Wednesday, May 29, 2013


Come be among the very first to have dinner in the restored 1919 Anaheim Packing House, enjoy live music, meet your neighbors, and marvel at the incredible progress that is being made on our wonderful downtown.  Anyone is welcome to attend!

The Anaheim Historical Society ANNUAL BANQUET
Thursday, June 6, 2013 at 6pm
at the Anaheim Packing House

440 S Anaheim Blvd. Anaheim, California 92805

Tickets are $35 and must be purchased in advance!

Call 714-397-9182 or email Kandee Beas at

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


Birthdays are always a great reason to celebrate, so join us in wishing a Happy 164th Birthday to Friedrich Conrad, proprietor of the Anaheim Brewery from 1872 to 1904.

Friedrich was born in Bavaria, Germany, in 1849, and arrived in San Diego in 1866 where, as a boy of seventeen, he set up shop as a cooper (barrel maker). Friedrich moved to Anaheim in 1870 and opened a winery. Two years later, he opened the Anaheim Brewery.

The party begins at 4 pm, with authentic Bavarian pretzels, and great food from our K&A Downtown Cafe. Vintage swing band Riff Raff will start the entertainment for the evening, followed by Brother Yusef and his “organic deep-fried fatback blues.”

Of course, no brewer’s birthday celebration would be complete without a special beer, and, of course, the Anaheim Brewery has brewed one: “Conrad’s Kolsch” is styled after the top-fermented beers of Koln (Cologne), Germany.  It is a light golden, pleasantly hoppy ale.

The label is an interpretation based on a fragment from an Anaheim Beer label dating from the early 1900’s, skillfully recreated by artists Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. “Conrad’s Kolsch” will be available in bottles, growlers or draught.

Notice the phrase “In Pursuit of Happiness and Lager”? In 1899, the Los Angeles Turnverein (a German sports club) visited Anaheim to compete with our city’s Turnverein. The Anaheim Gazette reported that after the exhibition, the group “dispersed, and went in pursuit of happiness and lager.” The reporter then added that “they came for pleasure, and they got it.”

The Anaheim Brewery is located at 336 S. Anaheim Blvd. in Historic Downtown Anaheim.


Edgar and Barbara Gonzalez in front of their historic home at 330 S. Ohio with their Siberian husky, Maya. 

Each year, the Margaret Atkins Award, named to honor one of Anaheim’s most dedicated preservationists, celebrates attitude and perseverance in historic preservation, and credits Anaheim’s true heroes who volunteer their time and passion against all obstacles to preserve our city’s significant architecture and public art. 

This year’s award goes to Barbara and Edgar Gonzalez. They have lived in their striking 1923 Mediterranean Revival house on 330 S. Ohio since 1985, and together, they've made a tremendous difference in the quality of the Anaheim Colony Historic District.

In addition to making significant restorations to their own home, earning them an Anaheim Beautiful award, they've purchased numerous rental properties and meticulously restored them to their original architecture and historical integrity. They bought a tiny, run-down property on 308 S. Clementine and stripped the exterior siding down to bare wood, restoring the home to period-appropriate colors. The couple even tackled the restoration of an eight-room rental unit at 115 W. Stueckle, and set about restoring it to its 1923 vintage by furnishing all eight units with subway and hexagonal tile detail, vintage pedestal sinks and stoves, and refinishing the original cabinetry and wood floors. Upon completion, both properties became a part of the historic preservation/property tax reduction program called the Mills Act.

A local realtor selling hundreds of houses since 1986, Barbara has served on the ACSD Board, and remains active in the Historic Preservation Committee, the Anaheim Historical Society, the Central District Neighborhood Council, and Anaheim Beautiful.

Barbara also partners with fellow Realtor and this years’ Andy Anaheim Award winner, Meghan Shigo, to put together an annual calendar featuring pictures of Mills Act houses, distributing nearly 3,000 free of charge to residents of the historic districts and City Hall.

Last, but not least, on their frequent walks through the neighborhood with Maya, their Siberian Husky, Barbara and Edgar can be seen picking up litter just to keep the city clean.

Recently, we chatted with the Gonzalez's about restoration, community, and historic preservation.

What is it about old houses that you love so much?

Gonzalez’s: We love the architectural details, quality materials and meticulous attention to the craftsmanship of old homes, many of which are 60-100 years old and still functional. These homes depict the cultural values, trends and styles, and still utilize the materials available in the era. They provide historic continuity to the past, preserving those values for future generations.

Why is the sense of community so important to you?

