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California's Gold: Gold Country

Gold Country

Pan for gold, sing pioneer songs and eat "bangers" at the annual Bidwell Bar Day celebration at Lake Oroville in Butte County. Also visit the pride of Sonora: "The Red Church," a picturesque landmark in the center of town; and discover an unusual source of pride at the unique Annual Poison Oak show in Columbia, a restored gold mining town in Tuolumne County.

Available until
2018-02-22T00:00:00-08:00

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Tall Ship Californian

Huell sails aboard the state’s official tall ship, the Californian, to see just how hard it was for our early settlers to get here. He also enjoys some sea shanties. 

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

San Onofre Beach

Surfing has played a major role in the "California" lifestyle and has a rich and colorful history up and down our coast. One of the most famous and historic is San Onofre Beach in San Diego County. Surfing got it's start in Polynesia over three thousand years ago and Hawaiian's have been riding waves for over one thousand. Surfing arrived in California in 1907 and has been a passion of Californians ever since. Many of our states early surfing pioneers cut their chops on the famous waves at San Onofre Beach.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Point Sur Lighthouse

Jutting out into the Pacific Ocean from the spectacular Big Sur Coast, the Point Sur Lightstation stands as a silent sentinel to a bygone era. Point Sur, a National Historic Landmark, is the only complete turn-of-the-century lightstation open the public in California. From 1889 until 1974, families lived and worked in the buildings atop Pt. Sur. The families are gone but the unique stone lighthouse still guides ships with its light. Many ships perished on the rocks off Pt.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Santa Cruz Island

Discover the colorful history of the Beach Boardwalk, the last remaining oceanside amusement park in the West Coast; meet the pioneers of surfing and the inventor of the wet suit, and enjoy salt water taffy and other sweet treats at Marini's, a family-run business for over four generations.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Devils Jaw

Embark on a journey to the most dangerous spot on the California coast and find out why it is called "Devil's Jaw"; and visit the jewel of the California missions: La Purisima Mission in Lompoc, now a state historic park.

 

 

 

 

 

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Bird Rock

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your very own island? What about an island off the southern coast of California? Join Huell and the family that owns this special island as they return to their little slice of California. It takes three separate boat rides to get there and your feet might get wet, but it is well worth the trip.



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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Huntington Central Park

Huntington Beach is known as “Surf City”, but in this adventure, we wont even get near the ocean. Huntington Central Park is the largest city-owned park in Orange County covering over 350 acres of land. Huell visits the Shipley Nature Center, an 18-acre natural area filled with beautiful winding paths and spectacular flora and fauna. Next it’s off to The Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center which is home to 420 privately owned horses and surrounded by 185 acres of public trails.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Costa Mesa

Huell visits Costa Mesa and sees how far its come from its start as a bean field to a state of the art performance center. 

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Salt

Our Golden State is full of many of unique things, and those of you who have been to San Fransisco have noticed huge ponds filled with water that ranges in color from deep red to light pink. We decided that we just had to get to the bottom of this California Mystery. When we finally arrived at the "ponds" we found one of California's most unique agricultures. Salt and brine shrimp are what is responsible for our crimson ponds. 300,000 tons of salt a year to be exact. Salt has been harvested from these ponds since the Gold Rush and has been a very important part of our states history.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Randsburg

Huell visits the historic and ecclectic mining town of Randsburg in Kern County off Highway 395 to meet some very interesting locals.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Things That Came Back

At one time Tulare Lake was the largest freshwater lake west of the Great Lakes. In the 1930s farmers choked off the four major rivers that fed the lake and it quickly dried up. Once the home to millions of birds and herds of tule elk and antelope, the lake bed is now covered in agriculture. But like all things great in California, the lake refuses to disappear completely. During very heavy winters, the lake partially re-fills with water and stops motorists in their tracks as they come across a huge lake amongst the vineyards and orchards that fill the valley.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Lompoc Mural

Imagine driving through Lompoc in the early 1940's and coming across a huge 12 acre American flag made up of red, white and blue flowers. That's just what people saw every spring for several years and it was a remarkable sight. In 1942 the good folks at Bodger Seeds in Lompoc decided they could do something really spectacular to support the war effort. A 12 acre flower flag was their way of saying thanks to all the Americans who were fighting the good fight. The company planted " flags" in 1942, '43, '45 and 1952.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Water Car

Imagine sitting by the lake on a hot day and watching as a car drives into the water and motors away. Well that's just what piqued Huell's interest. Terry Tates parents bought their Amphibious Car in the early '60s and have passed it on to Terry. Huell goes to lake Castaic and gets the ride of his life.

