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13th Annual Brea History Day for Third Grade

4 years ago by in ( Broadcast your Event , City Guide , Culture/Arts , Events , News , Old/New , Schools , Welcome to Brea )
Brea’s 3rd Graders Relive the Past!

    Last week was the 13th annual “Brea History Day” for Brea’s 3rd graders. It’s a day of learning about Brea’s heritage, experiencing it up close and personal. The day begins when the classes board a bus for a tour of significant sites around town that has a story. The students see Brea’s oldest school, the Brea Jr. High School, which was built as a grammar school in 1917. They visit the Portola Monument in Brea Canyon that depicts the site where the Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portola and his men camped in 1769 while scouting the area for possible mission sites. They see the site of the 1926 Stewart tank farm fire that burned for days with flames reaching hundreds of feet in the air, the building which was used as a locker room for the famous Walter Johnson / Babe Ruth exhibition baseball game in 1924 and the original “Brea Welcomes You” sign that once spanned Brea Blvd. They hear stories of buried gold in Tonner Canyon and Brea’s first Mayor’s house which is rumored to be haunted. The tour takes about one hour to complete before they disembark at one of three sites, the Olinda Oil Museum, the Brea Civic Center or the Brea Museum and Heritage Center. Once there they are met by volunteer docents that guide them through the sites taking them back in time to Brea’s early years.

      Because there are six elementary schools the event now takes two days to complete. Three schools on one day and three on the other. Thanks to a generous donation by Chevron Land and Development’s La Floresta Community the buses are completely paid for. All the students need to bring is a sack lunch and their enthusiasm, which is not in short supply. Volunteer docents come from the community and the High School. They interact with the groups taking on the role as a pilot, farmer, oil worker and school teacher. From all accounts the kids seem to really enjoy the day while learning about their community. I have been told it’s their favorite field trip of the year.

        I would like to thank all the volunteers that help make this event possible and the teachers that do such a good job preparing the students beforehand. If you have not been to the Brea Museum and Heritage Center or the Olinda Oil Museum I would encourage you to visit as soon as possible. I think you’ll find them very interesting and hopefully come away knowing as much as a 3rd grader.

          History Day founder, former Mayor Don Schweitzer

            Photos courtesy of Isaac Avila
Author :

"Thank you" for visiting Beautiful Brea Old & New (BBON). First & foremost, I am a proud mother & wife. I am also a well-rounded independent contractor. But you can call me an enthusiastic cheerleader, supporting wholeheartedly the City of Brea --a charming town with character & innovation, turning 100 years old in 2017!

  • Carolyn Campbell

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