Tel: (818) 347-9665 PST

Monday, July 30, 2007


Winning Skateboard Sculpture made from Red Bull cans
by former San Fernando Valley artist John Hergert

It is widely believed that Edsel Dale Alexander of San Fernando was the first person to create the modern skateboard, in the early 1950s.



Happy Birthday to Museum of the San Fernando Valley's own Elizabeth Morin. Elizabeth has served faithfully on the Board of Directors of your Museum since its reincorportion in 2005. She is the Chair of the Museum's Education Committee.
Elizabeth Morin is a specialist in arts education. She brought to our City one of its most successful focus conferences, Art Matters In Juvenile Justice, The Schools and The Community.
We are indeed lucky to have her in our City and on the Board of your Museum.

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Most school children in the U.S. learn that the first discovery of gold in California occurred at Sutter's Mill on the south fork of the American River in 1848. But the kids of the Santa Clarita Valley know better. They know that the first documented gold discovery in California actually occurred 6 years earlier in 1842, right here near a famous oak tree in Placerita Canyon . The man credited with this discovery was Francisco Lopez. On Saturday, September 29 at 2:00 pm , the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society will be presenting a talk by Bob Lopez, a distant relative of Francisco Lopez and member of Los Pobladores, an organization of people who are direct descendants of the original settlers of the Pueblo of Los Angeles in 1781. Mr. Lopez will present the true and mostly forgotten story of his ancestor's discovery of gold in Placerita Canyon and the minor gold rush that followed, long before the more famous California Gold Rush that captivated the whole world well into the 1850's and beyond. The talk will be given at the Saugus Train Station at Heritage Junction in Newhall.

Reports of gold in the Santa Clarita Valley date back to the 1790’s with the legendary Lost Padres Mine in the Castaic area, the location of which has never been found to this day. There were also reports of gold in San Francisquito Canyon in the 1820’s. But the first person to file a government claim for mining gold, and therefore credited with the first documented gold discovery in California, was a trained mineralogist from the university at Sonora, Mexico by the name of Francisco Lopez. Lopez was the uncle of Jacoba Feliz, 2nd wife of Antonio Del Valle, who had been granted the Rancho San Francisco by Governor Juan Alvarado in 1839 (thereby the first official owner of the Santa Clarita Valley).

Lopez set off on March 9, 1842 with companions Manuel Cota and Domingo Bermudez to search for cattle in what would become Placerita Canyon . Legend has Lopez falling asleep under an old oak tree in the canyon and dreaming of gold. When he awoke, he dug up wild onions under a grove of nearby sycamore trees and found gold clinging to the roots of the onions. The oak tree was to become known as the Oak of the Golden Dream, today a historic landmark in Placerita Canyon . However, there is much controversy as to whether this is the actual tree under which Lopez had his golden dream. The actual tree may well have been located in the area now known as Disney’s Golden Oak Ranch.

Lopez brought gold samples to Los Angeles merchant Abel Stearns who sent the gold to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia where it was confirmed to be worth $19 an ounce. Lopez, Cota, and Bermudez then petitioned Governor Alvarado for permission to mine the gold, thereby establishing the first documented gold discovery in California history. Lopez’ discovery set off a minor gold rush mostly consisting of miners from the Sonora area of Mexico . While there were some reports of the Lopez find in the Eastern American press, the Placerita gold discovery was primarily noticed by Mexican citizens in an area that was part of Mexico at the time. Although preceding James Marshall’s famous gold strike at Sutter’s Mill in Northern California by 6 years, the Placerita gold discovery and gold rush has been mostly lost to history, except to those of us here in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The gold in Placerita Canyon was mostly played out by 1849. Marshall ’s discovery on the American River proved to be far richer than Placerita and set off one of the greatest migrations in human history, an event largely responsible for the settling of California and the Great American West.

Bob Lopez is a direct descendent of Luis Quintero, a member of one of the eleven families who founded the city of Los Angeles on September 4, 1781 . He is an active member in Los Pobladores, an organization made up of descendents of these eleven families and the military escorts that brought them to the founding site of Los Angeles . He is also related to the gold discoverer Francisco Lopez. Mr. Lopez is sure to provide a most interesting and unique perspective on this important episode of Santa Clarita’s history. The general public is welcome. Admission will be free. For more information on this and other upcoming programs from the SCVHS, please call Pat Saletore or Alan Pollack at 661-254-1275. Website:

Friday, July 27, 2007


Winnetka Resident and Time Warner Production Manager Larry D. Jones

Time Warner Production Crew with Program Host Jim Giggins.

