Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Origins of Katella

A man named John Rea started a ranch in Orange, or was it Anaheim? He named it after his two daughters, Kate and Ella. I'm not sure of the history of Katella Avenue, but that's where the name came from.

Below is an e-mail we received back in the old days of OCThen.com, that relate to the name "Katella":

By: Brad, 15 Aug 2002

My grandma took care of Kate Ray. Kate had a sister named Ella. Katella's namesake. My grandmother told me when I was a little boy in the 60's that Katella grammer school was no longer there. But to answer your question about Ball Jr high. Yes it is still there.
If you have any to share about the Rea family and the name Katella, please click on "Post a Comment" below.

51 comments:

  1. Does anyone remember a Country Day School in Huntington Beach in the late 60's and into the 70's....my brother attended one and I need some information on it....

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    1. Yes by all means. I went there only during summer vacation from public school in Costa Mesa. It was a most fulfilling memory from my childhood. My dad put in the sewers in the streets there so became very friendly with the owner. I would love to hear more about the history and what happened to the place. We had such great outings to HB, skating, beach, Knotts, Disneyland, Swimming, activities planned every day, bussed to my doorstep everyday

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  2. I heard this about Katella when visiting Bowers Museum, 10 or 15 years ago.

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  3. I collect old Anaheim postcards. I got one a few months ago of the old City Hall building (3 buildings ago) that was mailed in 1909 to Miss Ella Ray at the Institute for the Deaf in Berkeley. After some quick research with the Anaheim Historical Society, I confirmed that it indeed was sent to the Ella of Katella fame.

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  4. I went to Katella Elementary School the first year it opened sometime in the early 60's. At the back of the playground was an old home that faced Katella Street just west of Wanda. We were told that there were 2 girls that grew up in the house who's names were Kate and Ella. As I recall, this was a beautiful green house with a large circular look out on top of it. Today that piece of property is a playground but you can still see the trees that were on the property before they tore it down. The school is now the Orange Unified School District offices. Does anyone remember Bruno's market on the corner of Katella and Wanda? There is a mural of it inside the Coffe Grove coffee house in the Ralph's shopping center in Villa Park.

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  5. According to the 1900 Census District 397, Berkeley Ward 3, Alameda Co., CA:

    Rea, John, head, b. April 1848 Canada, immigrated in 1873, married 25 yrs, occupation Rancher.

    Rea, Margaret, wife, b. January 1840 Canada, immigrated in 1875, married 25 yrs, 2 children with 2 surviving.

    Rea, Kate, daughter, b. March 1876, California, single, student at university.

    Rea, Ella, daughter, b. September 1881, California, single, at school.

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  6. Correction: I mis-posted Margaret's date of birth. The census lists it as January 1849, NOT Januray 1840.

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  7. My older brother and sister went to Katella Elementary. My other brother and I went to Paul Revere Elementary. When I was young the story was told that their Mom and Dad would stand out on the porch and yell "Kate...Ella" to inform them to come home. Someone heard them and decided to name the street after them. Or so they say. I went to Ball Jr High, but moved to Missouri between 8th and 9th Grade. I would have gone to Katella High School. I went to Center Senior High in KCMO instead.

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  8. Wendy Mansell HolmesNovember 05, 2005 10:41 PM

    I went to Katella Elementary from 1958 to 1964. The original school was torn down to build a motel, the Space Age Motel. I haven't been back in years to see if that motel is even still there.

    I remember the "itching powder" tree in the middle of the playground. The seed pods would make you itch. I have no idea what type of tree it was. Most of the classrooms were "portables". I think there were only about 4 classrooms in the original brick part. In the 5th & 6th grade we would go to the Resource Room and some of our subjects were presented through close circuit TV. We were told the name of the school was named after the 2 girls, Kate and Ella. The neighborhood I grew up in, all the streets had names such as, Janette, Norma, Stella, Gail... Does anyone know if these were other family members?

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  9. I went to Katella Elem. in the late 60's/early 70's and remember the tree that is still on that property. I also remember Bruno's market and the big open field between Handy and Wanda right where that market used to be. My mom still lives on Coolidge in the Presidental Street's area (Jackson, Adams, Wilson etc..) and I see that school everytime when I drive to see her.

