Monday, June 22, 2020

Black Lives Matter Statement

The Altadena Historical Society Stands with Black Lives Matter
The Altadena Historical Society was founded in 1935 to document and share the history of Altadena. Every day history is being made, and now, amid a global pandemic, we are coming to grips with the realities that the Black community has faced for centuries, and it is painful to watch. 
We stand today with the many residents of Altadena in the fight against injustice, systemic racism, and erasure. The Altadena Historical Society will continue to engage in a positive dialogue around these issues and change the course of history through storytelling. 
Black people have unjustly suffered injury and death since the earliest beginnings of this country. More recently, people like George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Armaud Arbery, Trayvon Martin, and Emmett Till have died at the hands of police and racist individuals.
They, along with millions of other Blacks, suffer from what historian Carol Anderson called “the longest ongoing saga in American history.” Their names and their stories, along with so many others, will be recorded in history because they died at the hands of injustice and racism. We need to tell their stories. 
In our commitment to diversity, inclusivity, and mutual respect, and to create a historical record that documents the experiences of unheard and marginalized voices, we must listen to and amplify the demands of people and communities of color. We must continue to listen, document, and expose the injustices so many have suffered for centuries, and develop ways to fund new projects and programs to expand these efforts.  
The Altadena Historical Society is committed to eradicate racist methods and practices that erase the full, and often painful, history of our entire community. We are working towards including all of Altadena’s past in our archives, and we know we have much more to do to reach this goal. As recently as this year, our “Hidden History” project had its second successful event. 
The “Hidden History” project aims to create historical records of the many diverse residents of Altadena; the Black families who have lived here for decades, the indigenous populations who lived here originally, the Japanese Americans who were forcibly relocated and incarcerated during World War II, and the Latinx community that has enriched our area over the past few decades. 
The Altadena Historical Society will not marginalize the voices of people of color in our community. We will expand and improve our programs to be inclusive and informative on the subject of race relations. We will tell their stories. 

We are committed to listening and documenting those voices along with White voices.  We are committed to abolishing the gross inequities between White communities and Black communities by documenting a complete and accurate history. Although history, as it unfolds, may be uncomfortable, it is important that future generations see, hear, and know stories and events that are relevant and representative in order to change the course of history for the better. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Remembering Heinz Ellersiek

We wish farewell to our friend and supporter Heinz Ellersiek, who passed away recently at age 98.  A Caltech history professor, emeritus, in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences for 38 years, Heinz often visited AHS archives to share his love of history, people and views on current Altadena events and preservation. 

Heinz periodically donated precious documents, photos and ephemera to an already extensive collection given to us by his wife, Astrid, who passed away in 2002.

In 2004 Caltech recorded and archived an oral history wherein Heinz discussed his  childhood, education, and military intelligence training. He also commented on his professional experiences during the years of the cold war, as well as his continuing involvement in Pasadena and Altadena preservationists issues.

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)