Friday, March 13, 2009

Greenbriar Inn and Sanitarium in Garden Grove

greenbriar inn garden grove
An anonymous OCThen reader asks if anyone knows the name of an old mental hospital in Garden Grove...
I grew up in westminster,born in 1959 in Artesia. My mom and dad bought a house in Westminster in 1955 I believe.I just came across this site when I was trrying to find some info on an old mental hospital in Garden Grove.I think it was on Garden Grove Blvd.

Me and my friends used to drive through there after it closed because it was supposed to be haunted,but I cant find anything on it,maybe someone else remembers it.I have many fond memories of Orange Co.I read on here about someone mentioning Farrels Ice Cream parlour I think there was one in Huntington Beach on Beach Blvd. or maybe it was Westminster.I used to go there alot. That was probably in the 70s.
The "old mental hospital" was a sanitarium on Garden Grove Blvd and Nutwood.  It part of a 15 acre resort called Greenbriar Inn.  Greenbriar Inn opened up in 1940 and included a hotel and restaurant.  Greenbriar Inn closed down in 1970.  Later on it was torn down and turned into tract homes.

Many believe the sanitarium to be haunted.

If you have anything to share on this, please click on "Post a Comment" below...

65 comments:

  1. Back in the late 50's and early 60's there was a place called Greenbriar on the north side of Garden Grove Blvd. Between Brookurst and Euclid. It was on a large piece of property with trees and lawns. The facility was not visible from the street. I remember it as a private club, but it may have been a mental facility.
    The Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor was on the west side of Beach Blvd. south of the 405. I was their exterminator in the late 70's. Their specialty was children's birthday parties, kind of like the Chucky Cheese of ice cream without all the games.

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  2. I also believe it was called the Greenbriar Inn & think it was (as AlanW says) on the north side of GG Blvd at Gilbert. I grew up in GG from about 1955-1969 & seem to remember my mother referring to it as a former mental institution and/or a place for those with TB to recover at. My memory is hazy though.

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  3. We used to drive through this abandoned hospital and it gave us the creeps. Please see attached link: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.santaanahistory.com/articles/OCMH/OC-General-Hospital--buildingsOCMS-book046.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.santaanahistory.com/articles/OCMH/OC-GeneralHospital.html&h=214&w=602&sz=23&hl=en&start=3&tbnid=kKdVqMUWeMV53M:&tbnh=48&tbnw=135&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dold%2Bhospitals%2Bin%2Borange%2Bcounty%2Bcalifornia%26gbv%3D2%26hl%3Den

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  4. The place you're thinking of was named, I believe, the Garden Grove Sanitarium. The Greenbrier Inn was actually a separate property that sat farther back in on the northwest corner of GG Blvd. and Nutwood, across from (then) Eddie Hopper Chevrolet, which was on the NE corner. The sanitarium, as I recall, fronted on GG Blvd, and ran northward along the west side of Nutwood. The Greenbrier, which was quite a resort in it's day from what I've heard, was back in behind it.

    The Greenbrier property sat empty for many years and during the skateboarding rage of the 70's the pool was used extensively (and covertly) by skateboarders from all over the state.

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  5. There was a Sanatarium on Garden Grove Blvd, east of Brookhurst. It was utilized as a rest home and an aloholic treatment center. I remember a friend of ours being ill and staying there for about a month early in the 60's

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  6. The pool at this place was called the fruit bowl. That pool was so fun to skate.

    Here is some footage of it:

    http://skatopia.net/movies/Scott-Bunnell-Footage-1_0.mov

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  7. I was just looking up "Garden Grove Sanitarium"....i have an old silver milk creamer that i collected some odd years ago and it's engrave stamp on the bottom says Garden Grove Sanitarium and it's #.Kind of eerie,lol.

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    1. Do you still have the milk creamer?

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  8. I grew up in GG from 1960- the mid 1980's. My mom used to work as a waitress at the Greenbriar Inn. i met the owner dude. It also had a Sanitarium on the grounds all owned by the same guy. I had a youth football banquet at the main resturant in 1971. By 1976 it was all closed and in disrepair. That is when the skating and partying was really going on. It was a creepy place that had rooms for shock treatments and isolation type activities. It was a weird place to be hanging out late at night.
    TGTKEIGG

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  9. I have lived in Garden Grove sinc I was 4 years old,I am 47 now. I remember after the Greenbriar sanitarium closed down us kids used to ride our bikes through there and I seem to remember there being cages that they used to keep people in. By what I understand it was'nt a very nice place at all.I believe that there are apartments there now and I have heard that they are haunted. I also can remember going to Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor. the big thing that I remember about that was a thing that i'm pretty sure they called the zoo. I remember it was a huge bowl of ie cream and there were a bunch of plastic animals in it. How about Pinnacle Peaks restaruant did any one lose a tie?

