Community

Larrie Unruh’s Oakhurst Memories

Marlene and Larrie Unruh are long time volunteers helping with Heritage Days at the Fresno Flats Historic Park in Oakhurst. At 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3 at the park, Larrie will share his memories of Oakhurst.
Marlene and Larrie Unruh are long time volunteers helping with Heritage Days at the Fresno Flats Historic Park in Oakhurst. At 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3 at the park, Larrie will share his memories of Oakhurst. /Special to the Sierra Star

Larrie Unruh will share his recollections of early Oakhurst at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, May 3 in a Fresno Flats Historic Park Free First Friday Lecture Series presentation. Unruh, born in 1947, grew up in Oakhurst, left in 1972 after marrying and returned in 2003.

“It’s not necessarily a historical lecture but it is my recollections,” Unruh said. Unruh, a docent for the Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park, shares his memories with park visitors as they tour the grounds. He has some personal connections with two of the historical buildings in the park. He attended the school which now houses the park’s museum. That building once stood where Rite Aid is now.

Unruh also has a connection to the Laramore-Lyman House now located on the park grounds. He worked for Marge Lyman when she lived in the home which was then located near the intersection of School Road and Road 426, prior to it being moved to the historical park.

Some 45 photographs will be shared by Unruh from his personal collection. Included are photos of the Bigfoot Drive In Burger Pit that once stood on Highway 41. The landmark closed in the early 1980s. It was a favorite lunch destination for Unruh.

Unruh’s employment at the Sierra Star gave him the inside track on community happenings. “I started working at the Sierra Star in 1964, after school and on weekends and full time during the summer months, ’til I got drafted into the Army,” Unruh said. “When I got home from the Army, I went to work again (at the Sierra Star) from 1970-1973.”

There was no high school in Oakhurst at the time Unruh was a teen which meant he and classmates had to travel to Sierra High School. He graduated in 1966.

“He (Unruh) and Marlene, his wife, help us at the Heritage Day event, and do what they can to support our park,” said Brenda Negley, local historian, author and Fresno Flats Historic Park board member. “I am grateful for his volunteer service to Fresno Flats Historic Park.”

Negley reminds community members that the lecture series is very popular and while the lecture does not begin until 6:30 p.m. in the historic Cunningham School, the doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the on site museum will be open. Light appetizers will be provided as well.

The Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park is located at 49777 School Road in Oakhurst. The lecture is free, but donations will be accepted. Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park is a non-profit, 501c3 educational association. Membership information may be found at www.fresnoflatsmuseum.org/become-a-member.

Additional information: 559-683-6570 or email: fresnoflatsmuseum@gmail.com.

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