Award-Winning Cemetery Tour Looks at Artists and Inventors of Early Orange County
“Creative Genius: Artists and Inventors in Orange County History” will be held on Saturday, October 19, 2013. This guided historical tour of Fairhaven Memorial Park and Santa Ana Cemetery features costumed actors portraying historic figures who share stories from Orange County’s past.
Scientists and inventors. Artists and musicians. Orange County has always been a magnet for creative minds. Join our costumed actors as they introduce you to famous and not-so-famous locals who improved our lives through their creative genius. Meet Myrdith Mortensen, muse and model to her famous photographer husband William, until an artistic dispute with Ansel Adams sent Bill’s career into obscurity. Arthur Beaumont’s vivid paintings of naval vessels so impressed a Vice Admiral that he was offered a commission to create paintings of the US fleet before WWII. In a career that spanned 40 years, the Painter Laureate of the Navy was still working at age 76 when he travelled to Vietnam to paint naval operations during the war. Rickenbacker and Fender are household names to anyone involved in modern music, and both began in Orange County. Electric guitar pioneers F.C. Hall and Leo Fender will explain their influence on the music scene of the 50’s and 60’s, including the Beach Boys, the Byrds and the Beatles. Orange County has long been home to the imaginative, the artistic, and the inspired! Clara Mason Fox was an artist rediscovered. when in 2010 over one hundred and fifty of her exquisite watercolors depicting a variety of Orange County wildflowers were discovered at the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden. Some included handwritten scientific notations. The earliest paintings were dated 1894 and all apparently were forgotten for 50 years or more in the herbarium’s cabinet drawers.
Docents will guide visitors through scenes that played creative roles in the history of the county, culminating in a presentation in Fairhaven’s beautiful 1916 mausoleum. Small groups, a lovely outdoor setting, and close access to the actors make the tour an entertaining outing for the whole family. Comfortable shoes are recommended for the hour-and-a-half long walking tour.
The event is presented by the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society and will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Fairhaven Memorial Park, 1702 Fairhaven Ave., Santa Ana. Tickets are $20 for adults, $16 for seniors and Members, and $14 for students and children 10 and over. (Children 9 and under are free.)
The unique “cemetery” tour has won a prestigious California State Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation. This is the Society’s 16th annual Living History tour, with proceeds benefiting the organization’s educational programs and two museums, The Dr. Willella Howe-Waffle House and Medical Museum, and the Santa Ana Fire Museum. The event is produced in partnership with local writers, and actors from the Thespian Club at Orange County School of the Arts. The tour is co-sponsored by Fairhaven Memorial Park.