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    1. There's a pinnacle peak im Carson. It was really run down
      Went there last year, won't go again.

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    2. The old Pinnacle Peak in GG on Trask is closed. It's now a Vietnamese restaurant. My husband lost a tie at Pinnacle Peak (deliberately)!

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  10. I have some very fond memories of the Greenbriar Inn. Around 1973 I met my now husband who worked across the the street from the Inn. We used to meet in the cocktail lounge for drinks and I thought the place was old and romantic so I got a job as a waitress there to be close to my honey. The waitress work was all tray service and we had to wear a white ruffle tops and floor length skirts, provided by them. The largest tip I every received was working Dinner shift, I ran after the couple because I thought he had made a mistake, he asured me he had not.I remember there was lots of nice art work on the walls, I loved the one of a victorian girl on a swing, Once in a while she really look like she was swinging, there was a Blue Boy and a Pink Girl picture too. The whole place seemed victorian to me the lounge had a huge fireplace and was very cozy with coaches around the fireplace. I wish I had some pictures of the place. They also had big weddings in an outside garden area very Beautiful. Along the back were many individual bungalow's were Hollywood stars were known to come to stay and dry out. I often wonder where all the interior decor went, wish I had bit of it. Where can I find pictures? anyone out there with pictures please upload.

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    1. My mother was a RN at Palm Harbor Hospital. Her best friend, Gloria Carter, was employed at Greenbrier.
      The owner of Greenbrier was a doctor. He was also a little nutty. The property had a vast amount of fruit trees surrounding the buildings.
      One of the employees was caught picking peaches from the peach tree, the doctor became so enraged that he cut down all of the peach trees.
      Employees were not allowed to eat at the Greenbrier. The restaurant was for the rich patients and Hollyweird drunks who came to sober up.
      The U-Haul Center on GG Blvd, as well as Auto Parts Center, Swede's Radiator, Matt’s Motor Machine Shop, Beradini Used Cars were all located on GG Blvd and the GG Sanitarium & Greenbrier Inn were located behind these businesses.
      My father owned & operated Swede's Radiator. Garden Grove’s first independent radiator repair shop.

      A property investment company from Newport Beach was hired by the City of Garden Grove to draw plans for the, now standing, condominium complex.
      My father’s property and business and the Mc Mahan’s furniture store were the last 2 properties holding up the ground breaking for the planned community which included the vacant GG Sanitarium and Greenbrier Inn.
      All of the other buildings were torn down.
      My father was forced to sell out through a court mandated order.
      The City of Garden Grove then went after McMahan’s Furniture through court actions but the City of GG almost hit bankruptcy as McMahan’s property was buried in multiple trusts.
      The Condo Complex was constructed around McMahan’s Furniture properties which included the small used car sales lot directly to the east of the furniture store. If you drive over to the corner GG Blvd and Brookhurst St you’ll see the Condo Complex covers from Nutwood to Brookhurst (east to west) & the housing track to GG Blvd (north to south)…. McMahan’s Furniture building and used car lot properties prevailed in court. They are still standing.

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    2. I just heard about this blog. I actually worked at the Garden Grove Sanitarium. That was the legal name of the entire property. I worked there as the full charge bookkeeper from 1963 - 1979. I have many "interesting" stories I could tell. Dr. Richard Carter was the owner when I worked there. He had a partner who had passed away a few years earlier. Dr. Carter was a psychiatrist and treated patients at the Sanitarium for more than just alcoholism. I can remember him performing shock treatments. My office was in a building between the hotel/restaurant and the Sanitarium. I even lived there for awhile in a duplex on the street across from Eddie Hopper Chevrolet. I forgot the name of the street. OH, I think it was Nutwood St. It was a beautiful place, but there was an evilness to it. Dr. Carter was murdered in 1978 or 79 while living in Idyllwild.

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  11. Regarding Farrels Ice Cream on Beach Blvd: it used to be an A & W Root Beer stand. I was there around 1970 and a curvaceous blond waitress in an orange uniform behind the counter smiled at me. It has been my lifelong regret that I was too shy to hit on her.

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  12. I lived by the Green Briar Inn. I lived on Claussen St. It was by the "Rubber Factory" remember that place ? Last I heard of that place was back in the 70s. A bunch of kids would skateboard in the empty pool. When they tore that place down the Rats flooded into our neighborhood. It was a Sanitarium back in the 30s-40s. Many Movie Stars stayed there as Garden Grove was a small town then.

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    1. Do you remember the month it was torn? I'm writing a biography of Duane Peters and I'm getting conflicting dates.

