The Hale House.
When John and I were first dating we once stopped by the Heritage Square Museum. It was closed, but we always meant to go back. A peek down the quiet avenue was a glimpse into history.
Every time I drive by on the Pasadena Freeway and see the Victorian spires peeking out over the rooftops of Montecito Heights, I wonder: What's in there? Last Sunday I found out. If I were allowed only one word to describe what's in there, I would say "enchantment."
Heritage Square Museum is a mini-neighborhood of eight buildings, all built between 1876 and 1899 and all moved from their previous locations. (Plus there's a pretty cool old train car.) The five houses, one train depot, one carriage barn and one church are in different phases of preservation. Some are fully restored and furnished, some are still being studied and planned, almost all can be toured. Most of them are examples of Victorian and Edwardian architectural styles now rare in southern California.
Close-up of the train car, a recent museum acquisition.
Originated in 1969 as a haven for the last two remaining structures from Bunker Hill, Heritage Square Museum serves "to preserve, restore and interpret" structures that were saved from demolition and transported to this spot. Three of them (the Longfellow-Hastings Octagon House, the Carriage Barn and the Lincoln Avenue Methodist Church) are from Pasadena.
Looking toward the Valley Knudsen Garden Residence from the porch of Hale House.
The original Bunker Hill buildings are no longer there. Just seven months after they were moved to Heritage Square they burned in a vandal's fire. (I encourage you to enjoy the Bunker Hill links. They are amazing.)
I took 271 photos on my tour. I'll post more over the next few days. I promise not to post them all.
How many times have you driven by Heritage Square Museum and wondered? Just go. Be enchanted. And I recommend you take a date.
Part of a collection of antique manhole covers at the museum.