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El Camino Real Bell Dedication & Story of the Bell Lady - presented by Phyliss Hansen

Thursday, September 27th at 7:00 p.m. - at the Andres Pico Adobe.

Please join us for the Story of Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes: The Bell Lady with board member Phyliss Hansen. Have you noticed our adobe patio is now graced with an authentic, vintage El Camino Real bell marking our place on the old mission path? We will also have a dedication ceremony for the historic bell.

Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes, The Bell Lady

Like these other milepost bells throughout the state, it hangs from a standard designed like a shepherd’s crook first created by a woman named Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes. On this evening, we will honor our member, Bronwyn Ralph, who discovered and donated this old bell to the Society, and the generous donors who made the installation possible.


Following the dedication, our Board Member Phyllis Hansen will enlighten and entertain you with the life story of the woman who created these El Camino Real Bells more than 100 years ago, then began making them in her own foundry. Historian, noted author, and civic leader as well as a designer, photographer and accomplished business woman long before the ladies of her era were breaking any glass ceilings, Mrs. Forbes simply loved bells! Why were the bells created in the first place, and how did she make them happen? What important “lost” piece of history did she singlehandedly discover, and how did she become the “mother” of the Campo de Cahuenga? What national tradition did she personally begin in 1900 that is still observed today? And who was Mr. Forbes, and how does he, “Armitage”, fit into their story? Come find out, and even learn Mrs.’ oh-so-secret real first name!

Mrs. A.S.C. Forbes, The Bell Lady

Phyllis, a California history buff herself, has long researched the Forbes’ accomplishments. A creative writer in the advertising world, an artist and a past presenter for the SFVHS, she is also a current member of the Executive Committee of Los Angeles as Subject group that hosts the annual Archives Bazaar. Coincidentally, she belongs to the DAR, the Los Angeles Ebell Club, and serves on the Board at the Campo de Cahuenga...just like Mrs. Forbes was a century ago! She is of course our own board member too.

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