First published in the Feb. 16 print issue of the Outlook Valley Sun.
My husband and I visited Southern California over the holidays. We met someone in Pasadena who suggested we might enjoy touring the Lanterman House. We headed right over.
Though we didn’t identify ourselves until the very end of our visit, we recently retired from careers with the National Park Service, primarily in Yellowstone and at our National Training Center, teaching employees to preserve historic properties and tell their stories.
We arrived on-site unannounced and after the scheduled tour times. We hoped we might be able to get a quick peek at the home and some written material on it.
We were treated to much more. We spoke with a woman who enthusiastically greeted us, showed us the film and exhibits. She presented a concise talk that provided the context of the house within the area’s history. She then offered to give us a tour. We learned that she was the executive director, Laura Verlaque, and we were delighted that she would take so much time with us.
Soon, another staff member entered the house. This was docent Candy Dougherty. We were very impressed with her interpretive skills as she helped us feel like we knew the family and gained an understanding of their saga. Having grown up in La Cañada/Flintridge, her perspective was not only professional, but personal.
We picked up the Lanterman House newsletter and were highly impressed with the activities it offers. In addition to tours and school programs, Lanterman offers an inclusive lecture series on the city’s history, internships for students to gain professional experience, information on current research, etc. If you haven’t been there lately, you might want to make a visit and get involved.
Be assured, this is a small site with a state-of-the-art array of programs.
Carol Shively and Roger Anderson