SCV Historical Society Celebrates 30th
Group dedicated to educating residents about valley's rich past commemorates its own milestone.
By Kristopher Daams
Phil Scorza of Castaic, left, and Alice Pilkey of Saugus walk up the steps toward Saugus Train Station in Newhall to celebrate the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society's 30th anniversary.
(Photo: Eddie Sadiwa/The Signal)
Signal Staff Writer
Monday, December 12, 2005
unday signaled the 30th anniversary of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, and the Heritage Junction Historical Park was home to the celebration.
Inside the wooden former train station, next to William S. Hart Park in Newhall, near the many historical displays that line the museum inside, members of the society and local history buffs gathered for an afternoon of recognition for the group that has as its objective educating local residents of the valley's rich history.
"We're like a first-rate place for history and people don't even realize it," said Pat Saletore, the society's executive director.
The Santa Clarita Valley is home to the California's first gold rush, and to the state's first oil well, Saletore said.
The Tataviam Indians used to reside in the valley, and numerous utensils, tools and weaved baskets are displayed at the society's flagship building at Heritage Junction.
The Edison and Kingsbury residences at Heritage Junction had an open house Sunday. The Kingsbury residence was originally constructed for a member of the Newhall family, Saletore said.
The building that houses the society's museum, the Saugus Train Station, was originally located near Saugus Cafe, Saletore said. In 1981 the building was moved to its current location off Lyons Avenue in Newhall to save it from the rising development that made other older buildings cease to exist.
"When this building's turn came, the (Historical) Society and the whole community came and saved the building," Saletore said. "It was a community thing."
The Historical Society has thousands of photographs in its collection, Saletore said, and about 1,000 of them, less than a third of the whole collection, are catalogued.
"Right now we're going through the (process) of reorganizing our photo collection," Saletore said.
More educational meetings are in the works for the society.
"We're looking forward to bringing back meetings for the public to come to and learn about local history," Saletore said.
Valencia resident Michelle Veasman has been a docent with the Historical Society for about six years, she said.
A resident since 1982, Veasman said the changing times of the Santa Clarita Valley spurred her to take on the role.
"I've seen a lot of changes," Veasman said. "History and things in our past are interesting and it's fun to find out about (them)."
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