Yorba Linda History

Historic Documents

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close this bookYorba Linda - Its History
View the documentDedication
View the documentAcknowledgments
View the documentPreface
View the documentChapter 1 - The Indians
View the documentChapter 2 - The Hacienda Era
View the documentChapter 3 - Carlton
View the documentChapter 4 - The Pioneers
View the documentChapter 5 - The Business District "Down Town”
View the documentChapter 6 - Recreation and Celebrations
View the documentChapter 7 - Water
View the documentChapter 8 - The School Story
View the documentChapter 9 - The Library
View the documentChapter 10 - The Churches
View the documentChapter 11 - Organizations
View the documentChapter 12 - Incorporation
View the documentChapter 13 - Richard M. Nixon
View the documentChapter 14 - Famous Citizens
View the documentChapter 15 - A Forward Look
View the documentChapter 16 - Yorba Linda - What Now?

Chapter 6 - Recreation and Celebrations

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Although everyone worked hard in the early days of the village, there was still time for recreation occasionally, and these times were planned, looked forward to and enjoyed greatly because of their infrequency. A very special event of this kind was the "Decoration Day" Picnic, held under a large, spreading acacia tree on the Olinda ranch, May 30th. The Women's Federation, (later to become The Woman's Club) was in charge of this affair. Orange crates served as chairs for those who found the ground too uncomfortable. Food was spread on tables managed by the men. Families arrived in buggies and light wagons, and departed for home in time to look after the livestock and do the evening chores.

Two years later on May 30th, 1914, children of Yorba Linda decorated the graves of fallen soldiers at the Anaheim Cemetery, under direction of Daughters of Veterans, and a Yorba Linda Male Quartet sang "The Boys of the Old Brigade."

There was fishing at the lake on Buena Vista Street, not yet forbidden in those days, and some illegal swimming in the Anaheim Union Water Company ditch. Boys loved to go into the hills north of town to hunt, sometimes bringing home a limp rattler, enjoying the squeals of the girls and women.

Chauncey Eichler recalls that watermelon stealing was quite popular with the boys of that day and young couples used to pair [58] off and go strolling along the shores of Yorba Linda Lake. This seems odd today when no one would think of walking that far, but would have to have a car to drive from most any place in town to the lake on Buena Vista.

One night there was a thrilling diversion that stirred the blood of some of the young men of the village. Chauncey Eichler and Hoyt Corbit, among a half dozen boys who liked to gather in the evenings at the Buckmaster Hardware store and swap yarns, were startled to hear a shot fired and a voice scream, "Help! I'm shot!" The boys all rushed toward the commotion as the mournful cry, "I'm dying!" led them to the spot where a Mexican man, who had been helping with laying water mains, had been mistaken for a prowler and was shot with a pellet gun. One pellet struck him in the breast bone and stuck there. Blood flowed freely, but soon help came and the pellet was scraped loose, the blood washed away and a bandage applied. Yet, it had furnished a diversion as exciting to the youthful audience as some of the gory Westerns we view today.

In 1913, following the tradition established by their elders, the young people who decided they would like to play tennis, scraped out a court on the Lee Vernon place at Eureka and Yorba Linda Boulevard. They made do with what equipment they could get or improvise and spent some pleasant hours at this sport. Sometime later, on Park Avenue, a croquet ground was cleared on the P.E. right-of-way and many an hour was whiled away at this somewhat quieter game.

For a number of years an annual picnic was held in a small eucalyptus grove in the Olinda Hills. The families went in buggies and wagons on the two to three hour trip, stopping at the Tri County Corner marker, where Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange Counties meet. There was an abandoned house on the site and an old table which the men repaired and made useable, dubbing it "community table." Adults sat on the boxes which had held the lunch and the children grabbed food and ate while they played baseball and ran races. [59]

Other popular picnic spots were the top of Reservoir Hill on Highland when spring wild flowers were in bloom, and the old Yorba School on Orchard Drive.

Ross Knight told of the fun the young men of the new settlement used to have mounting their horses and chasing the coyotes through the tract and up into the hills to the north. Some of the men owned hounds and took them along on these jaunts which greatly increased the fun . . . also the din, according to reports.


Two celebrations were held honoring the return of World War I veterans. One was a local occasion held on the site where the orange packing house was later built. Later, a county wide observance took place at Orange County Park on September 9, 1920. It was the most ambitious gathering yet attempted in the county. Those in charge planned for a crowd of 20,000 people. The white Bus Line scheduled hourly trips between Anaheim and the Park. No less than four band concerts were given during the day with Anaheim, Huntington Park and Santa Ana bands participating.

Mrs. Carrie J. Drake of Yorba Linda was one of twenty women acting on the hostesses committee. Medals were presented to all the veterans by Governor William D. Stephens. Picnic dinner took place at noon.

Veterans from Yorba Linda who received medals were Hurless Barton, Frank Brashear, Arthur Bemis, Homer Bemis, Howard Brown, Paul Bohannon, Rutherford Burkett, Amon Cole, Alonzo Curti, James Dixon, Ned Dewitt, Chauncey Eichler, Adolph Friend, Reed Gauldin, Ross Johnson, Edwin Kimbrough, Edgar Hargrave, Hugh Nixon, Floyd Prather, Walter Prather, Gaylord Page, Nicholas Taylor, Veo Wood, Samuel Walker, Chester Bradford, Howard Nicholson, Edwin Starr, Walter Starr, Harry Starr, Pharis Thompson, Eugene Harold, Byron Gale, Lester Fourney, Stanley Chanebois, Paul Singebush, G. H. Teale, Joseph Adot,—Cully, Harod March, Raymond Navarro, Howard E. Brown (deceased), Thomas Enright (deceased). [60]

Thomas Enright, nephew of Joe Enright, who lived on Highland Avenue, was reported to be the first American soldier to be killed by the Kaiser's troops in the war.

Five Yorba Linda boys left on the same day to enter the armed services of their country in the first draft call. They were Chauncey Eichler, Frank Brashear, Floyd Prather, Chester Bemis and Arthur Bemis. [61]

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