View Full Version : Another piece of Highway Funkyness is going away

John Kasaian
14-Jan-2007, 16:39
We just got back from Sonora, California where we attended an excellent concert at the Sonora Opera House by
The Black Irish to benefit the rebuilding of Sierra Engine #3---the famous Rodgers steam locomotive that starred in over 100 Hollywood films and numerous television series from the 1920's to quite recently. While there I found out about another historical restoration project that might interest some of you.

On the East side of Highway 99 near Lodi rests "The Chicken in the Sky"---Pollardville, a roadside attraction thats been selling fried chicken dinners for as long as I can remember---a funky collection of wierd stuff topped by a steel tower (might be a an old oil well?) with an enormous plastic rooster perched on top. The site has been sold, I was told, for development and will be bulldozed this April. One of the buildings on the site is the old Jamestown jail circa 1850's(?) which they are trying to get returned to Jamestown. Historical importance of some of these buildings aside, while Pollardville still stands it is a wonderfully whimsical collection of vintage "highway attraction" architecture. If you're plans include a drive that will take you to the Lodi area, this might be your last chance to shoot this bizarre little landmark (its kind of an embryonic Knott's Berry Farm)

BTW, if Pollardville is still selling chicken dinners, as I recall it was quite tasty (I had supper there with my Dad in the late 1950's!) Wine drinkers might also enjoy a trip to Woodbridge Winery which is just up the road (Hwy 99)

I haven't driven by Pollardville in over two months so I don't know what the conditions currently are--if it's still in business or if they've put a fence around it---so I wouldn't know exactly what to expect, only that the structures apparently are still standing.

Ralph Barker
14-Jan-2007, 20:57
Much of the '50s memorabilia along Hwy 99 has gone by the wayside. "Paved over paradise" as the song said. All I can say, John, is photograph it while it's still there.

15-Jan-2007, 06:55
I used Pollardville as a set for some shooting a couple years ago. It had a really interesting little ghost town feel about it. If it is not off limits yet, it is a great location to spend an afternoon.

When I was there, the owners were very elderly. It is possible they have no one in the family that wants to take it over and the land is becoming too valuable along that 99 cor ridor to Sac. Sad to see it leave. :(

John Kasaian
15-Jan-2007, 22:34
I just discovered that Pollardville has a website, www.pollardville.com Its as funky as the place its self! The Ghost Town is still open on weekends so I'll have to make the pilgrimage