Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures
Bertha and Emma Blum
Newhall School Teachers

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Bertha and Emma Blum, third and fourth grade teachers at Newhall School in 1936-37, were two of the six children of Acton (Aliso Canyon) pioneer ranchers George and Magdalena Blum.

According to Meryl Adams (1988), all six children were born in the United States prior to 1900. (Bertha and Emma were born in Acton.) George and Magdalena emigrated from Switzerland and homesteaded in 1891 in Aliso Canyon, where they established the Blum Ranch.

Photo contributor Patricia Bennett (nee Patricia Pearl Cook, Newhall School Class of 1939, when Newhall School was K-8) writes on the back: "Two Blum sisters. My 3rd and 4th grade teachers. From Switzerland" (which they weren't, but it's possible they spoke German). Photo hand-dated 1937.

From what we can glean from Meryl Adams, Bertha married a man named Fuller and moved to Lancaster. Apparently Emma never married and remained with the teaching profession, first in Newhall, then Tierra Bonita and Lancaster (the latter two being in the city of Lancaster).

Emma was still teaching in Lancaster in 1952 when a neice, Olive Blum, wrote the following to Meryl Adams: "Emma's school teaching job in Lancaster is out for the summer vacation now. She is trying to decide whether she will go to summer school in California, Nebraska or Maryland, or maybe she will go to Switzerland" (ibid:354).

If she left, she returned. Emma "became interested in the preservation of our heritage of [Acton's] past, collected many pictures and assembled information on religious meetings and organizations as well as mining and farming in the area," Adams writes (pg. 372). Among the items she collected were photographs made, and given her, by Acton pioneer R.E. Nickel.

Along the way, Emma became acquainted with Newhall historian A.B. Perkins, who was amassing a similar collection of materials pertaining to the Newhall-Saugus area. Their interests collided in Soledad Canyon, and the two "town historians" decided to collaborate. Reproduced in Adams' book (pg. 372) is a letter from A.B. to Emma dated April 8, 1968. It shows "that Emma Blum was generous in loaning her material and pictures to A.B. Perkins," and that Perkins "offered to share his work with Emma."

Versions of many of the photographs collected by Emma Blum and shared with A.B. Perkins appear here on

PC3701: 19200 dpi jpeg from original photograph donated 2003 by Patricia Bennett (nee Patricia Pearl Cook) of Carpinteria.

Blum Ranch Story

George Blum Obituary


Legacy: Elizabeth Blum Billet (2002)


Fruit Label


Map: Acton Ranches Pre-1908


June 1924


Daughters Bertha & Emma 1937


Blum Ranch 2001 x6

Ray Billet Obituary


For Sale 2017


Tataviam Artifacts


A.C. Mentry Blacksmith Forge 2018

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