One of the things that folks find interesting is the discovery that The Museum of the San Fernando Valley belongs to them. Media production is a vital part of Valley life and history. Thus, the people who work for Time Warner are making history with their lives, work and cultural interests. Welcome to our Museum Community.


Museum President Dr. Gerald Fecht is interviewed by Time Warner's Jim Giggins

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley is grateful to Time Warner Cable for the opportunity to answer important questions about our grrowing Museum Community. The interview will be edited and presented periodically on Time Warner's local cable television statation.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


Historic photo of Wilson Weddington and his cherished home.
Photo courtesy of Guy Weddington McCreary

It's hard to imagine, but within minutes the oldest home in Van Nuys came under the wrecking ball three weeks ago. Now the "Mother House of North Hollywood" is threatened with destruction. The historic Weddington House was built in 1905, possibly with components from a much earlier house shipped to the town of Lankershim from Storm Lake Iowa. The important dwelling was the home of Fred Weddington, the man who led the creation of what is now North Hollywood, California.
The Weddington House was moved from its original location in 1925, making the house "historic" but not the ground on which it stands. The Museum Community believes this grand old house deserves to be saved for today's use and for the edification of future generations.

Saving the Weddington House offers the opportunity for our Valley and City to be both creative and responsive. Let's move the Mother House of North Hollywood to the acreage next to historic Lankershim Station and bring to reality a fine historic park celebrating the role transportation has and continues to play in the history of the San Fernando Valley.


Have you guessed the famous Tarzana-related artist?

Over a half billion books were published by the American author Edgar Rice Burroughs. Among his many wonderful characters, was the chimpanze Cheetah. And, Cheetah is alive and still busy at his art. This painting by the famous chimp is in the collection of the Tarzana Historical Museum - Tarzana Community Center.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


Sherman Oaks Fountain Cherib
A perfect image for a hot Valley day.

Do you photograph the San Fernando Valley or greater Los Angeles area? We'd like to share your images with you Museum Community. We'll also be happy to include historic photos of your family, school or Los Angeles adventures. Email: with your ideas and how to contact you.


Mosaic by Margaret Nielsen 1994
Sherman Oaks, California

One of a series of historic
films and movie stars in

AGENDA - 25 July 2007

Call to Order
Introductions and Roll Call
New Business (before order)
The following were elected to the Board: Richard Hilton, Steven Sedlic, Willard Simms, Sheldon Weisbach.
Librarian: Fred Berk
Treasurer: Rania Pallad
1) Time Warner - 5 minute spot - Friday July 27th at 11 am.
2) Blog site -
3) Wedding House - Mother House of North Hollywood
4) Electronic Meeting
Physical Museum Committee (Gary Fredburg - Chair)
Infrastructure Committee - (Karen Whitaker - Chair)
Events - (Michael Stevens) Valley Visionaries
Fund Raising (Rania Pallad)
Edgar Rice Burroughs Stamp Block (Steve Falk - Chair)
Collections Committee (in organization)
Contemporary Culture Committee (Shel Weisbach - Chair)
Museum Community Committee (Distributed & Virtual)
(Steve Sedlic - Chair)
New Business:
Nominations to the Board of Directors
Michael Stevens, Rania Pallad and Jerry Fecht will meet with Jeanine Dalis Klima about membership on the Museum Board.
Old Business:
Letter re: new address to Secretary of State (Jerry needs help)
Website from Valley College
Lynn Crandal is seeking an exhibit space in the SF Valley for an art exhibit now at the USC School of Genetic Medicine's art galley.
Need for meeting place for August, September and October.
Next Meeting: time: ________ location

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Museum Board meeting Wednesday at 5:30

Crepe Myrtle Tree - On Topanga Canyon at Victory - Sacred to the Goddess of Mercy - Korea

Don't forget, the last Wednesday of the month is The Museum Board meeting day. 5:30 pm
via Conference Call - or at Jerry Fecht's home.


Karen Whitaker - New Board Director - The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

The Board of the Museum of the San Fernando Valley is pleased to announce the addition of Ms. Karen Whitaker as a Director. Karen has worked with our Museum since its incorporation in 2005, preparing four successful grant applications. She has served the Museum as a community member of our Infrastructure Committee.

