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Tastes of Yesteryear

Ice cream social provides chance to learn history of Santa Clarita Valley.

September 15, 2000|RICHARD KAHLENBERG | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Homemade ice cream and history will be served up Sunday during the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society's annual meeting and ice cream social at Heritage Park in Newhall.

The event is held each year to help persuade people to visit Heritage Park and learn more about the history of the Santa Clarita Valley. During the event, a team of junior high school history and English students will sign their recently published book, "Santa Clarita Valley Pictorial History 1876-1926."

Tom Frew, a retired industrial purchasing agent, has been making ice cream from fresh fruits and heavy cream for 35 years. Flavors on tap Sunday will be vanilla, strawberry and peach. The ice cream is free.

"I use a motor until it bogs down when the ice cream thickens, then I have to hand crank it for another 100 turns," he said.

In addition to the ice cream, visitors can enjoy the time-travel atmosphere of Heritage Park, which has been created by moving eight historic Santa Clarita Valley buildings, including a railroad station, to the site.

A traditional Western-music ensemble, the Saugus Station, named in honor of that historic structure, will perform throughout the afternoon.

The buildings and the local pioneer families who lived and worked in them are among the subjects covered in a recently published book of historical essays by Sierra Vista Junior High students.

Volunteers from classes taught by Phil Scorza, Frank Wright and Randy Parker, using research materials and printing funds provided by the historical society, have produced a survey of local events from 1876-1925.

Among those on hand Sunday to autograph and sell copies of the $14.95 book will be student essayist Tracie Bontempo.

"It was hard," she said, referring to the research for the book. "We had to search through everything. There weren't even books [to consult]."

The students relied on historical documents, old photos, newspapers, field trips and interviews with descendants of local pioneers (including Tom Frew, whose grandfather was a pioneering local blacksmith).

Other student writers expected Sunday are Felicia Powell, Alana Rodriguez, Melissa Deckers, Chelsey Wright, Summre Gill-Curry, Nicole McCraw and Kent Burgdorfer.

Topics they wrote about include early local ranchers, oil drillers, gold miners, outlaws, railroaders and movie stars.

BE THERE

Ice Cream Social, Sunday from 2-4 p.m. Heritage Junction, 24107 San Fernando Road, Newhall (next to Hart Regional Park). (661) 254-1275.

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