Yesterday, today and tomorrow were woven into the afternoon when the Burbank Historical Society commemorated the 103rd anniversary of the city’s incorporation in 1911 during a fundraiser on July 11 at Story Tavern on San Fernando Boulevard in Downtown Burbank.
It was the third year the society held the anniversary party at the Tavern, but this year the more than 70 guests were seated in the new patio and game room next door. There were door prizes, a silent auction and buffet of pulled pork, mac and cheese and chips and guacamole.
“I just want to make sure everybody opens their wallets and spends all their money because its going to the children and the society,” said society President Sue Baldaseroni, who organized the event with her husband, Don Baldaseroni, Penny Rivera, Betty Penrod and Mike Dennis.
Funds raised are earmarked for an interactive exhibit for children at the society’s museum, which is open from 1 to 4 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday and is next door to the Creative Arts Center in Izay Park. Schoolchildren take field trips to the museum during the week.
Tavern owner Ted Slaught is a big supporter of the historical society and attended the event — even helped light the candles on the anniversary cake.
Slaught, with museum founder Mary Jane Strickland at his side, also unveiled an antique wooden box he had acquired that was probably made during the Depression and came from Ohio, he said. On it are the words “Relief Fund — Burbank Police Dept.”
While it is not known which Burbank the box originated from, Slaught said the story he’d been told was that during the Depression, the relief fund and the pension fund for the city was nearly broke and they had to raise money for the children and the widows and this was one of the donation boxes. An Internet search turned up a Burbank, Ohio, population of 207, according to the 2010 census. It’s possible that could be the city from which the box originated.
The box will be placed in the original Story Tavern in Burbank, Calif., and the public can drop donations into it for the local historical society. The gesture ties in nicely because Strickland’s father was the first police chief here.
Sportscaster Randy Kerdoon served as master of ceremonies and kept spirits bright with historical quips.
“I think this location is pretty awesome,” he said. “This used to be a hardware store and I was reading the sign outside and it’s just fascinating how things transition. It’s gone from plumbing and hardware to a sports bar. We’ve basically gone from buying a screwdriver to drinking a screwdriver.”
While that may be so, the drink of the hour during the fundraiser was the 1911 Cocktail, whose main ingredient is Applejack, or distilled apple cider, one of America’s first spirits, said Story Tavern co-owner Brian Slaught, Ted’s son. It is garnished with a slice of cantaloupe, which was one of the lucrative crops in Burbank and is said to have saved the town’s life financially when the land boom collapsed.
The Burbank Historical Society was founded in 1973 and operates the Gordon R. Howard Museum, which includes an 1887 Victorian house, a memorabilia building including a Lockheed Aviation display and other historical artifacts, a vintage vehicle building, a salon and the Ray Sence addition in which 19th-century-era rooms are shown.