    Ruben

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    1. I too remember the tree and Bruno's market, and my mom still lives on Hoover Ave where she has lived for 52 yesrs. I attended Katella Elementary from 1966-1973, K thru 6th. Mrs. Phelps was my favorite teacher.

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  10. I remember the "Itching powder" tree at Katella elementary and the Janitor who would burn trash and rubbish in the incenerator periodically. It seemed to me that the old school had two newer portions, one stucco and the others temporary buildings.

    To address Wendy Mansell Homes, whom I vaguely remember, I lived on Gail Lane from 1959 to 1974 I was told those street names were chosen by the developer who built that tract.

    I remember siting in Mrs. Johnson's multipurpose room taking most information from a closed circuit TV (Which was some kind of progressive education back then). I remember when they tore down Katella Elementary to build the "Inn of Tomorrow".

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    1. I lived on Norma Lane from '63 to '70

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  11. Philip PenningtonAugust 25, 2006 12:48 AM

    I do remember the "itching powder" from several trees on campus that kids would gather and drop down your shirt or blouse sometime around 1961-62. The best I can remember from these itching substances is that they were about the size of a golf ball and were soft, furry, fuzzy, or spikey round balls that itched like hell when dropped down your back. They looked like little soft brownish or blondish balls that would dissipate or fall apart when touched.

    Let me know what you think.

    Katella ex

    1961,

    Philip Pennington

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  12. This is very intersting to me personally since I just named my newborn daughter Katella, after Katella Ave in Anaheim. I thought it would be interesting to see where the name originally came from and found this site. It's so neat to learn about Kate and Ella so I can tell my daugher about the origin of her name one day!

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  13. I also atteneded Katella Elementary in the mid 1970's. Although the house that has been referred to was no longer there at the time I attended, The trees were still there along with a beautiful monument that gave tribute to the history of that home.

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  14. I attended Katella Elementary school along with my brother Jimmy, and sister Kathy. I use to go over to Wendy's house to "play" or to bug her. I would love to here from her.

    Doris Bonifacio
    dorismperry@yahoo.com

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  15. Wow! What a trip down memory lane. I remember going to Wendy's house after school with my sister Kathy.
    I remember Mrs. Taft was my teacher in fifth and sixth grade. i also remember going to the resource room where Miss Jenkins and a a male teacher, can't recall his name, taught social studies and science.
    I went to Katella from 1959 until1963. I too, remember the itching powder. It was lots of fun throwing it at the boys.
    Doris Bonifacio (perry)
    Dorismperry@yahoo.com

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  16. My name is Bob Hickman. email bobhickman99@yahoo.com. Please email me if you know me!!! I went to Katella Elementary from 1955 thru 1958. We used to play knife throwing games (stretch & mumble dee peg?) and marbles right under that itchy tree. That tree seems to be a center for many of us, either getting it stuffed down us, or stuffing it down our friends! I remember Mrs. Taft (2 years!), and a pretty teacher I think named Miss Allen? Friends Mike Adams, Bob Bittenbender, Steve Schapel, Bobby Phillips (the first true red head kid I ever met!). Debbie Donkerbrook chased me and then kissed me. Debbie where are you now? Janet Ford, Suzanne Potts, all the pretty little girls!

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  17. I went to Katella High School in 1966. It was a brand new school. The Angels had just moved to Anaheim. My friend, Rick and I sold peanuts at the Big "A". I took a trip to the old neighborhood a couple weeks ago, and it hadn't changed that much. The jet at Boysen Park is still there.

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  18. I remember Bruno's Market quite well. Never thought of it being located at Katella And Wanda - We just referred to that intersection as Bruno's Junction. Still recall the train that ran parallel to Wanda, pulling refigerated cars to the Villa Park packing house. Although the chores were usually handled by diesel locomotives, once in a blue moon an old steam locomotive was pressed into service. I can still hear it chugging down the tracks, belching out smoke like there was no tomorrow.

    Vince

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  19. Hi,
    I went to Katella back in the 1963-1964, I remember the day John F. Kennedy was shot and killed and someone came into our classroom to tell us the news.
    Our principal was a Mr. Kennedy and I couldn't imagine why someone shot him. Our 3rd grade teacher, Mrs. Dorthy Ruffing cried and cried.
    I don't remember the itchy tree, I remember the portable buildings.
    I love the story of how Katella was named, I never knew that before.

