15th Annual HB Historical Society Christmas Open House

150 People Celebrate the Holidays at Historic Newland House in Surf City

By Chris MacDonald, Writer/Photographer, HB Ambassador/The Local News Columnist

More than 150 people stepped back in time at the The Huntington Beach Historical Society’s Christmas Open House in the city’s oldest residence (1898) near Beach and Adams recently. The interior and exterior featured 19th Century Christmas decor, including many items donated by the Newland family, whose patriarchs were one of the area’s top farmers (more than 500 acres of sugar beets, lima beans and celery). William and Mary Newland not only raised magnificent crops but 10 fantastic kids as well at the home in the Newland Center. They also successfully lobbied to bring Pacific Coast Highway and the Big Electric Red Cars to HB.

Fascinated guests at the Christmas celebration enjoyed seeing vintage photos, furniture, fashion and other decor from the Newlands and they loved tasting homemade apple cider and cookies, specially created for the event by Rivers By-the-Sea Catering. One of the greatest parts of the evening was when legendary Tubist Kenneth J. Serfass of Ramona entertained the excited audience with his clever renditions of popular holiday songs. His excellent playing created memorable sounds in the old mansion and brought special joy to all. One of the happy visitors was Huntington Beach Mayor Pro-Tem Matthew Harper, who spread holiday cheer along with Huntington Beach Community Services Department Superintendent Janeen Laudenback. Former HBTV Producer Greg Furlong caught everything on video for your enjoyment. The award-winning videographer, whose work can be seen on PBS SoCal, created a special production for my Community Spotlight Channel at www.youtube.com/communitynewslink. (Thank you Greg.)

If you haven’t seen the Newland House, inside and out, now’s the best time to do it. You can take a wonderful guided tour with HB City Historian Jerry Person on the first and third Saturday and Sundays of the month from Noon to 4pm.. There is a small donation but you’ll really be in for a treat and learn all about the remarkable Newland Family and their positive influence on HB. The Newland House sits on top of a hill and at night, instead of the crops you see in the valley below, you see thousands of lights. It really is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Surf City. That’s probably why there are many weddings performed in the evening just outside the mansion. If you have questions about the Newland House, please call the HB Historical Society at (714) 962-5777.

Group Photo: (L to R) Huntington Beach Historical Society Vice President Darrell Rivers, Elizabeth Byrne, Huntington Beach Mayor Pro-Tem Matthew Harper, HB Ambassador Chris MacDonald and Huntington Beach Community Services Department Superintendent Janeen Laudenback

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2012 and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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