California's Gold Season 9
S09 E01Jan 8, 1998
San Miguel Island Jan 8, 1998 In this episode Huell visits San Miguel Island, with a group of history buffs who recreate the 1542 landing of Juan Rodriquez Cabrillo - the 1st European explorer of the California Coast. Complete with authentic costumes, boats, and the fact that its done on the deserted white sandy beaches, this re-enactment really does take you back in time.Huell is also joined by Nation Park Rangers, and a woman who actually lived on the island with her parents during the 1930's and 40's.
S09 E02Jan 8, 1998
Coloma Jan 8, 1998 Coloma was a somewhat sleepy little town in the Sierra foothills during the 1840's, but on the morning of January 24, 1848, all that was to change as James Marshall leaned over and picked up a piece of gold. Of course his discovery started the California Gold Rush which would bring hundreds of thousands of people to California almost overnight, lead to statehood within two years, and change the face of California and the nation forever. Huell visits Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park and meets up with members of its living history association who are dressed as actual miners from 1848, and who give him a good idea of what life was like back then. Huell also meets "James Marshall" himself who takes him to the exact spot gold was discovered 150 years ago. Along the way we not only learn how to pan for gold but learn that 80% of California's Gold is still waiting to be discovered!
S09 E03Jan 8, 1998
Blue Angels Jan 8, 1998 They're one of the most famous air squadrons in the world -- serving aspositive role models and goodwill ambassadors not only for our Navy, but for our country. We're talking about the Blue Angels who, since first formed in 1946, have been demonstrating their flying skills and maneuvers to literally millions of spectators each year.And for over 30 years the Blue Angels have been a part of "California's Gold." Since 1967 the squadron has spent the winter at Naval Air Facility, El Centro, training pilots and new crew members. The good weather and open spaces make this a perfect place to practice and, over the years, squadron members have become a welcome part of the community in Imperial County during their three months of intensive preparation for the 70 air shows they fly each season.On this particular adventure host Huell Howser accepts an invitation to spend a couple of days with the Blue Angels and ends up not only watching them train, but actually gets to go up with them in an F/A18 Hornet for the ride of a lifetime. Huell also meets former Blue Angel pilots who talk about the "good old days," and visits with local citizens who talk about the pride the community of El Centro feels in having the squadron there each winter.All in all, it's a fast-paced, high-powered, high altitude adventure in search of "California's Gold."
S09 E04Jan 8, 1998
Guadalupe Jan 8, 1998 At first you can't believe it's real. It must be a movie set of a small, picturesque, agricultural town at the turn of the century. But with just a little exploration host Huell Howser discovers this is no movie set, but a fine example of "California's Gold."Located halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles just a few miles off the 101 freeway, the little town of Guadalupe sits right in the middle of one of the richest agricultural areas in our state. Huell gets up early and visits the fields, talks with the workers and watches as they harvest celery and lettuce. While there, he also discusses the rich cultural heritage of the area as he talks with descendants of Filipino families who have been living and working in the Santa Maria Valley for generations.The adventure also includes a tour of the authentic and colorful town itself and a visit to the nearby spectacular Guadalupe Dunes. In reality this entire adventure provides an opportunity to meet some nice people, see some beautiful scenery, learn about our agricultural heritage and savor the ambiance of a very special place on our central coast -- a place full of "California's Gold."
S09 E05Jan 8, 1998
Delta Queen Jan 8, 1998 For 50 years one of the most popular ways to travel up and down the mighty Mississippi River has been aboard the authentic paddlewheel steamboat Delta Queen. To ride on this boat is to step back in time -- in fact, the Delta Queen has been declared a National Historic Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.But true riverboat buffs will tell you that the Delta Queen was not originally built to travel on the Mississippi River. It's a California boat, built in Stockton in the late 1920's for service on the Sacramento River. The Delta Queen spent the first 20 years of her life as a night-boat taking passengers back and forth from Sacramento to San Francisco and becoming a familiar and much-loved part of the California landscape.In 1947, the proud paddlewheeler left California, was towed through the Panama Canal and began her service on the Mississippi River.Now, 50 years later, producer/host Huell Howser travels over 2,000 miles east to rediscover the Delta Queen's California history and roots. Also, along for the rid are several Californians who remember her "good ole days" and have great stories to tell about her time on the Sacramento River.