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California's Golden Parks

Donner Memorial

Huell travels to the beautiful Sierra Nevadas and Donner Memorial State Park which commemorates those who emigrated to California from the east in the mid-1800s. It is named for one of the earliest pioneer wagon trains, the Donner Party, forced by circumstances to camp at the east end of Donner Lake in the winter of 1846-47, resulting in human suffering and loss of life.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Elvis House

Huell visits the onetime Palm Springs home of Elvis Presley. This home is now designated as a historic property and open the public.



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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Head for the Borders

Take A trip to the southernmost and northernmost towns of the state: Enjoy a taste of the Horseradish Festival in Tulelake, near the Oregon border, the Horseradish capital of the world; and experience the sights and sounds of Calexico, a town that reflects its rich Mexican heritage.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Traditions

Watch the exciting sport of the charreada or Mexican rodeo at a local Ontario arena; hear the crack of the bat at a baseball game played by the Stockton Ports, the minor-league team believed to have inspired the poem, "Casey at the Bat"; and listen to the sounds of San Francisco's Golden Gate Band, the oldest and only year-round municipal park band performing in the country.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Ships

Meet a local artisan in Trinidad Bay who transforms redwood logs into beautiful canoes; discover a little-known landmark, the S.S. Palo Alto, a ship made entirely of concrete, docked at the Seacliff Beach pier in Aptos, and sail on the last remaining lightship in a line of floating lighthouses that once marked the entrance to the ship channel leading to San Francisco Bay.



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California's Gold with Huell Howser

California/China Connection

California and China have had a long and storied connection, the most well known is the Chinese laborers who helped build the California railroads. But on this adventure, Huell finds a few lesser-known examples of California's and China's Gold. A brief stop at the Golden State Bonsai Collection-North in Oakland introduces us to the Bonsai tree given to Chinese Envoy Anson Burlingame of the Lincoln Presidency. Burlingame opened China to the U.S. in the 1860s, and this souvenir from his tenure has been in the U.S. ever since.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Trees

As we all know, California has some spectacular scenery and our great variety of trees makes up a large part of it. In this adventure, Huell visits three "big" trees that are a great example of California's Gold. First Huell travels to Santa Barbara to see the Moreton Bay Fig Tree. Given to a little girl as a gift from an Australian seaman, the sapling was planted in 1876. That little sapling is now the largest Moreton Bay Fig in the continental U.S. The tree is 42 feet around its base, 80 feet tall and has a branch spread of 176 feet.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Blossom Trail

The program opens on the Blossom Trail in Fresno County, our state's agricultural heartland; walk through the quaint and historic farming community of Reedley to the Mennonite Quilt Center and watch volunteers make beautiful quilts; savor the Armenian delicacy, keyma, one of the specialties of Uncle Harry's Restaurant, a local landmark; and deal yourself in on the world's longest running pinochle game going on daily at the Camden Cafe.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Community Celebrations

Watch the Bok Kai Parade, California's oldest parade, with its colorful lion dancers, brilliant dragon and noisy firecrackers; marvel at the world's largest blossoming plant, the Sierra Madre Wistaria Vine; and celebrate the memory of Abraham Lincoln with a march to the Lincoln Memorial Shrine in Redlands, the only shrine west of the Mississippi dedicated to Honest Abe.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Buildings

A look at some beloved buildings such as the Bayliss Branch Library in Glenn County, the only functioning Carnegie Library that is completely rural; the Twenty-nine Palms Old Schoolhouse, the oldest building in the Morongo Valley; and visit the Apple Pan in West Los Angeles, a venerable diner that has been serving hickory burgers-and a slice of tradition-since 1947.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Little Tokyo

Join Huell as he takes a look at the history of this Japanese American community in downtown Los Angeles, including the annual Nisei Parade and all its festivities: traditional tea ceremony; Ikebana or flower arranging and bonsai exhibits, plus more.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

White House

How does Huell tour the White House and the Oval Office without ever leaving California? He travels to Hobby City in Anaheim and The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. The Hobby City Doll and Toy Museum contains literally thousands of dolls of all eras and styles, but it's what's outside that caught Huell's attention. Join Huell when he meets the "First Lady" of this exact, half-scale replica of the White House.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Mattress

