Sept. 9, 2004 - The Lion, the Trough, and Ed
It's by far the prettiest way to enter into Santa Barbara. Heading north on 101, you take the left lane Cabrillo Street Exit. At the intersection at the bottom of the ramp, you make a left turn toward the beach. On your right is the picturesque lagoon of the Andrée Clark bird refuge. On your left is a little Lion fountain and a clump of palm trees. The road curves along the side of the lake and comes out at the beach where drivers can see pine trees and volleyball courts.
It's a straight shot along the beach from there, past 1299 palms trees on your left, the chromatic gate, and the Red Lion until you reach Stearns Wharf and beyond.
Sure, we all drive it every day, but to a visitor it is quite stunning. So, hey - since we do see it everyday, why didn't anyone notice the Lion Fountain? Oh that's where it is - across from the Bird Refuge!
It's the Lion's Head Fountain and Watering Trough. It's a trough! For those of you as old as Ed or older, there once was a chain of ice cream stores called Farrell's. In the 70's, they had 130 stores across the country. One of the many cool things about Farrell's was that you could order a big-honking ice cream concoction called "the trough". Happy, noisy, and excited employees would run around the restaurants carrying the feast on a small gurney-like device. If you ate the whole trough, you would get a ribbon that said,
"I made a pig of myself at Farrell's"
A ribbon recently sold on eBay for $22!
While everyone cool calls our trough the Lion's Head, its real name is the Charles Caldwell Park Memorial Trough. Yes, that's right. Santa Barbara has a memorial trough. How cool is that?
Charles Caldwell Park, a doctor and writer, built the trough in 1911 in memory of his two deceased sons, Roy Harrison Park and Charles Caldwell Park, Jr.. Francis Wilson, architect of the Santa Barbara train depot, designed the trough. The dedicated staff of edhat.com couldn't find any information as to why Mr. Park and Mr. Wilson decided upon a trough.
BTW, there is no relation between these Parks and Alice Keck Park, the famous Santa Barbara benefactress of Alice Keck Park Park.
And, there is also no relation of Roy Harrison Park to either Roy Orbison or George Harrison of the Traveling Wilburys.
The trough itself is attached to a beautiful piece of land with sculpted scrubbery, and bougainvillea. The cemetery, located across the street, owns the land surrounding the lion, but there don't appear to be any plans to expand in a trough-wardly direction. However, some day when they finally get around to upgrading the non-standard left-lane exiting off-ramp at Cabrillo and 101, the lion is surely to become an issue. But, we will cross that trough when we come to it.
Most of our subscribers thought the lion to be at the courthouse. Ed actually took a quick walk around and through there, but didn't see any thing similar. The only subscriber who identified the lion was Pazzo. He gets a turn at the Edhat prize trough, winning an Arts Alive! T-shirt and an Edhat hat.
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CORRECTION FROM KDEF ---- Alice Keck
Park was the widow of David Park (died
1956), a grandson of Dr. Charles Caldwell
Park. Dr. C. C. Park built a mansion in
Montecito off East Valley Road in 1896.
The lane derives its name Park Lane as it
was the estates' access road.