2010 The Year of Valley Adventures
The following article by the Valley's favorite columnist Dennis McCarthy appeared in today's Daily News
"If your family roots go back to the time when Northridge was called Zelzah - a whistle stop on the Southern Pacific railroad - Richard Hilton wants to talk to you.
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley wants to invite you to a yearlong celebration it's throwing for the 100th birthday of Northridge this year.
It kicked off Tuesday night at the local offices of City Councilman Greig Smith, who's serving as the honorary chairman of the Northridge 100 events.
Dozens of longtime residents stopped by with family pictures and stories, including brothers David, Daniel and Robert Gallardo.
Their parents, Manuel and Maria, raised their two oldest children in a tent on property which is now part of California State University, Northridge.
"My dad was a ranch hand," says Daniel, 71, who has lived his whole life in Northridge. "He bought our first house in 1924 for $325. Six dollars down and $6 a month. Imagine."
CSUN, along with the Valley Economic Alliance, Northridge Hospital Medical Center and others, are co-sponsoring the 100th birthday celebration.
"We're hoping to get as many old pictures and oral histories from families that have lived in Northridge for generations so we can share them with everyone," says Hilton, a board member of the Museum of the San Fernando Valley.
The area was originally named for the Zelzah train station built in 1910 at the northwest corner of what's now Parthenia Avenue and Reseda Boulevard.
"Field workers would load it up with locally grown agriculture and it'd be taken by train to towns up north," Hilton said.
"Across the street from the train station was a water well. That's where the town got its name. In the Bible, Zelzah is the name for oasis."
The town was renamed North Los Angeles in 1929, but that confused too many people, so it was finally changed to Northridge in 1938.
"Who would have thought we'd be around to see Northridge turn 100," said Daniel Gallardo, who worked in landscape construction before retiring.
"It's nice to see that our family will be remembered as local pioneers," he said.
For information on future events for Northridge 100 or to share your family's history and pictures with the museum, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call the museum at 818-347-9665.
Dennis McCarthy's column appears Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.
Credit: Gallardo Family/CSUN Oviatt Library Title Robert Gallardo as a baby at his home in Northridge Description Photo collage of Robert Gallardo, his aunt Carmen Caralejo, and the tent where Robert was born. The tent was the home of the Gallardo family, which included Robert, his parents and seven other siblings. They lived there for several years while they worked as laborers on a farm in Northridge. The Gallardo family was one of the first families in Northridge of Mexican descent. The pipe on the left corner of the tent served as ventilation for the stove. Black and white photograph. 8 x 10 in.