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see photos from the Symposium
The spring symposium for CCHS members,
February 14-17, 2008, was a most rewarding and pleasant weekend. The events
arranged by our gracious hosts from the Arcadia Historical Society went off
Upon arrival on Thursday, members were
welcomed at a reception at the Wong home in Arcadia. The many oriental
artifacts on display for viewing were a special bonus. Complimentary treats
along with wine and coffee sparked the evening soirée and got the symposium
off to a flying start. The next two days covered business and how-to
learning sessions and exploring the area’s historic buildings and sites.
Friday’s how-to session “Cooperate and
collaborate at your local library,” a panel discussion followed by a
question and answer period. Included was a tour of the Arcadia History Room
and viewing the library’s collection of historic watercolors. Discussion was
on how the city and the society worked together, thus saving many artifacts
and written material.
The city library has a history room where
documents are kept. The historical society keeps the three-dimensional items
for display. The library also has a large collection of paintings of the
city by artists Edna Lenz and Justine Wishek. The city director of the
museum works with the library and the society.
The evening’s dinner featured Don Swenson
speaking on Henry Huntington who collected and bequeathed to the public the
collection of priceless old books and art that comprise the Henry E.
Huntington Library and Art Gallery at San Marino. Don is a docent at the
Huntington Library specializing in estate, Bible tours.
The dinner was at the Arcadia Women’s
Club House, an L-shaped building with huge wooden beams built in 1931. Here
is another society that is involving youth in history — a city youth group
of girls served the meal.
Friday, after the regional vice
presidents’ meeting, the group started the exploration of the beautiful Los
Angeles Arboretum and Botanical Gardens.
The site was acquired by E.J. “Lucky” Baldwin in 1875. The gardens are a
treasure — some 5000 oaks, the first grove of English walnut trees in
Southern California, groves of exotic fruit trees and plants from around the
Spearheaded by Dr. Samuel Ayres, then
head of the State Horticultural Institute, the garden acreage was acquired
by the State of California and the County of Los Angeles in 1947.
Tour guide was Arboretum CEO Dr. Mark
Wourms who had many stories about the old trees and plants and the beautiful
views of the mountains.
Next on the agenda was a visit to the El
Monte Museum with its unique exhibits. One display was of the Lion Farm
which used to be in El Monte. This scene recalled a favorite memory for CCHS
member Rae Ellen Anicic. The MGM lion came from this farm and her father
used to “babysit” the “roaring” MGM symbol.
A walkthrough of the Queen Anne Cottage
was arranged especially for symposium attendees. The television show Fantasy
Island had many scenes filmed at this elegantly restored house which was
built by Lucky Baldwin as a luxurious guest home.
Final site visit and for some the
highlight of the symposium was a behind the scenes tour of the Santa Anita
So we wrote “fini” to a most rewarding
and delightsome weekend which we could never have experienced but for the
Conference and its illustrious member — the Arcadia Historical Society.