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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Lincoln exhibit at Reagan Presidential Library - June 1st - September 30, 2013

The exhibit, A. Lincoln: From Railsplitter to Rushmore, which runs from June 1st to September 30, 2013 at the Reagan Presidential Library, offers original notes and letters from the 16th president’s childhood to his time in office. The exhibit features 250 pieces on loan from 30 Lincoln collectors. Along with a remarkable array of artifacts such as Lincoln's signature stovepipe hat and gold pocket watch inscribed with his initials are two Oscar-winning sets and costumes from the Steven Spielberg 2012 film "Lincoln."

Additional exhibit elements include: Copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th Amendment signed by Lincoln, the handwritten personal testimony of Boston Corbett, the man who killed assassin John Wilkes Booth, a check written for his son Robert, a poem from his youth and a request for music to be played in the White House for the first lady. Many of these pieces have rarely been seen by the public on the West Coast.

Abraham Lincoln, (1809 - 1865), was the 16th President of the United States of America. — Alexander Gardner

For more information on the Lincoln exhibit, please click HERE.

It should also be noted that the Valley’s own Campo de Cahuenga has ties to the Civil War. To learn more about Campo de Cahuenga, please click HERE.

The Battle of Gettysburg - 150th Anniversary July 1st-3rd

July 1-3, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg was one of the most crucial battles of the Civil War having occurred at a time when the fate of the nation literally hung in the balance.

The battle is often referred to as the High Water Mark of the Rebellion. It was an ambitious invasion of the North by General Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia. The Union, and its Army of the Potomac, met the Confederate invasion at Gettysburg. Under the command of Major General George Gordon Meade, the Union army fought and despite initial Confederate success, the battle turned against Lee on July 3rd and he ordered his army back to Virginia. The Union victory at the Battle of Gettysburg resulted not only in Lee's retreat to Virginia but an end to the hopes of the Confederacy for independence.

To learn more about the 150th Anniversary of this historic battle, please visit:

Saturday, June 22, 2013



 Jerry's AIDS Lifecycle poster 2013 - (click on the image to enlarge it.)

During the AIDS Lifecycle Ride, I did this poster of magical dwellings for any rider, "roadie", visitor or park worker who came up to my table. The drawing gave me the chance to talk with people about their day, encourage them to sign up for next year's ride or just answer their questions about where lost and found was located.
How moving it was to meet young people from the People's Republic of China riding for American AIDS care and HIV treatments. A San Francisco science teacher wanted his place on the poster - he had been up since 3:30 am to volunteer in the food services tent. A New Jersey mom, who worked in the camp store, paid her own way to California to support her son on his first ride. How proud I am of my wife who got us up a 4: am to make sure her "sweep vehicle" was ready to rescue riders-in-need.  Then there were women from Santa Barbara who supplied our information tent with possibly the world's very best strawberries.

From pirate ships to flying saucers, people were marvelously inventive about their stores, palaces or tree houses on the poster. And, the riders and roadies raised $14.2 million dollars for HIV medications, education and care in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas. 

Many of the riders are from the San Fernando Valley, and lots of the training rides for the great San Francisco to Los Angeles bicycle ride begin or end in our great Valley. Who knows, maybe a little more magic just might work for our world - bike paths do.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013



     Vic Tanny Gyms were a part of life in the San Fernando Valley until they were sold to the Bally fitness chain.  Tanny overcame the stigma of a gym being a place for body building wonks, to include dressing rooms for women, aerobics equipment and other amenities. Besides health benefits, who know? One just might be discovered for a beach-blanket movie.

1955 Vic Tanny Gyms Guest Card - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Arlene Bernholtz 2013. (last name intentionally removed.)  (click on image to enlarge it.)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013



A passenger train climbs into the Newhall Pass from the San Fernando Valley, passing the descending Los Angeles Aqueduct. 

Vintage postcard - Newhall Pass - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013 (click on image to enlarge it.)


DISCOVERING OUR VALLEY              2013

Actress Marie Wilson lived only a short life. She died in 1972 and was buried in Burbank in the Forest Lawn Cemetery in the Hollywood Hills. For most of her career, Marie played roles of "the blonde bombshell."

Commercial postcard mailed November 27, 1951 - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013.  (click on image to enlarge it.) 
"Marie Wilson, lovely firm star, shows how with the flip of a switch,STANTHONY keeps
 the kitchen pleasantly cool and free from greasy walls and cooking odors."

In 1951, the Stanthony Corporation  was located at
6900 San Fernando Road
Glendale, CA    ROckwell 9-1316

Monday, June 17, 2013


CHERISHING OUR VALLEY             2013

Since this Junior Senior Prom program was among artifacts that belonged to the Chatsworth realtor Fred Schlepler, it is safe to assume that the initials in pencil at the program's top F.H.S. was likely a distribution code. This program was printed on handmade paper. The cover was made from a wood block pressing.

