Boy Scout Railroading Merit Badge Programs Get Underway – November 2009
LARHF will soon hold its first all-day class for Boy Scouts who wish to earn their RAILROADING Merit Badge. Twenty to thirty Scouts will meet at LARHF’s headquarters in Alhambra on November 7th and spend the morning learning the railroad material required for their merit badge. Then, in the afternoon, they’ll take a field trip. In preparation for the LARHF class, each week at their troop meeting, the Scouts will receive "notes" covering general railroad information. Mark Willie, who is a benefactor of LARHF and a Boy Scout director in Orange County, came up with the name “SPIKES” for these Notes. A total of 7 SPIKES will be handed out prior to November 7th. The first Spike will highlights that “Look, Listen Live!” is an urgent Operation Lifesaver message. The second Spike will detail, “Track and Facts,” with explanations about Rail - Spike & Ballast, Tangent Track, Track Profile, etc. Each SPIKE will include a “Vocabulary to Learn.”
During their LARHF day, at noon, the Scouts will head for Philippe’s French Dip for lunch and to see the latest LARHF Satellite display. From Philippe’s, there will be a tour for Scout’s through the Los Angeles Union Station before they climb aboard the METRO Gold Line to Pasadena. During the ride, the group will learn and discuss the history of the route, the Santa Fe, and the meaning of right of way and public transportation today.
We plan to exit the Gold Line at the Del Mar stop (the old Santa Fe Depot), concluding the day’s activities and providing, we anticipate, a very good introduction to Railroading that leaves each Scout more than qualified to receive his Merit Badge.
Grant allows LARHF to hire historian – August 2009
A recent grant from the Jonathan Heritage Foundation generously provided LARHF with the opportunity to contract with historian Paul R. Spitzzeri to write an informational booklet and PowerPoint script about the Pacific Electric Club, which was an employee’s club created by PE in 1916.
The Club’s baseball team
Photograph from the Henry E. Huntington Library Collection
This PowerPoint program will be narrated by a professional voice over and a music track will be added. The program will become a DVD for easy projection.
Paul is Collections Manager at the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum in the City of Industry, California.
Paul R. Spitzzeri, author of several history books is the Collections Manager at the Workman and Temple Family Homestead Museum
Photo by Ariel van Zandweghe
He received his B.A. and M.A. in History from California State University, Fullerton and has published on such topics as railroad development and regulation, criminal justice, citizenship issues and overland emigration. He is now writing a book on criminal justice administration in Los Angeles from 1850 to 1875. Paul is also Treasurer and Past-President of the California Council for the Promotion of History and is on the Board of Directors of the Historical Society of Southern California.
Paul found the historical documents for his Pacific Electric Club work in LARHF’s extensive library and ephemera collections. The William Everett Collection, for example, includes books as well as a vast collection of periodicals; maps and miniature models that help trace more than 100 years of rail/traction history. To learn more about Paul's booklet and PowerPoint program, please contact LARHF.
LARHF featured in the LA Times
Read the new LA Times article
"A tour of L.A.'s rich rail history".
Belmont Station Mini-Museum to Open
What used to be the Pacific Electric Toluca Yard, in downtown Los Angeles, has been transformed into 275 rental apartments. The PE Subway Terminal tunnel portal and sub-station generator building are unique sights on the Belmont Station’s apartment property.
Belmont Station Apartments in construction located on 2nd Street at Glendale Avenue.
LARHF has been invited to create a mini-museum in Belmont Station’s Rental and Welcoming Center. This will entail over 40 archive photographs detailing the construction of the PE subway as well as the Terminal building and the area along the route of the PE cars that operated out of the Terminal.
A majority of the photographs to be displayed have not been seen by the general public before. LARHF in an alliance with the Huntington Library has been given access to the Huntington’s incredible collection of Pacific Electric and Los Angeles Railway photographs.
Pacific Electric – Future Toluca Yard showing construction preparations for the boring of the subway’s west portal, 1924.
Photo from the Henry E. Huntington Library
LARHF’s archivists and curator have spent many hours in the Huntington photographic vaults viewing this collection and selecting a number of photographs to be reproduced and displayed at the Belmont Station Apartments.
Opening Day Ceremony and first Pacific Electric car to run through the tunnel.
Photo from the Henry E. Huntington Library
Pacific Electric ephemera and artifacts will accompany the photographs.
The display will be open to the public and special interest groups desiring to visit the mini-museum.
Further details to follow.
Vroman’s Bookstore Signing – February 28, 2009
Vroman’s Bookstore is located on Colorado Blvd. in Old Town Pasadena, less than a mile from where Santa Fe Chiefs once crossed this early stretch of Route 66. What better setting is there for Elrond Lawrence, author and photographer of Route 66 Railway? Elrond will be signing copies of his critically-acclaimed book at Vroman’s on Saturday, February 28th, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
One of the last great independent bookstores, Vroman’s was founded in 1894 by Adam Clark Vroman, a famed book collector and passionate photographer of the American West. Following in his footsteps, Elrond Lawrence has used his camera lens to document California and the Southwest. His articles and photography have appeared in magazines, books and calendars. To accompany this event, a beautiful 1941 Ford Woody station wagon owned by Jim Partridge will be on display.
Vroman’s is located at 695 E. Colorado Blvd.; for more information, visit Vroman's web site.
“GET YOUR KICKS!” Evening Program – March 3, 2009
Elrond Lawrence, author of LARHF’s brilliant new book Route 66 Railway, will entertain members and guests at an evening presentation set for Tuesday evening, March 3rd, in the METRO Board Room in downtown Los Angeles.
Elrond knows Route 66 like no other rail fan, having photographed the historic highway extensively in California, Arizona and New Mexico, as well as its eastern terminus in Chicago, Illinois. He guarantees that you will “get your kicks!” traveling with him through an evening of splendid photography and lively stories. Enjoy colorful images of Santa Fe “Warbonnets,” modern BNSF diesels, Amtrak, steam, and short lines, captured in a variety of scenic settings. Elrond will also sweep you along today’s Route 66, visiting towns, neon motels, quirky cafes, Harvey Houses, and more.
Copies of Route 66 Railway will be sold that evening and Elrond will personalize books for you with an inscription and autograph.
An original signed photograph by Elrond will also be available.
Earlier in the evening, you are invited to join members and friends for dinner and see the new LARHF exhibit in Philippe’s restaurant entitled, “Get Your Kicks! Route 66 and the Santa Fe.”
Invitations will be sent to LARHF members and friends in early February, but everyone is welcome. For more details, e-mail LARHF at email@example.com.
AL MINTURN 1936 - 2008
Sadly, the Foundation lost an important member and a major benefactor, Al Minturn. He died in his sleep on December 7, 2008. Al was an LAUSD administrator for over 30 years. He volunteered as a track & field official at events worldwide, served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation (LARHF) and was a Patron of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Born in 1936, he lived his entire life in Los Angeles and Torrance, California.
Al was a real buddy and was always there to help in the maintenance of LARHF’s building in Alhambra, always ready to be the “caboose” in its many Field Trips (that is making sure that the last person, straggler, member that needed one last photograph, got on the bus) and always available for any special projects.
We will miss Al’s continuing support in so many ways and let’s not overlook his black truck used extensively for his track and field events and LARHF needs.
A Memorial Service will be held at Green Hills Memorial Park, Rancho Palos Verdes on Saturday January 3, 2009, at 1:00 PM.
Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to the Los Angeles Railroad Heritage Foundation.