One of my favorite parts about writing is researching and finding tidbits of history. I also love incorporating local landmarks and the historic tidbits in my fiction.
Isobel’s Mission of Courage takes place in Orange California, a perfect setting to find local landmarks. Several scenes take place at the real-life Watson’s Soda Fountain in downtown adjacent to the town square and traffic circle.
Watson’s, in Isobel’s present-day visits, is a modernized soda fountain with a few of its historic touches. But Watson’s, then known as Watson’s Drugs, goes all the way back to the golden age of small American towns, the 1890s. In 1915 the drug store was transformed into the iconic soda fountain with the usual drug store notions.
A fifties vibe was incorporated in the 1970s but the comfort-food laden menu and the soda fountain, where malts, sundaes, and ice cream sodas were made, remained.
Today, the five and dime notions are gone, as is most of the fifties atmosphere. But you can still get a great ice cream soda at the old-fashioned fountain and great food.
Isobel and her friends certainly enjoyed hanging out there while slurping the chocolate sodas.
As did I—in the name of research, of course. I particularly enjoyed my soda of choice, orange.