Pacific Palisades Historical Society’s Annual Meeting Focuses on Aldersgate Retreat Center

By Sue Pascoe
Editor

The Pacific Palisades Historical Society (PPHS) held its annual luncheon and installation of officers on June 8 at Aldersgate Retreat Center.

The meeting’s focus was of course an historical one, this time centering on the history of Aldersgate, located at 925 Haverford.

The 10-room house, built in 1892 in the mid-Wilshire area, was purchased at auction for $3,000 in 1927 by the Methodists, and transported to its current site by mule-drawn wagons, a laborious process that took three days.

The Spanish Revival-style structure was renamed Aldersgate Lodge after the street in London where Methodist founder John Wesley lived.

Historical Society board officers are (left to right) Randy Young, Shirley Haggstrom, Eric Dugdale and Dick Wulliger

Historical Society board officers are (left to right) Randy Young, Shirley Haggstrom, Eric Dugdale and Dick Wulliger

The building served as a clubhouse and vacation home for two Methodist Sunday School groups, the We Boys and the J.O.C. (Jesus Our Companion).

Joyce Curtis, the current Aldersgate manager, found troves of historical material, including the enormous We Boys sign that was placed on the roof of the two-story building and could be seen from far away.

Historical Society members were able to read the rules that youth at Aldersgate had to follow, which included no smoking, no card playing, no alcohol, no practical joking, no roughhousing and no pillow fights. Today’s building has space for weddings and other celebrations that can be held in the adjacent Buerge Chapel. The house, which sleeps 44 people and has a large kitchen, can be rented for retreat weekends by nonprofit and church groups ($85 a night per person). Curtis, who grew up in the Palisades, said she’s happy to work with residents who want to use the facility. The Optimist Club and the Rotary Club hold their weekly breakfast meetings at Aldersgate.

After their meeting, historical society members enjoyed a tour of the building, which has wifi and is handicap-accessible. The bedrooms on the second floor are tastefully decorated, and have mostly single beds, although there are some double beds available. On the main level, the kitchen is available to those who want to do special meal prep.

Call Curtis at (310) 454-6699 and ask for a tour of this historic home.

Aldersgate Retreat Center has space for 44 overnight guests. This is one of the upstairs rooms.

Aldersgate Retreat Center has space for 44 overnight guests. This is one of the upstairs rooms.

The newly installed historical society officers are Eric Dugdale, president; Randy Young, vice-president; Shirley Haggstrom, secretary; and Richard Wulliger, treasurer.

Haggstrom saluted members who passed away this year and had made significant contributions to the Society.

Lorraine Oshins will be remembered with a plaque, and thanks to a grant from her family, will have an upcoming lecture sponsored in her honor. Ethyl Haydon, who was PPHS president from 1973-74, will be honored sometime in the future. Margaret Goff and Caroline Perry were remembered, as well as Mitzi Blahd, a former board member.

Haggstrom said, “We thank Mitzi every time we use the library. We hope to honor her in the future, if her family so desires.”

The historical society also honors a Palisades High School senior with a year’s membership and $300. This year’s winner was Shannon Lee, who was recognized by the school for having an exceptional grade point average of 4.0+. She will attend UC Berkeley inthe fall.

Contributions and membership dues can be sent to the PPHS at P.O. Box 1299, Pacific Palisades, CA 90272. Individual membership is $20 and a family membership is $30. For more information, visit pacificpalisadeshistory.org.

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