Join Huell Howser as he visits the McRoskey Airflex Mattress Company in San Francisco. The McRoskey family has been manufacturing mattresses since 1899 and they still make them in much the same way as they did back then--and they are all assembled by hand. The McRoskeys have even keep a record of every mattress sold dating back to 1921.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Our State's Front Yard

Visit the immaculate and lush grounds of Capitol Park in Sacramento, our state's official front and backyard and find azaleas, huckleberry, 100-year-old cedar trees and a Memorial Grove of trees transplanted from the battlefields of the Civil War to become apart of California's Gold.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Mariachi

Listen to the magic of mariachi music and follow its origins from Jalisco, Mexico to its present-day sounds on the streets of Los Angeles. The world renowned Los Camperos de Nati Cano are featured, as well as the student mariachis of Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, and mariachis on Olvera Street.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Little Manila

Huell travels to Little Manila in Stockton--a recent addition to the National Trust for Historic Preservations 11-Most Endangered Historic Places list--to learn about its rich Filipino heritage.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Water Under Pressure

Huell looks at two historic examples of water under pressure: first at the Malakoff Diggins State Park in the Sierra foothills, where for decades miners used tremendous water cannons to help dissolve mountains in search of precious metals. Today Huell visits a vast man-made valley that remains a testament to the power of this process. Next, Huell visits California's Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga--one of only three in the world.



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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Beach Traditions

Huell travels up and down our coast to uncover some long-standing rituals from an abalone barbecue to surfing lessons.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Bicycles

A look at L.A.'s bike history with stops at the Pasadena Museum of History, a Sunday Morning ride back in time as Huell uncovers other important stops in LA's Bike history.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Huts and Hangars

Huell gets a tour of the largest wooden buildings in the world, the vast blimp hangars at the U.S. Marine Air station at Tustin. He then travels to the Seabee Naval Museum at Port Hueneme and the Marine Base at Camp Pendelton, to get a firsthand look at the history of an honest-to-goodness military institution-the quonset hut.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Olives and Berries

Huell gets a taste of history as he visits two families who have turned their crops into empires. He visits both the olive orchards in the San Joaquin Valley and processing plant of the Graber family in Ontario, where for a century workers have prepared Graber Olives in almost the same way. Huell then travels to Orange Country to learn how the world- famous Knott's Berry Farm amusement park grew out of one woman's home cooking.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Important Places

Huell travels to two significant but little-known places in California. First he gets a tour of the fields of Camp Pendelton, near San Diego, where for a period in the mid-1970s thousands of Vietnamese refugees lived in a large tent city-their first stop after fleeing their war torn homeland. Next, Huell visits the Sherman Institute High School, an off-reservation boarding school for Native Americans that has educated students for almost a century.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Oil

Huell finds out how oil made Kern County great, visiting the vast Midway-Sunset Field which is the top oil-producing field in the lower 48 states and the West Kern Oil Museum in Taft, which has one of the last huge wooden derricks in existence. Huell's last stop is the site of the Lakeview Gusher, which at the turn of the century was the largest gusher in the United States.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Folsom Prison

Huell tours Folsom Prison, which for well over a century has housed some of our state's toughest characters and gets a rare look inside this landmark prison. He visits Folsom's first death row, the chapel-which contains what has to be one of the most unusual paintings of " The Last Supper," the historic "China Hill," and the seldom-seen prison graveyard, final resting place for generations of prisoners.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Tidepools

Huell learns about tidepools on a trip to San Diego. He is joined by biologists and other experts who introduce him to the marine animals and plants that find a home in the harsh conditions of the intertidal zone.

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California's Gold with Huell Howser

Swimsuits

Whether for taking in the waters or taking in the sun, California beaches have long been a destination for vacationers and locals alike. That much hasn't changed, but what has changed dramatically is what both men and women wear to the beach. Huell is joined by a Hollywood costume designer to find out how California culture, especially movies, influence what people wear to the shore everywhere. And who better to talk about bathing suits than Esther Williams? Huell interviews the "Million Dollar Mermaid" poolside.

  • 2018-03-23T12:00:00-07:00
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California's Gold with Huell Howser

California Pools

California has many defining icons, but few sum it all up like swimming pools. In this episode Huell tours five historic pools which have all played an important part in our State's history. Starting in L.A. at the pool at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel painted by famous artist David Hockney and the Olympic pool at the L.A. Coliseum, site of the 1932 Olympic games, Huell travels north to the stunning " Neptune Pool" at Hearst Castle and finishes up at two great lost pools in San Francisco, the Sutro Baths and the Fleishhacker pool. Put on your water wings and jump on in.

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