boiling upfrom the ground which mixes with the cool water of Hot Creek and makes for somevery nice swimming. We'll even meet some die-hard soakers who come from all overCalifornia to enjoy the therapeutic water.
Check to make sure it is open to the public as of Jan. 2011 it is closed as the water is too hot due to geological activity.
California's Gold #2007 - NIXON'S BOYHOOD HOME
Visit The Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace with Huell and first daughterJulie Nixon Eisenhower, as she gives a private and personal tour of thefarmhouse where her dad was born and raised. During this informal tour Julietalks about her father's memories of growing up in this simple, wooden home thatused to be in the middle of a huge orange grove. It is a rare personal insightinto the 37th President's early California years, and an authentic piece ofCalifornia's Gold.
California's Gold #2008 - SAN FRANCISCO CEMETERIES
San Francisco is a city of many distinctions, but few are as intriguing as the history of its cemeteries.
As the 19th century came to a close in San Francisco, a movement some say a real estate scheme began to remove all buried remains from within the city. After many ordinances, acts and decrees, cemeteries were carefully relocated to nearby towns, while headstones were recycled as breakwaters and paving material. Only three cemeteries and their inhabitants were left within the boundaries of San Francisco.
Join Huell as he discovers the sacred grounds that still exist today at San Francisco de Asis (Mission Dolores) and the San Francisco National Cemetery at the Presidio. He also enters the neoclassical San Francisco Columbarium where the ash remains of many notable San Francisco family members rest within the beauty of an architectural gem.
California's Gold #2009 - HISTORIC CHICKENS
A 1916 brochure called the town of Petaluma "The largest poultry center in the world" and up until the sixties, Petaluma was a major player in the world of chickens. In 1915, Petaluma shipped 11,681,134 dozen eggs.
Huell travels to Petaluma to attend the annual Butter and Egg Days celebration, which ran from 1916 to 1928 and was brought back in the early eighties. Petaluma pulls out all the stops in this wonderful small town gathering. You won't want to miss the Cutest Chick costume contest.
Continuing our look at Historic Chickens, the Petaluma Historical Society takes Huell to one of original chicken farms that once lined the hills of this town. Beautiful moss covered chicken coups are slowly decaying, but are an integral part of Petaluma's landscape. Several of the original farmers come back to spend a day remising about their lives on these farms. Some of these folks come from a long line of farmers who have called Petaluma home for many generations.
California's Gold #2010 - STATE LIBRARY TREASURES
Founded along with the State of California itself, the California State Library houses precious artifacts from California's infancy. Huell gets a private tour of this rare collection which includes California's first newspaper, mirror images of the gold country from the 1850s, a 17th Century map of California and John Marshall's own hand-drawn map and sketch of gold discovery.
California's Gold #2011 - UNDER LAKE ARROWHEAD
Lake Arrowhead is one of Southern California's beautiful areas. This private lake is perfect for fishing, water skiing and just enjoying. The people that own the lake cherish it as a recreational heaven.
Originally built as a reservoir to feed the citrus groves of San Bernardino through a series of flumes and tunnels this engineering marvel fell apart. For legal reasons, the project never worked and the reservoir became a recreational area. What most people don't know is that there is a whole world under the lake.
Huell takes a hundred-foot ride down in an elevator that was built in the late 1800s to explore this underwater marvel. Believe it or not there is a 3000 foot tunnel that runs under the lake and lots of wonderful old equipment, including pumps, engines and valves originally built for irrigation purposes that is hidden away. It's a world that few people have ever seen and a wonderful bit of California's Gold.
Contact: Lake Arrowhead Association 909-337-2595.
California's Gold #2012 - MONARCHS
Have you ever wondered what 100,000 Monarch Butterflies look like? Wellhere's your chance. Huell travels to Pismo State Beach to visit the largestoverwintering site for Monarch butterflies in the U.S. More people visit thissite than any another butterfly site in the world. Last year they had 50,000visitors!
Every year hundreds of thousands of Monarchs fly as much as two thousandmiles to reach safe overwintering sites along California's central coast. Theycan fly up to one hundred miles a day at an altitude of up to ten thousand feet.What's amazing is that none of the butterflies that make this amazing journeyhave ever been here before. The butterflies have nothing but instinct to guidethem. Huell gets a special tour of this wonderful site from a Park Ranger,docents and a class from Cal Poly who studies the Monarchs. It's a feast for the eyes.
Contact: Pismo State Beach 805-489-1869.
California's Gold #2013 - EMPEROR AND THE PRESIDENT
Like other states, the hierarchy of California's government begins with our Governor and weaves its way down through offices such as Secretary of State, Attorney General and Senator. What is surprising about California, is that we once had an Emperor and a President.
California's President William Ide emerged during the 24 days of the Bear Flag revolt of 1846. Ide posted a proclamation in Sonoma declaring liberty for California settlers, which set the stage for California's statehood. In admiration of his bravery and leadership, his fellow Bear Flaggers and other pioneers dubbed him President.
Later in the 19th Century, a wealthy businessman who had lost a huge fortune, walked into the office of the San Francisco Bulletin and proclaimed himself Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico.
From 1859 until his death in 1880, the eccentric Emperor Norton continued to issue proclamations, circulate his own currency and roam the streets of San Francisco dressed in a Civil War uniform. Residents and business owners humored the loveable character by paying him "taxes," providing him with meals and transportation, and saluting him.
Although their titles are unofficial, Huell discovers that the legacy of our Emperor and President continues as he visits the locales frequented by Emperor Norton in San Francisco, Sonoma and the popular adobe named for President Ide in Red Bluff. Huell also pays tribute at both of their gravesites, permanent reminders of their contribution to California.
KCET Launches Huell's Interactive Los Angeles
Visit the interactive
The Best of California's Gold. Call 800-255-5727. DVD for $49.95.