Those of you who knew me as a child, or who have seen pictures of me as a child will remember that I was always grinning. Today I am Really Grinning.
Fifteen years ago the children who were born and grew up in this house made a decision that I am proud of. They had inherited this property from their parents and were faced with the decision of what to do with it. They could have sold it to a Stop N Go or some commercial developer. Instead, they chose to donate it to the City of Pasadena for historical and cultural purposes. When accepting the property for the City, the mayor remarked, and they even paid the taxes for the current year. They felt that preservation of our heritage was more important than financial gain.
Three of those children are here today: Edward Pomeroy, Bessie Pomeroy Stack and Clyde Pomeroy. Their older sister, Marguerite Pomeroy Seip passed away last year. They typify the commitment to community that has built our community. Thank you.
Why is this house and this family important to our community? The family has been involved in every aspect of the development and transition of the community.
Pomeroy Elementary school was named for Edward Payson Pomeroy and his son John Edward Pomeroy who both served on the school board of trustees. However, many of the Pomeroys have been teachers and have contributed even more to the educational culture of our community.
The Pomeroys have been charter members in three Baptist Churches in this community and have served in many volunteer roles in those churches.
The Pomeroys arrived in Pasadena in 1901 with a dairy farm. They quickly expanded into general farming, including, yes, our famous strawberries. They helped form a farmers coop, a local bank and began drilling water wells for the farmers. As industry moved into the community, they provided water for all of them. In fact, they drilled over 2,000 water wells in their history. That drilling company continues today as Pomeroy Energy Company. It is the second oldest business in Pasadena.
And when it came time for self government, the Pomeroys made their contributions. Anna Louise Pomeroy led the group that prevented Houston for annexing Pasadena. Until the community could incorporate, John Pomeroy got a franchise from the county to provide municipal water to the residents of our village. Brother-in-law and business partner, Clyde McMaster served as mayor of the community for four terms. Cousin Everett Williams served as city councilman. The Williams and Pomeroys served as precinct chairman.
And this house witnessed all of this history first hand. Oh, if the walls could talk! In 1992 the following mission statement was adopted for this house:
The purpose of the Pomeroy Homestead Museum is to represent the culture and heritage of Pasadena during its transition from an agrarian to an industrial community, as reflected through the household of a prosperous working family. The general objectives of this renovation are to return the interior style of the house to its appearance during the 1935-45 period.
As Mike Iserman mentioned, the Parks House (the house that strawberries built) will be moved to this property and will continue to represent the agricultural period of our communitys history. The Pomeroy House will represent the transition, and will include the Depression and the War years in Pasadena.
Although we cut the ribbon today and officially open the PASADENA HERITAGE PARK and the POMEROY HOMESTEAD, this is not the end of a long journey. Like history, this project is on-gooing, growing and changing over time. The model of the Park only shows the ultimate structures that will be placed on the property. Inside the fence and inside the building the exhibits and displays will be dynamic and reflect the many aspects of the development and evolution of our community. Come back often to see what they have to offer.
Yes, I am grinning, and I think our ancestors are likewise proud of what we do here today. Thank you for your contributions, your support and your commitment to our communitys history and heritage. A special thanks to the City officials and the historical society for your hard work and foresight. And again, thank you; Edward, Bessie & my father, Clyde.
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