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A bash for La Crescenta’s 135th birthday is set for Saturday

St. Luke’s of the Mountains Episcopal Church in 2009.
A celebration of La Crescenta’s 135th anniversary is set for this Saturday at St. Luke’s of the Mountains Episcopal Church, 2563 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta. Built in 1924, it’s one of the area’s oldest buildings.
(File photo)

La Crescenta will be celebrating its first birthday event — at the ripe old age of 135.

An inaugural anniversary celebration will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday at St. Luke’s of the Mountains Episcopal Church, 2563 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta, which, fittingly, is one of the area’s oldest buildings.

“Our [community] is very well known for its history,” said Harry Leon, president of the Crescenta Valley Town Council. “And if you have a history, you have a future.”

Besides dinner, drinks and live entertainment, the evening will raise money for local schools and programs throughout the unincorporated area north of Glendale.

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A key to the city will also be presented to Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger, who represents the area and cosponsored the event, Leon said.

“It’s a way of bringing the community together and celebrating the legacy of our [community],” Leon said.

The Historical Society of Crescenta Valley also provided sponsorship, he added.

Inhabited for thousands of years by Native Americans, many were displaced when in 1784 the Spanish Crown gave a settler named Don José Maria Verdugo 36,000 acres in the area, according to the historical society’s website.

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Verdugo — who the area mountain range was named for — eventually went bankrupt, and thieves and marauders, who became known as “verdugos,” roamed the area.

In the 1880s, recently arrived physician Dr. Benjamin Briggs named the town after three mountains peaks, or “crescents,” he saw when he looked out his window.

While Briggs did not live long enough to realize his dream of opening a health resort in the area, others with similar visions were attracted to the area, and it began to grow.

Sanitariums sprang up in the 1920s but gave way to agriculture and eventually to suburban life.

Tickets for the event are $60 and include dinner and entertainment. There will also be a cash bar.

Reservations can be made by calling Leon at (818) 464-5870.

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