Friday, November 30, 2018

Annual Fundraiser

Your energy and contributions have made 2018 a phenomenal year for AHS! This year we:

• Put oral histories online! Go to our website and listen.

• Upgraded computer hardware that allows us to digitize thousands of documents.

• Installed a new museum exhibit about Theatre Americana.

• Indexed our map collection.

• Put Paul Ayers' lecture, "The Lost Trails of the Altadena Foothills" on YouTube. Watch!

• Launched our Facebook Page.  Please like it! (And follow us on Instagram.)

So thank you for your donations this year.

But here we are shamelessly begging for more! You can help continue preserving Altadena history with a tax-deductible end-of-year donation. 

Please be generous so we can get started on new tasks like:

• Digitizing and posting online our complete bound newspaper collection: The Altadena Press (1929-1944), The Altadenan (1944-1977) and others.

• Converting our website! Our site is old and the software used to create it is no longer available. It’s difficult to use, update and access.

• Digitizing thousands of fading slides, many from rare collections.

As an AHS supporter, you're part of an amazing group of people. Understanding the past is key to planning Altadena’s future. So thanks so much.

Please give generously again to support our goals for 2019. Donate online through our safe and secure Square Store. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Fire Control in Altadena Foothills, 1920 through Today

Altadena Historical Society presents 
Fire Historian Dave Boucher
Monday, July 23, 2018 at 7:30

Focusing on fire protection in the Altadena and Pasadena area, retired Los Angeles Fire Department Captain David Boucher will tell the story of the formation and development of the department including its complex evolution, leadership, people, machines, traditions and services. 

The lecture will take place at 7:30 on Monday, July 23 at the Altadena Community Center, 730 E. Altadena Drive, (next to the Sheriff’s Station).

(Photo above) Altadena was there at the beginning when Fire Station 11 (now located at 2521 El Molino Avenue) was built in 1925. It was one of the county’s first three stations, the other two in La Canada and La Crescenta.

Dave began his fire service in 1953 as an auxiliary fireman with the Altadena branch of the Crescenta-Canada Civil Defense Corps, serving for two years out of Altadena’s fire station 12 at 2760 Lincoln Avenue. He retired 41 years later in 1994 as a Captain in the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

Not long after retirement, Dave returned to the department as the official historian and since then has scanned and indexed more than 11,000 images from the department’s archives. In this role he’s provided his expertise as the historian and a director for the Los Angeles County Fire Museum that recently opened in Bellflower.

Captain Boucher has written three books on firefighting: “Ride the Devil Wind” is the history of the Department; “Devil Wind Fire Wagons” is about firefighting apparatus; and his recently published autobiography, “Climbing the Ladder,” combines stories of his fire service with historical facts about California.

The lecture will be illustrated with photographs from his books, which will be available for sale at the event.

The program is free for Altadena Historical Society members and firefighters; otherwise a $5 donation is requested.

“We expect a standing room only crowd” said AHS president Kathy Hoskins, “so come early.”


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

2018 Membership Appeal

 AHS Store

Please join or Renew ON LINE  
Or send a check to Altadena Historical Society
730 E. Altadena Drive, Altadena 91001

"Did you know AHS is funded mostly by memberships? Member support makes it possible for us to continue preserving and sharing the history of Altadena.

Historian Paul Ayers to discuss "The Lost Trails of the Altadena Foothills" on April 23

Once-popular trails in the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains that have fallen into disrepair or disappeared will be rediscovered by historian Paul Ayers.

Ayers, an attorney and San Gabriels historian, will illustrate his talk with some of the scores of vintage photographs and postcards he has collected over 25 years of researching and restoring Altadena trails.

He will share his research methods, which include using historic aerial photographs, old maps, trail artifacts, and personal exploration.

Altadena Historical Society has endorsed Ayers’s ongoing project of locating once-popular campsites that flourished across the front range of the San Gabriels, but have mostly reverted to a natural state.

The program, which is free and open to the public, will be in the Community Center, 730 E. Altadena Drive. The Community Center is immediately west of the Sheriff’s Station and south of Rite-Aid. (Google Map)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Learn about Caltech's JPL rocketry progreams during the 1930's and '40s

A vintage photo of the JPL rocketry team taking a break from motor-testing in the Arroyo Seco. Yes, those are sandbags.  Photo credit: NASA/JPL
The little-known stories of California Institute of Technology’s rocket-development programs in the 1930s and ‘40s at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory will be told by historian Erik M. Conway at the next quarterly meeting of the Altadena Historical Society.

The program will be at 7:30 p.m. Monday Jan. 22 at the Altadena Community Center, 730 E. Altadena Drive, and is free and open to the public.

The Historical Society’s current exhibit, “Five Men Inspired by the San Gabriels,” will be open prior to and after the program.

“Caltech’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Altadena’s northwest corner is often known as a center of planetary exploration, but it was originally founded to develop rocket technology in the 1930s,” said Conway, a JPL staff historian.

“Far less known is that Caltech had a second rocket project during World War II that ultimately spun off what is now the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Center.  In my talk, I’ll tell the story of these two rocket projects and suggest why they took such very different paths.”

Conway, of Pasadena, is employed by Caltech and studies and documents the history of space exploration.  He received the 2009 NASA History Award for “pathbreaking contributions to space history…”.

Altadena Historical Society is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, and by appointment at (626) 797-8016.  Visit the website or email AHS.