Westminster Gazette

History

The Westminster Historical Society is a Non profit 501 (c)(3) organized in 1974.

The two acres, which makes up Blakey Historical Park were given for this purpose by Leaora Blakey who came to Westminster Colony in 1894.  The Historical Society continues efforts to preserve the history of the area.

A major accomplishment was the relocation in 1988 of the former Midway City Women’s Club building from Bolsa Ave. to Blakey Historical Park.  The building was built in 1929 and is itself historically significant.  After several years of restoration and  countless volunteer hours the building reopened as Westminster Museum.  Exhibits cover early  Indian, Rancho, and Mission periods, settlement of Westminster Colony in 1870, Grandma’s Kitchen, and life in the 1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s, incorporation of the city in 1957, and growth to the present time.

In 1989, the Warne Family’s ” big, red barn” – an area landmark – was moved from Bolsa Ave. and Bushard to Blakey Historical Park with the Warne Family Farmhouse.

In 1993 an exhibit of historical farm equipment opened in the barn.  On display are a 125 year old sugar beet wagon, hand cultivator, John Deere power-lift sweep rake, windrows used to harvest hay and barley, cyclones, a five foot steam engine flywheel, John Deere spring tooth harrow and weed destroyer, International Harvester cylindrical hay loader, John Deere side delivery rake and many other items.  In 1995 the farmhouse was restored and furnished much as it was in 1915 when no water or electricity was available.  The old telephone, iron cook stove, 250 year old Grandfather Clock and foot pedal sewing machine reflect life in the colony in the early 1900’s.

The McCoy Hare House  features the restored first Colony Drugstore built in 1874 by Dr. James McCoy and the turn of the century parlor occupied by the Marie & Orel Hare Family.  This historic building is designated Orange County Historical Landmark Number 8.

Also, on display are the 1939 OMC Fire Truck used by volunteers in the 1940’s, the 1959 Crown Diesel Fire Truck purchased by the City of Westminster after Incorporation in 1957, and 1970’s Paramedic Van.

Several hundred students visit the Museum and Park each year as they study local history.  Youth and Senior Groups can schedule tours.

Blakey Historical Park is open for visitors on the first Sunday of each month from 1 to 4 P.M.  Look for the 175 year old sycamore tree and the 1904 windmill.

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