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'Annandale' History Reprinted to Raise Funds for Hestia House


PASADENA — Within its pages are the sepia-tinted memories of decades gone by:

Photographs show barren, rural land where busy thoroughfares now exist. Streets and parks now bear the names of early settlers mentioned in the text. And local residents are quoted at length about childhood memories of an era past.

Yet "Within the Vale of Annandale" has a modern-day mission.

Written by amateur historian Donald Crocker, the book was first printed in 1968 to raise money for the Boy Scouts. Now, 22 years later, it has been reprinted to raise money for women seeking to change their lives, the women of the Hestia House.

The house is a 5-year-old project of the Pasadena-Foothill Valley YWCA. Located in central Pasadena, it provides temporary shelter for up to 15 women and children who would otherwise be on the street, said Sharon Larman, president of the YWCA board.

The shelter provides "assistance to help the person get their life back on track and become self-sufficient and not be a burden to the community," Larman said. "It gives them some breathing room and some structure."

The structure is fairly rigorous, said Hestia House Director Cynthia Caughey. Residents are required to attend individual therapy and evening programs on parenting and job seeking. Curfews must be observed and residents during their time at the shelter must save 80% of their income, Caughey said.

With nine staff members and its intensive program, the Hestia House is considered "the Hilton of shelters," Caughey said, but she added that those who are admitted must be motivated to change their lives.

"We feel it's the only way to make a difference," Caughey said. Yet the intensive aid comes at a cost of $170,000 annually. To help defray those costs, the YWCA board hit upon the idea of reprinting and selling copies of Crocker's book. The board hopes to garner $20,000 by selling the book for $12.50 a copy.

Even though an amateur effort and a labor of love by Crocker, the book is considered an authoritative historical source on the West Pasadena and Eagle Rock area, said YWCA board member Augusta Parrington.

Crocker, who now lives in Rolling Hills, said that during the 1960s he lived next door to the San Rafael Winery barn, a photo of which adorns the cover of his book.

He approached the barn's owner at the time, Milton Winston, and discovered that Winston had a cache of old photos. Intrigued, Crocker began hunting for more photos, questioning elderly residents in the area until he had a unique and sizeable collection. The book followed as an offshoot of the photos.

"I got the pictures before I did the writing," Crocker said. "I thought somebody else would write the book."

Crocker took his book title from a quotation under the Campbell-Johnston coat of arms, the family of Scotch and English heritage that owned the 2,000-acre San Rafael Ranch that contained the winery. Robert Alexander Campbell Johnston used the name Annandale because it remined him of his ancestor's home in Annandale, Dumphriesshire, Scotland.

The book is on sale at the YWCA office at 78 N. Marengo Ave., the Annandale Golf Club, Jacob Maarse Florists, the Kitchen for Exploring Foods, the Pasadena Historical Society Bookstore, the Gamble House Bookstore and Jurgensen's Grocery Co. all in Pasadena.

It also may be purchased at the Tender Treasures gift store in Montrose and the Occidental College Bookstore.

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