Duarte Historical Society & Museum
Duarte Historical Society & Museum

Fire Danger is "High" at the Angeles National Forest


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The Harvey Girls - Civilizers of the Wild West
The Harvey Girls - Civilizers of the Wil[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [4.9 MB]

Chantry Flats area and immediate vicinity remain temporarily closed from June 14, 2024 - October 1, 2024


Click here for more information


Please join us for the dedication of our new Route 66 Room to Claudia and Alan Heller for their decades of service and commitment to the Duarte Historical Museum and all things Route 66.


June 30, 2024, 3 p.m., Duarte Historical Museum

6.30.24 Duarte Historical Museum Flyer
6.30.24 Duarte Historical Museum Flyer.p[...]
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Long-time Duarte resident Ann Bernath has just become a published author. She will share her writing journey over the past half-century, and answer the questions she is most often asked:

  • What do you write about?
  • Where do the ideas come from?
  • What's your process?
  • What do you like about writing?
  • What do you mean by “always plotting”?
Always Plotting: A Writer's Life
Always Plotting - A Writer's Life.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [5.0 MB]

Spend an afternoon with Nicholas Papagelis, a local artist, who will talk about his love of acrylic painting:

  • How and when he began painting.
  • Where he gets his inspiration.
  • The sources he uses to select his subjects.
  • How does he get his creative juices flowing?


May 19, 2024, 3 p.m., Duarte Historical Museum

My Paintings
My Paintings by Nick Papagelis.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [714.1 KB]

For the past few years, the Monrovia-Duarte Black Alumni Association and the Duarte Historical Museum have enjoyed a very special relationship.


During Black History month, MDBAA has graced the Museum with programs and displays. This year will be no different.


Monrovia Duarte Black Alumni Association won 2 awards this year. One for their work in educating the community on Race Unity from the Baha'is of Monrovia and the second, the Ruby McKnight Williams Award, from the Pasadena Branch of the NAACP for their Community Work. These awards will be on display at the Duarte Museum from January to March as part of their temporary exhibit.


The theme for Black History Month 2024 is African Americans and the Arts. The public is invited to join us for these programs which promise to be inspirational and enlightening.


Sunday, January 14, 2:30 p.m.-4 p.m. The showing of the film "100 Days from Mississippi", the true story of Mamie Lang Kirkland who was born in 1908 in Ellisville, Mississippi.


Sunday, February 4, 2:30-4 p.m. Speaker: Dr Derik Smith Department of Literature at Claremont McKenna College

Topic: Robert Hayden, First Black Poetic Laureate


March is Women History Month

Sunday, March 10, 2:30 p.m.
Speaker: Jouslynn Griffin, Chair of WIN, Women in NAACP

Please join us at the Duarte Museum on Sunday, August 13, 2023 at 3 pm for a talk by Alan Heller about "Curiosities of the Desert".  Alan and Claudia Heller have explored many out of the ordinary, unfrequented, and unusual places along Route 66. Refreshments will be available.

 If You Can't Make It to the Presentation, Join by Zoom


Meeting ID: 865 3109 4068
Passcode: 314762

Curiosities of the Desert
Curiosities of the Desert Flyer 8-13-23.[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [159.2 KB]

Update From the President...


The "What is Gravity, Really?" by Tim Thompson, Speaker Series for February 26, 2023, has been postponed. The Duarte Museum flooring is being installed. 


The Duarte Museum will be closed to the public beginning February 25. The Museum will reopen on May 6.


Docents scheduled on February 18, 22, and 25, please report as your scheduled times.
Docents scheduled on May 3 and 6, please report at your usual scheduled times. The docent schedule will go back to "normal hours of operation"  with the May 10 shift. All docents please report at your regular scheduled times.


Thank you all for your flexibility and patience. I look forward to beautiful flooring and an updated museum.



What Is Gravity, Really? Flyer.pdf
Adobe Acrobat document [122.3 KB]


Our ability to fundraise was quashed by COVID.


Please send your 2023 dues or pay by PayPal by clicking here.



Mount Wilson Observatory Lecture Flyer.p[...]
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A Slice of Astronomy Lecture Flyer.pdf
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Sept. 4, 1941 – April 4, 2022

Photo by Alan Heller

By Claudia Heller


Steven Robert Baker, a member of the Westerners since 2019, died from complications of pneumonia on April 4, 2022, at the age of 80.  A true historian, musically talented and known fondly as “the keeper of the keys,” his death is mourned by all who knew him.


Born in Richmond CA, Steve lived in Blythe, California for a few years with his father, and then moved to Monrovia, California where he spent his life, residing in the very house built by his great great grandfather in 1887.  His love for music guided his life where he would often play the old pump organ which he had donated to the Duarte Historical Museum. 


Steve was an active member of dozens of historical societies in the Monrovia area and was always willing to present history related programs.  A tenor with a ringing tone, he sang in musical ensembles his entire life. 


Steve served as a docent at several museums, met with families to help them trace their history, gave talks at general meetings, and led tours through the Live Oak Cemetery.  In 1991 the City of Monrovia appointed him the City Historian and he was elected to the position of City Treasurer, a position he held until he died.  He entertained adults and students about local history and wrote countless articles about local architecture.  His lectures were enhanced by his period outfits and top hat.