Gonzalez’s: No man is an island. There is strength and momentum in numbers, permitting us to accomplish far more than in isolation. Each human being has a talent, skill or knowledge that can be shared to the benefit of society, in general, and to our neighborhoods. It makes a person feel valued when he or she can share a skill or provide a service that accomplishes a common goal. Life is more enjoyable when share among friends and neighbors and provides for safer and more close-knit communities.

What do you see as some important issues in historic preservation for Anaheim?

Gonzalez’s: Getting the message out that historic and architectural preservation is the “greenest” of movements. Older architectural features are lost when the houses they created are torn down or materials discarded. The integrity of the neighborhood is diminished when its character is lost. People who don’t care or don’t know better and use flimsy replacement materials thinking they are increasing the value and comfort of their homes, but they are depriving the house of its historic integrity. We have reached out to Mills Act participants and owners of historically contributing structures to preserve their homes, thus increasing their home’s economic and social value.

We like to feel we have served as personal resources in helping our community to understand the value of our historic homes to the betterment of us all.

Barbara and Edgar Gonzalez will receive the Margaret Atkins Award at the AHS Annual Banquet on June 6.  Congratulations to you both!

Temperance and Temptation: Prohibition in Anaheim

1927 Anaheim Police Department Mug Shot

The historic Ebell Club of Anaheim was recently the site of another “spirited” AHS event, Temperance and Temptation: Prohibition in Anaheim. The lecture, given by AHS board members, Allison and Damien Montanile, shared a slew of research chronicling the Prohibition Era in Anaheim between 1870 and 1933. 

Highlights included never-before-shared photographs of Orange County, articles from Anaheim newspapers and a brief history of the Anaheim Brewery.

A successful still raid in Orange County, 1930s

Prohibition Era cocktails, wine, and beer from the Anaheim Brewery livened up the party as attendees learned about the hidden history of our favorite city.

Thanks to the Ebell Club, The Anaheim Brewery and our many wonderful volunteers for making this event a great success!

Thursday, May 9, 2013


The Shigo Family:  Meghan, Tim and kids!

The Andy Anaheim Award honors very special people in our community who go out of their way to bring people together, being a positive inspiration and a leader, and creatively making Anaheim an even more wonderful place to live.

This year's winner is Anaheim resident and AHS Member Meghan Shigo. A successful realtor specializing in historic and custom homes, Meghan is quite often the first person to welcome a new resident moving into the neighborhood. For over fifteen years, she has organized neighborhood potlucks which have brought neighbors together, inspired pride in the homeowners who host them, and helped build community in immeasurable ways.

Meghan and her husband Tim have restored historic properties throughout the city, and each year they organize a giant Fourth of July block party with their neighbors. Meghan also chairs Anaheim's Central District Neighborhood Council meetings. As the city changes and evolves, encountering challenges along the way, Meghan is an informal but enthusiastic leader, always rallying the neighbors to fight the good fight. 

Recently we chatted with Meghan about life in Anaheim, our neighborhoods, and other sources of inspiration.

Meghan, why did you choose to live in Anaheim?

Meghan: My husband, Tim, and I bought our first house on Clementine Street in 1997. We did not know much about Anaheim and the area was not designated historic quite yet. Our house was affordable and we loved the street. After getting to know many of the neighbors and attending community meetings we fell in love with our neighborhood and especially our neighbors. We have made many friends here and we just so happen to love old homes.

What makes you happy?

Meghan: My children are my inspiration for learning new things and they keep me focused on what is most important to our family which is love and quality time. Being in nature, being outside, being with people is always inspirational. What makes me happy is a long list, however if I had to choose the one thing that makes me the most happy in general it would be to help others. I recently had lunch with a friend who was going through a really tough time, I thought it would be good for her to talk about what was on her mind. When the lunch was over I felt like a million bucks. I think spending that time together was mutually beneficial!

What are some of the things that bug you?

Meghan: Throughout my profession as a Realtor and with boards and committees that I serve on I work with a lot of people from all different walks of life. Often times you may find yourself not in agreement with the people that you are working with and it is important not to hold a grudge and move on.

Do you think more about the past or the future?

Meghan: Undoubtedly the future. The past should be reviewed and notes taken so you can improve, but today and tomorrow is where you can implement change!

What would you like your neighbors to know?

Meghan: My neighbors are the reason that there are so many amazing things happening Downtown. You would be hard-pressed to find a more amazing community! When you see a new neighbor move into the neighborhood be sure to say hello and invite them to at least one meeting.

Anything else you'd like to say?

Meghan: Thank you to the Anaheim Historical Society for this prestigious award and for all that you do to promote history and in general making history FUN!


Meghan Shigo will receive the Andy Anaheim Award at the AHS Annual Banquet on June 6.