Brea Old and New: Tick-Tock, History Isn't So Boring After All™ ~ Charlie the Clock

Brea Museum and Heritage Center

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    13th Annual Brea History Day for Third Grade

    6 years ago by

    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

  • Brea Museum and Heritage Center ~ Are you ready to rummage?

    6 years ago by

      The Brea Museum and Heritage Center had such a great turnout (despite the rain) at their last Rummage Sale that they have scheduled another one just over three weeks away on Saturday, May 3, from 6:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

        Please see the detailed flyer for items for sale and donation drop off schedule. The Brea Museum and Heritage Center (BMHC) can always use volunteers for their events. Interested parties contact the museum at (714) 256-2283 or click on BMHC to send them an email.

  • Shop Brea Museum for history books & media

    6 years ago by

      Looking for last minute gift ideas for Christmas? Consider purchasing Tim Harvey's photograph book--Brea, Then and Now--for the Brea enthusiast in your family!

        Prefer digital media? We have a great DVD by Brea's official historian, Brian Saul, at the museum as well. Segments feature topics such as the city's aviation history, Brean architecture, and local schools.

          Stop on by Thursday (2:30 - 5:00 pm) or Saturday (10:00 - 3:30 pm). We'd be happy to cross the last item off of your list!

            Happy Holidays everybody!

              Sue Hall Nguyen, PhD

                Museum Director

                  Brea Museum & Heritage Center

  • Donations needed for Brea Museum Rummage Sale

    6 years ago by

      Decluttering before the holidays couldn’t be easier, thanks to the Brea Museum and Heritage Center! They’re hosting a Rummage Sale, bright and early, on Saturday, December 7, from 6:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

        But before the big day, they’re in need of help from the community to donate items such as small appliances, household goods, antique and vintage items, and small-scale furniture. Your contribution will aid their ongoing educational programs and preservation efforts.

          Volunteers are needed. For high school students, this is a great opportunity to connect with the community while fulfilling the service requirements recognized in transferring to a college.

            See flyer for drop off dates and times and further information.

  • “Brea, Then and Now” pictorial history book everyone’s raving about

    7 years ago by

    Tim Harvey has written a pictorial history book of Brea for the Brea Historical Society called “Brea, Then and Now.”

        “This new history book of Brea is a delight to behold whether you are a new resident or a longtimer. It should be made available to all Brea School libraries so our childen can appreciate the story of their town as an example of what made this country great.” said Rex Gaede.
    Historian Brian Saul said “ It's so well-written, the photos are excellent, and it allows people to learn about Brea's history in a fun and interesting way.
         Historical Society board member Scott Neal said he can’t put the book down.

    Scott Neal, board member of the Brea Historical Society and his two children Angelina and

     You can buy the book weekdays from Laura Holcom at Community Development on the second floor of the Brea Civic & Cultural Center. It is also available at the Brea Museum on Saturdays from 10:00-3:00 p.m. The cost is $30.
    Susan Gaede

  • Brea Museum and Heritage Center’s “Home-Making in Brea” exhibit – through September 15

    8 years ago by

    "Home-Making in Brea, Past and Present" explores how Brea residents made homes in the city in the 1910s (when the city was founded) and today, in the 2010s. The exhibit show-cases Brea's Bungalows and Craftsman-style homes and the crafting traditions of Brea residents. On exhibit now through September 15 during the museum's open hours and by appointment.

  • Celebrating 11 years of History Days in Brea

    8 years ago by

    For the past 11 years third grade students from Brea’s elementary schools celebrate History Days in Brea.  On May 23 and 24, BOUSD students will take a two-day field trip around town to learn about Brea’s history.

