Friday, March 4, 2011

Tagus Ranch & Perry's Coffee Shop Revisited - Tulare, CA

Among my older posts (aren't they all?), one that continues to garner new looks and comments concerns a former dining and dancing destination located on dusty Highway 99 just to the north of the fine city of Tulare, CA: World Famous Tagus Ranch.

The site of this magnificent ruin has always piqued my interest whenever I'm motoring past, and several times at the urging of my kids I have stopped to document the old building's current state of decay. I last did so on August 6, 2010, and here are some pictures from that 100 degree day:

Was that a BBQ pit to the back left?

A Warning sign:

A few Urban Explorers have made it inside:

Menace said:

"Hello there Walter,
I may have not been alive to [see] this place in it's glory days but I did go see this place recently. I was filming a short film for my video class and we all decided to go to Tagus Ranch. We heard it was haunted(because we heard at least one girl was murdered there) so we were all frightened. Well we all went inside that place and it was really dark even in the daytime, we came upon the room with the pentogram(star) with strange symblos and an eye in the middle and we all freaked. Our video turned out crappy so we have to reshoot but this time at night!"
DECEMBER 18, 2009 6:57 PM

I sure hope 'Menace' made it back and will share some of the pics from the second outing.

Here's a closeup of the ghost-sign-brand 'TR' that used to adorn the exterior and can be seen in the postcard view from my original post.

Stacy Hargrove mentioned in her kind comments that she had been inside and that "...even the old Tagus Ranch symbol was there." Stacy: Would the symbol that you saw be the same one that used to grace this wall?

Ahh, the Great Sign:

Here's a souvenir for you smokers out there:

Long time Tulare residents will remember Perry’s Coffee Shop. Here’s a link to my previous post regarding “The Best Cup Of Coffee on Highway 99”, along with a postcard view of the interior from the 1960’s:

One happy couple enjoyed their time here very much, and wrote their friends Mr. & Mrs. Norman Anderson of La Puente, CA to tell them so:

“Dear Folks – We enjoyed our brief visit with you so much. Having a wonderful trip. This is a lovely dining room & a nice motel. Temp here is over 100 degrees but nice inside. We hope to see Sequoia National Park & Yosemite tomorrow. Regards, Florence and Tony Zelir”(?)

Postmarked Tulare, July 28th, 1962.

I looked up the Anderson’s address on Google, and (yay!) it hasn’t been demolished. But I do wonder if they still live there after all these (49) years? I suppose there’s a pretty fair chance that the Anderson’s have gone on to that great Coffee Shop in The Sky, in which case I hope to meet them one day to discuss this card :)

Unfortunately, the former Perry’s Coffee Shop building was demolished a couple of years back:

Here’s a bit of the terrazzo floor to contemplate. Too bad we can no longer perform this contemplation with fresh pie and hot coffee in hand…

Further north on the 99, we pass the ruins of the Mammoth Orange in Fairmead. We used to enjoy the best ‘Alaska Sized Burgers’ and squeezed-right-in-front-of-you Orange Juice Shakes at this historic roadside stand which was the last of its kind. Too bad the exit was closed which killed the business.

Take care and drive safe…and see you next time.


Heidi Ann said...

So happy to see a new post from you!
I miss the old Mammoth Orange stands. I remember going there as a kid when we were on our way south to visit relatives. I really enjoy your posts - I love the old postcards, and of course it's such an happier story when the old places are still standing and operating - but I find it very interesting to see them as they are now, nevertheless. Thank you!

walterworld said...

Thanks Heidi!

I got up early yesterday and didn't feel like this post was the result :)

My family and I really miss the Mammoth Orange too. Used to be a regular stop on our annual trips to Disneyland.

I sure wish someone could arrange a peek inside Tagus Ranch for me; I'm dying to see what's still left from the old days!

Thanks again for stopping by; I shall endeavor to post more often going forward (but then again I always say that!)

Jeffrey said...

You are still bookmarked on my computer and it's always a great day to find a new post from you. I really enjoy your perspective and truly enjoy your posts. Thanks for the effort!

walterworld said...

Thanks Jeffrey!

I'm glad to hear that you're still stopping by; I know it's tiresome to always check back and find that nothing has changed...

Also happy that you find this material interesting. It's hard to explain to someone just what makes it interesting though.. Seems like you either get it or don't.

I will try to post again before Christmas :D

Take care!!

JG said...

Walter! What Jeffrey & Heidi Ann said! I really enjoy your blog. Always familiar places.

Thank you for the pictures.

I remember eating at both restaurants often. My Dad would drive us over after church for lunch. Perry's was a favorite. Tagus was more of a special occasion.

Sad to see these places, so alive in my memories, now run-down, haunted and abandoned.

My recent run through the valley last month showed up a lot of places like this. I remember them bright and new, now they are shabby and vacant.

Seems like the rest of the state moved on, while they threw the valley away.


Stacy Hargrove said...

I do have a few photos from the trip I took last year. How do I send them to you?

Raybies said...

Hello Walter
still checking in to see if any new posts from you.
Cheers and all the best for the holiday season.

Debbie V. said...

I hopped over here after I read your comment on Gorilla's Don't Blog about the Monorail at the Disneyland Hotel.
Great pictures - I know it's sad - but somehow these leftover pieces of the past speak volumes to me. I grew up in La Mirada - where the 1950's and 60's building are slowly being torn down and replaced. I haven't lived there for ages (I'm in Indiana now) but I still feel the bittersweetness.
I know we have to move on - so it's nice to see these while they last.
They remind me of the beauty of winter trees - which I have just come to appreciate here in IN where these are everywhere. The bare trees say to me - here's the essence of who we are - our true shape under all those beautiful green leaves.
Okay- I'm wandering.
(Hey Heidi Ann - fancy running into you here :)

Anonymous said...

Hi I remember staying at the hotel there when I was like 8 or 9 with my family. I remember in the coffee shop there was a mural of the state of California...Am I wrong?

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous, 9/13/13: You're not wrong! As a kid in the '60's, I remember the mural, too, on what seemed like a very tall wall, as I sat sipping my breakfast orange juice. The only other memory is walking down a dark hallway to the restroom -- was the lounge down there, too? I remember the end of that hall as a very dark, forboding "adult" place LOL.

So-ooo sad to see it now. I haven't read all the posts but why don't they just put it out of its misery already? Is it a cultural landmark? It is to me, I mean, but...poor thing.