Orange book, Gordie Duane, Civil War roots, etc.

Phil Brigandi's brand new book, A Brief History of Orange, California: The Plaza City, is now available for preorder from The History Press' website. The Chamber of Commerce should buy a big stack and give one to everybody who moves to town.

Today's photo shows Orange City Hall in 1921. The current City Hall is at the same location, on Chapman Ave. Boy, if I had a nickel for every time somebody told me how much more they liked the old city hall...

News from Sunset Beach: Famed local surfer and surfboard maker Gordie Duane just passed away. Barbara Haynes of the Huntington Beach Historic Resources Board writes, "he had the first surfbord shop under the Huntington Beach Pier. Then, after a fire, it was moved to the corner of 13th and PCH." Read more in the Surfers Journal.

Want to help with a Civil War genealogy project? Hal Horrocks of the Orange County California Genealogical Society (OCCGS) writes, "We have taken it upon ourselves to do the genealogies of all 500+ civil war vets buried in O.C. The project will probably take from 2 to 4 years to complete. Would it be possible to make an announcement ...about what we are doing and see if anyone might be interested in helping?" Contact Hal via email if you'd like to lend a hand. (Note: This project builds on the great work already done by Charles Beal, Gordon Bricken and their associates.)

Thanks to my readers for all the comments, suggestions and information you send along -- both digitally and in person. Writing this blog is fun, but it's a lot more fun with your input. As our attentive reader (spammer), Cheap Louis Vitton Bags put it recently, "We would find much happiness in reviewing the past."