Festival Raises Funds for Damaged Adobe

The San Fernando Valley of the 19th century was celebrated at a Sunday picnic to raise funds to rebuild the earthquake-damaged De la Ossa Adobe in Los Encinos State Historic Park.

In those bygone days, Ventura Boulevard was known as El Camino Real, women protected themselves from the sun with frilly parasols and men wore stovepipe hats.

Members of the Los Encinos Docents Assn. recreated the past by donning period costumes for the picnic, which also featured historical stories for children told by Michael Crosby.

Adults and older children took part in a game called cake walk, a 19th century version of musical chairs. Fiddler Sally Cadwell and flutist Ned Boyer, from the Glendale group Find Companions, provided folk music.

Hosted by the Encino Chamber of Commerce, the picnic attracted about 500 people, including Encino resident Joe Almaleh, who brought daughters Lindsay, 7, and Natalie, 5.

"I've lived and worked in Encino for 35 years, and I try to contribute as much as I can to the community," Almaleh said.

Also attending was Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Sherman Oaks), who presented park ranger Russell Kimura with an American flag.

David Lynn, chief executive of the chamber, said the picnic should raise close to $2,000, including $500 donated by the Encino Property Owners Assn. and another $500 pledged by NBC for the Los Encinos Restoration Fund.

Construction on the adobe, which has been closed to the public since the Northridge quake in January 1994, is scheduled to begin in September 1999, Kimura said.

He added that completion is slated for summer 2000.

Park docent Lil Bauer, 73, who has conducted tours of the adobe since 1972, said she could hardly wait for the adobe's reopening.

"I've always enjoyed doing the tours, and I'm saddened because I can't do it now," Bauer said. "I'd like to be one of the first ones here conducting tours when it reopens."

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