Brea Old and New: The go-to source for "All things Brea"!

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  • Local Eagle Scout’s project makes a historical impact

    5 years ago by

    The Brea Bowl commencement held this morning went well; it was a great event, according to Scott Neal, Board Member of the Brea Museum and Heritage Center.  Mayor Don Schweitzer was on hand to congratulate local Boy Scout, Matt Breneman, who did an excellent job in creating the Brea Bowl plaque as an Eagle Scout project to commensurate the famous baseball game played on October 21, 1924, featuring Brea’s famous baseball player Walter Johnson facing Babe Ruth at the Brea Bowl! Scott, a former Eagle Scout from Brea, showed his “Scout Spirit” by dressing in his Boy Scout uniform.  Scott’s daughters, Samantha and Angelina, were in the moment, too!

     

     

  • The Schweitzer Family: A Long Legacy of Serving Brea, Pt. 2

    5 years ago by

    "The Schweitzers, clockwise L to R; Frank, Jr, Charles, Don, Ruth, and Jim"

     

    Previously, BBON was pleased to provide a history of one of Brea's pioneer  families, the Schweitzer's, Part 1. We now proudly present, the second  installment...

    Most Breans are familiar with the name "Schweitzer", not  just for scientifically relevant reasons (Albert Schweitzer), but for a more  contemporary reason, Brea Mayor and Councilman Don Schweitzer. Those who  attend city events or view the council meeting broadcasts are familiar with  Don's easy smile and affable demeanor. But like his father and grandfather,  before running for and winning a council seat, Don was involved in the community, volunteering at the Brea Historical Society and serving on their board, as well as donating time and fundraising for the Lions Club, where he  was awarded the prestigious Melvin Jones Fellowship.

    A third-generation  Brean, Don attended schools, played in, and grew up with Brea, much like his  father, Frank Jr. After graduating from BOHS (at the old Birch Street  location), Don attended San Diego State College, served in the Army National  Guard, traveled  extensively, and eventually ended up in Bozeman, MT, where he  attended Montana State University, studying architecture.

     

    While  attending school in Bozeman, Don saw an opportunity and, with a friend, opened  one of the first submarine sandwich shops  in the city, across from the  university dormitories. The sandwich shop was converted from an old barbershop, and to  memorialize his entrepreneurial venture, Don kept one  of the old barber chairs that is still in his home today.

    Eventually,  the sandwich shop was sold and, after forty years, is still a popular gathering  place for students and teachers at the University.

    After graduation,  on a trip back to California, Don got the idea for a coffee, tea and spice shop.  Taking the idea back to Bozeman, he opened one of the first shops of its type  in Montana, even purchasing coffees from a little coffee importer in Seattle,  WA called Starbucks...long before Starbucks ever opened their own retail coffee  shops!

     

    "Don and Janis at a Lions Club Event"

    Eventually selling the coffee shop, Don decided to return to  Southern California and the Orange County area, where he started working with  an architectural firm. He landed the job to design the Scout Center in Brea, so  he, along with his new wife Janis, began looking for a home in his hometown.  By turn of a happy coincidence, a friend told him about a home for sale that  happened to be located right next door to the home his father, Frank Jr., had  built back in the late fifties. The house, at one time, had been the home of  his best friend, who had been the best man at his wedding.

     

    After settling  into his new home, another old friend and long-time Brean, Al Tremaine,  suggested Don get involved in the Brea Historical Society. It was while  volunteering with the Historical Society that Don learned of  preliminary plans to turn the old American Legion Building, at City Hall  Park, into the new Boy's and Girls Club. Don saw an even better use for the  building and became the driving force, organizing support for his proposal, to  turn the building into the Brea Museum and Heritage Center. After presenting  his proposal to the City Council to a favorable vote, the Historical Society  Board of Directors named Don to the voluntary position of Museum Director, where  he oversaw the building's renovation process before it could assume its new  role.