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  20. Carolyn Thompson HinderbergerSeptember 24, 2007 10:32 PM

    I went to Katella Elementary(the original one) from 1st to 5th grade ('60-'65). The school was torn down to build the present day "Inn of Tomorrow" and "Coco's Restaurant". I remember the itching powder tree too. Mrs. Raney was the 1st grade teacher, she wore bright red lipstick. The principal was Mr. Johnson too. When Kennedy was killed we thought our principal was going to be president. We had some friends, the Edward's family, they lived on the small parcels of property across the street on the Disneyland parking lot. Katella was named for two daughters, Kate and Ella. I am sure you could find more information by visiting the Old Colonial house in downtown Anaheim.

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    1. I lived on Norma Lane, between 9th St & West and Katella & Orangewood. To correct the names of the motel and coffee shop. It wasn't Coco's, it was Sambo's Restaurant. And it wasn't the Inn Of Tomorrow, it was Al Stovall's Space Age Lodge although Al Stovall owned both motels.

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  21. I went to Katella Elementary School from 1964 to 1967 (kindergarten through second grade). Then, in third grade we went to Stoddard Elementary. I think they closed Katella and sent everyone to Stoddard---would that be correct? My kindergarten teacher's name was Mrs. Hines. She was an older ,thin woman with her hair in a beehive. My first grade teacher was Mrs. Myhre. I won the first grade science fair. I have the certificate that she and Mr. Johnson, our principal, signed. I cannot remember my second grade teacher's name. When I was in first grade, I had a tremendous crush on a boy named Bobby Farrell. My best friend was Julia McCormick. In 1968 we moved to North Dakota.

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  22. I remember Katella. I went there when it opened brand new. My sister and I were going to Handy Elem. until Katella was completed. We were at Handy when Pres. Kennedy was shot. They sent everyone home from school. I was in 5th grade, Mr. Fischer's class.I remember how everything was so new at Katella. I do remember Bruno's market and the old house up the street. We lived right by the school in a new housing tract.

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  23. Richard KincaidJune 08, 2008 12:12 PM

    I attended Katella Elementary from 1962 (kindergarten, forget my teacher's name) until 1965 when I moved to Riverside. I lived on Madris Street abiut a mile south of Disneyland off of Harbor.

    I remember the big tree on the playground but don't recall the "itching" part of it. Mrs. raney was my first grade teacher and I remember it was her daughter who told us Kennedy had been shot. I remember thinking it was our principal who was going to be president as well.

    Mrs. Travers was my second grade teacher. I don't remember too many names from those days but Kevin Carlson was my best friend.

    Richard Kincaid

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  24. I remember Brunos market as being the candy haven for all of us kids. I went to Handy elementary which was not to far from there. Grew up living on Monroe st.

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  25. Hey Lisa, I saw your post just a couple up from the bottom. I also was at Handy when President Kennedy was shot. Do you remember Mr Brown or Mrs Butler or maybe even Mr hamilton, he use to smoke and watch us at recess. Do you remeber all the carnivals and paper drives we use to have there. Those were some good times growing up. My familly lived on Monroe st not far from the school.

    My name is Tom my sister Sandy and Brother Greg all went to Handy.

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  26. The memories of Katella Elementary school are precious to me. I went the school from Kinder to 5th grade 1961 -1967 when they decided to tear it down in 1967 and send us to new school Stoddard. I use to stay after school and help the custodians. I remember the itchy powder trees, the wonderful carnivals (I won a golfish) and almost all my teachers. Mrs. Hines was Kinder. Mrs. Monitor was 1st, Mrs. Edwards 2nd. My favorite in 3rd was Miss. Foskie, Mrs. Taft (kind sweet with red nail polish and red lips and drove a pink cadillac, and Mrs. Phillipian in 5. The brick portion of the school contained the offices and the kindergarten rooms. When JFK was assassinated, all the stdents went home. My family lived on West st. a few doors down from the school. Sweet Memories!

