Category Archives: Happenings in the Park

Our Next Sunset Campfire, 3 Weeks From Today!

Our next Sunset Campfire on Sept. 18 at 6:30pm here at LASHP


Well as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end, or in the case a seven month hiatus. Yes indeed, come out September 18th at 6:30pm for our last Summer Sunset Campfire of the 2010 season. Not to worry though because Sunset Campfires will return in April 2011, but until then, make sure you come out to our final campfire for the 2010 season to satiate your need for local history and roasted marshmallows.

Like always we will be meeting in the center of Los Angeles State Historic Park at 6:30pm. Feel free to come early and bring a picnic dinner to enjoy in the park prior to the start of the campfire. We will sing songs, learn about the nature and history that surrounds us and of course we will be roasting marshmallows. If you have any questions email Thomas at tcarroll@parks.ca.gov or give him a call at (three two three) 441-8819. And of course, this event to free and fun for the whole family.

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Sunset Campfire!


One week from today, we will be having our August Sunset Campfire and its shaping up to be tons of fun for the whole family. Our archeological dig is still in full force, so we will be talking about that, singing songs, and of course, roasting marshmallows. So come out on August 21st, at 6:30pm, and meet in the center of the park. This event is free and open to the public and bring a picnic dinner along if you like. Contact Thomas at (three two three) 441-8819 with any questions. Hope to see you there.

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Arch Dig 2010!

The back hoe begins to move dirt.


With the rise in temperatures, summer is upon us, and summer here at Los Angeles State Historic Park means archaeological digs! Some of you may remember last November’s dig and last June’s dig, both of which explored the remnants of car shops left by the Southern Pacific Railroad. For this dig they are working about 150 feet south of where they dug before, this time they hope learn more about the foundation of the roundhouse (a building in which trains can be moved with ease from garage back to train tracks). As the dig continues, we will post more photos of their exciting discoveries.

Mike Sampson measures the height of the roundhouse foundation.



An exposed clay pipe!

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Introducing Our Weather Station


We are very excited to announce that we just installed our brand new weather station here at Los Angeles State Historic Park. Now we can begin to understand the various microclimates and weather patterns of the park and surrounding areas. We are currently installing software that will automatically update a ticker on the blog with the current weather, but in the mean time, we will be tweeting the current weather of the park. As I typed this, we are receiving 13 mph winds coming from the south, exciting stuff! Keep checking our tweeter for weather updates and we will let you know as soon as we get the software installed.

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Wildflowers and Wetlands

Spring must be on the way because we are starting to see some spring wildflowers poking through the surface here at the park. Not only that, but our seasonal wetland is in full force just north of the developed area of the park.

Bachelor's Button, a wildflower found here at LASHP.

Our seansonal wetland at Los Angeles State Historic Park.

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More News From “The Dig”

Well Mike Sampson and his team have returned once again to LASHP, this time opening up the ground 200 feet south of their original dig. Mike excitedly explained to me that the bricks pictured below are the foundation for the round house, circa 1870’s (the various sheds where locomotives could be worked on).

Look by his right foot for the exposed brick foundation

Along side the foundation, various vitrified fire bricks were discovered. From what Mr. Sampson told me, he thinks this bricks once lined the coal burning oven that drove steam trains which would have been serviced in this exact location.

Vitrified Fire Brick

While searching for the foundation, the layers of dirt were subsequently exposed and I learned today that the line of gray that you see in the photograph below is made up of track bedding (the gravel that was laid down prior to the actually train track) from the 20th century. Anything below that dirt line is from the 19th century or earlier.

And finally here is a photograph of some broken glass I noticed in the dig site. I am not sure of its historical significance but I wanted to share the picture.

So remember, we aren’t called Los Angeles State Historic Park for nothing. 😉

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We Want Coffee!

Well you may remember our post last February discussing the future our little food stand at the south end of the park. For those that may be wondering if it will be opening anytime soon, especially since it got a new paint job a few months ago, we do not have a solid answer. We are very hopeful that with the next few months “On Spring” will be open for business and create a new side to Los Angeles State Historic Park.

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The New Paint Job

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The Archaeologists Have Returned!

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The CA State Parks archaeologists have returned to L.A. State Historic Park to continue exploring the site they exposed last june in hopes of getting a better understanding of the rich history of LASHP. Michael Sampson and his team have enlisted the help of a back hoe to uncover a foundation of bricks that may run as far as 70 ft north of where the first picture in this post was taken. The current spot where they are working is the old foundation of one of the car shops that were built when the Southern Pacific first arrived here in 1876.

Michael Sampson uncovering a possible light post foundation.

Michael Sampson uncovering a possible light post foundation.

When I spoke with Mike today, he told me that the grey square he is dusting off in the photograph above was possibly a foundation for a large light pole that may have been installed sometime in mid 20th century. He was not sure but hoped that as they uncovered more foundation, that he and his team may be able to gather more clues.

Brendon uncovers a corner of the foundation.

Brendon uncovers a corner of the foundation.

If you are interested in seeing a real live archeological dig in action, come down to Los Angeles State Historic Park and look for the back hoe. Remember, though, that these are professionals at work, who would be happy to talk about what they are doing, but please be respectful.

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