Background: I served as a volunteer at the Bolton Hall Museum, first by doing data entry for several years and then becoming a docent too. The old stone building was designed and built by George harris, to serve as a meeting hall for the Little Landers, a group of people who sought a parcel of their own land on which to build a home and grow their own food, instead of paying rent somewhere. The building was eventually saved from being destroyed, saved by the Little landers Historical Society, who also then took on the responsibility for renovating and staffing the building as a historical society museum.
Here is what the disintegrating building looked like in 1973, seen from the back, as viewed from my apartment's kitchen window in the adjacent building.
Through the efforts of the Little Landers Historical Society, the building was declared the historical cultural monument No.2.
These were the men who were key people in the creation of the Little Landers and the clubhouse building which now sereves as the BHM museum; the designer and builder, George Harris, is the one on far left. some of Harris' tools are on display as shown in this photo.
Here is the front of the stone building serving as the museum. The building has survived several large earthquakes including the Sylmar and Northridge quakes, but a sign on the door advises it is an unreinforced building and therefore take care in quakes.
Here is the front of the Bolton Hall Museum as it appeared during the celebration of completion of new landscaping of its surrounding park area.
Here is the cornerstone of Bolton Hall.
Inside the front entranceway, here is the engraved stone saying "Designed and Built by George Harris 1913"
One of the features of the building is the excellent stone work by George Harris, who, it was said, rolled around each stone to see which way it liked to lay, before using it in the wall. Very little mortar was used, with such detailed selection of the stones for each location, as visible in this example.
The side enterance.
Steps from the street to the side entrance.
Here are more photos of the south side of the building.
The more secluded north side of the building; and the bell tower as seen from that side.
The trees, flowers, and landscaping around the building.
Inside the building are the historical artifacts. The trunk was from one of the original settlers of the Little Landers; one of the changing exhibitions was honoring the military from the area; and speakers from the Sunland drive In movie theater when it was made into a shopping area.
The park area around the museum underwent a major landscaping, and a fine celebration was held at its re-opening.
An interesting mural was always on the wall of the little store across from the museum.
Here is where I did volunteer data entry for many years.
The large apartment building in the background of this photo is where I lived in 1973 while working at JPL.
This is how the apartment building looked in recent times. Compare these with photos taken by my parents in their visit to me here MDCline1973tripTujunga
And here is what the building looked like from my apartment's kitchen window there, as seen from the back in 1973, as photographed by my parents. I merely saw it then as a disintegrating old building, boarded up, which almost exemplified the state of my life as I felt it then, freshly without wife or home anymore; I was quite amazed when I discovered that the old building had been preserved and built into a museum, and then I became a volunteer there for several years, some 30 years later, prior to moving to Ephrata, WA.
Copyright © 2008 James E. D. Cline. Permission granted to reproduce providing inclusion of a link back to this site and acknowledgment of the author and concept designer James E. D. Cline.