Karen was born and raised in Kentucky. She is a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where she majored in journalism. After college, she worked as an investigating reporter in her home state. Karen moved to California to work for the Thousand Oaks Chronicle, until the newspaper ceased publication.

Leaving journalism, Karen became a copywriter for the Murphy Organization, an advertising company in Oxnard, California. Later she became an account executive for a marketing company in Woodland Hills, where she specialized in automotive and college marketing.

Karen created her own marketing business specializing in educational projects, and later committed to public service, she co-founded Anchor Education Foundation specializing in public outreach programs for non-profit organizations. She co-authored, for the City of Los Angeles, two important publications: Discovering My Los Angeles (a children's guide to the history and culture of our city,) and Art-Ventures, a cultural guide for youth, parents and teachers.

Early this year, Karen accepted a position with the Center for Civic Education in Calabasas, where she specializes in public communication. The mission of the Center, funded by the United States Congress, is to promote an enlightened and responsible citizenry committed to democratic principles and actively engaged in the practice of democracy in the US and other countries.

(Learn more about the Center for Civic Education by visiting:
Karen resides in Agoura Hills.

Monday, July 23, 2007


Photo by Mary Olson Friedman - Japanese Garden CSU Long Beach

A few months ago a friend asked me why I was spending so much time trying to establish The Museum of the San Fernando Valley. "Building something as important as a Museum" she said, "without a lot of money or power is a huge risk of your energy!"
She is right, you know.
There are a thousand reasons building our Museum can fail. To begin with, we do live on the Pacific "rim of fire!" And, there is global warming!
I thought for a long time and then said to my friend. "Planning and building a great regional Museum of history and culture for the San Fernando Valley just has to be done! If for no other reason than the ADVENTURE of it.
If you are interested in helping to build our Museum Community for LA and the Valley, and can risk some of your time. Give me a call at (818) 347-9665 .... just for the adventure of it. Jerry Fecht

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoidance of danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing."... Helen Keller

Thursday, July 19, 2007


DEUK PERRIN - President of the Campo de Cahuenga Historical Memorial Association - Friends of the Campo

Heroes are nothing new at America's Campo de Cahuenga. Brave Mexican generals - courageous American frontier soldiers - Campo de Cahuenga is literally the birthplace of California as an American state. It was on this hallowed ground that the bold Treaty of Cahuenga was signed. Campo saw California's own Paul Revere "Juan Flaco" on his desperate ride to bring American reinforcements to besieged Federal soldiers in Los Angeles. Campo was the gateway to the sacred all-year crossing of the Los Angeles River for the ancient Tongva and Chumash Indians. Great Butterfield stagecoaches rested their thirsty teams after braving a bandit riddled Cahuenga Pass. At Campo Mrs. Armitage Forbes and her allies saved California missions and adobes, and marked El Camino Real.
Today, yet another hero stands before the historic Campo de Cahuenga to ensure that the integrity of this precious site will endure. He is Deuk Perrin, the president and leader of the Campo de Cahuenga Memorial Historical Association - The Friends of the Campo.
Deuk Perrin will deny that he is a hero. He will rightfully say that he is only one more voice of Americans determined that the quality of the Campo experience will never be diminished. But, if a fair definition of a hero is the person who speaks for us all, Deuk Perrin is the man of the hour, a leader all of us need to stand up against reckless commercial expansion.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Girl Scouts First Aid Kit - From The 1950s
Courtesy of Janne Fecht

William Faulkner once said, "History isn't dead; it's not even past."

The story of development in the San Fernando Valley is on-going because of human need and the stimulus of economic profit. With apologies to the ancient Epicureans, population alone demands that we intrude upon nature and one another. We can not escape our human needs, but we can make an honest attempt to manage them.
We live our lives with history; indeed we are our history. The decisions we make today shape the future. They are our history and the histories of generations yet unborn.

Will Campo de Cahuenga become a mere footnote "attraction" within a giant commercial complex? Will the history of California, the United States of America and the Republic of Mexico, become something to be viewed from the plastic chairs of a coffee bar? History is a precious thing, not to be taken lightly. Jerry Fecht


Rirchard Bogy, an active participant in our Museum Community sends this important notice.

