Wednesday, April 4, 2018

2018 Membership Appeal

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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.