     

    Don says he never intended to run for city council, but that his  experience with the museum convinced him that he wanted to accomplish more to  secure the future of Brea and Breans. Among the accomplishments he is most proud  of since serving on the council is retaining the Brea Firefighters contract  with Brea; the Sports Wall of Fame at the Brea Sports Park on Birch Street,  honoring notable Breans who have achieved national recognition in various sports; and the Brea War Memorial, honoring Breans who have given their lives  to preserve our freedoms since WWI, currently in process with artist Susan  Narduli.

     

    Each year, Brea's Mayor chooses a signature theme to mark their  current tenure. This year, Mayor Schweitzer's theme is "Make a Difference,  Green Brea", to educate and promote awareness on ways to save energy and help  reduce carbon emissions.

     

    Don is very excited about the results of the  recently completed Civic Center Solar Project, that has already seen  a savings of 50,000 kilowatt hours, which is an approximate savings of $1  million, or enough energy to provide electricity for 40 homes.

     

    Along  with the theme, the website www.Brea2012.com was created for Breans as a resource for tips on what we can do as individuals and a community to reduce our energy consumption. Be sure and visit the website and watch for various educational events that will be presented throughout the  year.  Story courtesy of Kathy Cannon.

    "Don and Janis Schweitzer, with their daughters"

  • Celebrating outstanding women in Brea’s history

    5 years ago by

     

    Photo courtesy of Scott Neal, longtime Brea resident and Board Member at the Brea Museum and Heritage Center.
    In honor of National Women’s History Month, BBON is celebrating our local history by featuring an article from the Daily Star Progress dated Friday, November 20, 1987.  The article highlights three women from Brea who were honored on the county and state level for their outstanding achievement. The honorees are Clarice Blamer, a former mayor, city council member and chairman of the Orange County Transportation Commission, Jean Sullivan, former Brea Olinda High School Principal, and Lisa Gaede, daughter of Susan and Rex Gaede, hired straight out of college to serve as a legislative assistant in Washington.
     

  • Modeling at 80 years, Fern Smith of Brea celebrates her 104 B-day!

    5 years ago by

    Fern Smith recently celebrated birthday number 104. Mayor Don Schweitzer gave her a certificate from the City of Brea at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor.

    Fern Smith’s 104th B-day party: Fern was given a birthday party by her  family at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor and loved every minute of it.  Primary  children of LDS Third Ward presented the birthday gal with 104 roses. Mayor Don  Schweitzer presented her with a certificate from the City of Brea.
     
    Fern has lived in Brea since 1943. She was born in  Diamond, Missouri in 1908.
     
    Fern is an amazing gal and you never know she  was 104. She started modeling when she was 80.
     
    Teddy Roosevelt was President and Henry Ford  started producing his first Model T automobile.She has 2 daughters, 3 Grandchildren, 5 great Grandchildren and 9 Great-Great  Grandchildren.
     
    Her motto: “Do the best you can everyday of your  life and the Lord will take care of you”
    Story by Susan Gaede

  • AND THE OSCAR GOES TO 1979 BOHS GRAD

    5 years ago by

     

    1979 Brea Olinda High School grad John Denis with OSCAR

    People: 1979 Brea Olinda High Brea grad John Denis is Executive Producer for Pixomondo. Pixomondo won best visual effects for HUGO.

    Susan Gaede

  • The Schweitzer Family: A Long Legacy of Serving Brea, Pt. 1

    6 years ago by

    When Wilhelm and Maria Schweitzer immigrated from Germany to the United States in 1864, they arrived at New York Harbor, most certainly excited at their prospects for the future in their newly adopted country.

    Eventually settling in Toledo, Ohio, the Schweitzer's set about raising a family and by 1877, Franz (Frank) Schweitzer was born. Pre-ceeded by a sister, Ana Bertha in 1873, the young Schweitzer's were soon joined by another sister, Emma Rosa in 1880.

