Happy birthday: Atascadero celebrates 100 years

leallan@tcsn.netJanuary 7, 2013 

It’s here: Atascadero’s birthday.

Every family and business in Atascadero has already received the Woodlands and Watersheds Community Calendar that features 13 historic, hand-colored vintage photos of Atascadero. The calendar is the work of Atascadero Mutual Water Co. and the Atascadero Native Tree Association. The artwork is by the late Mazie Adams, a long-time resident who came to Atascadero to work in the Printery in 1919. Her husband, Russell, rode a bicycle from Arroyo Grande to the new Colony to work as a surveyor for E.G. Lewis’ Colony Holding Corp.

This Saturday night, the Centennial Chamber of Commerce Installation and Recognition Dinner will be held at the Pavilion on the Lake. This event will help kick-start what will be a year-long celebration of Atascadero’s history.

In February, local photographer Joe Schwartz, who turns 100 years old, will be honored at a reception in his honor at City Hall.

Schwartz’s photographs will be on display from Feb. 12 to 15. A reception with wine, appetizers and music will be held on Feb. 13.

A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Schwartz calls himself a folk photographer. His black-and-white photos were the subject of a book several years ago. Some of his photos will become part of the first permanent exhibition in the Smithsonian Institution’s new National Museum of African American History and Culture, scheduled to open in 2015. Schwartz has been recognized worldwide for his photos of inner-city children and adults of all races living in harmony.

Many local organizations are also planning events to help celebrate the city’s 100th birthday.

The Atascadero Historical Society will hold its “Centennial Home Tour” featuring Colony homes on the last weekend in April.

A musical based on Atascadero’s history will be staged in July in front of the City Administration Building. That building is slated to be open to the public in that month, too.

Other upcoming dates include the Mid-State Cruizers’ Centennial Car Show in August along with the Hot El Camino Cruise.

In October will be a week-long observation with the annual Colony Days, Tent City historical re-enactment, the Quota Club’s Pioneer Tea and more.

A group of local citizens from businesses and service clubs is behind the centennial celebration. Linda Hendy, president and CEO of Atascadero Chamber of Commerce, chairs this committee.

To keep track of all the activities planned to celebrate the city’s birthday, go to Atascaderocentennial.com.

Lon Allan's column is special to The Tribune. He has lived in Atascadero for nearly five decades and his column appears here every week. Reach Allan at 466-8529 or leallan@tcsn.net.

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