Tel: (818) 347-9665 PST

Saturday, October 13, 2018

10/13 Walking Tour to be held - rain or shine - please join us in Sherman Oaks

The Museum SFV walking tour of William Mellenthin ranch-style bird house homes will occur today at 10:00 am, rain or shine - please join us and bring a friend. Okay to walk-up and pay at the start of the tour $10/pp.

We are scheduled to enter at least one home today.
Walk-up OKAY - just contact us at 818-347-9665 and let us know how many people will be attending.
Meet at corner of W. Magnolia Blvd. and Longridge Ave in Sherman Oaks, 91423.
We will begin tour near a home located at 5219 Longridge Ave.

Bring a friend, colleague or family member today - kids are okay too!

Monday, October 8, 2018

10-27 Speaker Series - WWII and the SFV - special event

Please join us on Sat. October 27th from 2:00 - 4:00 pm as Franky Ortega, a National Board-Certified Teacher at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, will be the presenter on an interesting topic, WWII and the San Fernando Valley.

He will tie in several valley landmarks with historical perspective on WWII. Topics will cover Lake Balboa Park, Birmingham General Hospital, Van Nuys Airport and Jue Joe Ranch, an old ranch with roots in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.

Attendees will learn or re-learn about the history behind war-era elements such as air raid sirens that were placed throughout the Valley, many of which are still visible today. The impact of the Cold War and might of the valley aerospace industry will also be discussed.

Of course, Hollywood and the entertainment industry did its share during the war to promote the Valley. Mentions of epic WWII film scenes from Van Nuys Airport's "Casablanca" Marlon Brando's "The Men", Jimmy Stewart's "It's a Wonderful Life" will be reviewed.

Please RSVP and pay in advance with:  EVENTBRITE (Okay to walk-up and pay-call us to RSVP and mention many guests)
Cost:        $10 per person
Parking:    Free in Museum parking lot

RSVP:     1-818-347-9665, email at

Please consider inviting a family member, colleague or friend. 

Please consider becoming a Member or Donor today.

Come on out on the 27th for a terrific event.

History of Tongva Indians - Los Angeles; San Gabriel Valley and San Fernando Valley

Here is a terrific article written by Annie Lloyd and seen on offering detailed background of the Tongva Indians in and around  Los Angeles, San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys.  Enjoy.

Click HERE to review a study of the Tongva Indians.

Los Angeles recently voted to replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, joining several other cities around the country in an attempt to honor the people on whose land the United States built its empire. The story of L.A.’s birth often goes back to the first pueblo in the area, which became the official Los Angeles settlement in 1781 (as either El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora de los Angeles or El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reyna de los Angeles—historians remain unsure), but the pueblo didn’t arrive in a vaccuum. Settlers didn’t find themselves on empty soil prior to their claim on the area. Whose lives did they upend?

California was home to thousands of people before Spanish settlers arrived—around 350,000 across the whole state—and the Los Angeles Basin in particular was home to the Gabrieliño-Tongva people. The movements of the Tongva peoples set the stage for what would eventually become Los Angeles. Their footpath through the Sepulveda Basin was the original 405 freeway. The L.A. State Historic Park was formerly a fertile basin within a mile of Yaanga, the Tongva people’s largest known village in the area. The Hahamog'na, a band of the Tongva peoples, settled along the Arroyo Seco river, which now comprises Northeast Los Angeles.

Their influence on the eventual metropolis of Los Angeles extends far beyond their choice of location, though; the forced labor and enslavement of Tongva peoples is what allowed Spanish settlers and missionaries to develop their reach in the first place. When the Spanish arrived in Southern California, they sought fertile land to produce the crops they were hoping to cultivate. This led them to the bountiful San Gabriel Valley (the San Gabriel Mission is credited as the first location of Spanish settlers in the area that became Los Angeles). Craig Torres of the Tongva community, through UCLA’s Mapping Indigenous L.A. project, explains how, prior to Spanish arrival, the San Gabriel Valley consisted of a “concentric circle” of native communities, which the Spanish recognized and exploited—they subsumed inter-connected communities into the Mission system, which was easier for them than accessing isolated communities along the coast (the dual name of Gabrieliño-Tongva comes from forced assimilation at the hands of the San Gabriel missionaries).

Tongva tribal council member Mark Acuña explained to KCET’s Departures how, “In order to accomplish all that mission work, it was on the backs of Indians. There’s no other way to talk about it. We built the 21 missions. We worked the fields.” Junipero Serra was the founding father at many of those 21 missions, including Mission San Gabriel. Serra’s legacy of violence against indigenous peoples of California has led to criticism of his sainthood, as well as vandalism on statues of his likeness around the state.

The forced servitude led the Tongva peoples to revolt against the Mission. In 1785, a Tongva woman named Toypurina was approached by a fellow tribesman named Nicolás José. Toypurina had a reputation as a powerful medicine woman, and José sought her help to kill the mission’s padres. The plan was for her to use her talents to immobilize the Spanish priests while the male warriors killed them, according to KCET. The padres caught wind of the plot, and enacted a counter-plot to imprison the revolters, but Toypurina maintained her harsh stance against the missionaries.

During the subsequent trial, she defended her actions, saying, "I hate the padres and all of you, for living here on my native soil, for trespassing upon the land of my forefathers and despoiling our tribal domains," according to the L.A. Times. Her likeness can now be found in public art around East and South L.A.; her face covers a wall of Ramona Gardens, and a painted interpretation of her face is part of Pacific Standard Time’s LA/LA’s Oaxacan mural project at the Central Library.