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  13. I knew a cook that worked at the Greenbriar in in 1969 we would go walking through the place at night it actually was a really cool place ive seen postcards on ebay recently. Remember Maple Lanes? or Cole's grocery store? I do remember Randolf Rubber Factory on Stanford my sister worked there but the name changed to Newport Rubber factory remember the little factory shoe outlet there.How about The Orange County Evening News on Century I had a paper route near 17th and Newhope and bought my first REAL Schwinn Typhoon at the Garden Grove Schwinn Shop with money i made from that paper route. Wayne Hartel

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  14. I worked briefly at the Garden Grove Sanitarium while the building nearest Garden Grove Blvd. was still in use. I believe the owner (a Dr. Carter) was still alive, but very old. To be honest, the place was a little "shady" when I worked there (I won't go into details here). Dr. Carter owned a mountain cabin up in Idylewild, and he asked me to take a delivery for him up to the cabin. Again, I won't go into the details here. I'm not sure if Dr. Carter owned both the Greenbrier and the Sanitarium then. There were still a number of patients in the rooms while I worked there (for about two weeks). The ground in back were in major disrepair, and some of the people who were patients were in very unfortunate condition. Dementia etc. It was uncomfortable for me to work there and I quit after a very short time. I did hear some stories about who was in the Sanitarium in the early days. Some of the rooms in the rear buildings had bars on the windows. I remember feeling very sorry for those that were still in some of the rooms. Very old decor inside. I did hear that people from Hollywood would visit the Sanitarium when it was built. MRH

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  15. I'd be very interested in hearing from anyone who has more information on the Sanitarium, on Dr. Carter, and additional history of the Sanitarium. Would enjoy hearing more about the early days of both the Sanitarium and The Greembrier. MRH.

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  16. From what i've come to learn, a lot of the wood and I believe the oak bar from the Greenbriar was purchased by Connie who used it to build Azteca Mexican Restaurant on Main St. in Garden Grove. Maybe someone that blogged can come by and see if they recognize anything. The rest. was opened in 1975-76. Steve J.

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  17. I worked at the Garden Grove Sanitarium in 1970 after being discharged from the Marine Corps. I lived on the grounds with Dr. Smith (I believe that was his name.) in his home. As the janitor I had full run of the sanitarium, because I had the master keys. I ate lunch in the Greenbriar Inn, but only in the kitchen.

    The story I heard was that the Garden Grove Sanitarium and the Greenbriar Inn was often frequented by the Hollywood elite. I was told Bing Crosby's first wife died in the Sanitarium and W.C. Fields was often treated there after extended periods of inebriation.

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  18. I worked just down the street from green brier at the old U-haul. We'd skateboard in the old pool and walk through the old creepy rooms. I found an old green key clip with the hospitals name stamped on it. I still have it today. The site today is apartments I believe. On the north side of Garden Grove Blvd about a mile east of Brookhurst St. I was a creepy place.

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    1. Jesse, What year(s) did you work at the U-Haul?
      We owned Swede's Radiator which was right next door.

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  19. The best tacos I've every eaten was from the Azteca Mexican Resturant. Connie used to serve me when I was nine years old (1959) at the origional Azteca located on GG Blvd close to the Roller Dome skating rink down towards Haster. One shredded beef taco, one coke 35 cents, with money earned from delivering the Mirror News.
    The Azteca still has great tacos and other mexican dishes on old Main St, and I think many GG people take their old classic cars there for display on Friday nights. Anyone from Santiago High ever attend?
    Connie used to let me go back into the kitchen with her and she would give me tips and a few recipies. She told me how to make her excellent taco sauce (not hot sauce)that tops each taco. I believe her nephew runs the resturant now and the decor is all Elvis. Pretty cool but not like when Connie had it with all the great lamps, cealing mounted horses and old wood burning stoves. Oh but those tacos were good!

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  20. i grew up on trask and taft right across the street from mitchell elementary school. there was a strange building next store (now apartments). a guy would walk by my house in a robe and with his head down everyday. was it a mental instution? does anybody know?

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  21. Wow, What a trip down memory lane.
    I grew up down the street from Green brier inn. (Law dr. Nutwood at Lampson)
    I can remember seeing the people in the sanitarium as I rode my bike past there on my way to Galasso's deli (remember Galasso's?)
    When the place closed up, I was one of the kids in the empty pool skateboarding!

    I also used to bowl at Maple Lanes at least once a week (My father was a pinsetter (as a teenager) there before the automatic pinsetting machines)
    Does anyone remember the water tower along the train tracks?? It was where the Home Depot sits now.

    Oh, back to Greenbriar, I used to work at Hasty Rentals/Lawn and garden right next to the u-haul place.
    It backed up to greenbriar.
    When I worked there, up the the rafters, where some old aerial photo's 50's)of the hasty lot and part of greenbriar.

