Santa Clarita Valley History In Pictures

Brass Bell, Mounted

Canyon Country Lions Club

Brass bell, mounted as a trophy, Canyon Country Lions Club. Brass, wood (probably oak), aluminum. Overall height: 11.5 inches; would have been 12 inches but Lions Club emblem topper is bent back. Base is 11x11.5x3.25 inches.

Donated by Eric Jackson to the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society, October 4, 2019. Jackson purchased it earlier in 2019 at an estate sale from the estate of Lions Club member Dan Bledsoe (1934-2018), who ran a Texaco and Shell station at Solemint Junction. Excerpt from Bledsoe's obituary:

Dan served in the Army and the Army reserves from 1957 to 1963 serving at the Nike base in Santa Clarita, CA. ... Dan spent most of his life enjoying his work in the automotive industry, owning a Texaco and Shell gas station, Valley Towing, and working as a mechanic for Veluzat Motion Picture Rentals where he worked on cars for "The Dukes of Hazzard" TV show. He spent the last 24 years in tire sales at Daniel's Tires, retiring in late 2017.

The Mint Canyon Lions Club organized January 9, 1948, at Andre's Cafe on Sierra Highway in Forrest Park. The new Lions Club raised funds (see below) to erect the Mint Canyon Community Building at 17766 Sierra Highway — which eventually became the Santa Clarita Elks Lodge, B.P.O.E. 2379.

Further research is needed, but it stands to reason that the Mint Canyon Lions Club changed its name to Canyon Country Lions Club in the 1970s — just as the Mint Canyon Chamber of Commerce had done. (The name "Canyon Country" didn't exist locally when the Mint Canyon organizations formed.) Both names — Mint Canyon Lions and Canyon Country Lions — appear interchangeably in The Signal during the 1970s; it seems the name change was slow to catch on. The club used the Mint Canyon Community Building both before and after it became the Elks Lodge.

No mention of the club is made after 1992.

Click to enlarge.

C.M. Brown Heads Mint Lions Club.

Thirty prominent residents of Mint and Soledad canyons became charter members of the new Mint Canyon Lions Club, which was organized at a dinner meeting Friday at Andre's Cafe, with 52 guests present.

Charles M. Brown, prominent resident of the canyon, and a trustee of the William S. Hart High School District, was selected as the club's first president. Other officers chosen were L.L. Olsen, first vice-president; Harry Humphrey, second vice-president; Frank M. Schwerdtfeger, secretary-treasurer; Charles L. Dillenbeck, Lion Tamer; Robert L. Mox, tail twister; Carl L. Baker and Percy Hanson, directors for long term; Howard A. Blackwell and Cliff Kaufman, directors for short term.

The Newhall Lions Club acted as sponsor for the new club, and many members of the Newhall club were on hand for the organization ceremonies.

It was announced that a Charter Night party will take place at the French Village in Newhall the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 4.

The list of charter members at the organization meeting follows: Ralph Ammerman, Lilburn H. Ashford, Carl L. Baker, Howard Alvin Blackwell, Andre Borgeaud, Charles M. Brown, Donald L. Brunton, John E. Burley, Thomas C. Cox, Charles L. Dillenbeck, Harry Drury, Willis J. Dyer, L.A. Edwards, Clyde W. Fraze, Percy Hanson, Alexander E. Harris, Harry Humphrey, Cliff Kaufman, Maurice Martin, Vic Morgan, Bob Mox, L.L. Olsen, F.M. Schwerdtfeger. H.L. Shanks, G.W. Sherman, Donald F. Westcott, Arthur R. Whitmeyer, Charles E. Woodward, Walter W. Work, Jim Wright.

Click to enlarge.

HB1905: Download original images here. Digital images by Leon Worden. Artifact in SCV Historical Society collection.
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