Universal / MTA Project Community Working Group
Post Office Box 2312
Toluca Lake, California 91610-2312
(818) 761-6594

The City of Los Angeles wants your input….
Regarding the NBC Universal Vision Plan

When: August 1, 2007
Time: Between 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (open house style)
Where: Universal Hilton Hotel, Universal City
Free Parking

NBC Universal Studios has presented a 25-year vision plan, which is the first step in enlarging the size of their operation and developing their property.

The City of Los Angeles will present a “scoping” meeting on August 1st, which is the first opportunity for the public to see the actual requested project and to make comments to the City about elements of concern. Some of the project includes:
· The development of about 1.56 million square feet of new space
· A new 550-room hotel
· 2,937 multi-family residential units
· New parking structures
· New development at CityWalk
· New development at the Theme Park and Amphitheater
· New Studio production space
· A new major street to be built from Forest Lawn Drive to Coral Drive

The proposed project will substantially affect our communities. Some concerns are:
· Traffic mitigation – what will Universal do to resolve the increase in traffic caused by their completed project, and also address the affects on traffic during construction? How will their mitigation affect the expected growth in cars and traffic flow – all in a traffic “choke” point of Cahuenga Pass, Barham, Lankershim and Cahuenga Boulevard ?
· Aesthetics – how will this project change the way our community looks. How will the new buildings change our skyline?
· Noise and Light – how much additional noise and light pollution will the project create, and how will that be mitigated?
· Community Improvements – what elements does the project include to enhance the communities around Universal Studios.
The Universal / MTA Project Community Working Group is committed to working with NBC / Universal – and their contractors – to help ensure a project that has widespread support and improves all of the communities around Universal City .

Learn more about us at:

“Neighbors working together for smart growth”

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Rare Copy of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo

Campo de Cahuenga Library Collection

In the next few months, Campo de Cahuenga, one the most important historic sites in western America, will be closed for major renovations. But, the Directors of this "Crown Jewel of California History", will not take the time off!
Among their many activities, Campo supporters will be busy developing the next stage in the site's library.
Two heritage collections will be developed at the Campo Library. The first, containing books, manuscripts, photographs and documents about the creation of Campo de Cahuenga will honor the memory of Mrs. Armitage Forbes. Mrs. Forbes was the tireless woman who led a movement to preserve California's missions and adobes for today and future generations.
Mrs. Forbes knew that the ancient ruins of the original Campo de Cahuenga will always be at great risk. She and her associates saw to it that the present Campo Memorial was built and secured many of its early treasures. Campo de Cahuenga would be the place, not only to preserve our history, but also secure from the encroachments of commercial enterprises.
The second part of the Library, under development this summer, is the John C. Fremont collection. Fremont, who would be the first Republic candidate for the US presidency, secured the surrender of California in North Hollywood and established the "sea to shining sea" borders of the United States.
According to Deuk Perrin, president of the Campo de Cahuenga History Association, "the Forbes and Fremont collections will a great asset for the San Fernando Valley and ultimately for all of America."
Materials relating to the history of the Campo, the life and times of Mrs. Forbes and the amazing adventures and career of John C. Fremont are more than welcomed. Sponsorships for other Campo activities are available.

Stand up for future generations! Stand up for Campo de Cahuenga!


Polo Matches at Will Rogers State Park

Antique automobiles - a regular encounter at Will Rogers State Park

Just for the fun, and cool breeze, of it - visit Will Rogers State Park. It's just over the Sepulveda Pass and down Sunset toward the ocean. (310) 454-8212 for more information. Or visit

Take along cucumber sandwiches (egg bread with crusts removed, real butter, thinly sliced hot house cucumber, and optional salt and pepper.) Hamburgers are available. Cheerio!

Monday, July 16, 2007



(Note from Jerry Fecht: I apologize that this commentary was not published earlier. I simply let it get stored in my cyber closet.)
The following is from Fred Berk, Libararian of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley:

" I got the information from the LOS ANGELES BUSINESSS JOURNAL clipping that was given out at the Studio City Residents meeting.
'The Sportsmen's Lodge in Studio City has been sold, ending a long period of hope on the part of Valley residents that it would remain the iconic 1950's suburban resort hotel indefinitely. The buyer is Richard Weintraub, son of former school board member Roberta Weintraub, and the price is $50 million. Mr. Weintraub intends to retain the hotel itself, he says, but wants to add up to 300,000 square feet of retail space. That will make the complex a good deal busier and more crowded, not to mention the traffic coming in and out.
Nothing has been said yet about the fate of the restaurants and scenic ponds. Nor has anything been said about long-range prospects for the property. The San Fernando Valley is pretty well defined as a place of transition, and the next few years will show how gracefully this transition goes.'

