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O.C. Then and Now

Gone, Forgotten--for a While

January 23, 2000|STEVE EMMONS

It was 1918, the last year of World War I, and to intensely patriotic Anaheim this seemed a good idea: Erect a flagpole in the precise center of town.

That was in the middle of the town's main intersection, Center Street and Los Angeles Street (now Anaheim Boulevard). Traffic, above, would just have to look out.

Six years later the City Council removed the pole as a traffic hazard and held firm when about 1,000 citizens petitioned to have it restored.

A new City Council was elected in 1925 and promptly put the flagpole back. But by 1935, traffic safety had become more important, and the flagpole was removed forever.

It languished in the rafters of a municipal water pump station until it was rediscovered in 1981. That Fourth of July it was dedicated at the former library, one of only two buildings that remained from the city's old downtown.

It's still there, although in December it became part of a monument to all veterans of the 20th century, right.

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O.C. Then and Now calls: (714) 966-5973; e-mail: OCthenand now@latimes.com.

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