Huell Howser, California Gold presenter, history enthusiast and California's top fan, has died at the age of 67, according to Jan. 7, 2013 reports in the Los Angeles Times and others. Howser died of “natural causes” on Sunday evening.
The California Gold presenter's enthusiasm and wide-eyed wonder at all things California will be missed by thousands of fans:
"Rest in peace, #HuellHowser. You may have been born in Tenn., but you were truly CA Gold. --@czarinaerika."
Within minutes of the news breaking, Twitter was abuzz with the news and tributes to Huell Howser. The LA Times blog reminded readers that the PBS TV presenter had left his entire archive of shows to Chapman University, which has digitized them and made the shows available online for all to enjoy.
He has also left his Volcano House, a midcentury modern spectacle perched atop a Mojave Desert cinder cone, to the university, which plans to use it for study tours and education. In time, there's a very good chance this will become a California state historic landmark as it fits the criteria for noteworthiness and deep ties with the Golden State.
“He showed us every nook and cranny of our lovely CA state. RIP Huell --@1naturegirl.”
Huell Howser was presenter of California's Gold for 20 years and also presented Visiting, Downtown and Road Trip. Among other appearances, he explored the Volcano Masonic Cave historic site, was present at the dedication of a plaque for the original site of A&W Root Beer in Lodi, California, and brought what the L.A. Times called his “gee-whiz enthusiasm” to the makers of the El Camino Real marker bells.
"So this gate is made of pearls. That's why they call it the Pearly Gates. Woooow. --@EdASalazar.”
In his own words, according to PBS station KQED, Huell Howser wanted “to reveal the wonders of the human spirit and the richness of life in California, including its history, people, culture and natural wonders."
Judging from the map of places Huell Howser visited and the ever-growing list of tributes on Twitter, Facebook and elsewhere — he succeeded.
Be the first to read new articles on the Historic Landmarks column when you subscribe to this column or use the RSS feed. You can also follow on Twitter and Facebook and log your visits to historical places at markeroni.com.