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  27. The Katella Ranch was located on 80 acres at the Northeast corner of Ball Road and Gilbert purchased in 1896 by John Rea. The ranch was mostly walnut trees, but it is now a tract of homes. The three story ranch house was moved to 125 Elm Street in Anaheim and is currently owned by Lisa and Corey Loprest. The old dirt road to get to the Katella Ranch later became known as Katella Avenue. Kathryn Rea taught at Anaheim High School in the early 1900's and Ella became the first chairwoman of the Library board.

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  28. The itching powder tree was a Sycamore...there are lots in Anaheim. I remember learning the Kate and Ella story at school. The mom called the girls for dinner and slurred the names together sounding like Katella. I've told my kids the story too. I loved that old building. I think it was a tragedy that they didn't preserve it. The brick part was really classic. I remember the cool old bathrooms in that original area. We used to have Girl Scouts in the kindergarten rooms. I was there for K-5th and was the first 6th grade class at Stoddard on 9th St. Wonderful memories of choir with Mrs. Phillipian and the old cafeteria/resource room with the stage. Mrs. Homiczewski (her name was our spelling word the first week of school) and Miss Lopez. Lucky me! I had the best teachers!

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  29. I went to Katella '59-'65 and remember Doris, wendy and Jan along with several teachers names. I can remember riding the bike course to get my license and the cake&bake sales. My mom helped put on a halloween festival in the quad area with her booth being a spider web where you pulled a string for some prize. Used to deliver milk to classrooms and watched the closed circuit TVs. Seems there was a wall around the Katella & West corner with the parkng lot and bike rack along West St. The two big sycamore trees shading the lunch area and the tetherballs over along the fence. Used to walk home through the fence gate past apartments toward Janette down Wakefield to 9th Street. Still walk all the neighborhood streets including over to Ball Jr and Loara HS. Some streets are a bit older than others now but still fond memories. carl cwhjr17@aol.com

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  30. I too went to Katella Elem. from 59' to 65'. I remember Jan Taylor, Wendy Mansell, Doris and Kathy B.
    I used to climb those trees that dropped the itching powder balls. I had the following teachers at Katella: Mrs. Motter, Mrs. Traver, Mrs. Cox, Mrs. Taft. Mr. White and Mrs. Roper. I also remember Mr. Fleishman and Mr. Johnson who where Principals

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  31. it might have been 1968 or 69 when jose feliciano came after school, played some songs and took a group photo for the back of his up-coming album. i was home sick the day the old Rea house was taken apart and moved. a cold grey day and i sat in the livingroom window and watched that house disappear. thankfully the big fig tree remained. what a great place to spend recess!

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  32. prOf CORSE I remember BRUNO'S!!! Some of my favorite memories as a child was walking from my house on Wilson street to Bruno's!!! My Mother would give us money to buy a soda and a candy. I clearly remember the man who ran Bruno's! He was older and bald. As I recall, the original bruno's burned down and I was so sorry to hear this....

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  33. I remember being taught the story of Kate and Ella and how it became Katella. I went to Katella El. from K-6th..60/61-66/67, then Ball and Loara. Lived on Gail Ln...did the walk down Wakefield. I had Mrs. Brown in K, Mrs. Motter in 1st, Mrs. Isom in 4th. Mr. White and Miss Jenkins in the resourse room. Miss Jenkins had a beehive and stuck pencils in her hair..lol
    Married my high school sweetheart, although there was a 7 yr break.
    Anyone remember getting the small pox vaccine?
    Everybody our age had a scar on their upper arm.
    My parents still live in that house on Gail..the neighborhood doesn't look that bad..many memories..and regarding Bill Miller..were you the guy with the racoon as a pet? lol

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  34. Sorry, Bob Miller, not Bill. And the Taylors live on my street..but I was younger.
    My husband remembers the Bonifacio sisters.
    I named my 2 daughters after my best childhood friends Michelle, and Niki. One live on 9th and one on Margie.

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  35. I too named my daughter Katella, (23 yr ago), just loved the name. Found the story when she was about five yr.

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  36. tad davis...I went to the original Katella School with Carl Harrison 1963-66. The "Itchy" tree,tetherball poles,bike course,athletic field,and teachers: Mrs.Ruffing,Mrs.Mann,Mrs. Isom (whom my nephews had at Stoddard),Mr. Hiroshi,Mrs.Reed,Mrs.Taft,Miss Phillipian,Mr. White,Mr.Johnson was principal and Bob Scott was janitor. I don't recall the last shool year, but I have newsclipping of demolishing school in 1969. What happened to the bell above the Katella St entrance?

