of rock were put there to hold the lanterns used in the clubhouse during
the many evening gatherings and social events.
Mabel Hatch wrote this about the light situation: "Every week we went
to town meeting. It was held in the club house and we lighted our
kerosene lanterns and trudged up the hill." Anyone who uses Coleman
lanterns on a camping trip knows what a bother it is to prepare the
The cloth is carefully shaped, attached, and set on fire. After the
fire is blown out, the gauzy, ashy film left to protect and disperse the
light is so delicate that it can't even be blown on. I once touched one
and, even though I couldn't feel a thing, the whole mantle disintegrated.
I read in one source that at the end of a dance in the club house, the
lantern lights were extinguished and moonlight streamed in through the
windows. The orchestra played "Good Night Sweetheart."
By 1915, only two years after building Bolton Hall, the use of
electricity in homes was gaining popularity. There was a minimum charge
of 65 cents per month for electrical power. Most of us remember the
single light bulb hanging from the center of the room from a wire
attached to an outside line. But think of how changed the life is from
the days of the fiery torch in the cave, or even the lantern, and we are
glad for the progress.
While investigating an old gold mine in Julian, I was delighted to see
the lamps made by the miners. They used a discarded sardine can, placed
on edge and attached to a strap around their hard hats. A candle would be
placed inside the can to burn when down in the dark of the shaft. I guess
that was enough light to see the shine of gold.
As time went by in the young city, automobiles arrived with
headlights, making the passage through sagebrush-lined roadways much
easier. Because of the heavy use of streets and highways, more light was
needed. In 1921, the street lighting district requested by Tujunga
residents was approved. Street lights were to be installed on Commerce
and Foothill, Commerce and Valmont, and Olcott and Tujunga Canyon
History is made day by day. A story to pass on came about when the
Neighborhood Council met at the Sunland-Tujunga Municipal Center. It was
7 p.m. summer time, and the room was just beginning to darken. The lights
could not be turned on manually because they are on a timer. The meeting
a month before was held up because no one could see until the timer was
ready to pop the lights on.
The last meeting, however, was met by the true "rugged individualists"
of Sunland-Tujunga. Someone brought a halogen lantern to the meeting, and
pointed it to the ceiling. Enough light was available to start the
meeting by 7:30.
About the only foolproof source of good, consistent light is the sun.
I hope it stays up there.