The Orange County Astronomers (OCA) is involved in a project
to refurbish and move an 8-inch Alvan Clark refractor. The telescope
was recently removed by several OCA members from its dome on
the roof of the Russell Physics Building at Rancho Santiago
Community College. The RSCC campus is located near the corner
of 17th Street and Bristol Avenue in the town of Santa Ana.
When the restoration of the telescope is complete it will be
moved along with its dome, although a new building is to be
constructed, to an historical society known as the Discovery
Museum of Orange County (DMOC).The DMOC is located in Santa
Ana near the corner or Harvard and Fairview.
| Old Bishop Estate
as seen from east end entrance. Arrow points out original
location of observatory. The observatory was built over
a two stall garage (garage door visible behind car). Later
owners removed the observatory and added the second floor
The intention is to make the telescope
more available to the public so that people and especially
young students who have never had a chance to look through
a telescope at some of the brighter objects in the sky will
have a chance to do so.
The telescope was originally owned
by a lawyer named Clyde Bishop who had an observatory built
for it in his backyard in the Lemon Heights area. We were
invited by the current owner to view some of the original
foundation and record its remains for posterity. The new owner
is in the process of demolishing and restoring the home to
bring the property back to its original state and unfortunately
the observatory is not viewed as part of the decor. There
had been about a half dozen subsequent owners of the Bishop
estate and each person placed his own trademark on the place.
The new owner has been searching the libraries and city hall
to find pictures of the place in its original condition and
has had a limited amount of success.
There will be a more complete story
on the history of the telescope and the personalities involved
with it in upcoming issues of the OCA's newsletter and this
View of current structure seen from west side of estate.
Recreation of original configuration showing the dome for
the 8-inch Clark telescope.
The pier for the observatory. Note that the pier is
isolated from the center wall of the first floor garage.
From the other side of the wall you can see partial
destruction of the pier to permit parking of a car.
Cars got wider as the years went by.
Wayne and current estate owner look at
original observatory stair railing.