    Back in those days, it was a resort for the hollywood elites to come and get away from it all.

    In the photo's, you could see the parking lot filled with new T-Birds and Vette's.... Really Cool!!

    And we used to buy our Vans shoes at the rubber factory, as well as shopping at Coles Market.

    BTW, Does anyone remember Lee's hobbies and Barry's trains, and Slot car racing at Hobby City and Monaco race tracks? Oh, and what about Malibu Grand Prix by Angel stadium??

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    1. We were neighbors as I lived on Claussen St. It is between Lampson and Stanford by the Post office. Just past the Post office was Green Briar Inn. I remember Lee's Hobbies ! I used to buy most of my Model Airplanes there. I would also buy the little Air Fix toy soldiers there for 50 cents a box. I also liked the old Brookhurst Hobbies before they moved. In Jr. High ( Lampson before it became Ralston ) we would go to Barry's Hobbies and race our Slot cars. Barry's had a huge track where one could race their cars for 50 cents. It was next to the Super market in the corner. I forget the Super Market ( Von's ? ) but I sold candy out front for Foot Ball when I went to Grove. Do you remember the Big grain warehouse on Nelson and Acacia St by the R.R. Tracks ? I remember when it burned down one night. My friend Tom and heard the crashing timbers as it burned to the ground. We even saw the flames from my house. We used to play on the R.R. Tracks back in the day when the Train used to run through there.

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  22. Meadowview manor on Taft St. Does anyone remember?

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  23. I have wondered for some years about the Greenbriar Inn, but I could never find much information about it...but now I have Thanks to you all. After living in Westminster for a short while, our family moved to Garden Grove in about 1962...where my Dad bought a house for around $20,000. I grew up living on Paladium, the street behind the medical center at the corner of Nutwood and Chapman. I bowled at Maple Lanes which I think had about 6 lanes...I ate at Galasso's, which became one of my customers some years ago. Galasso's moved their business out to Ontario or Mira Loma some years ago. With our dimes and quarters earned by doing chores, my friends and I walked many times from our homes on Paladium to Cole's Market to buy a Coke from their old fashion Coke machine. We would go see a movie at the Gem Theatre on Main Street. Garden Grove was a great place to grow up in those days. I remember the rubber factory that was close to the railroad tracks that crossed Nutwood.
    I now of the man that owns the new Farrell's Franchise...Michael Fleming. The new Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour is in Misson Viejo. Also, Mr. Fleming's daughter Shauna Fleming oversees the "A Million Thanks" program, which asks us all to send Thank You cards to our servicemen and women all over the world.
    I look forward to checking this site to view and read more comments from many other people that grew up and or lived in Garden Grove during the 40's - 50's - 60's and on.

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  24. robert mcculloughMarch 09, 2010 11:14 PM

    the greenbrier was a cool place i remember it back in 1975-1979 i was in the greenbriaer inn and walked around in side .i lived in gg 1970 to 1993. there are so meny of you that have experieced all these places the rubber factory and galasso deli.coles hatsys u-haul schwinn store mapal lanes evan azteca. i had been in the bar in the inn the wood that is in crooners bar was in the inn lots of memoreis

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  25. Im also from Garbage Gulch but Im only in my twenties. Its really intresting reading your posts. I'll ask my father about these places hes 45 maybe 46 and was born in G.G. I'll be back with more on it :D

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  26. I also grew up in Anaheim & Fountian Valley. We as teens in the late early 70's used to party in the empty buildings that was a known physco hospital. Was spooky at night, say some weird things there

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  27. I grew up in Garden Grove and went to St. Columban's school. Remembers the rubber factory and the Van's store. How about Kiddieland? The Greenbrier was a spooky place. We(my friends) would dare each other to run through there at night. We would almost pee are pants. There was a legend of a crazy old man who died there and walked the grounds as a ghost. If he caught you he would lock you up in one of those rooms forever.... enough to scare any young teen at the time. ha ha those were fun times!

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  28. READING ALL THE POSTS HAS BROUGHT BACK MANY MEMORIES. NOW I KNOW THE NAME OF THE SCHOOL I WENT TO FOR GRADE K. AND WAS KIDDDIELAND IN THE PARKING LOT OF A BIG BAKERY? COLES! AND THE SCARY PLACE KIDS WOULD TELL ME ABOUT. aLANTIS PARK ,DRAGON SLIDE? FUN TIMES I AGREE!! LIVED IN G.G. 1961-67 F.V/SANTA ANA 68-78. I REMEBER ORANGE GROVES,STRABERRY FIELDS & FESTIVAL, AND EVEN A BIG DAIRY.