S09 E06Jan 8, 1998
China Clipper Jan 8, 1998 They were huge flying boats named after the great sailing ships that in the1800's sailed the oceans of the world. The luxurious Pan American"Clipper" planes of the 1930's took cargo, mail and passengers aroundthe world in what was, for its time, considered a daring and pioneering feat.Pan American's Treasure Island terminal and lagoon became the home port forthe Clipper's Pacific operations -- connecting the United States with the FarEast by air. Starting in the mid-1930s, and lasting for only five years,residents of the Bay Area were treated to the sights and sounds of these hugeboat planes taking off and heading out over the Pacific.Recently in a very special episode of "California's Gold," historyrepeated itself as, once again, a boat plane landed on the Bay, taxied up to adocking area near Treasure Island, took on passengers and flew out over thecity. This episode is a tribute to the "China Clipper" and itsCalifornia connection.The original Terminal building on Treasure Island is the stage where formerPan American pilots and crew members who actually flew the Clipper, gather oncemore for conversation and reminiscing. Producer/host, Huell Howser experienceshis high point when he climbs aboard one of these historic boat planes with twoformer crew members for a short, exciting flight around the Bay area.The days of the Clipper are gone forever, replaced decades ago by long-rangejets. But for a few hours on a beautiful spring afternoon, some of the glorydays of the great Clipper ships, and the people who made those days happen,returned to Treasure Island.It's a look back at a glorious part of our aviation history as we take to theair in search of "California's Clipper Gold".
S09 E07Jan 8, 1998
San Luis Obispo Chinatown Jan 8, 1998 At one time it was a thriving community within a community on our state's central coast. Several hundred people who had traveled from a far away land in search of opportunities in this new state called California. They worked on ranches and farms and built the railroads. They ran small shops and stores and raised families. And then gradually over the years they disappeared, but thanks to historians, archeologists and members of the Chinese community, the history and accomplishments of these early Chinese pioneers are being uncovered -- literally.In this very special episode of "California's Gold" Huell travels to San Luis Obispo. There he meets Howard Louis, son of the legendary Ah Louis who ran the main store in Chinatown. Howard is full of stories and gives Huell a tour of the store which is the only Chinatown structure left standing. Huell also is treated to a Lion dance outside the store put on by the Chinese students from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and listens as a musician plays the music those early Chinese settlers would have played in the 1800's. The day also includes a visit to the local historical museum for a look at 100 year old glass plate images made of the Chinese residents at the time. Then we watch as volunteers sift through tons of earth taken from the original Chinatown location and discover wonderful bits and pieces of the life that went on there.It's a rare look back and a rediscovery of a part of California history that is often overlooked or forgotten -- the contributions made by those early Chinese pioneers -- pioneers who were very much part of "California's Gold."
S09 E08Jan 8, 1998
See's Candy Jan 8, 1998 It started back in 1921 and quickly became one of California's biggest and "sweetest" success stories. The little shop on Western Avenue featured the favorite candy recipes of Mary See and focused on farm-fresh ingredients and homemade goodness. Before long this little shop had grown into a chain of stores serving loyal customers, and See's Candies had become famous around the world. In this calorie-laden edition of "California's Gold," host Huell Howser gets a first hand taste of the See's story. First he visits one of the earliest shops to open in San Francisco and meets with current and past employees. While there, Huell also talks with regular customers who come in to purchase their particular favorite type of Sees Candy. Then he travels to Los Angeles for a tour of the inner sanctum of the See's Candy factory where the historic candies are actually made. Itâs an assembly line like none other in the world, manned by employees who have been with the company for years. The story of See's Candy is indeed a true California success story -- one of which Mary See surely would be proud!
S09 E09Jan 8, 1998
Big Things in the Desert Jan 8, 1998 We all know our deserts here in California are big. They cover huge areas ofour state. And in this episode of "California's Gold," producer/hostHuell Howser travels to the desert in search of big things -- and finds them!First, he travels to the Palms Springs area to visit one of six major windfarms in the world. Over 4,000 giant windmills are here -- some almost twohundred feet tall -- making clean, pollution-free energy representing the futureof energy production.Next, Huell travels to the little town of Boron to see a big hole and a bigtruck. The big hole is the open pit mine where about 50 percent of the world'sborax comes from. To get the borax out of that huge open pit, there are trucksso big you won't believe them even when you're seeing them! They're two storieshigh, wide as a two-car garage, longer than a city bus and weigh as much as onehundred and eleven mid-size cars.Finally, Huell travels to the remote Goldstone area of the Mojave desert tovisit the largest and most sensitive scientific telecommunications systems inthe world - The Deep Space Network. Huell and cameraman Luis Fuerte find outjust how big when they're given the opportunity to climb inside one of thedishes and walk around .All in all, it's a big adventure in a big desert -- an adventure where wediscover some big pieces of "California's Gold.
