This new huge kiddie & adult attraction must be seen to be believed. The 5,300 pound perfectly round red granite ball is wholly supported by water pressure & spins on its mount 24/7/365. It can be stopped in its rotation by a tot's hands, if one doesn't mind getting one's hands wet; & this is surely no bar to a child's or adult's participation in this new fun thing in downtown Santa Paula just one block north of the California Oil Museum. The ball's granite was mined in India; the mount surface was lapped to a .001 inch (one one-thousandth of an inch). Twelve pounds per square inch of continuous water pressure holds the ball up & silently keeps it spinning.
The variegated veins in the red granite indeed make it easy to see the spinning ball's direction, which due to its inertia will spin in one direction until disturbed by human hands. What a "kid magnet" this is, for kids of all ages even those approaching senility! Incredible fun awaits you at this absolutely free attraction!
Click on each picture to see the kids' and dad's participation in the fun; and don't fail to read the sign describing the attraction also in one of my pictures. They were talking about "The Ball" at the Airport in Santa Paula today so I decided to drop by and take some pictures. Kids were continuously playing with "The Ball". And so you will too!
In the Donalson Aviation Museum hanger at the Santa Paula Airport the entire second floor is devoted to a Radio Museum, with hundreds of radios from the earliest days. Dale Donalson has assembled an incredible collection of phonographs, console models, the RCA Victor 'His Master's Voice' Victrola, the original Crosley Bluebird Art Deco radio, early shortwave radios, early televisions, small bakelite plastic radios, Zenith Transoceanic radios, clock radios, the earliest portable radios, and an amazing collection of novelty radios throughout history that may bemuse, befuddle or astound you! There are so many radios here you may find an identical one or two from your own past!
Dale tirelessly gives the history of these radios by time and functional groups in his guided tour around his museum and has some interesting anecdotes of radio trivia. You can also take a unguided tour if you wish. Dale stands ready to answer any questions and can supply the most detailed trivia about most any radio-related object in the large room that may catch your eye. Old radio magazines of the period are nostalgic to any old radio lover.
The museum hanger is open for the radio exhibit when the Aviation Museum is open each first Sunday of the month from 10 am to 3 pm, weather permitting. Admission entirely free. Budget some extra time for this museum, for it is compellingly fascinating. I can't count the number of times I have been in the Radio Museum. Radio was a hobby in my youth and I built and repaired radios and early TVs for a time in my late teens.
Don't forget to go to the back of the building outside in a another building because you will miss an authentic oil drill and some really cool displays of gas pumps.
As with most little Califonia towns can owe their thanks to two things. Black Gold and the Rail Road. Progress seems to stem from either of these things.
Union Oil Company Building was established in Santa Paul in 1890 by oil pioneers Thomas Bard, Lyman Stewart, and Wallace Hardison. It's cost to build such a structure was $38,000. It has some really wonderful displays of how "Black Gold" has contributed to state's progress. Lots of other kinds of traveling exhibits on display here too! They give a really nice tour of the upstairs that details the beginnings of this building and Santa Paula. Their is also wonder display of Lundgren and Bennett Collections of gas station memorabilia and one of largest displays of vintage gas pumps in California.
Youth (6-17) $1
Kids 0-5) Free
Tour Groups (20+) $3 each
Guided Tours $1 per person
Open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 AM - 4PM
At other times by arrangement
March 12, 1928, the 12-billion-gallon St. Francis Dam failed sending a torrent of water at 18mph killing more than 450 lives and 1,200 homes and everything it carried to it's doom to the ocean.
Yet, shortly before 1:30am a message did get through to some, but most importantly, to two motorcycle officers who gallantly went door to door through the street warning all they could of the torrent of flood water heading their way. It was because of these two wonderful souls that so many did live and survive. "I" and "we" salute such human beings who took a the risk to save so many.
Sculpted by Eric J. Richards 2003
Not only having a wonderful airport, but many saw fit to keep the spirit of the past alive to educate and share the importance of aviation has on us all.
The museum presently has 7 hangers that displays various aspects of history with the airport. Make sure you stop by the Main Museum to get a map to show where the other hangers are. Although, others have wonderful displays too! The main museum has some wonderful photographic history, airplanes big and small and a wonderful vidoe. Yet, the best part is to talking with the curators on hand. They are the best source of information and such a joy to talk too.
Open the 1st Sunday of the Month weather permitting.
10am - 3pm
Back in 1928 after the dam disaster. Two visionaries Ralph Dickenson and Dan Emmett knew the area would benefit from having an airport to bring prosperity back to Santa Paula. They soon went on a campaign and gathered donations from may local ranchers. Building began on the airport from their own knowledge and skill. This wonderful airport opened in 1930 and is still going strong today.
Every 1st Sunday of the month weather permitting, many aviators open their doors to display there aircraft new or antique. Many have some wonderfully decorated hangers with aviation artifacts for all to enjoy.
10 a.m.to 3 p.m.