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Presentations for members and the public

We hold free quarterly history-related programs for our members and the public four times a year, with knowledgeable speakers like historian Paul Ayers and building biographer Tim Gregory or fascinating subjects like the Leon Ricks collection of photos showing Altadena in the 60s and 70s.

Recent programs

Robert Owens: Altadena’s Early Black Entrepreneur

Monday, January 23, 2023
Altadena Community Center

Erik Hillard, a local outdoorsman and trail builder, shares the story of Robert Owens, for whom El Prieto Canyon was named. Owens, born into slavery in 1806, became the wealthiest Black man in Los Angeles County.

The Double Life and Explosive Death of Rocketry Pioneer Jack Parsons

Monday, October 17, 2022
Altadena Community Center

Former Altadena Town Council member and journalist Justin Chapman discusses his research and articles on Jack Parsons, whose pioneering rocketry work helped lead to the founding of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and who also practiced Black Magic at night.

Watch these presentations on our YouTube Channel.

H4 Juneteenth Black History Program

Ellen Garrison Clark Celebration
AHS raised funds to purchase a marker for the grave of Black civil rights activist Ellen Garrison Clark. The video, available on YouTube (link to YouTube) captures the program celebrating her life and work.

Book signing: Letters from the Sphinx
Paul Rollins, author of Letters from the Sphinx discussed his new book about the William Allen family, early Altadena pioneers, at the Altadena Main Library.

Getting Around in Old Altadena
Author Richard Bale showed images from his unpublished manuscript tracing the history of transportation from early days in Altadena through the1940s and 50s.