Olive Through the Ages

Tour of Olive: Section E

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Section E

1Santa Fe depot at St. James: A wooden depot was built in 1887 for the up-and-coming town of St. James, located south of Olive Heights. When St. James began to prove itself to be just another "paper town," in August 1890, the depot was put on wheels and rolled up the railroad tracks to the prosperous town of Olive. The depot at Olive [pictured circa 1912 in the image at right] was rebuilt after a fire in October 1899 nearly destroyed the original wooden structure.

  Santa Fe railway depot

2Gordon McClelland family home: Author and historian Gordon T. McClelland spent his teenage years growing up in this home [pictured right in 2019] on Greenway Ave., one block north of Fletcher Ave. The McClelland family moved into the newly-built, Influential Homes tract in 1963 when the local landscape was transitioning from citrus groves and poultry ranches to housing tracts and schools.

[See Gordon's stories at Olive memories for his descriptions of the Fletcher Ave. area from the early 1960s to the mid-1970s.]

  Gordon McClelland's family's home

3Fletcher Elementary School: In the early 1960s, the construction of new housing tracts on either side of Orange-Olive Road, south of Olive Heights, prompted the need for more public schools besides Olive Elementary School. About that time, Taft Elementary School and Heim Elementary School opened, followed by Fletcher Elementary School [pictured right in 2009]. In June 1984, Olive and Heim closed due to decreasing enrollment. The following year, St. Paul's Lutheran School opened on the former Heim school site, while Olive Elementary School re-opened in September 1999.

  Fletcher Elementary School
4Tropical Fish Hatchery and Poultry Ranch Sites: During the mid-1960s, the section of Fletcher Ave. east of Batavia St. included orange groves, poultry ranches where chicken eggs were sold, a tropical fish hatchery, and new and older homes dating back to the early 1920s.   Tropical Fish Hatchery and Poultry Ranch
5 S.A.V.I. Co. office and operations: Local historian and author Gordon T. McClelland, who grew up in the Fletcher Ave. area in the 1960s, recalls the Santa Ana Valley Irrigation Company (S.A.V.I. Co.) having an office on the southeastern corner of Fletcher Ave. at Batavia St. which he frequented, visiting with its supervisor Sabino Ayala. The Olive Road District map from circa 1912 [pictured in the overlay on the 1938 USGS map at right] shows the location of S.A.V.I. Co. operations just north of the office that later appeared on Fletcher Ave.   S.A.V.I. Co. office and operations
6Poultry ranch: Mains Egg Ranch, located at 15702 E. Fletcher Ave. in 1964 [identified in the red box at right], was one of the poultry ranches on Fletcher Ave. in the 1950s and '60s where locals purchased fresh eggs.   Poultry ranch
7Porter house: The Porter family house [located in the red circle on the 1964 USGS map at right] appears in aerial photos ranging from the late 1950s to 1980. Instead of selling their ranch to developers, as many other ranch-owners in the area, the family chose to retain and develop their own property as an industrial park which they still manage today.   Porter house

81920s rail car and AT&SF railway spur: For more than two decades, three 1920's rail cars [one of which appears in the 2009 photo at right] sat outdoors on an old, abandoned railway spur south of Fletcher Ave. and east of Glassell St. In 2013, the rail cars were removed.


1920s railcar and rail spur



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