By Jason KUROSU
Bolton Hall, the second oldest monument in the city of Los Angeles, was dedicated in August 1913. During its century long history, the building served a myriad of functions including as a public library, a venue for worship services, the city hall for Tujunga and, most recently, a museum of local history since 1980.
On Saturday, Aug. 10 – the one hundredth anniversary of Dedication Day – a crowd of Tujunga residents in both contemporary and historical garb gathered in the afternoon beneath the shade of the trees and Bolton Hall itself. It was the rededication ceremony, hosted by the Little Landers Historical Society.
Speakers honored the historical significance of Bolton Hall, a building that nearly didn’t make it to its hundredth year, considered for demolition before it was eventually renovated to become the current Bolton Hall museum.
The community’s dedication to the building was evident in the preservation efforts made by the Little Landers Historical Society. Poems have been written in tribute, including one read aloud by Sunland-Tujunga Poet Laureate Dorothy Skiles and another penned by Tujunga resident Mary Scullion, which read in part to the “proud lady/In your dress of stone.”
Councilmember Felipe Fuentes was among the speakers.
“Today we’re here to recognize what I think of as a tremendous accomplishment, not just for this area but for Los Angeles,” said Fuentes, who presented a resolution to Sheri Smith of the Little Landers Historical Society, recognizing the building’s historical value as well as declaring Aug. 10 to be Bolton Hall Day.
A number of presentations were made in honor of the monument, with local politicians and their representatives presenting resolutions from Fuentes, Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, Senator Carol Liu, Congressman Adam Schiff and Assemblyman Raul Bocanegra.
Lloyd Hitt, a member of Little Landers and the chairperson of the Centennial Committee, unveiled yet another commemorative item honoring Bolton Hall.
“As we celebrate the rededication of historic Bolton Hall,” said Hitt, “we wish to recognize the fact that the National Registry of Historic Places, America’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation, recognized Bolton Hall back in 1971.”
Hitt then revealed the official plaque acknowledging Bolton Hall’s place amongst the country’s historic landmarks.
In conclusion, Joe Decenzo, a former poet laureate of Sunland-Tujunga, portrayed professional photographer and Tujunga resident J. Harry Lamson, describing his life and the history of photography. Lamson lived at 7139 Greeley St. and took several photographs of the people of Tujunga, including a picture from Aug. 10, 1913, the first Dedication Day, in which a crowd of Tujunga residents gathered on the steps of Bolton Hall. Though that first picture was taken at night, lit solely by headlights from the street, the crowd recreated the picture anyway, lit well by afternoon sunlight.