The Watermark residents and staff members arrived mid-morning on the bus filled with excitement. They drove through the entrance of the beautiful Victorian gates and up the road directly to the magnificent Colonial Drug Store. The excited “anxious to see it all” visitors became enraptured with very old prescriptions, medicine bottles and cough syrups from the 1800’s. A family had restored their great-grandfather’s drug store business and dedicated it to him 15 years ago.
The group with the two knowledgeable docents proceeded to the ancestral houses of Heritage Square, restored both inside and out. Residents viewed the Hale House, the Octagon House, the Valley Knudsen Residence, the charming Palms Depot, Museum Store, and the Methodist Church. The “pièce de résistance” was the luscious catered luncheon in the William Perry Mansion. A lively conversation took place between the retired Board of Directors President, Saline Davies, and the visitors. Saline and the authentically costumed docent volunteer answered all questions about Heritage Square’s historic restoration and preservation. Membership in this exquisite historic museum was encouraged, along with an explanation of all the Museums of the Arroyo and the mother organization, the Cultural Heritage Foundation and Board. Betty told the story of the devoted years of her dear brother, Justin J. Gershuny, a retired AIA architect, and a founder of Heritage Square. Back in the 1970’s, these very old structures had been moved from old Los Angeles and Pasadena in the middle of the night for many years. Doing so, established the development Heritage Square, preserved its founders’ dreams, and saved the structures from demolition. “Long Live Heritage Square!” – Written by Betty Denitz, Watermark Resident