Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Vintage California Souvenir Postcard Folders

Good morning. Gold Country Girl Tina here. I am going to show you a very special Christmas present that I received from my good friend Denise. Denise and I live near each other on the Georgetown Divide in El Dorado County, California. Originally we are both Southern California Girls, but we met each other during a camping trip in Yosemite, where we were volunteering and helped with trash pickup and campfire cleaning. We became fast friends. I hadn't seen her since she drove me to a doctor appointment in Placerville after my surgery in November, so when we got together last Monday she still had my Christmas present. This post is to show you part of it.

Denise's Grandfather Jack was born in Colorado around the first of the last century. He was a salesman, and started his family in Colorado. Sometime in the 1940's he moved his family, including Denise's young mother Jacqueline, to California. He must have acquired the following collection of postcard folders when he was thinking of moving. He saved them together for years and before he died in the early 1980s gave the collection to his granddaughter Denise. Denise, knowing that I collect postcards and have a love of California and history, presented them to me. I was thrilled! And here they are, eight wonderful photo-filled folders:
If you are coming to California from Colorado, first you go through the desert. It takes a long, long time, as I discovered while we were moving my mother-in-law from Denver to Placerville a few years ago.
A few varieties of desert cacti and springtime on the desert. Each folder has eighteen fold out color pictures included inside, with information inside the cover. This one is about the Desert, "a fascinating land of rare allurement".
Spanish missionaries came into the California desert wilderness to share their beliefs with the natives and built beautiful missions along the coast as they made their way north. This folder shows many of them. Once my husband and I took the long road back from the LA area while on vacation and tried to check out as many missions as we could on the way home. It was very interesting and quite fun. Some are still standing, some ruins, all still beautiful.
We made a stop at San Juan Capistrano, famous for the swallows which return to nest year after year.
Missions San Antonio de Padua and San Gabriel. Carmel has a beautiful mission which is easy to get to and see, so does Santa Barbara.
Don't tell Florida, but California is the Land of Oranges. When I was very small, before my younger sisters, my father moved our family of three to acreage in Southern California which was all orange groves. When we went to see the Grandparents we drove through miles and miles of oranges.
I love the idea of picking oranges with a view of snow covered mountains in the distance.
Irrigate the desert and it becomes a verdant orchard paradise. And California's water wars begin....
California Beaches! Miles and miles of beaches. Here is a whole folder full of them, and that is just a few of the Southern ones. I always think of the old television show "The Rockford Files" with James Garner when I see these old pictures, because he lived in a trailer on the beach. Lucky guy.
Malibu before Charlie Sheen (Two and a Half Men is based in Malibu, I believe) was even born. What a lovely home. Possibly it has crumbled away into the sea by now.
Top picture is the Pacific Coast Highway below Santa Monica, and the bottom is "beach homes of the stars" along the Palisades, Santa Monica. The Gold Country Girls' grandparents married in Palisades Park in Santa Monica. How beautiful and romantic!
It never rains in California, it pours! Probably pours orange juice too. I can just about smell those lovely orange blossoms.
Above photo is the lovely Spanish influenced Union Train Depot and at the bottom Wilshire Blvd. and MacArthur Park. I guess it was before it "melted in the dark". Strange song...
Wonderful Los Angeles. It gets a bad rap nowadays, but I happen to be rather fond of it, since my mother, myself and my husband were all born here. But it has changed a bit since those ancient times, I guess.
Top is the Ambassador Hotel, a mighty structure, and at the bottom the Los Angeles post office and City Hall. City Hall is shown often on LA based television shows such as the Closer.
Olvera Street is a favorite of the Gold Country Girls. Lots of fun shopping there and great food! We literally grew up eating tacos, chili, enchiladas and avocados, etc. and I was amazed when I found out that people in other states didn't eat that way all the time like we did.
If you want to see the rest of the state there are some great highways to travel. The highways once had colorful names, such as the Pacific, Lincoln and Roosevelt Highways.
You can travel East to Lake Tahoe and North to San Francisco. Both well known all over the world and worth a visit.
Can't leave out the most famous California National Park: Yosemite. I am still amazed that our family didn't travel there when we were young. We were always going west to the Northern California Coast and didn't go Southeast to some of the other redwood growth areas or to Yosemite.
Finally, my last folder, and a lone picture of a gold panner. This is the only indication in any of these folders of the gold which made California a true destination for many and the reason it was well populated enough to become a state. There is not even a photo inside of Coloma. They missed a great opportunity for Northern California tourism!
Emerald Bay Lake Tahoe, and the lovely Golden Gate Bridge.
One more shot of Yosemite, since that is where I was lucky enough to meet Denise, and if I hadn't I wouldn't be able to share these great souvenir postcard folders with you!

The inside of the last folder has many facts about California. It was discovered in 1542 and ruled by Spain until 1822, by Mexico until 1848, and admitted to statehood in 1850. California has both the highest (Mt. Whitney) and the lowest (Death Valley) points in the United States. It has the oldest, largest and tallest trees in the world, five national parks, and the worlds highest waterfalls (in Yosemite).

I hope you enjoyed seeing the folders and taking a little tour of California with me. Thank you to Denise for her much appreciated, thoughtful, wonderful gift to me.


Heidi Ann said...

Oh, wow, Tina - those are all so fabulous!! I am looking forward to perusing them in person one of these days! Wonderful post!

Viewliner Ltd. said...

Nothing like great postcard folders. Especially from California. Beautiful. Great post.

Denise said...

Wow thst was a really Awesome post..! I'm so happy you loved the vintage post card folders..and happy that you're my friend .. love Denise

walterworld said...

A very nice collection of postcard folders :)

If you ever travel down the 101 south of King City, make sure you make the journey out to see Mission San Antonio De Padua. It's isolated location really can send you back in time.

All the missions are worth a visit, my wife and I made it out to each one over the course of two Summers back in the 90's. Great memories.

Please post more of your postcard collection, I certainly share your interest in those little paper time capsules.

Take care!