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  29. Anybody remember the mortuary just east of the Greenbrier on GG blvd? it used to sit where the home depot is now. As kids we used to ride are bikes along the service road that ran the entire length of both the restaurant and the sanitarium, There used to be a patient there, an old lady that would sit by the window and move her lips really fast like a monkey! we referred to her as " munchos" Also we used to get chased by a cook with a meat cleaver, I shit you not, we would then ride r bikes through the mortuary, The 'Brier was real scary on bikes or later when we got our driver license and drove it, looking back at it now 35 years later the restaurant would have been a landmark, it was that beautiful

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  30. Oh I think that old rubber factory along the RR tracks briefy turned into a goodwill for a while, that place was just spooky as hell to. big long wooden builing that had a big basement. Place was totally pitch black down there even during the day totally scary as kids to go through it.

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  31. In the early '60s I lived in Cypress & several of my "girlfriends" & I would drive to Green Briar Inn for lunch. It was beautiful with a huge Oriental carpet on the floor of the main lobby. There was a pool & several private cottages visible from the many windows of the dining room. It was not visible from GG Blvd & you needed to drive back a block or so in the trees. It was said there had been a mental hosp. there in the building next to the Inn. Also, it was rumored that Hollywood celebrities stayed there, who knows... It was a beautiful place & I was sorry to see it demolished. I have a clipping from the OC Register about the final destruction.

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  32. Wow, such memories, I remember Cole's and the Orowheat Bakery, I learned how to shoot pool at Maple Lanes, driving thru the Greenbriar, since we all lived on Claussen St, it was close enough to not get into too much trouble for being out so late. I remember Fazio's and thier hot bread, White Front and the yummy donuts. And I also remember an old holding place off of Beach Blvd that housed the Japanese during the war, that was creepy walking thru the old bldgs. Our house on Claussen was and probably is still haunted, a lady burned to death in our (girls) room in the early 50's, we've heard her crying and my dad used to see her all the time when he was alone. Garden Grove has so many memories, remember Wheeler's Market and the Rainbow Liquor store..so many to mention here. Peace and I enjoy this site so much.

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  33. Thanks for the memories,
    I moved to Garden Grove from Santa Ana in 1947, my mother worked at the Greenbrier Sanitarium from 1952 thru 1957, I belevie the restraunt and Sanitarium were both Greenbrier, and was sometimes refered to as the G.G. Sanitarium.
    We lived three blocks south of the Maple Lanes Bowling Alley and would walk thru the Greenbrier on a spooky road, just to see if we could scare each other, (it worked). Some one said their father sat pins at the Maple Lanes, me and my brother sit pins for close to two years, earned a whoping six cents a line.
    Coles Market is another memorie, I was in the eight grade when they had the grand opening, Al Jarvis ( a Hollywood Star) was there with a band
    and they held drawings for bags of food, I won several bags over the weekend.
    Does anyone remember Ciscos Mexician Drivein across from Coles Mkt, I worked there while going to high school.
    Had lots of fun in the orange groves and several friends that worked at the Excelser Dairy.
    Thanks to all of you for sharing your Memories!
    Art

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  34. Ah yes the GEM theater 60 cents to see a double feature I remember seeing Trog and Spin out there I had a childhood friend name Mike Kuchenbecker that climbed that old tree right next to the Gem, unforgeable he fell from it and slipped into a coma for a few days

    good times good times

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    1. I knew your friends brother Scott Kuchenbecker.

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  35. I remember Tom Snyder shooting an episode of the 'Sunday' show in the Garden Grove Square. They were showcasing a renaissance arts and crafts market in the old J. C. Penney store in the square and after the show they broken for lunch at the Greenbriar, just down the boulevard.

    The Sanitarium was popular with old movie studios due to it's remoteness from Hollywood and it's closeness to a railroad line. The old AT&SF line had a siding near the current Home Depot, and this made for perfect midnight clandestine deliveries of boozed up movie stars needing to be dried up for their next shoot. I understand MANY liquored up stars were planted in that facility by the studios over the years, 'cured' then shipped back to Hollywood by train.

    In the latter years, the old Doc and his male 'assistant' were the only residents in that place. One could occasionally glimpse a shadowy figure walking past a window. The place got progressively more run down until finally, the old Doc died.

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  36. What a trip, the reason I found this site is because my girlfriend told me of this old house now called the compound. It sits on the corner of flower and stanford straight back in where the trees described would be and the old sanitarium. Its supposed to be haunted and creepy people still live there , fire pits and supposed tunnels lead to who knows where , maybe up under those apartments. What a fascinating history you all have provided me. Now I am more intriged, because girlfriends sister lives very close to that creepy house. She too belives theres ghosts in the area. This place could of possibly been the janitors quarters or part of the sanitarium. Does anyone know ?

