Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Old Adobe


Mr. Ammi Hawks purchased 20 acres of property in 1881, and in 1887 he began to develop his ranch, planting oranges and lemons.  He also imported from Japan the then-famous "Oonshiu" orange, a tangerine-type fruit, which I believe is now referred to as the Satsuma orange/tangerine.  In 1895, Mr. Hawks built this adobe building for the purpose of curing his lemons.

The building was constructed from adobe soil from near the mouth of Bailey Canyon, along with straw and water.  It had one door and no windows, a dirt floor and a ventilator in the roof.  The building made a perfect place to cure lemons, due to its being dark and cool year-round. 

Through the years, the Old Adobe has served many purposes, including being part of the Suman pottery factory, the meeting place for the V.F.W. (before they had their own building), and an early location of the Creative Arts Group.  It is now the home of the Ixora Floral Studio, as well as Gallery 39, which opened in May of this year.

9 comments:

  1. That is a great building, I've a soft spot for adobe structures (and satsumas :)

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    1. I can't remember if I've ever eaten a satsuma. Going to have to put some effort into finding one!

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  2. I'm so glad Sierra Madre has kept this building around.

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    1. So am I. It doesn't seem as if it's really hasn't changed too much, from old photos I've seen.

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  3. Fascinating. I had no idea. So interesting-especially the Japanese connection to orange groves and the collection of mud from the canyon for adobe. You usually don't have such complete references. Potters and such are always open to finding veins that produce clay and I've heard such deposits exist locally. And they're kept a secret.

    I'm a bit of a japophile when it comes to design. And that the local cemetery isn't segregated.

    Maybe you can get some information on the director Frank Capra whose parents had a citrus farm somewhere. Would love to see you "dig up some dirt" there

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  4. Clarification...

    "You" meaning that one doesn't always find such detailed references - not meant in the accusatory "You"

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  5. PA, I didn't take your comment in the accusatory way, but thanks for the clarification!!

    I got most of the info from an old Historical Society book (from 1976) that got a lot of its info from an older book (1950). I tried to find something about "Oonshius" but found close to nothing until I found something online that said theyare now Satsumas.

    So, who's holding all the local clay secrets?? Interesting!!

    I am all over digging up some dirt on Frank Capra - that is fascinating! Have heard nothing about it. I'm excited! And a little bummed. May be spending all night on the Interwebs...

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