    Wilhelm and Maria Schweitzer, ca. 1870's

    Young Frank Schweitzer. Jr (right front), with his Grandparents in Toledo, Ohio

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Near the turn of the 20th century, Frank, then in his late 20's, learned of an opportunity for a position at a machine tool company in Olinda, CA, owned by W.D. Shaffer. He sent Shaffer a resume of his qualifications, as well as a letter of introduction. Later, he would learn Shaffer was not only impressed with the resume, he was equally impressed by his clear, neat penmanship. Frank was hired, and by 1905, after traveling by rail and wagon, Frank and his new bride Julia Schweitzer were settled in Olinda, CA living on an oil lease, where they made their home until 1912.

    By 1912, the township of Brea began to flourish and had officially become a city. After several years of fits and starts, newspapers in the area ran advertisements describing Brea as "the best located townsite in all the country" and recommending Brea as "a rare opportunity for businessmen hunting a location". With homesites priced at $225 to $450, and water piped to the lots, within months twenty-five residential lots had been sold. One of those was a site on Madrona, near todays Edwards Cinema 2. It was here that Frank and Julia built their first home and where Frank Schweitzer,Jr was born.

    Frank and Julia Schweitzer, 1907 Olinda, CA

    Soon Frank, Sr. and Julia became leaders in their new community. Julia was involved in women's service groups, who organized to provide transients and the less fortunate with food and clothing. Frank, after filling a vacancy on the city council,  helped find ways to bring more much needed water to Brea, as well as participating in the design of City Hall Park and designing the landmark “Brea Welcome’s You” sign that once spanned Pomona Ave (now Brea Blvd). Frank, Sr's Brea City Council career spanned 21-years, and during that time he also helped Brea form it's first Fire Department.

    In the midst of Brea's growth, Frank Schweitzer, Jr was also growing with the city. After attending Brea-Olinda High School and Fullerton Junior College, Frank continued his education at UC Berkeley. On one of his trips home while attending Berkeley, he met Ruth Huntington, an Anaheim girl. They soon became engaged and married in 1939.

     

    Frank Schweitzer, Jr, BOHS Graduation Picture 1929

    In 1950, Frank, Jr. was elected to a City Council seat and served the city for twelve years. In 1960, while serving  as Mayor, Frank oversaw the renaming of Pomona Ave to Brea Blvd, and the naming of the rose as the official city flower. As Brea continued to flourish, Frank, Jr saw an opportunity and became the leading advocate for annexing Olinda into Brea's city limits. The City of Fullerton also had designs on annexing Olinda, and had they succeeded, Brea would be bordered by Fullerton on it's East, West, and South sides. Beating the county filing deadline, and Fullerton, by one day, Frank Schweitzer, Jr became instrumental in helping shape todays modern Brea.

    Frank, Jr and Ruth Schweitzer

    The Schweitzer Family, 1963. From left, clockwise; Frank, Jr, Charles, Don, Ruth, Jim

     

                       

     

     

    Among Frank's other notable accomplishments, he served as Co-Chair of Brea's Golden Jubilee, co-founder Chair of Brea Bonanza Days (today's 4th of July Country Fair), and co-founded the Brea Historical Society with LaVeta Daetweiler.

    BBON would like to thank Mayor Don Schweitzer for his time and assistance with this history. All images are used with permission of the Schweitzer family.

  • Charlie the Rockin’ Clock in Brea History’s Biggest Hits!

    6 years ago by

    Charlie the Clock and his kid crew in front of the Wildcat statue at BOHS.


      "Unity is strength...when there is teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved." - Mattie J.T. Stepanek

        Hi everyone!

          And welcome to our site! I'd like to give you a background about Brea's first children's book: Charlie the Rockin' Clock in Brea History's Biggest Hits! -- a centennial celebration.