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  37. Maple Lanes had 8 lanes, used to bowl there and Champion & Garden Sq down the street.

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  38. I used to work at hastys lawn and garden also right down the road from the GG sanitariam.Very spooky yes.I often walked to school that way also. I lived on central ave in garden grove right off brookhurst.went to garden grove high school in 1977.We often went to the sanitariam to watch skatboarders,and just walk around and look.there was a big fire there and they taped it off so knowone could get hurt,and they finally tore it down. I would love to have a pic of the place if anyone has one nightwatcher200031@yahoo.com

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  39. I went to elementary school right across the street from Greenbrier Compound 71-80. I attended St Paul Lutheran School right behind the bank building and down the street from Maple lanes. We used to hear the stories of caged humans and people suffering. Gallosso Deli had the best pastrami sandwich ever.

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  40. I remember Hastys, there also used to be a tropical fish store just west of the greenbrier before the porn book stores, Maple Lanes, I was told that a family with the last name of the Haxtons owned it, I remember the Haxton twin girls, beautiful, It was Jill,Jody and a brother Lee

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  41. This was way before my time, but I love old stories like this! These were the only pictures I could find.

    http://books.google.com/books?id=L8OsUkC2JdgC&pg=PA90&lpg=PA90&dq=greenbriar+inn+garden+grove&source=bl&ots=NA-vCK7aOk&sig=X9048N0Is3PdLThnsByzmuci_sg&hl=en&ei=cLBCTpyaFYPWiAKS_MG-BQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&sqi=2&ved=0CE0Q6AEwBg

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  42. Wow, lot of memories, the kids that skated in the pool were a group of kids overseen by Rene Cacrasto(?) the family was very involved in local GG events he had brothers that were twins, they were a good family. I spent younger years growing up on Walnut St. it was the street behind Joybells. I worked for the Sanitarium and Greenbrier at two different times.I answered a add posted at Santiago HS youth employment, I worked there sophomore and junior years after school and Saturdays & Sundays. I was young and had a few spare hours to explore the buildings they did have sections that were MAX lock down but by the late 60's the were closed up. I was hired by Dr. Richard Carter M.D. my understanding from the staff was that he had inherited the practice from his Father with the same name. Dr. Carter always treated me as an employee even tho he was out and very feminine, some of the patients who new his father despise him because of his life choices. I spent a lot of time talking to the older RN's who had worked there for a long time, seems that many famous movie starts and families with money would come there to detox, including Judy Garland. When I was there they had a Mr. Goodyear
    (yes as in Goodyear tires)because I had to prep him a special diet. aside from the max side most the rooms were like something out of a 30's movie big grand beds, leather chairs that were stately and overstuffed, they had fire places in each room. I remember it closing down and being fence off, not sure if Dr. Carter "his male assistant" live there, but I know he was beaten to death in Big Bear by one of his young lovers, I read that in the paper. Remember that Garden Grove was a bedroom community a lot of the famous would leave LA and come to GG to carry on affairs at motels, plus they could detox without being under shutter. wrightotcm at gmail.com

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    1. Hello Anonymous
      I am researching my wifes family history and have found out that her grandmothers brother, George Johnston Stewart, was a patient at Garden Grove Sanitarium from 1966 until his death in 1968, Dr. Richard A. Carter MD signed his death certificate.
      I believe George was cremated at the Odd Fellows Cemetary.
      I am looking to find out if he had any family who might have visited him and who they were when he died.
      I would appreciate if anyone could help me with any info, including which is the nearest County Clerks Office to where the Sanitarium was.

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  43. Yup, the Greenbrier on Nut wood......

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  44. I don't know how I found this, but I know a thing or two about Maple Lanes. My Grandfather was named Brick Murdy. He sold his Dairy Farm in Midway City in 1944 and bought a 6 lane Bowling Alley in Huntington Beach. My uncle Clay Kellogg owned a feed store on G.G. Blvd and he loved to bowl. My uncle talked my grandfather into relocating his Bowling Alley into the feed store and he added 2 lanes a total of 8 lanes and he named it Maple Lanes in 1953. Grandpa owned and operated Maple Lanes until his death in 1975. I worked there from 1972 until 1975. 25 cents per game, 25 cents for Rental Shoes 25 cents for Pool.