    With every significant project implemented, there is a story.  Over a decade ago, Mayor Don Schweitzer's eldest daughter, now in the second year of college, came home from her third grade class and told her dad that her teacher said they were going to learn about Brea’s history.  Don figured the teacher was going to take her students to our little history museum/store located where Guitar Center is now situated. So he contacted his daughter’s teacher and was surprised, when the teacher said she did not know Brea had a museum.  At that point, Don offered to take the children to the museum, the teacher agreed, word traveled, and all the third grade classes wanted to participate.  And so History Days in Brea began!

    Today it is a well organized event.  The two day event will consist of three busses per day taking students on a history tour to locations such as Craig Park and Brea Canyon.  They will also stop for 45 minutes at the Brea Museum, Brea Civic Center, and Olinda Oil Museum and Trail. Brea Olinda High School ASB students and museum staff will meet the children dressed up in historical garb wearing costumes such as oil workers, baseball players, school teachers and aviation workers. The kids enjoy the added effect of role playing while learning the story of Brea’s rich history. Over at the Civic Center, a mock council meeting is held to give the children an understanding of what goes on in a city council meeting.  Right down to needles and thread, everyone does a great job to add to History Days in Brea, as ASB students make the costumes needed for the occasion.

    One teacher’s idea, one person’s action and 11 years later, a wonderfully fun history lesson is given to area students!



  • Brea Museum and Heritage Center presents photo preservation seminar

    8 years ago by

    The Brea Museum and Heritage Center had such a great response with their first “Preserving Your Photographs” seminar that they are offering another Saturday seminar.  This Saturday, May 5, from 10:00 a.m – noon, bring your cherished photos, and Veta Schlimgen, Museum Director, will give you a detailed hands-on-experience in learning the techniques to preserve your photos.  Further details are listed on the flyer.


  • Old Brea: Jackson Bros. Cabinet Shop, Inc. location solved

    8 years ago by

    According to the city directories in 1961 and 1974, the aerial map shows where Jackson Bros. Cabinet Shop was located.

    We welcome questions!  Recently the following question was posed by Cindy Sullivan. In order to relay the right information accurately, we contacted Scott Neal, Board Member of the Brea Museum and Heritage Center, to answer her question.

    Cindy: Does anyone remember a business, I believe on Imperial Hwy., called Jackson Bros. Cabinets? This would have been in the 1960's or so.

    My uncle worked there and I can remember going out there on a few Saturdays. Seems like we drove way out Imperial to the boonies at that time, then my aunt just told me not long ago that it was on Imperial near Puente or Berry, she can't remember for sure. We now live very close to that area, so things have really gotten built up since that time! I was just curious.

    Scott: Hi Cindy, Jackson Bros Cabinet Shop Inc. was located at 1355 W. Imperial Highway in Brea between Palm and Puente (behind Famous Burgers). Floyd Jackson appears to have been an owner. Earl Putnam was listed as working for their company and was a member of the Brea Chamber of  Commerce. I found the company listed in city directories in both 1961 and 1974.

    According to a former employee's obituary, the company manufactured cabinets for every house in the largest subdivision in the world at that time. During that time there were 19,000 homes in the subdivision. The Secretary of State only shows one California Corporation with the name Jackson Bros., which was suspended in 1975. There is a Floyd Jackson in Brea today related to F & E Jackson Co. that has a location in Brea. Active officers include Edward L Jackson and Floyd R Jackson.






  • Local Eagle Scout’s project makes a historical impact

    8 years ago by

    The Brea Bowl commencement held this morning went well; it was a great event, according to Scott Neal, Board Member of the Brea Museum and Heritage Center.  Mayor Don Schweitzer was on hand to congratulate local Boy Scout, Matt Breneman, who did an excellent job in creating the Brea Bowl plaque as an Eagle Scout project to commensurate the famous baseball game played on October 21, 1924, featuring Brea’s famous baseball player Walter Johnson facing Babe Ruth at the Brea Bowl! Scott, a former Eagle Scout from Brea, showed his “Scout Spirit” by dressing in his Boy Scout uniform.  Scott’s daughters, Samantha and Angelina, were in the moment, too!