Friday, July 13, 2007


Where did the name “ Toluca Lake ” come from anyway?
Richard Bogy

Over the years there have been many fanciful stories about the origin of the name “ Toluca Lake ”. Some say it was a local Kahaweenga (Cahuenga) Indian word, others claim the name was brought here by the Franciscan Padrés. Some claim it was taken from the Mexican town named Toluca , while other attribute it to an (apparently) imaginary local tribe of Indians that they call the “Tolocans”. While those stories may sound good, they are wrong. But the real story is just as colorful.

If there was a real person after whom the fictional “Ben Cartwright” of “Bonanza” fame was modeled it was General Charles Forman. Forman arrived in Virginia City, Nevada, around 1860 with little to his name. In a short time he had made a fortune in mining, then cattle ranching, and then lumbering his vast ranch lands. He supplied much of the lumber that was used to build Salt Lake City. He gained local Nevada fame when he led a unit of ninety-seven Nevada militia against five hundred hostile Indians. After a bloody five hour battle only twenty one of the militia was left alive, including Forman. As a result of his bravery in leading the unit, Nevada Governor John Kinkead appointed him a “Major General of the Nevada Volunteers”.
By 1887 Forman was one of the wealthiest men in Nevada. On a trip to Los Angeles he met, fell in love with and married Mary Agnes Gray, whose family owned the Rancho de la Puente. He moved to Los Angeles and within two years had started the Kern River Company, a power company which would deliver electricity from generators at the Kern River to Los Angeles. He also bought a large parcel of rich farm land including much of modern day Toluca Lake. He built an adobe ranch house at the intersection of Forman and Toluca Lake Avenue. Modern-day Forman Avenue – southward from Riverside - served as the driveway to his ranch house. His land included at least the western portion of that ancient and historical marshy pond that we now call Toluca Lake .
In 1893 the modern Toluca Lake was part of a bigger “town” known as Lankershim. Lankershim stretched from the current North Hollywood (where the historic Lankershim train station still stands) to the current Toluca Lake. That year General Forman, along with the Weddington family and others, petitioned the U S Postal Service to grant a first Post Office for the region. Forman successfully argued – in what was likely a battle of personalities - that the area deserved a name that wasn’t tied to a commercial land developer (Colonel Lankershim). So, when the petition was filed it called for the name of the Post Office to be the “Toluca Post Office”. This is the first time the name “ Toluca ” is known to appear anywhere in the area. That first Post Office was opened in the parlor of the home of Wilson Weddington (our first local postmaster). That same year, Colonel Lankershim used his influence with the Southern Pacific Railroad, to have the new train station named the “Lankershim train station”. So, the new Toluca Post Office was situated directly across from the new Lankershim train station. When asked later why he had chosen the name Toluca, Forman said it had come from a Piute Indian word, which means “fertile” or “beautiful” valley.
The new name did not really catch on at first. Although mail sent to the area was addressed to “Toluca, California ”, many locals continued to call their town “Lankershim”, except for Forman, who called his ranch and the land around it “ Toluca ”. Forman died in 1912.
In 1923 a group of investors bought and decided to develop much of Forman’s prior land. They needed a catchy name so they chose “ Toluca Lake Park ”. Unfortunately, that first venture failed quickly and new investors from Hollywood – with a vision of creating a first “bedroom community” for Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley - assumed the assets of Toluca Lake Park and renamed the development company “The Toluca Lake Company” (which still exists today). At that same time the Toluca Lake Company adopted as their logo the “swan on rippled water” - that many associate with the community today - and they also formally changed the name of the community to simply “ Toluca Lake ’.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


Sportsmans Lodge
Studio City

Special thanks to Steve Sedlic and Arturo Perez for taking time from their business day to meet with me to discuss ways to building a great Museum Community for the San Fernando Valley.


