California's Gold Season 7
S07 E01Dec 10, 1996
Lighthouse Dec 10, 1996 Visit a place that very few Californians have ever seen: the St. George Reef Lighthouse, eight miles off the coast of Northern California, in Crescent City. Join Huell as he is airlifted to the tiny reef which holds this now-abandoned century old treasure. This one-of-a-kind structure reaches 142 feet in the air and is a "wave washed" lighthouse--meaning that it takes the brunt of the sea from all sides. This adventure is a rare treat.
S07 E02Dec 10, 1996
California Pools Dec 10, 1996 California has many defining icons, but few sum it all up like swimming pools. In this episode Huell tours five historic pools which have all played an important part in our State's history. Starting in L.A. at the pool at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel painted by famous artist David Hockney and the Olympic pool at the L.A. Coliseum, site of the 1932 Olympic games, Huell travels north to the stunning "Neptune Pool" at Hearst Castle and finishes up at two great lost pools in San Francisco, the Sutro Baths and the Fleishhacker pool. Put on your water wings and jump on in.
S07 E03Nov 8, 1996
California Firsts Nov 8, 1996 From orange groves to freeways, everybody knows about some of the most important and uniquely Californian firsts our state has produced. In this episode Huell looks at three unexpected California firsts that occurred in ways and places people never imagined: the surprising story behind the "real" discovery of gold in California, the unlikely spot of the first oil drilling in California and finally a galvanizing visit to a location where an overlooked innovation in the history of electricity took place.
S07 E04Dec 9, 1996
Mare Island Dec 9, 1996 The first on the entire west coast, with 142 years of service to our nation, the Mare Island Naval Shipyard has been a long time builder of California's naval gold. Join Huell as he takes us on one of the last tours of the base which is to be closed due to military downsizing. He also visits with former workers who show him the dry dock building slips of ancient battleships and modern nuclear subs, a sailors graveyard, the tree-lined streets of "Officer's Row", and the first naval chapel on the west coast
S07 E05Dec 9, 1996
Suisun Bay Dec 9, 1996 Welcome to Suisun Bay home to one of the strangest fleets of ships you'll ever see, the "Mothball Fleet". Hundreds of ships all chained together, from tub to tanker, from Victory to cruiser, these ships are part of our National Defense Reserve Fleet. Come aboard with Huell as he tours some of these historic ships harking back to our state's - and our nation's naval past.
S07 E06Jan 8, 1996
Yosemite Firefall Jan 8, 1996 A shout echos through Yosemite... "Let the Fire fall", and from 1872 to 1969 that's just what happened. Join Huell at the top of Glacier Point with Nic Fiore who was the last to push a pile of burning embers off the edge, creating the beautiful red hot "waterfall" effect know as Firefall. Then down to the bottom at Camp Curry, the best spot to view Firefall, where Huell talks with Keith and Ginny Bee who for 42 years ran the nightly outdoor theater show which led up to the fiery finale of this now lost California tradition.
S07 E07Jan 8, 1996
Neat Houses Jan 8, 1996 Searching for some of the neatest houses in California, Huell travels from one of the state's most public houses to the most private. We start out in downtown Sacramento at the former Governor's Mansion (1903-1967), home to 13 of our states first families, where we get a private tour from Kathleen Brown. Next after hiking up over 3,500 feet in the Sierra foothills, Huell arrives at a small wooden cabin built by miners and later inhabited by Irvy Elster a bonafide hermit.
S07 E08Jan 8, 1996
Dry Lake Bed Jan 8, 1996 Huell visits a dry lake bed in the Mojave desert that is so hard and so gigantic that it is the site of Edwards Air Force Base and a landing strip for the Space Shuttle. In the 1920's and 30's it was also used by hot-rodders from all over Southern California as a speed trails course for their fast cars. Muroc Dry Lake has remained off-limits since WWII, until recently when the Air Force re-opened the dry lake bed, inviting back all the old-timers for a weekend of racing. Thousands of car enthusiasts showed up for this historic event.
S07 E09Jan 8, 1996
Camels and Bison Jan 8, 1996 Huell goes in search of two animals found in our state today which aren't supposed to be here. First, he travels to Catalina Island in search of historic buffalo - the descendants of fourteen which were brought over from the mainland for a silent movie shot in 1924. Next, Huell travels to Ft. Tejon State Historic Park between Bakersfield and Los Angeles, in search of camels used during the 1850's by the U.S. Army in hopes of developing improved transportation across the arid west. It was dubbed the "great camel experiment" and was a bizarre chapter in our states history book.
S07 E10Jan 8, 1996
San Juan Bautista Jan 8, 1996 A century ago, it was the hub of Northern California -- a crossroads where over the years you would have encountered gentle Mutsune Indians, hard-working Franciscan padres, fierce outlaws and a host of other fascinating characters. Located just three miles off busy Highway 101 in San Benito County, today the town has somehow managed to maintain the look and feel of "old California." Mission San Juan Bautista dominates the landscape. The largest of the old Spanish mission churches in our state, it sits on a huge grassy area -- the only remaining Spanish plaza in California. Founded in 1787, it is still the functioning parish church in the San Juan Valley. During his stay, Huell is given a tour of the Mission and the State Historic Park which includes numerous grand old buildings surrounding the plaza. He also takes a personal tour of the town given by Leonard Cactano who has spent his entire 72 years there and is one of its leading citizens - and historians. It's a journey into our rich past as we visit a quaint, sleepy little community that is very much part of "California's Gold."
S07 E11Jan 8, 1996
Santa Rosa Island Jan 8, 1996 The Chumash called it Wimal. To Conquistador Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo it was San Lucas. Today it is known as Santa Rosa, and its 54,000 acres of open land 24 miles off the coast of Santa Barbara is the newest addition to Channel Islands National Park. Huell visits this remote place on an adventure that reveals not only the Island's natural wonders, but it's continuing rich human history as well. A large part of that history has been written by Al and Russ Vail -- brothers who continue to operate a working cattle ranch on the Island, which was started by their family at the turn of the century. From the bunkhouse to the cookhouse to the cowboys themselves, visiting this old-west ranch is like stepping back in time. During his stay, Huell spends time talking with the cowboys about their lives on the island and is invited to go along on an actual cattle drive, which ends up with the cattle being loaded aboard the only operating cattle boat on the west coast.
S07 E12Jan 8, 1996
Japanese Tea Garden Jan 8, 1996 It's the oldest Japanese-style garden in the United States. Located in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, the Japanese Tea Garden has been part of that city's landscape for over one hundred years. In this episode of "California's Gold" host Huell Howser strolls through the serene garden enjoying its paths and bridges and flowering cherry trees. Huell also learns of the garden's rich history from descendants of the original Japanese family who at one time lived on and cared for the grounds. Originally created in 1894 for the California Midwinter International Exposition, it was supposed to be removed when the fair ended, but quickly became one of Golden Gate Park's most popular and beautiful attractions. Today, the Japanese Tea Garden endures not only as a legacy to the past, but as a shining piece of "California's Gold."