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  45. Paul from FullertonJanuary 05, 2012 3:42 AM

    I worked in the rubber factory in 1968
    My job was mostly to clean ad scrub the bits of rubber from the employee's clothes after they sat down at the tables and chairs for lunch
    Hard job!
    I had no idea about all this history and I thank all of you for supplying it

    At some point Garden Grove got a negative reputation as a dumpy place and it was called Garbage Gulch -- I never felt it was that way

    Probably the location of the alcoholism/mental health facility there was part o that bad reputation -- People are always scared of mental illness and what they don't understand

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  46. Kerry. from Mission Viejo,5/8/12:
    Living in GG from 1968-70, I remember the Greenbrier Inn fondly. In 1968 I took my fiancee' to dinner and spent the nite in the hotel.I took a dip in the pool, unheated...burrrr! What was neat about the place, was it was built in 1940 on 15 acres. By 1968 the numerous trees planted thru out the premises were very tall and mature. like an oasis in the middle of an old crumbling town before renovation. The roooms were not special, but if anyone has been to Hearst Castle, they would immediatelyy recognize the restaurant as the same ilk.
    The good doctor was very cultured in the furnishings, with antiques and works of art in the lobby and restaurant. Dinners were gourmet, but not pricey, ambiance was very romantic. When the good doctor died the property was taken for taxes and leveled. Not one tree,nor building was spared (over 100 trees!). For photographs of the inn go to Barnes and Knoble and consult "the images of America" series, GARDEN GROVE page 90. In 1968 gas was 19cents/gallon! a product of gas wars at the time!

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  47. As many of you have mentioned in your previous posts: what memories!

    I grew up in Garden Grove between 1956 and 1965, before moving to Orange. I have so many memories about the places previously mentioned, including the Greenbriar Inn. I remember Dr. Carter, the beauty of the grounds, the wonderfully romantic restaurant, and the rumors regarding the clientele at the sanitorium.

    My mother worked as a waitress at the restaurant, and I don't remember her having anything bad to say about the place. I simply remember how lovely it was, the decor, and the outfits the servers wore.

    I also remember, with very fond memories of Coles, Wheeler's Markets, downtown (Old Main St.), the Axteca, Maple Lanes, the various hobby stores, old packing houses, and a lot more about old Garden Grove.

    Several years ago I ran across an advertisement for the Garden Grove Sanitarium and Greenbriar Inn on EBay. It is multi-paged and, although it doesn't have color photos, you get a general sense of what it must have looked like in its heyday.

    Finally, I was fortunate to have grown up across the street from then Euclid Park. I remember the old band shell, a recreation building, the playground, Christmas nativity scenes, summer concerts, and a delightful picnic area behind the church. I lived on Park Drive (no longer in existence), behind Dr. Speck's medical offices.

    Great memories of growing up in "Garbage Gulch!"

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  48. From the mid 1970's until 1978 I worked at the old Garden Grove U-Haul equipment rental near GG blvd and Brookhurst streets. I was 16 when I started there. I remember Hasty equipment rental very well. They were very good neighbors and very friendly. There was a small bar across the street from the U-Haul and to the right...almost behind the Der Weinersnitchel. Does anybody remember the name of that place? I seem to remember the sign had a martini glass on it or something. Or maybe it was called "Martini's"...don't remember for sure.

    The G.G. U-Haul was actually a converted house. Does anybody know the history of that place? It was obviously once a private residence and I always wondered who used to live there.

    The Greenbrier and sanitarium property was right behind the back of the U-Haul place. We used to park the rental trucks back there, and I remember all those big trees on the Greenbrier property. In 1976 there were still some people there because a guy I worked with jumped the back fence once and went exploring. He got chased out after a short while and said someone was living there. He said it was like another world back there. One day someone renting a trailer told us the sanitarium had closed due to poor conditions, so after work we decided to check it out. It was evening when we went, and it was very creepy. Lots of empty buildings. I remember being surprised to find so much little stuff still laying around...dishes, utensils, etc. I'll never forget in one of the halls I found a wheelchair, then a bunch of wheelchairs in a room. There were also gurneys and tables around. My coworkers took off to find the pool we'd heard about, and I walked down the hallways, looking into the rooms. I saw that some still had beds but they were in bad shape. There were chairs and other furniture in some of them as well. I can tell you for sure there were lock-down rooms because I saw them. They had no windows except for a small window on the door with bars on it and a slide to open and look inside. I also found restraints and other items, but also normal stuff for a hospital. I remember thinking it was like in a movie. Looking back now I wish I'd picked some stuff up to take with me as souvenirs. After that first trip we started bringing friends there to party and get spooked. It was a very weird place at night. We used to walk along the road and go exploring. I'm pretty sure we were about the first people to go there after it was abandoned. Nobody was ever around. Soon we'd see groups of kids, and it wasn't long before there was just too many people going in there as it became quite the party place. I remember hearing girls scream as guys would jump out and scare them. You would often smell pot in the air. I remember once people were running around and a cop walked right by me with a flashlight, looked at me, and moved on. His partner was walking about 10 yards away. They didn't chase anybody out though.