Childrens' Art School Project - Encino, California

Fred Berk, Librarian of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley wants to remind folks to begin your blog replies two lines down on the form. This makes sure than none of your remarks get cut off, or that the first sentence won't be blocked out. THANKS FRED

Also, if you are comfortable, sign your comments so that the Museum Community can correspond with you via the comments.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


It may take years to identify this school, let alone the names of these San Fernando Valley students and teachers. Simply marked on the back of the photograph, "San Fernando Valley", Phyllis Hansen's discovery adds yet another piece in the amazing puzzle called history.
Thanks Phyllis for sharing this image with the Museum Community.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Newly Created Freeway Through The Cahuenga Pass
Historic postcard collection - The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

The following information was sent to the Museum Community of the San Fernando Valley by Richard Bogy and Roy P. Disney. The educational and historical integrity of Campo de Cahuenga is at stake in this commercial expansion.

On behalf of the NBC Universal / MTA Working Group we’re pleased to introduce you to our new website. You can visit us at:

The NBC Universal / MTA Working Group is a federation of eleven long-established community organizations and four Neighborhood Councils, who represent the residential and business communities around the NBC Universal Studios and the Universal MTA site. The combined organizations of the Working Group represent more than 100,000 constituents and well over 1,000,000 annual stakeholders. The Working Group was formed after the announcement that NBC Universal would seek to develop and expand their existing facilities at Universal Studios and Theme Park / Hollywood and they would also exercise their option to develop the MTA Universal site, adjacent to the historic Campo de Cahuenga.

As currently presented, this development and construction project would represent one of the largest private construction projects in Los Angeles history. Some of the currently proposed and potential elements include:

MTA site: Up to 1.4 Million square feet of new development
Office tower(s) up to 26 floors in height
Hotel and condo tower up to 34 floors in height
Production facilities up to 100 feet in height
Illuminated and animated billboards and signage
Parking towers – up to 10 total floors in height & 4500 parking spaces
Retail spaces
All to be constructed on less than 10 acres of build able space and with
a planned completion date of June 2010

NBC Universal site: Up to 1.0 Million square feet of net new building space
Just under 3000 new homes and living units
A new hotel tower
A Reinvigorated and expanded City Walk complex
Reinvigorated tour spaces
New and additional production spaces

The proposed developments will be constructed in one of the most traffic chocked corridors of the City, including Barham Boulevard , the Cahuenga Pass and Cahuenga corridor, Lankershim / Cahuenga Boulevards and the combined 101 and 134 freeways.

This Group is committed to working in partnership with GE / NBC Universal and any and all developers of the properties to ensure a final project that will benefit NBC Universal, MTA, and the developers as well as preserving and enhancing the quality of life for those residents and communities that neighbor to and are directly affected by the projects.

Please visit our website often as the information contained within it will change on a regular basis. If you would like more information please contact us as shown in the website.

Thank you.

Roy P. Disney Richard Bogy
NBC Universal / MTA Working Group NBC / Universal MTA Working Group
General Chairman Vice Chair
Outreach and Communications


5077 Lankershim Boulevard (Photograph by John Eng)
"Finest example of early high-rise commercial structures in the San Fernando Valley."

Shel Weisbach, San Fernando Valley history advocate wants to remind the Museum Community of an emerging campaign to save Commonwealth Savings.
A hearing before the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board (Commission) will occur on:
Thursday, July 12 at 10:00 AM.
Los Angeles City Hall, Room 1010.

Historic Cultural Nomination documents filed on behalf of the Commonwealth Savings Building by Angeles Conservancy Modern Committee are available from the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Commission.

Friday, July 6, 2007


Gary Fredburg as a boy in the great snow of 1949

Corner of Morrison and Ranchito "Our first home."
Photographs taken 13902 Morrison Street in Van Nuys, California

Museum Board Member, Gary Fredburge sends you photos of himself in cooler times --- The great snow of 1949.
Children were kept home from school, and some were terrified by something they had never seen before. Nearly everyone who lived in the San Fernando Valley at the time has a snow-story. Do you?

The San Fernando Valley deserves a great Museum of history and culture.


Drawing done at the first Museum Sundae Celebration

Several years ago the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce began a project to help revitalize, reinvigorate and encourage investment in the Lankershim corridor, between the 101 and the 134 Freeways.

Partnering with the community, property owners, business owners and the Neighborhood Council, a vision, identity and action plan was created – and Old Lankershim Village was conceived.

This commercial corridor is now focused and ready to begin what we know will be an impressive drive of growth and success, that will rival neighboring NoHo and the NBC/Universal – MTA projects, however the success and vision of Old Lankershim Village will be driven by the community who calls it home.

