Stevenson Ranch Kids Visit Saugus Station
By Patti Rasmussen
Third-graders from Stevenson Ranch Elementary School assemble for a tour of the Saugus Train Station at Heritage Junction with SCV Historical Society board member Patti Rasmussen. Photo by Dan Watson/The Signal
Signal Staff Writer
Friday, February 23, 2001
tevenson Ranch Elementary School third-graders had a chance to visit the home of silent movie star William S. Hart and tour nine other historical structures at the Saugus Train Station in Heritage Junction both located in the William S. Hart Regional Park.
More than 80 students and their parents took the three-hour tour and were fascinated with the memorabilia on display and the architectural style of all the homes.
"This is my first time here. I had no idea all these homes were here," said parent volunteer Sherry Doerschel, a four-year resident of the Santa Clarita Valley. "My husband is in television and I didn't even know Bill Hart was an actor. I can't wait to bring my husband here."
Third-grade teacher Tricia Fossa arranged the tour with the SCV Historical Society and the Hart Mansion because her students are studying local history.
"We are so incredibly lucky to have so much history in our valley," Fossa said.
"Both tours were curriculum enriching and the volunteer docents were wonderful," he said.
As students wandered through the Saugus Train Station museum, they had a chance to play with replicated toys many pioneer children might have used. In the train master's office, students learned several methods of communication, including a telegraph machine.
Amy Fujimoto (left) and Snighda Kamarsu listen to explanations of the artifacts inside the train conductor's office at the Saugus Station. Photo by Dan Watson/The Signal
As an added bonus, volunteers working on restoration of the 26-year-old Ramona chapel recreation at Rancho Camulos allowed the students and their parents a first-hand look at what is involved in restoring buildings. Several buildings at Heritage Junction are in different stages of restoration, all manned by volunteers.
The Historical Society plans to use one of the homes, the Pardee Home, as a visitor's center and expanded museum.
Student Blake Borland said he really enjoyed listening to the ghost story about a woman named Martha who once lived in the Newhall Ranch House.
John Dlugosz said he thought the station master was a busy person and his office contained so many "neat things."
Both Amanda Bloch and Branden Pistone liked the Hart mansion and all the animals in the barnyard.
After the tours, Stevenson Ranch students brought out picnic baskets and playground equipment to take advantage of a break in the rainy weather and enjoy a little recreation outside of school.
Rachel Barbour was especially enjoying the outdoors.
"It's nice to get away from school and have lunch in the park," she said.
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