What is now downtown also had a large concentration of Tongva peoples because it was originally the site of Yaanga, a large Tongva village. It was far enough out of Mission San Gabriel’s reach, so fewer peoples were forced to convert and work for the padres, but it was close to the original Los Angeles pueblo. As such, the Yaanga-based Tongva peoples were still exploited for manual labor. As the pueblo and early versions of Los Angeles grew, settlers encroached further and further into the Yaanga village. The center of the village was an old sycamore tree called El Aliso; historians place it near what is now an onramp for the 101 freeway, a stone’s throw from Union Station. 

After early settlers had enslaved and assimilated the Tongva peoples, the California Gold Rush and the path to statehood would further decimate their population. The U.S. acquired California in 1848, and a rush of Anglo-Americans came West to seek the reported wealth of the state’s gold. The gold was available in the northern part of the state only, but the rabid industriousness and entitlement of new California settlers made its way to the Southland and affected the Tongva peoples in equal numbers. With the promise of gold, and by association money and power, came the desire to turn California into a state. This led to a disregard of previous treaty practices that had granted land to the peoples, leaving most indigenous populations homeless, according to KCET. Downtown Los Angeles saw a de facto slave market of Tongva labor emerge, where people were imprisoned for being homeless and forced to work off their bail, often paid in liquor instead of cash. Chief red blood Anthony Morales told KCET’s Departures that “as time went on, as society started changing, we needed to blend in with the other ethnic groups in Los Angeles because there was a bounty on us. We had to blend in with different cultures and become part of their societies. We were thought of as the lowest people, ethnically and race-wise.”

Around that time, President Fillmore instructed three U.S. Government Treaty Commissioners to draw up treaties granting land ownership for California indigenous tribes. The treaties were never ratified by the U.S. Senate after California business interests had lobbied against them, and they remained under an “injunction of secrecy” until the turn of the century, according to the Gabrieliño-Tongva Tribe official history. After the treaties came to light, the California Jurisdiction Act of 1928 allowed the California Attorney General to represent the Gabrieliño-Tongva peoples—who were not among the tribes with original treaties— and declared the unratified treaties as grounds for the peoples’ own claims to land. After new legislation in 1946, the Indian Claims Commission could address relief for individual members of the tribe, eventually reaching a settlement in 1972 to award $633 to each living member for the stolen land. Contemporary land claims for the tribe were still unsettled.

In 1994, California signed Senate Bill 1134, which finally recognized the Gabrieliño-Tongva under state law. There were approximately 5,000 in the Tongva population in Southern California when Europeans made contact with their land. As of 2008, 1,700 people are documented as members of the Gabrieliño-Tongva tribe.

Indigenous Peoples Day - Los Angeles; History of Tongva Indians

The first annual Indigenous Peoples Day - Los Angeles offered 12 hours of events, activities, music and recognition.

LOS ANGELES -- City Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and the Los Angeles City-County Native American Indian Commission announced the first official celebration to commemorate Indigenous Peoples Day in Los Angeles.

A major day-long event is planned for Monday, October 8, from 7a to 7p, at Civic Center in downtown Los Angeles, 200 N Spring Street, Los Angeles, 90012. Both Grand Park and City Hall public spaces will be utilized for activities planned throughout the day, including: a sunrise ceremony, 5K run, parade of nations, Native American powwow, panel sessions on trending topics related to Native Americans and the community, a fashion show, and a grand finale that will include a performance by critically acclaimed Native American rock group Redbone.

10-28 Historic Walking Tour of Van Nuys 2:00 - 3:30 pm; please join us

Join us for a stroll back in time through the "Town That Was Started Right!"

Learn about the origin of the Daily News and the company which was a nationwide maker of silent movie theatre organs. Who were Hobart Johnstone Whitley, Wayne E. Bechtelheimer and Whitley Van Nuys Huffaker? Relive "Wednesday Nights on Van Nuys Boulevard." We will have historic photographs and stories to share as we wander this surprisingly historic San Fernando Valley treasure.

  Tour highlights include:
  •     Van Nuys Bungalow           
  •     Women’s Club
  •     Old Van Nuys Library (1927)      
  •     United Methodist Church
  •     Municipal Building Façade      
  •     Van Nuys Post Office
  •     Abeles Map              
  •     Fernando Statue, Crystal Plunge
  •     Bob’s Big Boy, Busch Gardens       
  •     Lankershim, Van Nuys, Whitsett, Whitley

The development entity known as The Syndicate began the process in 1910, but William Paul Whitsett saw it through to the end. Originally a barley field, Van Nuys became a prosperous center of City Government, agriculture and industry. Come explore what remains to be appreciated: original 1911 buildings hidden beneath modern facades, first churches, a civic center with many special revelations, one of the main hubs of social and official activity, the Women's Club building, Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monuments #201, #202, and #911, and National Register of Historic Places Monument #2509. 

RSVP:     1-818-347-9665, email at
Please RSVP and pay in advance with:  EVENTBRITE - Search under: Van Nuys Historic Walking Tour  (Okay to walk-up and pay)

Cost:        $10 per person donation; Also, please visit
Parking:    Street & metered parking in area

Attendees will meet under the "Bridge/Archway" 

Braude Constituent Center,     
6262 Van Nuys Blvd. 
(SE corner of  Sylvan Street and Van Nuys Blvd.)