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March 5
1864 - L.A. Star newspaper report: County supervisors have accepted Beale's Cut as complete [story]
Beale's Cut


Screen Shot 2015-12-11 at 1.02.57 PM[KHTS] – The Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society will celebrate 40 years of preservation this weekend.

The Historical Society was incorporated in 1975 but began meeting a year earlier, holding its first meeting at the Old Orchard Elementary School in 1974.

The mission of the society is to stimulate public interest in the history of the Santa Clarita Valley, to collect and preserve facts and artifacts pertinent to the area and to inform the public of the Santa Clarita’s rich history, according to the mission statement.

One of the first and most significant accomplishments of the Historical Society was the rescue of and transport of the Southern Pacific’s Saugus Train Station.

“That was very significant because we were losing all of our historical buildings,” said Evan Decker, executive director of the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society. “Santa Clarita was going to become a big bustling town without any hometown roots. Now we do.”

Originally located near the Saugus Cafe, the station was relocated to Heritage Junction on June 24th and 25th in 1980.

To celebrate the fete of 40 years of preservation, the Historical Society also held a Christmas open house on Dec. 5 at the Heritage Junction, said Decker.

The event featured Santa Claus, animal blessings, crafts for kids, historic home tours and real reindeer.

In addition to preserving Santa Clarita’s most significant historical artifacts, the society also takes the time to highlight more somber aspects of the Santa Clarita Valley’s history.

Every year, the historical society holds the St. Francis Dam Lecture and Tour. The lecture features the cause and aftermath of the St. Francis Dam disaster.

Patrons later board buses and are shuttled to the disaster site where they are told about the former landscape and view the remaining ruins of the dam.

The Historical Society faces challenges in their preservation of Santa Clarita Valley history. One of the biggest challenges is overcoming an unengaged public.

“95 percent of the valley doesn’t look back and appreciate the history,” Decker said. “There is only a select handful of us that appreciate the history of the Santa Clarita Valley.”

One of the future projects that the historical society is currently working on is transforming the Pardee House into its visitors center and museum.

The train station which currently serves as the Historical Society’s museum and visitors center is open weekend from 1 to 4 p.m.

The Quester houses are also open on the first Sunday of every month from 1 to 4 p.m.

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2 Comments

  1. Edward Perea says:

    I am Edward Perea a descendant of Ignacio Perea of 1800, My grandfather was Jose Duran Perea. There was a list of our relatives that I’m looking at and we were wondering why our names were omitted from the descendant list of Ignacio Perea. My sister was also omitted my the list,Virginia Perea Amezcua. We are not sure who made this list up, but since are the remaining descendants why were we left out.

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