            In early 2015, I had an idea and contacted Heather Ashlyn Collins, a 2006 BOHS grad and recent grad of CSUF, to draw an animated caricature of Brea’s historic iconic "Charlie’s Clock." Thereafter I contacted a local print shop to make a cutout of the character. Charlie’s Clock was renamed “Charlie the Clock” as the clock belongs to everyone. We then held “The Face of Brea” contest at Edwards Brea Theater West 10 to celebrate Brea’s 98th birthday, followed by local events exhibiting the clock cutout. While in the process of making many, many, many people smile along the way, Charlie the Clock cutout served as fun symbol and learning tool in getting people excited about our centennial year. (See theater photo caption)

              You'll see Charlie the Clock soon at Edwards Brea Stadium East 12 , Brea SummerFest, Brea Country Fair, and maybe our schools! 'Charlie the Clock' caricature cutout dazzled the crowds at the 28th annual Brea Summerfest, the 36th Brea Country Fair, and for a time was on exhibit at the Brea Museum, where he was taken out to visit events at our elementary schools fall 2015. Also, 'Charlie the Clock' was invited back to Edwards Brea Stadium West 10 the week of November 16, and sister theater Edwards Brea Stadium East 12 extended Charlie's visit through the week of Thanksgiving!

                What fun we had once again as "Charlie the Clock" caricature cutout was invited back to the Country Hills PTA's Annual Cougar Color Run Fundraiser 2016!


                  It was my hope that Charlie the Clock would become a mascot for the City of Brea celebrated as a symbol and learning tool in representing Brea’s rich history. In February of 2016, I thought of a children’s centennial book featuring Charlie the Clock, soon after discovering that it would be the first children’s book in Brea.

                    I brought together a team of very talented community people to create the book and subprojects. Former longtime Brean and author of the city's best-selling history book, Brea: Celebrating 75 Years and A Centennial History of the BOUSD,Teresa Hampson, was contacted to write the young person's history book. Also I connected with Heather Ashlyn Collins again to illustrate the book.

                      BOHS GITA Instructor Todd Salesky enlisted three of his students: Kyle Tam, Zoya Kahn, and Jennifer Choi, to build CharlietheClock.Club website. The book’s theme song was written and sung by a 2017 BOHS senior choir member, Hayden Mangum. In addition, a video is planned showcasing students of Stagelight Performing Arts dancing with with an animated Charlie the Clock that will be drawn by 2017 CSUF grad Alejandra Mertz.

                        The book features Brea school kids, grades 3rd-6th: Roman M., Lauren T., Jarred G., Jesse H., Madison M., and Skyler S. along with Orange County Register longtime local news columnists, Susan Gaede aka “Newsy Suzie,” Terri Daxon, elementary teacher Jill Berrner, and former Brea student, Valeria Z.

                          We also conducted a “Kids Imagine Brea Essay” contest, resulting in four winning essays from elementary students: Jessica L., Lauren A., Mollie C. and Haylee R., chosen by the Brea Education Foundation. The winning essays and photos will be showcased in the book.

                            Additionally, we scheduled a panoramic photo shoot to feature as many local kids as possible in the book. Instead of the photo, it will be a panoramic illustration.

                              Read what BOUSD superintendent and local dignitaries had to say after reading the centennial children's history book:

                                "I applaud the efforts of so many people rallying around Charlie the Clock to tell the history and timeless story of the City of Brea. The engaging story is told by Charlie the Clock and through the eyes of local children living in Brea. Charlie the Clock is a wonderful read for children of all ages." - Brad Mason, Ed.D. Superintendent, Brea Unified School District

                                  "What better way for our young students to experience Brea's past than a children's book! And not just any children's book but one that has a clock as it's historical tour guide. They will remember the journey they are about to take for years. A journey into what made Brea the city it is today." - Don Schweitzer Former Brea Mayor

                                    "In order to make learning history both exciting and informative, the use of “Charlie the Clock” to travel through time to the various stages of Brea’s history is a creative new idea. It is an approach which will do much to help countless young people understand and appreciate the culture and history of Brea." - Wayne D. Wedin Former Brea City Manager and Councilman

                                      Of note: Part of the proceeds from the book will go back to Brea Olinda Unified School District through the Brea Education Foundation.

                                        Stay tuned!!

