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Monday, May 26, 2014

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND 2014 - THANK YOU TO ALL THAT HAVE SERVED

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley would like to say "THANK YOU" to all of the men and women that have served, sacrificed and are now serving to protect America's freedom.



If you have not seen a broadcast of one of the National Memorial Day concerts from the west lawn of the U.S. capitol, we encourage you to do so. This year is the 25th anniversary of these concerts. The program is much more than just singers on stage. This year also marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day. There is graphic footage of several segments, some very touching features of an injured veteran from Iraq & Afghanistan and a mother that has lost her son. More than a few tears are sure to fall watching this broadcast.

Here is a preview of this year's program:



As part of The Museum's ongoing programming, our Narrating Lives: Oral Histories of the San Fernando Valley, we have interviewed a few veterans of WWII.  If you are a veteran, of any war, that at one time has lived or worked in the San Fernando Valley, and would be interested in possibly being interviewed, please send us a note to narratinglives@gmail.com.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

BURBANK TYPIFIES VALLEY BUILDING EXPLOSION OF THE 1950s

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

      These images from the Annual Report of the City of Burbank ending June 1950, are important examples of the post WWII building explosion that occurred in the greater San Fernando Valley. In the decade to come, virtually all of the agricultural lands of the Valley disappeared with housing tracks replacing them. Demands on the infrastructure were massive; roads to be paved, schools opened or expanded, refuse disposal, sewage and much more.

San Fernando Valley housing tract c. 1949 - click on image to enlarge it. 

 Refuse collection City of Burbank 1950

 Paving plant and rock pit, built on river wash. Photos by Paul E. Wolfe - official photographer for the City of Burbank 1950.  
Booklet gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2014.

 "Batching Plant" utilizing the Valley's natural gravel deposits in 1950

 Aerospace was a vital industry in the Valley in the 1950s.  Seal of the City of Burbank.


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

THE BIG FIRE AT GENE AUTRY'S HOME

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

        Art Jacobs, Museum Associate sends this along"

      "When digging through some old magazine's I came across this small article pertaining to Gene Autry and his Studio City home. It was taken out of the Movie Radio Guide Magazine of November 1941."




Friday, May 9, 2014

MONICA CONTINUES HER EXPLORATION OF GLENDALE

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

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Brand Library and Brand Park
by Monica Corpuz - CSUN graduate student

       Brand Library got its name from Leslie Coombs Brand who helped build Glendale in the early 1900’s. He built his house, which he called Miradero, roughly translated from Spanish means  ‘vantage point’, by the Verdugo Mountains in Glendale. Upon his death in 1925 he donated his 5,000 square foot house and the surrounding land to the city. It then became a public library and the adjoining land became Brand Park. 

Arched entrance to Brand Park, Glendale, California. Photo by Monica Corpuz. (click to enlarge imgages)



        The library is much more than a library, however, since it also boasts art galleries and recital spaces. The library specializes in music and the arts, so most of the collections that it houses and the events that it hosts have to do with both. The library also recently underwent an extensive restoration project. You can see the photos from the project here: http://www.glendaleca.gov/government/departments/library-arts-culture/brand-library-art-center/renovation-information-. The library has since been a cultural destination for the residents of Glendale. Most of the programs and events offered by the library are free.


       Brand Park is a beautiful sprawling estate. There is a parking lot that is central to both the Doctor’s House Museum and the Library. The park is also home to many hiking trailheads that lead into the Verdugo Mountains. There are sculptures and plaques everywhere, telling visitors about the history and heritage of the land. Since there is so much to see and do at the park, it’s a great way to spend a day

Thursday, May 8, 2014

SETTLEMENT PATTERNS IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY by LEWIS HEIGHT JR.

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

       Recently, Justin Height of Lompoc, California donated a manuscript and bound UCLA Masters thesis to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley. The works, entitled "Settlement Patterns of the San Fernando Valley, Southern California", are an important addition to The Museum's library of Valley history and culture. Lewis H. Height Jr. was a man of many interests and positive efforts. 
       His son Justin stated that it was his pleasure to donate the works "...with the hope that my Dad's work will benefit future research and posterity.  He was truly an exceptional man, and his accomplishments are many. His interests spanned many segments of human knowledge, including obscure pursuits such as genealogy, philately, rare silver utensils, Chinese art, British sporting prints, and a massive personal library of fiction and non-fiction alike."


 Lewis Henry Height Jr

       Lewis Henry Height Jr. was born on April 20th, 1927. "In 1940, his father took a defense job and the family moved to Los Angeles where Lewis graduated from Eagle Rock High School in May of 1945. After high school Lewis was immediately drafted into the Army and was assigned to to the 277th General Hospital Unite at Northington General Hospital in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He entered UCLA in the spring of 1947, and graduated in June 1950 was a BA degree in Geography." He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. Lewis completed a Masters degree in Geography from UCLA in August 1953.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

GRAIN PRODUCTION IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY 1890s


BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY


Unpublished Master's thesis by Lewis H. Height Jr. - University of California Los Angeles August 1953 "Settlement Patterns of the San Fernando Valley, Southern California.
Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Justin Height, Lompoc, California 2014. (click on image to enlarge it.)

Grain production in the San Fernando Valley in the 1890s. The ranch in the foreground and that in the distance were units of the Los Angeles Farm and Milling Company lands. The view is from the area west of the present (1953) Sherman Oaks looking northwest toward Santa Susanna Pass. Original photograph was in the archives of Security First National Bank, Los Angeles. 


Friday, May 2, 2014

EARLY TUJUNGA

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

Vintage postcard of Tujunga, California.  Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2014. (Click on image to enlarge it.)

Two important canyons act as watersheds for the western San Gabriel Mountains; Big Tujunga and Little Tujunga Canyons. Water from the "washes" of Tujunga and Sunland constitute important elements of the Los Angeles River.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

WHEAT PRODUCTION IN THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

BUILDING A GREAT MUSEUM FOR THE SAN FERNANDO VALLEY

When English colonists arrived in the New World, they attempted to bend the farm lands they acquired into a "New England", complete with European crops and animals. It took generations for their descendants to adopt native American species such as potatoes and corn. The results of planting non-native plants still plague us today. Excessive demands for water, fertilizers, and pesticides are results.

The raising of European wheat was introduced into the San Fernando Valley by land investors lead by Isaac Lankershim in the 1870s. Initially, grain production was highly profitable for the Los Angeles Farming and Milling Company/

 Wheat production was romanticized in America as settlers pushed west. This illustration is from an 1890 elementary school reader.  (Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2014. - Click on images to enlarge them.)