Leonard Reightly               Blaine Hayward           Westley Buhl
C E De Groth                     Pat McManning           Nelson
Allen Gastren                    Arnold Zumwalt           Charles Leigh ??
Blanche Wadleigh             Andy Reth-- ling ??      Andrew Saneaster ??
AM                                    Ed Stoner                      Walter Brown
Robert Cogner ??              Bellington

When The Museum gets our headquarters space, we'll have a volunteer check on our Canoga Park High School records to cross reference the above names.

Canoga Park High School Junior-Senior Prom program - January 1939. Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013. (Click on images to enlarge them.)

Your comments, additions or corrections to this entry are encouraged - especially if you recognize one of the autograph names.

Join The Museum of the San Fernando Valley today.
Donate tax-deductible memorabilia to your Museum today.
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley
Acquisitions Committee
21031 Ventura Blvd., Suite 419
Woodland Hills, CA 91364-2230

1 (818) 347-9665


Saturday, June 15, 2013


CHERISHING OUR VALLEY             2013

The Museum of the San Fernando Valley does not collect artifacts for "collection sake", their potential increase in value, or just for sentimental reasons. The Museum acquires objects as forensic evidence to explain "who we are" and "how did we get where we are today." As guides to our individual and collective future, the objects you Museum collects and preserves can demonstrate important trends.
Here's an example of what can be learned from a "collector's cover" purchased by Al Keat, the proprietor of the Roscoe Super Garage in the 1930s. The commercial sponsor paid for the printing of the envelope's "cover" and received a supply of them in return for his own use. Mr. Keat would have had to purchase the stamps himself.

Anniversary Cover for National Air Mail Week - May 17, 1938. Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013.  (click on the image to enlarge it.)

Here's some of what this envelope teaches us: This envelope was canceled on the 20th anniversary of the air male class service of the United States Post Office in May of 1918. It has a 6¢ US air mail postage stamp canceled in Roscoe, California. The statement "A health place to live." was the city's unofficial slogan to attract visitors and residents, since it was known for its clean air and curative properties. It bears the signature of Fred Jacobsen as Postmaster.

Most Valley residents recognize the name Roscoe related the Boulevard that crosses the entire area. Originally, the street was a plowed line designating the north and south parts of the Valley. Roscoe was the name of present day community of Sun Valley from 1898 until 1948. Originally the town was called Roberts for a local general store. The name Roscoe was dropped due its use as a racist slur.

Friday, June 14, 2013



If you are new to exploring San Fernando Valley history, it is useful to know that the city-suburb of North Hollywood (the NoHo) was for a short while known as Toluca, then Lankershim, California. This little ink-blotter advertisement from Lankershim gives us insight to: the styles of an historical era, the name of a businessman, and the fact that electricity was available before the town got its present name of North Hollywood. Every writing desk at the time needed an ink-blotter to keep documents written with in from smearing - a perfect device to deliver a commercial message.
This will age me .... but, when I was in the first and second grades in a Catholic school, we were required to fill our ink pens from an ink-well on our desks. An exterior lever,  when pulled up would create a small vacuum in an interior bladder. When released the bladder would fill with an ink supply with which to write. If a girl sat in front of a creative boy, her "pig tails" were ideal targets for an ink well. When caught by a nun, the answer was ready-made "But, sister, the devil made me do it!"

Historic ink blotter - Lankershim - Gift to The Museum of the San Fernando Valley from Gary Fredburg 2013.  (click on this image to enlarge it.)

Join The Museum of the San Fernando Valley today.
Donate tax-deductible memorabilia to your Museum today.
The Museum of the San Fernando Valley
Acquisitions Committee
21031 Ventura Blvd., Suite 419
Woodland Hills, CA 91364-2230

1 (818) 347-9665




Long years of abuse and fear for her child followed this photograph of Espiritu Leonis taken between 1879 and 1880. This matter-of-fact image of Espiritu, published in the book "Leonis - The Lion's Brood" was yet to reflect the downtrodden features of the ghostly spirit now believed by many to haunt the grounds of the Leonis Adobe in Calabasas.
Anyone who seeks to know about history of the San Fernando Valley should visit the grand old adobe and buy a copy of the book by Horace Bell discovered as a manuscript in the archives of the Huntington Library and published in 1993 by the Leonis Adobe Association,
Some visitors to the old adobe, and adjacent Plummer House, Sagebrush Cantina and Calabasas Creek Park swear they have seen the ghosts of espiritu Leonis and her son. This seems more prevalent among those who have stopped in the Sagebrush Cantina for one of its especially good Margaritas.