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(First of a series of articles celebrating our 30th anniversary)

By Guy Ball

<Second Article>  <Third Article>


In October of 1973, the Santa Ana Register reported “Progress Threatens Historic OC Home.” The article spoke of the City of Santa Ana’s plans to widen what was then Seventh Street to make it part of Civic Center Dr., East. In order to do that, the plans included the demolishing of an aging, two-story Victorian-style manse built in the same year Orange County separated from Los Angeles County, 1889. The 12-room home was built for Drs. Alvin and Willella Howe and was situated in what as termed the “Nob Hill” section of town.

In that same Register article, a member of the city cultural heritage committee lamented that too few of these pre‑1900 homes were still left.  This committee member, Adeline Walker, noted that recently “another home in the area came down without a murmur from anyone.”

Adeline would soon take this challenge to heart.  She, her friend Betty Biner, and a few others formed the Friends of the Waffle House which later would become the Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society.  For the next year, these ladies worked relentlessly to enlist volunteers and donors in their fight to save the house.  They spoke to whoever might help – politicians, businessmen, architects, historians, everyday citizens.

With a city government that was at times working with them but often working against them, they fought difficult odds to save the house from demolition and eventually convinced the city fathers to help them preserve this piece of Santa Ana history.  The City furnished the money to move the house to its current location at Sycamore and Civic Center Dr. West, on the condition that the Society pay for a foundation and to restore the house.

Adeline and friends raised the thousands of dollars and received thousands of hours of donated time and work from residents, businesses, and unions. The Society had succeeded in saving this beautiful old home for the benefit of those in the future who would enjoy looking back at a different time, at a different lifestyle.

Adeline (Weston) Walker

Adeline Walker

Adeline was born on July 10, 1904, the daughter of Edward Cochems
and Emma Glaser.

(more photos showing Adeline)

<Second Article>  <Third Article>


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