We meet four times a year in Clubhouse One to hear guest speakers explore our past and to watch films from our archives. Watch the Golden Rain News for meeting dates and subjects.
YouTube channel for the Leisure World Historical Society
The Leisure World Historical Society channel was opened in 2015 when volunteers began converting films to a digital format to preserve the films and to share them with the rest of the world. Follow us on YouTube at the LWHSM channel. Our film archives begin in 1963 with the Leisure World, Seal Beach, CA, promotional video.
The Leisure World Historical Society is located along with the Leisure World Museum in Clubhouse One.
The Historical Society was founded in 1993 by two History Professors, Kenneth and Claire Walker. The Walkers had a strong desire to start a Historical Society in Leisure World. They met with Fred Cooper in late 1992. Fred was head of the Recreation Department and had been an employee of the Golden Rain Foundation since about 1974. He also had a strong interest in History. Together the Walkers and Fred Cooper worked and laid the foundation for our current Historical Society.
Fred Cooper had kept a number of items of historical importance. He agreed to give those items to the new Historical Society as the start of a collection. He also provided space for storage of items as they were collected. This became the foundation of the Museum's Collection. The Historical Society's collection represents the lives of Leisure World residents. We have over 70 books written by authors who lived in Leisure World. Victor and Mae Ruwe, who were original move-ins and very active in a multitude of Leisure World activities until their deaths, gave us a large collection. Victor took thousands of pictures of Leisure World activities. He was a member of the committee that developed Mutual 17 and had many pictures of the Mutual's construction.
In addition to personal history, the Museum has a copy of every edition of the Golden Rain NEWS, over three hundred pieces of the original Leisure World China and documents and records of over 100 Leisure World Clubs and Organization. There is a large collection of videos of Leisure World activities. Many items from the last fifty years of Leisure World activates are on display in the Museum and display cases in Clubhouses One and Two.
The Historical Society holds community meetings four times a year. These meetings normally feature a discussion on some phase of Leisure World History. Many of the histories of Leisure World clubs and organizations have been presented at these meetings. The meeting are taped and stored as part of an oral history project. The Museum contains over 30 oral histories of clubs and organizations, as well, as many recorded personal histories.
Membership in the Historical Society is open to all Leisure World residents who enjoy sharing our history. Membership includes a quarterly publication about Leisure World's History.