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Centennial Heritage Museum
Periodic Newsletter - Corrected
April 2008
In This Issue  

Quick Links  
  • Centennial Heritage Museum Home
  • Weddings
  • Victorian Tea Society
  • Centennial Kids

A Few of Our Friends and Supporters  

Beacon Concrete

Behr Process Corporation

Option One Mortgage

Join our list  
Join our mailing list!

Dear CHM Newsletter Subscriber

My apologies for sending this newsletter a second time. I made an error the first time that broke all the links in the text. This one should work better. Sharon

The Centennial Heritage Museum is rocking and rolling with activity. We have embarked upon several construction and cleanup projects during the past couple of months, and the dust still hasn't cleared. But the pace of the work has eased for now, and several of the larger projects are done or nearly so. For those who have visited before, a great time for a return trip to see all the marvelous changes. And if you haven't ever been here, you're missing even more than you were before.

We have some exciting upcoming events to tell you about., including a sneak peak at our big annual fundraiser in September. We also want to share some wonderful volunteer projects and to introduce some new members of our team and some exciting new roles for some of our long-term members.

We hope you will join us for one or more of our upcoming events, or just drop in for a visit during our public hours: Wednesday through Friday 1:00 - 5:00, Sunday 11:00 - 3:00. See you soon.

Mother's Day Tea
A "Truly English" Tea by the Victorian Tea Society
Letter with message "Mother's Day Tea - May 10, 2008"

Join the Victorian Tea Society at a traditional English tea in honor of Mother's Day. The tea will be held in the gracious shade pavilion overlooking the rose garden. The menu will feature "truly English" dishes, including Bosworth Jumbles, Maids of Honor, Coronation Chicken, and Oatcakes with English Cheese. Naturally there will also be scones and a selection of fine teas.

There will be a single seating at 11:30 a.m. Tickets are $27 and must be ordered in advance.

Order by phone at
714- 540-0404 x225
Order Tickets Online

Construction and Site Enhancements
The Great Transformation
New classroom building

It all began with a simple two-part idea: "We need more office space and a replacement for the ugly storage containers at the back of our property." So we contracted with of In-N-Out Construction to (1) transform the "retired" bathroom building into a classroom and staging area for caterers, thus freeing the first floor of the carriage barn for offices, and (2) build a new storage building adjacent to the blacksmith shop.

As of this writing, the new classroom is essentially finished. The "storage building" was shaping up so nicely that some of us thought it would be better used as offices. So construction on the half-finished building is on hold while we investigate the re-permitting and other complexities involved in re-purposing it.

But things didn't stop there. Marcel caught the fever of excitement that has infected the museum this year. He became so enthusiastic that he offered to donate a significant amount of additional work and brought in other donors, such as Beacon Concrete to help with the projects.

In addition to the classroom and storage/office building, the following projects are in various stages of completion:

  • The picnic area has been paved, landscaped, and provided with umbrellas
  • The old storage containers have been hauled away and their area converted to a parking lot.
  • The old circular parking lot is being prepared for transformation to an old-fashioned plaza.
  • An old-fashioned water tower and farm-style windmill are being erected near the marsh/pond.
  • Several pieces of antique ranching equipment have been set up on the property, including:
    • a buckboard
    • a hitching post
    • a tank-style citrus watering wagon
    • a loaded cargo wagon with a "driver"
    • a railroad crossing sign
  • A great number of palm trees are on hand awaiting final planting.

Calling All Volunteers
Exciting Opportunities to Enhance CHM
Volunteers working on children's garden

The Museum is experiencing unprecedented momentum and growth. With so much going on, a call for volunteers has gone out. We are looking for corporate groups and associations, youth groups (e.g., high school clubs, Scout troops) families, and individuals to work on projects such gardening in our nature center, citrus harvesting, clean-up projects, and general office work The needs have been posted on Volunteer Match and Volunteer Center Orange County. You can also contact us directly, of course.

More than 30 individuals and groups have contacted us so far. We are excited by the response and look forward to getting so much accomplished with the help of these volunteers.

Upcoming projects include:

  • May 17-18 -- Maag House Refurbishment (some painting and clean-up will be ongoing)
  • Ongoing -- Nature Center gardening
  • Ongoing -- Children's Garden construction and planting
  • May - Sept. -- Office work supporting annual fundraiser

Get involved! Join us in one of these projects!