S09 E10Jan 8, 1998
Citrus Jan 8, 1998 Citrus was to southern California what the discovery of gold was to the north because it triggered a massive migration to our state. In fact, many Americans from back east came to California to see for themselves the "paradise" found on those early crate labels used to promote citrus fruit.Through these labels, "California sunshine" and "California living" became deeply ingrained in the popular imagination of a nation.In this episode of "California's Gold," host Huell Howser explores the history and lore of orange crate labels with Gordon McClelland who's not only written a book on the subject, but has a collection containing literally thousands of the colorful labels, along with orange postcards and other ephemera. Huell learns first-hand not only how the labels were designed and printed, but just how important they were in the marketing of California oranges around the world.Then Huell travels to UC Riverside to visit the Citrus Variety Collection which covers 20 acres, has approximately 1,700 trees and over 800 different varieties of citrus from all over the world. It's an amazing place which has been part of the California landscape since the early 1900's performing valuable research and coming up with all sorts of new varieties of citrus. Huell walks through the groves and picks and tastes some of the newest and most unusual varieties of oranges being grown.All in all, this adventures is a juicy slice of history as we take a look at our state's citrus industry which is very much a part of "California's Gold."
S09 E11Jan 8, 1998
Arrowhead Springs Jan 8, 1998 It appears on the southern slope of the San Bernardino Mountains. Over the years it has been the subject of a host of Indian legends. In fact, no other natural landmark in those mountains has been regarded with such awe and wonder. We're referring to the "Arrowhead," a near-perfect natural 7 1/2 acre arrowhead-shaped landmark formed by the contrast of light and dark vegetation which has been clearly visible for hundreds, possibly thousands, of years.In this adventure, Huell Howser and cameraman Luis Fuerte not only travel to the famous Arrowhead itself, but also visit the once world-famous Arrowhead Springs Hotel which was one of the favorite hideouts for Hollywood stars back in the 1940's and 1950's. This entire area is known for its many hot springs and, in fact, water rushes everywhere, from flowing fountains to gurgling springs. Twenty-nine springs are located here, some cold and some as hot as 196 degrees!These hot springs, which hold the record of being the hottest in the world, heat the mineral baths, the almost forgotten "steam caves" located underneath the old hotel, and the cabana pool which was built for Olympic and film star Esther Williams in 1944. The beauty of the area and the hot springs themselves have made this a popular destination since the days of the earliest Indian communities.It's a place filled with natural and human history and a perfect place to find lots of "California's Gold.
S09 E12Jan 8, 1998
Shasta Dam Jan 8, 1998 When most people think of Shasta Lake, they imagine themselves on a houseboat enjoying California's largest manmade reservoir. With 365 miles of shoreline it is a boaters paradise. What most people don't think about is the massive structure that is responsible for holding back the water that creates Shasta Lake. We're talking about Shasta Dam which, is a perfect example of "California's Gold".Construction of the dam started in 1938 and ended in 1945. It's 602 feet high, 883 feet thick at the bottom, 30 feet thick at the top, and 3,460 feet long. The face of the dam is as big as six football fields and the spillway is the largest manmade waterfall in the world - three times the height of Niagara Falls. There are 18 outlets on the face of the dam, each big enough to drive a pickup through. Shasta Dam has the second largest mass of any dam in the United States.In this adventure, Huell and Luis get a behind the scenes look at this engineering marvel. Miles of tunnels and millions of gallons of water make for an exciting day, but there is another aspect to the Shasta Dam - the human element. It is the people who built the dam, the people that poured concrete 24 hours a day for 5 1/2 years and the countless other jobs that make this structure such a gem. Huell meets several of the original dam workers and listens to their stories about the glory days of Shasta Dam.