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  37. I went to Katella Elementery from 1958 thru 1964. I also remember the "itching powder" tree and I was the recipient of that powder. My first kiss on the playground was with Eddie. What ever happened to John White...I was so afraid of him. He was a meanie! I also remember Mrs. Phillipian (choir teacher who taught us songs from Mary Poppins) in the resource room/cafeteria/stage. Remember those tasty lunches like canned peas and burgers? Tetherball was the best and I could beat the best of the boys. The cake walk and carnivals were memorable. We used to eat between the resource room and the temporary classrooms, right in the hot sun. It was too fun hiding in the bushes in the front of the school. Mr. Fleishman was a scary principal...he used "the paddle". Thank goodness I stayed out of trouble. I was scared to death to have to go to "the office". Remember the kurdled milk in those cartons and ice cream days? At recess we would play 4 square or hopscotch and dodge ball under the itching ball tree. Marbles were played under the tree or out in the grassy area. I always liked the purees the best. Mr. Hiroshi, Miss Jenkins, Mr. White, Mrs. Taft. The cool kids like Rick M., Pat Mc. (the love of my life), Dave D., Kathy B., Debbie M., Wendy M., Linda L., Donna H., Jenny S., Maureen, John H., Drew. I recall that the boys would "trachcan" each other and once I ran thru the boys bathroom. I was promoted to "safety", the white band and all. I was too cool! We had orange groves directly behind my house with eucalyptus trees and jack rabbits that we fed carrots. Then the houses came behind us and that frangrant tree smell went away. My family lived on Jacalene Lane (1911). What a life it was that our kids can't understand.
    Claudia Maslak (Ely)

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  38. Suzanne Caldwell PetersonMarch 12, 2010 4:08 PM

    I was at Katella from third grade through sixth. Then my family moved to Hawaii. We lived on the corner of Gail Lane and Stella. I walked to school down Stella Ave across a field and I think Bruno's was at the edge of the field facing Katella Ave. I bought so many ice cream sandwiches there. After crossing the field, I'd come to the school's baseball field. I remember lining up at recess on the macadam, playing dodge ball, relay races on the playground, tether ball, so many games of jacks, brown bag lunches outside. I remember my sixth grade teacher was Mer. Fleischer, I think. He used to get our attention by flipping the light switches on and off over and over. So many memories. Caroline Crowley lived just afew houses away. She had a big round swimming pool in her back yard. She had an immense collection of plastic horses of all shapes and sizes and had an amazing talent for drawing horses. Further down a block or two was a friend who was a new student, Tottie. Every day her mother slicked her hair back into what looked like a painfully tight long blonde braid. She was the sweetest girl and I envied that long braid. Across the streeet lived Joanne Diggs, her brother, David and they had a sister. Their father was a Baptist minister. I remember Bobby Gardner and I remember making a name for myself because I could beat many of the boys at arm wrestling!!

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  39. I attended Katella Elementary from 3rd through 5th grade ('65-'67). We lived at 1071 N. Hart St and I passed Bruno's every day on my way home down Wanda. I was caught stealing a piece of candy from Bruno's in my 3rd grade year and he called the police and my Mom. The sting of that experience has lasted my whole life!
    I remember the old house and the story of Kate and Ella. Little did I know that someday I would own one of the homes that Kate and Ella grew up in! The 3-story Victorian "Rea Home" used to be outside of Anaheim's official City Limits. Anaheim was a German colony bordered by North, East, West and South Sts. John Rea had a farm that bordered West St and it lay south of South St. I was told that Anaheim's City Fathers invited John Rea to include his farm into the Anaheim city limits. John said, "yes" and he was asked to create a name for the dirt road that ran by his home to be included on the new City Map. John named the street, "Katella" which combined the names of his two daughters, Kate and Ella. John Rea's home originally occupied the space (approximately) that Disneyland's Micky Mouse Ferris Wheel occupies today! Near the corner of West and Katella. The home was moved around 1923 to 125 W. Elm St, some say, to be a boarding home for passengers looking for lodging as they exited the railroad line station a block away. Although some historians say the home was built in 1897, my suspicion is that the 3-story Victorian Home, replete with Old-Growth Redwood throughout, was really built in 1879. The huge old cast-iron tubs my wife and I hauled out from upstairs were stamped 1880 and were likely new when first purchased. The "Rea Home" was our home for 10 years and it breathed History. We sold our home to a developer in 2005 who, in turn, sold the "Rea Home" to the City of Anaheim, I think, for $1 (rumor is). The City of Anaheim coveted our home and I am glad to see that they can invest into it, restore it, and keep the memory of Kate and Ella Rea, and the history of Katella, alive.
    Corey LoPrest

