Brea Old and New: Tick-Tock, History Isn't So Boring After All™ ~ Charlie the Clock


  • Fascinating Facts: The Stewart Tank Farm Fire

    8 years ago by


    Aerial view of the devastation from the Stewart Tank Farm Fire in 1926. The City of Brea is at the top of the picture, to the right.

    1.) On April 8, 1926, at 9am, Brea's most devastating disaster, the Stewart Tank Farm Fire, was ignited when a bolt of lightning struck 2 seperate tanks of crude oil. The resulting explosion released fireballs into the sky and broke windows at Brea businesses 1/2 mile east of the blast.

    2.) At the height of the fire, cyclones created by the superheated air from the blaze, moved east toward homes and neighborhoods, damaging roofs and destroying property. The fierce winds held lumber and debris from the destroyed structures aloft for miles, dropping it as far away as Carbon Canyon and Chino.

    3.) An estimated 40,000 "looky-lous" descended on the area out of curiosity, clogging streets and roads in Brea and nearby communities. Hollywood film companies sent crews to get footage from the ground and by air for newsreels and movie filler.

    4.) The fire burned for more than 48 hours, before finally burning itself out. Property was damaged or destroyed, orchards were burned and the Stewart Station was a total loss. During the course of the disaster, nearly 400 men,  from every oil company in Southern California, came to Brea to fight the blaze. There were some minor injuries reported and some close calls, but, remarkably, no one was killed.


  • Brea Fascinating Facts: Carbon Canyon Park

    8 years ago by

    1.) In the 1880's, settlers on 10-acre plots of land on the Olinda Ranch raised livestock and grew crops on what is now the open areas of Carbon Canyon Regional Park.  By the late 1890's, harsh conditions brought on by lack of a potable water source, forced them off of the land, allowing Union Oil to expand petroleum operations in the canyon.

    2.) By 1897, Union Oil and the Santa Fe Railroad partnered to bring a train spur line into the Carbon Canyon oilfields in order to facilitate production of crude oil. The tracks ran from a now long forgotten depot located north of today's Olinda, cutting across what is now the Carbon Canyon Dam and the park area, heading southeast to Richfield, another township near Yorba Linda that eventually failed.

    3.) With the arrival of the railroad, Olinda quickly grew to over 3,000 residents, who built homes, schools, churches, mercantiles, and other amenities to accommodate their needs. Todays Carbon Canyon Park became the site of hundreds of board and batton homes, built by the oil companies  and leased to married wildcatters.

  • Brea’s Time Capsule – by former Mayor Beverly Perry

    9 years ago by

    Former Brea Mayor Beverly PerryIn 1992, the city of Brea celebrated its Diamond Jubilee with a host of events starting on February 23 – the day that Brea was incorporated in 1917 – with a birthday party and time capsule opening.  The climax of the year-long celebration was the December 6 burial of a new time capsule, which will be opened in 2017 at the Centennial Celebration. read more