[KHTS] – The Santa Clarita Valley has had a long history of dedicated lawmen and deputies, since it’s “Old West” days, and Friends of Hart Park want to honor those officers during a special ceremony from 7 to 10 p.m. on Thursday, May 15, National Peace Officers Memorial Day.
The event is free and open to the public, to be held at Hart Hall on the grounds of William S. Hart Park, with keynote speakers, special music and tributes to officers who died in the line of duty.
Joe Herrington, nationally known cowboy poet and West Texas native will emcee the event, featuring keynote speaker Mayor Laurene Weste, who is also board president for the Friends of Hart Park.
Several authors will also give short talks about their books and the history of lawmen in the Old West and the formation the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and the Los Angeles Police Department.
J.R. Sanders is the author of “Some Gave All: Forgotten Old West Lawmen Who Died With Their Boots On.” His book is a tribute to those sheriffs who didn’t attain the fame of people like Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson or Wild Bill Hickok.
Sven Crongeyer’s book “ Six Gun Sound” recounts the early history of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
Other authors include Tom Hays, Art Sjoquist and Bud Bradshaw.
Bradshaw is the author of the e-book “Brandishing,” which tells the story of the infamous “Newhall Incident” that took the lives of four California Highway Patrol officers in 1970.
The SCV recently remembered the 44th anniversary of the deadly shootout that pitted Officers James Pence, Roger Gore, Walt Frago and George Alleyn against escaped convicts Jack Twinning and Bobby Davis.
Santa Paula Police Chief Steve McLean will remember another officer who died eight years after the Newhall Incident: Deputy Arthur Pelino, the resident deputy for the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department in Gorman, was shot and killed by a mentally deranged suspect in 1978.
Following the ceremony and tributes, Hart Hall will remain open for guests to enjoy live entertainment by several members of the Western Music Association California Chapter, including John Bergstrom, Gency Brown and Jason “Buck” Corbett.
For more information about this free event, contact the Hart Museum office at 661-254-4584 or Bobbi Jean Bell of OutWest Boutique and Cultural Center at 661-255-7087.
About Hart Park and Museum
The William S. Hart Park and Museum is the former retirement home of the famed silent film actor and director who produced a series of hit Western movies in the early 1900s. His beautiful Spanish colonial revival style mansion–now the Museum–exhibits a collection of western artwork by noted artists Charles M. Russell, Frederic Remington and Joe de Yong, as well as mementos from early Hollywood, personal furnishings and effects and artifacts representing multiple Native American cultures.
The Park and Museum are currently open for spring hours. The park is open seven days a week until 5 p.m. The Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. It is closed on Monday and Tuesday.
About Friends of Hart Park and Museum
The Friends of Hart Park is a nonprofit that supports the park and museum facilities. Volunteers raise the funds that maintain the mansion, help with the animals in the park and restore the artifacts. For more information, click here.