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  40. I was in the 5th grade in the Katella Grammar School in 1936. I remember at that time it was surrounded by Orange groves and Walnut orchards.Of course that would be about 74 years ago and I am 84 now. I recently had to come to Anahiem for some reason and of course GOT LOST.

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  41. Attended Katella Elementary School ( corner Katella and West St. ) For 8 years -- Graduated 1954 -- I think last 8 th Grade class --- I have lots of good memories and history of the area.------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Elbert Smith -- elbertsmail@yahoo.com ---

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  42. Ella Rae married my great uncle, William Tufreys Wallop. I heard the story many times of Ella and her sister, Kate, being called to home by the mother, "Kate!" "Ella!" "Kate!" "Ella!" eventually contracted to "KatElla!" and then Katella. True story. Bill and Ella Rae lived on Moody Avenue in Fullerton until the 1970s when they both died, childless. Luckily for me, they had "adopted" their niece, my mother, whose father had died when she was 6, in 1918. I beleive the administration building by the front gates to Disneyland belonged to Bill Wallop. He sold Walt Disney a bunch of the land under the original Disneyland (I got to go to opening day in 1954!). Jim Greer, jbgreer@aol.com.

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  43. What wonderful memories these posts bring back. I attended K-4, '59-'64, most of my teachers were mentioned. Miss Lopez in 4th grade changed my life. Best teacher ever! I remember the Bonafacio girls - do one of your daughters teach in Yucaipa now? And the comment about Bobby Gardner - he was my daughters' principal at Clara Barton in the 90's. Tad Davis, you need to get on the LHS '72 FB page. That's how I found this link and the photo of the old school. So sad they didn't preserve the original buildings, all ivy covered - and wooden sidewalks! Great times. Ginger Wyvell Janette Lane '59-'70

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  44. Important to note there are two separate schools noted above. The old Katella was vintage 1890's at the corner of West & Katella. If there was another Katella built in the 60's or 70's in Villa Park or Orange, that's for a different blog.

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  45. Linda Lunstrum KosvicApril 21, 2012 10:10 AM

    Katella Elementary School located at the southwest corner of Katella and West Streets; view of the front facade of the second facility on this site, built in the 1920s and demolished in 1969; image shows a school bus and automobile parked at the curb.

    Attended in the 1960s. My fondest memories are that this was a red brick school house and we were across from Disneyland. I broke my wrist while playing on the money bars when I fell and hit my wrist on the step - ouch! Does anyone remember the word "koodie bug" - it was a very popular word amongst the students to call each other names.

    http://imgzoom.cdlib.org/Fullscreen.ics?ark=ark:/13030/kt5m3nc5c5/z1&&brand=calisphere

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  46. Jeanine Crowley ConkeyJanuary 07, 2013 1:54 PM

    Hi Suzanne Caldwell Peterson! (my name is Jeanine, not Caroline) I remember you very well. I'm so glad to have found this site. Brings back so many memories! I knew Tottie, and her sister Cheri who was in my grade. There was a boy named Carl Harrison who lived on 9th Street and raised rabbits. I also remember the Diggs family. David went on to have a successful career in the music industry. In the sixth grade, he had a rock band and the school allowed the band to play on stage in the "resource room" (formerly the cafeteria). All the girls had a crush on him. I remember so many things about Katella School. Seems everyone remembers the "itching powder" trees. And those awful bunglows. No heating or A/C. They are still in use at Stoddard School which was built in 1966 after Katella was torn down but they have been upgraded.

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  47. Yep, I am the guy who had the pet raccoon. His name was Rocky. I got a little help in naming him from the Beatles when they came out with the song Rocky Raccoon.

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