Exploring Los Angeles, this time historic Chatsworth

I’m always on the lookout for things to do and see in LA. I have to say, these days Facebook isn’t much fun anymore, but it is the place where I find out about this kind of activity, so I still check it out.

There was a flyer to visit the Historic Hill-Palmer cottage, a vestige of homesteading in Chatsworth. so I went.

I wasn’t expecting much, but that’s ok, because then I was pleasantly surprised. the cottage was very non descript. Turns out that the museum building used to the golf course office and was built in the 1970s. Not much information in the museum, except for this:A quilt made in 1988 for the centennial of Chatsworth. This really caught my eye and I wanted to spend time really studying the book. But the volunteer wouldn’t leave me alone and kept on talking about what interested her. The one interesting piece of information she did give me is that this is the first quilt that Zena Thorpe worked on. Yes, she was in the book. ¬†Zena in a legend, when I first went to the SFVQA there was this rockstar Zena, she was from Chatsworth England and had moved to Chatsworth CA. Go look at her work, you probably won’t be coming back to this little blog anytime soon.

Inside the cottage there¬†were better docents, they shared the history of the area and yes, the Hill family and then the daughter Minnie Palmer, homesteaded here. I always thought of the homesteading act as something that happened in the midwest. I never really thought that California needed that act, gold brought miners to the state and many smart people came and farmed the land so they could supply the miners and actually make much more money. Who knows, maybe they came under the homestead act?Kudos to the Chastworth Historic society, for saving this home and turning it into a museum. Like most of these museums, a lot of the original items are long gone, so they fill the house with ‘period’ pieces they find. This old wood burning stove is a treasure.They put quilts on the beds! I doubt this is an early 20th-century quilt. Yes, it’s a log cabin, yes, I adore those pompoms used to tie the quilt together.It just looks too new, but the fabrics are not quilting cotton. Looks more like wool suiting fabric. Very cool.This is probably an early 20th-century log cabin quilt. It is falling apart, the fabrics are a mix. Shirting, silk, gingham. Much more authentic to the period.Someone donated a spinning wheel. Not because Minnie spun fabric, but because, it fits with the theme.This Home treadle sewing machine was probably like something she would have owned.So beautiful for a simple workhorse.The information plaques are really there for the children who come through with their schools. Which is a very good thing, everyone should learn the history of their area, especially when these days Chatsworth is simply suburbia. I do enjoy the mention of crochet work.No, Minnie’s father didn’t make this, that pearl cotton is too new. But it would have been fun to see what he did make. With no electricity or running water, it’s nice to know he found please in making something delicate with his hands – a real break from working a farm.

Leah

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