Life and Arts

La Cañada History: Lena Ahn, a La Cañada High student, wins 2009 HiTeen pageant

Celina (“Lena”) Ahn, left, then a junior at La Cañada High School, was crowned Miss HiTeen on Sept. 20, 2009. Cyrstal Kim, right, then a junior at Flintridge Preparatory, was the outgoing queen. During her reign as Miss HiTeen, Ahn was expected to visit Korea as well as serve her community.
(File Photo)

Ten Years Ago

Celina (“Lena”) Ahn, then a junior at La Cañada High School, was crowned Miss HiTeen on Sept. 20. 2009 in a beauty pageant in Koreatown sponsored by RadioKorea in Los Angeles. She succeeded Crystal Kim, a student at Flintridge Preparatory School. During her reign, Ahn was expected to visit Korea as well as serve her community. (Ahn, who was pursuing a career as an actor, went on to capture the 2015 Miss Korea USA pageant.)

Twenty Years Ago

Area residents were gearing up to attend the 1999 Oktoberfest in Montrose, featuring dogs, dancers, alphorn players, polka dancing, yodelers and German food and beer.


Thirty Years Ago

An age-old La Cañada PTA tradition, the paper drive that had been held on various Saturday mornings throughout each school year, came to an end in the fall of 1989 when permanent recycling bins were installed at Palm Crest, La Cañada and Paradise Canyon elementary schools. It was noted that the PTA earned more money for computer paper than it did for newsprint, so locals were urged to bundle it separately before delivering it to the campus collection bins.

Forty Years Ago

Four sets of twins in September 1979 were enrolled in the kindergarten class at St. Bede School in La Cañada taught by 23-year-old Carrie Scalzo. The Campbell, De Rose, Fries and Nolan twins together made up a third of the young teacher’s class.


Fifty Years Ago

Flames shot from the La Cañada Craft & Hobby Center at 1033 Foothill Blvd. on a late September day in 1969, forcing traffic along the main thoroughfare to be detoured around that section of the town’s central business district. The building was gutted as the fire was fed by highly combustible glues inside the store. Damages were estimated by fire officials at $30,000 (more than $209,000 in today’s dollars). People residing in the upper Alta Canyada area reported seeing the flames and thinking that Foothill Intermediate School, about a block to the west of the blaze, was on fire.

Sixty Years Ago

Descanso Gardens Guild produced its first “Festival of Lights” beginning Oct. 3, 1959 and ending a week later. The purpose of the event was to show Southland homeowners how their gardens, patios and outdoor living areas could be better illuminated for nighttime enjoyment.

Support our coverage by becoming a digital subscriber.