In the 1930s Orange wanted to refurbish the Plaza Park with a new fountain. The choice was an electric fountain, decorated with tile. Charles McCandless set the tile around the fountain in 1934.
Charles McCandless was born in Encampment, Wyoming in 1908. In 1916, he moved to Orange with his family, where he attended Orange Union High School. He would start a tile company with other members of his family, but by 1938 only Charley was left. With a helper and hard work, the Charles McCandless Tile Company would grow and flourish.
In addition to the Plaza fountain, other examples of his work abound. The Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana, South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, Disneyland in Anaheim, Knott's Berry Farm in Buena Park, and the Wrigley Mansion, casino and tile store fronts on Catalina Island are but a few examples.
Life and Death
Charles McCandless was a humanitarian and philanthropist, a man with many interests that kept him young. He died May 14, 1997 at the age of 89.