Eagle project built around valley’s past


first_imgNEWHALL – When it came time to do an Eagle Scout project, Scout Ricky Courtney decided to put his talents in the video production field to use and help out the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society at the same time. The 18-year-old Canyon Country resident graduated last spring with honors in video production from Valencia High School, and is currently enrolled in the radio, television and film program at College of the Canyons. On Tuesday, Courtney unveiled his latest production and presented it to the historical society: A portable video kiosk complete with television monitor, a DVD player, a VHS player and two seven-minute videos he produced while at Valencia High. “In high school, I started doing films about Santa Clarita Valley history, so I thought it would be beneficial to help out the historical society, since I’m so interested in history myself,” Courtney said. “I hope that the kiosk will be used as a valuable learning tool for the community and it will help the historical society in their projects for many years to come.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBlues bury Kings early with four first-period goals Pat Salatore, the society’s executive director, accepted the kiosk on behalf of the society, and said there are many ways the organization can use the donation. “We plan to start using it immediately,” Salatore said. “It’s portable, so we can take it to board meetings; we can show visitors the historical society videos that we have produced; show feature films that have been filmed in our valley; and when we’re not showing films, the DVD player can also show static displays, like photos.” “I can find tons of different ways to use it. We’re really happy that he chose us for his Eagle project,” she said. Courtney used volunteer labor from fellow Scouts and adults for the construction of the kiosk, built with donated Douglas fir, and the two poster stanchions that can be used to promote the videos that will be displayed. The two videos, produced over a two-year period, show the devastation of the 1928 St. Francis Dam collapse that killed hundreds from Saugus to Oxnard, while the other tells the story of Beale’s Cut, the original path through the Newhall Pass that opened in 1864. “The St. Francis Dam is an interesting topic and it’s got an interesting emotional element to it because of the aftermath,” Courtney said. “The Beale’s Cut video started as a simple idea, but ended up becoming more interesting to me when I realized that Santa Clarita’s version of the history of this landmark is much different from the state’s version.” Courtney decided to go with the state’s version of events, that Gen. Edward F. Beale owned this slice through a ridge in Newhall and ran it as a toll road. Local less-documented records say Beale was in command of Fort Tejon and ordered soldiers to dig the cut for him. The planning for the project started in March and the kiosk was completed Nov. 12. Courtney’s scoutmaster, Jim Kerr, was on hand for the presentation and said he was not surprised that Courtney’s project was a little unconventional. “Ricky’s more of a creative type and I thought he would do something that involved creativity,” Kerr said. “This is not a typical tote-that-barge, lift-that-bail type of project. This is right up his alley.” Sharon Cotal, (661) 257-5256 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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