He has been described as "patient, kind, generous and thoughtful,” and is certainly irreplaceable.



We are pleased to announce that the Duarte Historical Museum is now open after being shuttered for a year due to the pandemic. 

Our regular hours: Wednesdays 1-3 p.m. and Saturdays 1-4 p.m.


We look forward to your visit.  Admission is free. 

Social distancing adhered to.


Richard Amadori and his Route 66 Exhibit at the Duarte Historical Museum through June.

An additional Route 66 exhibit is now on display from the collection of road warrior Richard Amadori and will remain in the Museum main room through June. 


Route 66 state shields and memorabilia collected along the Mother Road by Amadori over the years will honor America's Main Highway. 


The Duarte Woman's Club, one of Duarte's longest running philanthropic organizations, will be the subject of an exhibit at the Duarte Historical Museum running March through April.


Chris Loos

In recognition of Black History Month, the Monrovia Duarte Black Alumni Association will present a conversation with Barbara Gholar and Brian Richie hosted by 20- year radio veteran Chris Loos on February 20, 2:30-3:30 p.m. at the Duarte Historical Museum, at 777 Encanto Parkway in Duarte.  Admission is free.  Space is limited.


Loos has worked in top markets in the U.S. and has interviewed the likes of Eminem, Mike Tyson, the Black Eyed Peas and Kendrick Lamar.


9/27/37 - 9/19/21

Pauline Montgomery was a long-time Duartean and loved docenting at the Duarte Museum. Photo by Alan Heller

When Pauline was a little girl, she would help her mother iron.  She was so young she needed to climb onto a chair to reach the ironing board.  Their job was to iron sheets for dozens of motels between Myrtle and Santa Anita Race Track, a rather boring job.  However, the fun part was ironing colorful jerseys of such racetrack jockeys as Johnny Longden and Bill Shoemaker. 


Pauline graduated from MAD High School in 1955, the very same school from which her parents graduated circa 1937.  After her folks married, they lived in Yucaipa in the late 1980s to be near their daughters, but eventually gave in to the pleas of Pauline’s sister to move somewhere zoned for horses.  They bought a half-acre of land in Monrovia in a house on Genoa Street between Magnolia and Mayflower, a house which stands today.  Pauline’s father had a troublesome job which was mainly to maintain the trails in the area to get rid of poison oak and snakes. 


It wasn’t long after her high school graduation that Pauline was almost hit by a car – an accident close enough to tear her skirt.  In a panic the driver stopped to see if she was okay.  On February 26, 1955, they were married.  His name was Donald O’Day.  Then he went into the Navy. 


Robbed of oxygen during childbirth, Pauline suffered seizures which were debilitating.  After her marriage they came only infrequently.  When her husband returned from the Navy, they raised two boys and lived in Arcadia, Temple City, and Covina and divorced in 1967.


After the divorce, Pauline re-connected with an old MAD HS friend, Richard Montgomery and they wed in 1969.  Richard worked as a letter carrier from 1967 to 1978.  The couple bought a home on Delford Avenue in Duarte and there raised their son, Mark. 


Although Pauline loved Duarte, she missed the “Old Duarte” she knew so well, a town with such stores as Coronet, Alpha Beta, Vons and The Big Sky Drive In. “When the freeway was built, the town changed,” she says. 


Pauline liked to volunteer and for her efforts was the recipient of the District 48 Woman of the Year Award in 2015 by Roger Hernandez.  And for years Pauline served as a docent at the Duarte Historical Museum.  She is a collector of collections and often would exhibit such items as vintage kitchen utensils.  She loved to show visitors through the Museum and talk about local history and her experiences in Duarte throughout the years.  She especially enjoyed talking to the local students when they toured the museum and often gave them persimmon cookies from her favorite recipe.


Pauline and Mark spent a lot of time frequenting estate sales from Temecula to Oxnard to Santa Clarita to Beaumont.  It was their favorite past time and filled their home with the purchases. 


Pauline’s son Mark remains in the Delford Avenue house today and serves as a museum volunteer.

- By Claudia Heller

HAPPY              80th        BIRTHDAY     STEVE BAKER






On Wednesday, August 18, 2021, at 3 p.m. at the Museum the following Election of Officers took place:




            Nancy Soluri nominates Liz Reilly

            No other nominations

            Vote held and Liz Reilly is elected unanimously




            Nancy Soluri nominates Evette Arcaro

            No other nominations

            Vote held and Evette Arcaro is elected unanimously




            No nominations





Liz Reilly, President

Sharman Warner, Vice President and Docent Coordinator

Evette Arcaro, Recording Secretary

Steve Baker, Treasurer

JudyAnn Blake, Board Member

Claudia Heller, Board Member

Curator - open

Duarte Historical Society Election of Officers for 2021 Announcement
Duarte Historical Society Election of Of[...]
Adobe Acrobat document [464.7 KB]

The Harvey Girls: Civilizers of the Wild West

By Lynne Miller


July 21, 2024, 3 p.m.

Contact Us Today!

Duarte Historical Society & Museum

777 Encanto Parkway

Duarte, CA 91010


Phone: (626) 357-9419


Send Mail to: P.O. Box 263, Duarte, CA 91009


Website: www.RanchoDeDuarte.org

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