Sunday, December 22, 2013

Homestead Museum not far from LA

Last Sunday afternoon nephew Nate and family arranged for us to see some nearby history.  Nate and Angela live in Whittier but up over the mountain lies the Workman house that was built in the 1840's.  Reid and Amy were still in town so they joined us.

Nate arranged for us to see a Christmas rendition program of  the Workman house.  Also on the property, we saw La Casa Neuva and El Campo Santo Cemetery.

First the Workman House.  William and Nicolasa Workman built the original adobe home in the 1840's.  After a lot of hard work and good fortune,  they became wealthy with their growing ranch and estate and expanded the home in the 1870's.  We toured it first.

The tour for the Christmas program included our leader and 5-6 'in character' docents who described various periods of time, situations and items in the home.  
Inside the Workman House, we saw a demonstration of how to make "Ribbon Doll" aka "Wagon Train dolls.
The upstairs of the home was not open, but the tour continued over to the La Casa Nueva which was quite impressive.

One of Workman's daughters married a Temple. Then one of his grandchildren, Walter P. Temple, became wealthy from oil and built La Casa Nueva.  Through a long and winding list of financial reversals and family interventions, another grandson took over La Casa Nueva which thrived for a time.

We were met near the front door by the milkman and the grounds keeper.
This home and estate were built in the 1920s and the grounds keeper pointed to the electric strings of lights that were on hand and in-use back then.

Inside the entry way we met another guide and took notice of the use of arches.  The wood floors, tile work and stained glass windows were beautiful.
Of note, she work stockings with seems down the back.
Remember those?

And we toured other parts of the 14,000 sq foot, Spanish Colonial building.
I loved the bear rug in front of the fire place.
And the carved wood under the beams
that was further evidence of their wealth; and the designs on their windows
in the music room.

Next, we walked through the beautiful grounds, saw the 'teepee' office Mr Temple used, and more of the stringed lights.
Then we stopped for a few minutes in the Museum reception room for some holiday cookies and cider.
Nice touch - volunteers making it happen.

Then, though it was getting dark, we made it over to the El Campo Santo Cemetery, one of the oldest private cemeteries in California.

One of the park rangers opened it up for us which was 'above and beyond' so to speak.  Very nice of him.
And even turned on his flashlight.

We learned a little bit more of the history of the greater Los Angeles area in the 1840's, 1870's and were interested to stroll through the La Casa Nueva which was decked out as it might have been in its heydey - the 1920's.

That's all for this edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles.  Thanks for joining us!  Until next time...