In a first display of monumental identity, yesterday the Old Lankershim Village placed a first custom community bench at the intersection of Lankershim Boulevard and Riverside Drive . That bench, which was funded by the Greater Toluca Lake Neighborhood Council, serves as a welcome to Old Lankershim Village .

In the next sixty days the Committee will install and dedicate a new Community Gateway Monument , near the intersection of Lankershim and the Los Angeles River . That monument will represent the true spirit of the “community” as it was funded through the joint efforts of individuals, businesses, the Neighborhood Council, Councilman LaBonge and the City of Los Angeles Community Beautification grant program. We look forward to the community joining us for an unveiling and naming ceremony, as we officially declare the creation of Old Lankershim Village.

Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce


Pansy Window
Stained Glass
Ventura Boulevard
Woodland Hills


On June 27th, 2007, the Board of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley voted on the Museum's priorities. They are as follows:
Priority 1:
The Museum's immediate goal and primary focus shall be to establish a physical museum space/s to house a permanent collection, have an exhibit space, library, research area, offices, storage and meeting space.
Priority 2:
The Museum shall have as a secondary goal. progress toward the development of a distributed on-line Museum Community. This shall include an interactive website, a blog site, and list serve. A separate list serve shall be established for the purpose of alerting the Museum Community when historic sites/artifacts etc are in immediate danger.
Priority 3:
The Museum shall have as its third goal progress toward the creation of a Museum of the San Fernando Valley Federation.

It is customary among Americnans when asking someone for an opinion or thoughts to say "a penny for your thoughts." But, if the truth be known, the expression should be "a pansy for you thoughts." Shakespeare knew what he was writing, when he used pansy. It's a joke! Get it? A take off on the French word "pensée" or thought.
Your Museum needs your ideas and thoughts about our priorities. A pansy for your thoughts!
Jerry Fecht

Thursday, July 5, 2007


A special note of thanks to the Canoga Park Youth Arts Center for hosting the June meeting of The Museum of the San Fernando Valley.
Under Director Stuart Vaughan and Education Director John Paul Thornton, the Center continues its impressive role bringing the arts to the West San Fernndo Valley. Children of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds reflect the great Valley tradition of making Los Angeles the "Creative Capital" of the world and the San Fernando Valley - "the Valley of the Stars."

Thanks John Paul and Stuart, The Museum of the San Fernando Valley is grateful that you are working on the behalf of our community - especially, our kids!


Sports have always
been a vital part of
San Fernando Valley

Fred Berk invites the
Museum Community
to a special sports

For those who want to hear about the history of professional sports in Los Angeles from an expert, the event to attend is the Bill Dwyre lecture at the Richard Riorden Library in downtown Los Angeles on Sunday, July 15, at 2:00 pm.
Bill Dwyre has been sports editor for the Los Angeles Times for 25 years, and has received many awards for his writing, including special recognition for his coverage of the 1984 Olympics.
The lecture is being sponsored by the Los Angeles City Historical Society, together with the history department of the Riorden (central) Library. It's free to the public, and will be in the Mark Taper Auditorium inside the library.
Parking after 1:00 pm is only $1.00 if you have a library card, and have it validated in the garage. The garage entrance is on Flower Street, just south of 5th Street. This should also be an opportunity to meet members of the Los Angeles City Historical Society, and help create a bond between the many local history organizations in the region.

Fred Berk
Librarian and Member of the Board
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley

Tuesday, July 3, 2007


Grand Re-Opening of the De La Ossa Adobe at Los Encinos State Historic Park

Join us on Sunday, July 22nd, 2007 to celebrate the reopening of the 1849 De La Ossa Adobe at Los Encinos State Historic Park. This historic building has been extensively restored after being closed by major earthquake damage in 1994. The celebration will run from 10 AM to 3 PM at the park, and will feature costumed performers, historic music, children's games and activities, dancing and traditional crafts like blacksmithing - in addition to tours of the beautifully restored structure. Admission is free. Come in your old west attire and join in the fun!

Los Encinos State Historic Park is the location of a historic rancho that raised cattle, sheep and crops from 1849 until the early 20th Century. Before that, it was an Indian village for more than 4000 years. For more about Los Encinos State Historic Park, visit our website at

Los Encinos State Historic Park is located at 16756 Moorpark St in Encino, half a block east of the intersection of Ventura Blvd and Balboa Blvd. Park on the street.

Walter Nelson
Los Encinos State Historic Park
16756 Moorpark St.
Encino CA 91436-1068