    Eventually I heard someone started a fire in there and a chain link fence went up to keep people out. I had forgotten about this place for years and the next time I went by there it had been leveled, with huge piles of rubble all around. Eventually I went by and the U-Haul was gone to. Just the driveway left with a chain across it. Very sad day for me.

    So many memories of my time at U-Haul, exploring the sanitarium, and working in Garden Grove. I could tell stories about it for hours. Good times indeed.



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  49. I remember when I was 10 or 12 years old back in the mid fifties my parents took me and my brothers and sisters to the Greenbrier Inn for dinner. It kind of creeped us out because we knew it was a mental hospital but the food was good.

    We lived in Garden Grove when it was American and my High School, Bolsa Grande was not referred to being in little Saigon. Lived in GGH from 5 years old until 23. or so. 1952 to 1975. Not being racist, just liked my hometown when it was all American. I mean who wants to eat at the Hang Long Dong restaurant on Brookhurst (well it sounded something like that).

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  50. Thanks so much for all your history and info regarding Garden Grove. My parent's purchased their home the year before I was born (1976). I continued to live in Garden Grove up until 2005. My parent's are Steven and Michol Hall (both attended Santa Ana High School). They still live in the home I was born in, off of Trask and Fairview. I've always been curious about the history of the land and the home I grew up in, but they were very unwilling/unable to give me any information. My older brother loved to tell me about the bowling alley and skate rink on Haster. Does anyone know where I could find out more history about their house/land? Thanks for the great stories! ~ Amy Hall-Sanders

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  51. I am so happy I found you all. My parents spent their honeymoon at Greenbriar Inn. I heard stories about it my entire life. I've lived in southern California for 15 years and had never heard of such a place until I found you. It's unfortunate there aren't more pictures and stories of the place.

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  52. I worked there for 15 years 1963-197xx as the full-charge bookkeeper. I can't remember the exact time I left. In later years, the property was in disrepair and sat vacant . The legal name of the property was the Garden Grove Sanitarium although the Greenbrier Inn comprised a large part of the 13 acres. Dr. Richard Carter was the owner and also had a large house on the property,The property sold sometime in the late 70's, I continued to working for him from my home until he was murdered in Idyllwild in the late 70s.

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  53. I worked as a full charge bookkeeper for Dr. Carter from 1963 until sometime in the 70s, I forgot when. In the later years he had leased the Greenbrier out and was still operating the Sanitarium. Everything fell through with the Inn and it was in disrepair for several years. I actually lived on the property, in a beautiful duplex located off of Nutwood and continued working at the Sanitarium. When Dr. Carter retired and closed the Sanitarium, I still did accounting work for him and the business, but from home. He sadly was murdered in the late 70s. It was an interesting place, a bit of evilness I always felt...always wanted to write a book about my experiences..even .had a title "Color my Spirit Black!.

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  54. I am looking for some history on the Greenbriar Inn. My mother & grandmother both worked there. Mom seems to remember that one of the owners murdered the other one, and that, some years later he was also murdered. How do I find out the real story?

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  55. Totally remember this place...I was watching "dead files" on travel channel on 1-3-2013 regarding a creepy old sanitarium. "fairview" hospital popped in my head & I do remember the one in Garden Grove (garbage grove). After I googled it & found this website, then read the posts I was brought back. I did remember their was a "fairview State hospital - buty it was on the border of GG and Santa Ana.
    Anyhoo, I was born at Palm Harbor Hospital in 1959. Our family lived on Candy Lane (Chapman/West). My cousins lived off Nutwood & Lampson & my grand-parents lived off Haster & Lampson. I remember standing on the driveway watching the disney fireworks. Later, we had to go on the roof to watch them.
    I remember the orange groves, the strawberry festival. I remember the post office on Stanford, The malibu grand prix, The Gem theatre (& I went to cosmetology school - also on main st - around 1977-1980) I remember Farrels, Woolgreens(?), zody's, white front, AlphaBeta, Pronto (west st) & VANS on Harbor Blvd. I remember the bowling lanes & skate rink on GG blvd & Haster.I remember my older sisters "clic" all ordered shoes in yellow/purple plaid for some school "thing" AND I still buy Vans - just not in GG. I/my bro & my sis went to Parkview Elementary, Walton intm/7 & 8th & my sis went to Santiago. My brother went to GG high. I tried both schools, then left for bigger & better .77 grad. BUT I totally remember the Sanatarium off Nutwood. LIke"ANONYMOUS 9-7-12" I do remember going in the vacant building - totally creeped out! I also remember bed pans, (shock therapy?) tables, dds chairs etc. wow

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