Some local high school students have become the first graduates of the Lanterman Historical Museum Foundation’s Virtual History Internship Program, which trained interns to conduct and record oral history interviews with La Cañada Flintridge residents. The recorded interviews will be permanently archived in the Lanterman House archives, according to Laura Verlaque, executive director of the foundation. The program, which was conducted remotely, was open to students in grades 9-12 interested in preserving local history. Interns completed training in research methods, interview techniques, how to process and preserve the interview, and legal and ethical guidelines. They then each chose a member of the community to interview and used a free recording app on their cellphone to record the conversation. Interviewees came from a wide range of backgrounds and discussed diverse local topics, including education and schools, growing up in LCF, local history and businesses, diversity, politics and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lanterman House Archives, which preserves the history of the Crescenta/Cañada Valley, is inviting local residents to share their experiences living through the current COVID-19 pandemic in a new digital archival collection titled, “Documenting COVID-19 in the Crescenta/Cañada Valley.”
“By sharing your stories of how you and your family are experiencing the current ‘new normal,’ you can help future generations understand the reality of what life was like during this remarkable time in our history,” said Julie Yamashita, the Lanterman House archivist who launched the project. “These accounts will be an important record for the future.”
Residents can submit their stories through an online form, accessible via the website (lantermanhouse.org). There are two forms — one for adults and one for schoolchildren — each consisting of about 15 questions pertinent to documenting and understanding how the virus has impacted local life. Residents can choose to answer the questions in as much detail as they like. The forms can be accessed from a pc, laptop, phone, or tablet.
Once a resident completes the form and clicks the “submit” button, a copy of their answers is sent to the Lanterman House. Residents can also submit artwork, photos or other media to the collection by emailing email@example.com. Yamashita is planning to create a digital collection of all the stories and hopes one day to mount an exhibition presenting these stories.
“I think we all realize that this is a unique moment in time,” said Laura Verlaque, director of the Lanterman Historical Museum Foundation. “Many organizations throughout the country are doing their best to document the experience. We felt the need at the Lanterman House to ensure our community’s voice is preserved.”
The Lanterman House is a bungalow-style historic house museum in La Cañada Flintridge. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the house was commissioned by Dr. Roy Lanterman in 1915 and was built by A.L. Haley, who was a prominent builder of both residences and commercial buildings in the Los Angeles area. The Lanterman House also features a historical archive of the Crescenta/Cañada Valley. The archive is available for research by the public. For more information, visit lantermanhouse.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The strikingly well-preserved Lanterman House provides a vivid snapshot of life in La Cañada Flintridge in 1915.
With help from investments by the city of La Cañada Flintridge, the staff has kept the house in pristine condition, maintaining the integrity of the structure and decor of one of the few surviving pre-1920 residences in LCF.
Now Executive Director Laura Verlaque has turned her attention to updating the inventory of all the original artifacts inside the house for the first time since 1993, when the onetime home opened as a public museum.
About 95% of the artifacts inside belonged to the Lanterman family and “you cannot replace the authenticity of that,” said Verlaque, who took over as executive director in April. Continue reading “Work Reveals Lanterman House’s Original Look”
When Laura Verlaque takes over as the executive director of the Lanterman House museum on Monday, April 9, it will be with a real appreciation for the history of the place — including the famous family who built it as well as those who, over the past quarter-century, have labored to turn the home into a community “jewel.”
“The past 25 years, they’ve had the enormous task of preserving and restoring this house and I think they did it beautifully,” Verlaque said. “The heavy lifting is all done, now my role is to maybe dig a little deeper with some of the details.”
Verlaque spent the past 12 years at the Pasadena Museum of History — from which Melissa Patton, the Lanterman House’s only other permanent executive director, also came. Continue reading “Lanterman House Gets New Director”