                                          Sincerely,

                                            Carolyn Campbell

                                              Creative Director/Project Manager

                                                Brea's landmark, Charlie's Clock, located in Brea Downtown on the corner of Birch Street and Madrona Avenue. Photo courtesy of Greg Voisan Panoramic Photography


                                                  The Test of Time: A Brea Landmarks List

                                                    Good Old Brea Clock, 300 W. Birch St. (at Madrona)… The two-sided timepiece served as the stationmaster’s clock at the Santa Fe Railyards in Riverside, but both the duration of its time there and its origin remain unknown. It was brought to Brea in 1975 by a man named Charlie to advertise his clock shop in the old Brea Hotel building (east side, Brea Boulevard at Ash Street). In 1979, a car ran into it, causing major but repairable damage. When Brea began to redevelop its old downtown, there were plans to preserve the Brea Hotel and other buildings in a historic block, but developers couldn’t be found to take on the potentially costly project. Instead, in 1994, the buildings were razed and the clock (which the city had bought because local folks had come to consider it a landmark) went into storage. As Brea’s new downtown approached its opening in the late 1990s, the clock was completely renovated. Today, its base, post and the casing around its face remain original, but its mechanism has been recast and reassembled, and the unique calligraphy of its original face and hands has been carefully recreated, with neon added so it can be read at night. During the city’s centennial year, Charlie the Clock has experienced new life. Recreated in costume form and starring in this book, Brea’s landmark timepiece has become a fresh symbol of Brea’s historic heritage.

                                                      Written by Teresa Hampson

  • Q&A with Jeanette Pohlen, Brea’s Basketball Sports Hero

    6 years ago by

    Jeanette relaxing with the sweetest little bird

    We caught up with Jeanette Pohlen, former BOHS Ladycat and Stanford Grad, now playing for the WNBA.  Here’s what she had to say.

    Breaoldandnew.com: How’s are former BOHS Ladycat doing since leaving Stanford University to join the pro’s?

    JP: I am doing really well. Currently playing in Turkey in the offseason of the WNBA.

    BBON: What was it like to be a part of the WNBA draft?

    JP: Being a part of the WNBA draft was an experience I will never forget. It is what I have been working for my whole career for and to be given the opportunity to continue my career in the pros has been such a blessing. Having my family there to experience it as well made it that much better.

     

    BBON: Since being selected by Indiana Fever, what has your schedule been like?

    JP: Since being selected by the Indiana Fever, my schedule was pretty busy during the season. A lot of traveling for games, practice, appearances, and training. Now that we are in the offseason I am just trying to improve certain aspects of my game to make me a better player.

    BBON: Now that you play with the pro’s, is it everything you imagined it to be?

    JP: Playing in the pros has definitely been everything I imagined it to be. Obviously there are things you can't really prepare for but I had some great teammates for my rookie year. Getting to play with some of the top veteran players in the league like Tamika Catchings, Katie Douglas, and Tangela Smith was awesome. They were so welcoming.

    BBON: What is it like being one of Brea’s sports heroes?

    JP: Haha I don't know if I would consider myself a hero but I hope that I can have an influence on young girls that want to play basketball and follow their dreams. I've had so much support in Brea growing up throughout my career and I know I wouldn't be where I am today if it weren't for everyone that believed in me.

     

       

  • DWIGHT MANLEY Q&A

    6 years ago by

    By Carolyn Campbell


      Dwight Manley is Brea's hometown successful businessman who purchased a huge portion of Brea Downtown in 2003. When approached by BBON for an interview, traces of his boyhood shyness are evident in his short answers.

        Dwight Manley


          BBON: What kind of a kid were you, when at an early age you discovered a deep passion for collecting coins?

            Dwight: I was shy. I loved coins + went to the Brea coin shop where Yard House is now all the time!

              BBON: In 2003, you made community headlines in purchasing Brea Downtown. Today Brea Downtown is a destination location. What do you foresee for Brea Downtown in five to 10 years?

                Dwight: It's only going to get better!

                  BBON:From successful rare coin expert, sports agent, real estate developer, to television producer, what’s next for you?

                    I take each day one at a time. So we'll have to see!

                      BBON: Tell us what it was like growing up in Brea in the 70’s and early 80’s?

                        Dwight: It was a lot of fun: watching open fields + orange groves become the Brea mall!

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