and smiled at those same cowboys.
How, you may ask, could Huntington Beach be a wild west town when
it was founded after the gold rush and wild west era was over?
And you would be 100% right. But as you know, history has a way of
bringing the past back and that is that happened in 1939.
In that year the entire town went wild -- wild west that is.
Bill Gallienne, of the Huntington Beach Chamber of Commerce, and
the Downtown merchants came up with the idea of creating a bit of the
gold rush days right here in Huntington Beach.
A large meeting was held in the chamber's office in early 1939 to
draft plans for a three-day "49er" celebration.
"Generalissimo" Gallienne chose June 2-4 for the town's Cavalcade
of '49 celebration.
The businesses along Main Street and Ocean Avenue (Pacific Coast
Highway) would sport western-looking false fronts facades to give the
feeling of being transported back to the gold rush days of the 49ers.
The men in town would be required to grow the finest crop of chin
whiskers for the event and those who didn't grow breads would be
brought by deputy sheriffs before a judge of the 'kangaroo kourt' to
be locked up in jail.
The judges were real local judges -- Charles Patton, Chris Pann
and G.W. Tubbs -- and their deputy sheriffs were also locals from
town -- Ray Dolan, Roy Larson, Al Matthews, Sam Clapp, Joe Irvine.
Les Oliver, Cliff Kemp and John Dulany.
The Howard & Smith market on Main Street would be turned into a
old west trading post with logs brought in from lake Arrowhead to
make it look real. There were to be horse troughs, hitching posts and
old time wagons placed along Pacific Coast Highway and Main Street.
Our own Bill Gallienne was now wearing a stovepipe hat, frock coat
and diamond jewelry and was called Diamond Jim Gallienne.
Wearing his black Stetson hat Huntington Beach Mayor Marcus
McCallen issued a proclamation setting aside those three days in June
for the celebration.
While over at the city's baseball field at Joliet and Huntington
streets plans were under way to turn it into a wild west rodeo
complete with bronco riding, steer wrestling and trick riding.