A group of 11 local high school students have become the first graduates of the Lanterman Historical Museum Foundation’s Virtual History Internship Program. The program, which was conducted remotely, trained interns to conduct and record oral history interviews with La Cañada Flintridge residents. The recorded interviews will all be permanently archived in the Lanterman House Archives.
The program was open to students in grades nine through twelve interested in preserving local history. Interns completed training in research methods, interview techniques, how to process and preserve the interview, and legal and ethical guidelines. They then each chose a member of the community to interview and used a free recording app on their cellphone to record the conversation. The interviewees came from a wide range of backgrounds and discussed diverse local topics including education and schools, growing up in La Canada, local history and businesses, diversity, politics, and the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The Lanterman House Archives will preserve the digital oral histories as part of its Oral History Collection. "In 1979, shortly after La Cañada Flintridge became a city, the Historical Society of La Cañada Flintridge began interviewing residents and recording stories which might not otherwise have been told. These conversations provide eyewitness accounts of a growing city, its community, and its institutions" said Julie Yamashita, Lanterman House Archivist.
The names of the student interns and their interviewees are as follows:
Tate Ahn, Westridge School, interviewed Henry Oh, attorney and member of the La Cañada Flintridge planning commission.
Tara Brennan, La Cañada High School, interviewed Tom Caswell, retired educator and active local volunteer.
Vivien Chen, La Cañada High School, interviewed Jonathan Jiang, research scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and former board member of the Foothill Chinese School.
Grace Fontes, Mayfield Senior School, interviewed Barbara Kuhl, lifetime La Cañada resident and St. Bede’s teacher.
Lily Fontes, Mayfield Senior School, interviewed Mike Smith, third generation owner of a local car dealership.
Adam Kakuk, La Cañada High School, interviewed Judi Healey, retired local teacher and avid hiker.
Allison King, La Cañada High School, interviewed Linda Labrie, active community volunteer and master catechist for St. Bede the Venerable.
Leo Masciandaro, La Cañada High School, interviewed Tom Reynolds, business strategist and La Cañada resident for over sixty years.
Jackson Moore, La Cañada High School, interviewed Nancy Leininger, long-time resident and local teacher.
Shelby Perez, La Cañada High School, interviewed Carol Liu, former mayor and California State Senator, who also resides in the original house of Jacob and Ammoretta Lanterman.
Matthew Yoshida, La Cañada High School, interviewed Soo Choi, a banker, life-long resident, and advocate for education and Korean American community engagement.
“We designed a program that provided opportunities for our local high school students who were not able to volunteer or work in person this summer,” said Laura Verlaque, Executive Director of the Lanterman Historical Museum Foundation. “We couldn’t be happier with how the program worked out. The students showed enormous creativity and enthusiasm and we’re so grateful to the interviewees for sharing their time and their stories.”
About the Lanterman House
The Lanterman House is a bungalow-style historic house museum in La Cañada Flintridge, California. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The House was commissioned by Dr. Roy Lanterman in 1915 and was built by A.L. Haley, who was a prominent builder of both residences and commercial buildings in the Los Angeles area.
The Lanterman House also features a historical archive of the Crescenta-Cañada Valley. The archive is available for research by the public. For more information, please visit www.lantermanhouse.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org.