Call or e-mail Pat Bedson at

714-540-0404 x226

Starbucks Volunteer Fruit Harvest
Helping to Feed the Hungry
Citrus fruit baskets

Recently a group of volunteers from Starbucks Southern California Food Service came to the museum to harvest some of our excess citrus fruit. While we use almost all of our annual crop of oranges and a portion of our grapefruit in our educational programs, many of our lemons, tangerines, and grapefruit are donated to charity each year. This year the Starbucks team picked the fruit on behalf of America's Second Harvest.

In addition to their harvesting, the team had a chance to tour the museum and enjoyed themselves immensely. See how much fun they had (and some great views of the museum) by checking out their Photo Album and Video.

Maag House Facelift
Maag House

The 1899 Maag House and two subsidiary buildings were moved to the Museum in 1982. The carriage barn and water tower buildings were restored and put into use as office/classroom space and a gift shop respectively. But, due to lack of funding, the main house has not yet been restored.

While funds for a full restoration are still unavailable, the outside of the house is being refurbished courtesy of In-N-Out Construction and Behr Process Corporation, makers of Behr Paint..

In-N-Out Construction, which has donated an enormous amount of construction work on the property, is currently prepping the house by restoring and/or replacing sections of damaged wood. It will also replace the badly-deteriorated roof.

Volunteers from Behr will paint the house on the weekend of May 17-18. They will also paint the other two buildings to match. In addition to the volunteers, Behr is donating all the paint needed for the project.

This is a big job, so we can still use additional volunteers. If you are interested in helping out, please call us at 714-540-0404.

Bootleggers, Pumpkins, and a Victorian Faire
Upcoming Events at CHM

Centennial Heritage Dinner Theatre's 2008 fundraiser will be a Roaring Twenties style birthday celebration for the "black sheep" of the Kellogg family, Al "Machine Gun" Kellogg. Although by the 21st century his existence will be officially denied, we know better. We're going to party with this most notorious bootlegger and speakeasy owner in all of Orange County. This "Gangsters' Gala" is scheduled for Saturday, September 28. So save the date and watch our Web site for more details.

Moving on from gangsters to gourds, this year's Great Pumpkin Weigh-Off will be on Sunday, October 26. The weighing of gigantic pumpkins, put on by Pumpkinmania!, will be part of the revival of our Victorian Faire, a regular event at CHM up until a few years ago. We'll have vendors, food, old-fashioned games and crafts, and many surprises. We're still working out the details, so keep an eye on our Web site for future announcements.

Remember the Dates:

  • Roaring Twenties Fundraiser
    September 28, 2008
  • Victorian Faire and Pumpkin Weigh-Off
    October 26, 2008

Upward Mobility
New Faces and New Responsibilities at CHM

The unprecedented growth surge at the Museum has placed bigger demands on our management and office staff. Several new employees have been added in the past few months, and several others have been promoted or assigned new responsibilities.

Jane Van Dyke has been promoted to Director of Operations, freeing Executive Director Colleen Mensel to focus on her work with the Board of Directors and her community relations activities. Jane V. is also continuing to handle human resources, accounting, and payroll. Jane's old position of Educational Program Director is now being shared by new team member Linda Sheffield and long-time program instructor Caroline Moyer.

New team member Diane Soma has come on board as Director of Development and Corporate Relations and has quickly become invaluable in courting corporate donors and taking on a variety of public relations and fundraising tasks.

A renewed push for volunteer projects has generated enough activity for us to need someone to coordinate it all. Pat Bedson, the museum's senior Program Instructor with over ten years of continuous service, is taking on the position of Volunteer Coordinator. She will be the first point of contact for all volunteer work, including Eagle Scout projects.

Kathy Williams, who has handled almost every job imaginable over the past couple of years, is now the Facilities and Maintenance Coordinator. Her job includes supervising the ongoing construction activities.

Another relatively recent addition to the museum's team, Sandi Frahm, has been promoted from a general office assistant role to Colleen Mensel's official Executive Assistant.

For contact information on all our key team members, see the Contact Us page on our Web site.

The Centennial Heritage Museum is a cultural and natural history center dedicated to preserving, promoting, and restoring the heritage of Orange County and the surrounding region through quality hands-on educational programs for students and visitors of all ages.

We are open to the public during the following hours:

  • Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

We are located at 3101 West Harvard Street in Santa Ana, California. You can view a map of our location here.

Come and see us soon,

Sharon Brown - Webmaster and Newsletter Editor
Webmaster E-mail:

Main Museum E-mail:
Phone: 714-540-0404

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Centennial Heritage Museum | Centennial Heritage Museum | 3101 West Harvard Street | Santa Ana | CA | 92704

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