| Actually there were two other houses on Graham, just south of the eucalyptus grove, one was on the corner of Old Pirate Lane and Graham, Number 16705. Both houses had been built by Vem Hamilton. The Hamiltons had lived in the comer house # 16705 Graham, because the other house was now occupied by Esther's mother, Mrs. Martin, who with her husband Jake
Martin had earlier owned not only this area but all thirty-one acres all the way to Heil Avenue. By the time I arrived on the scene (1955) the Hamiltons, together with sons Dennis and Gary had returned to their original house, # 16701, built m 1946. The comer house had been built a few years later. It was now occupied by Don and Beverly Graves with children; Jane, Julie and Gary. The two Hamilton boys attended the only High School for miles around, that is the one on Main Street in downtown Huntington Beach, built m 1921 with oil money At this time there were many oil wells throughout Huntington, especially up on Edwards Hill. The High School tower, built m 1926, called the Bell Tower, was visible and a guide for ships along the coast. The school was of course called the Huntington Beach High School. Students from all the areas adjacent - the farming community of Fountain Valley, (then known as Talbert), Westminster, Seal Beach, Sunset Beach, Ocean View and of course Huntington Beach, all attended this high school.
Now besides the houses that Vern Hamilton built, there is one closer to the grove. This was built by Ken and Donna Koster (he was an airline pilot who, along with his two daughters, loved to swim, so built a large lap pool), then sold to the Thompson's, before being sold to the present owner, Dr. Lawrence Korn, #16671 Graham.
Looking down Old Pirate Lane, this overgrown gravel path, I saw a big beautiful Brazilian pepper tree on its south side. On my left as I walked toward the airport I noticed a long line of eucalyptus trees stretching from the west end of the Graves property, past the Hamilton's back yard, right up to the large grove of eucalyptus. Esther Hamilton told me later that she had planted that line of trees along the back of her property in the late forties. This grove (which had the remains of a burnt out shack) was, at that time owned by a Mr. Killingsworth of Long Beach, and Gomer Sims, who lived on the golf course. Now, the city owns the park and in 1995 gave it the name of the Norma Gibbs Butterfly Sanctuary. Mrs. Killingsworth and Sims had also owned the golf course, which at that time was not fenced. At this time of my first visit to this area Don Graves, a representative of Mercury Motors was contracting out for a large garage type building. This he used later as a sales and conference room as well as storage for parts and equipment for his company. Later Mercury recalled him to the head office in Wisconsin. The Graves sold #16705 Graham to Tony and Marge Tovatt in 1965. The Tovatts owned the large hardware store down town Huntington Beach (also Springdale Hardware) and were long time residents of Huntington Beach. Living at home were some of the children, Patty, Bill and young Susan. A swimming pool had been added in their backyard before they sold. In December, 1973 James and Marian Minear bought #16705 Graham. Four of their children, Michele, Nancy, Jamie and Julie lived there until they all were married and moved away. Jim Minear was an avid flyer. He flew in his well known red plane out of what was now called Meadowlark Airport many times, and enjoyed chatting with the other pilots. We all enjoyed the great coffee shop near the hanger. Not too long before Jim died in 1989, daughter Jamie married Dan Matheus, (now the owner of that little red plane). The ceremony was conducted at the west end of the street. It was a lovely family (I should say Street) affair as we all sat on white chairs while these two young ones pledged their troth. The youngest daughter, Julie (Jay) Minear was married a few years later, 1997, to Michael, their wedding being the first to be conducted in the eucalyptus grove. It was also another lovely wedding. But I am getting ahead of myself.