Tickets are on sale for the annual Westwood Museum dinner, an evening that features a keynote speaker with insight on the history of Westwood. This year Bill Levin, the son of Dr. Herman Levin, will do a slide show presentation on his father.
Dr. Levin provided medical services to the residents of Westwood for 42 years. He set up his practice in 1930 taking a break to serve his country during World War II. Levin also operated the Westwood Community Hospital from 1948 to 1956. He retired in 1972.
During his retirement party people recounted how the doctor gave generously of himself to his patients and those attending the museum dinner will be able to write comments about Dr. Levin on memory and tribute sheets. These sheets are available at the museum where people routinely record their favorite memories of the doctor. One comment read: “I have many, many memories of Dr. Levin and on more than one occasion he got up in the middle of the night and met my Mom in his office.”
The presentation will provide insight into the history of Westwood, whether or not those attending have memories of Dr. Levin. Following the dinner, guests will be able to view the exhibits at Westwood Museum. Docents and board members will be available to answer questions.
The event is scheduled at 6 p.m. Friday evening, May 10, at Calvary Chapel Westwood located at 313 Ash St. next to the museum. The entree, Mediterranean chicken, will be served with a salad and rice pilaf with cupcakes by Connie Theobald for dessert. Tickets can be purchased in advance from a member of the museum board of directors or at the door. The board members are Jack Forester, president; Mary Hasselwander, vice president; Sheri Binswanger, correspondence secretary; Sandy Rayburn, recording secretary; Debbie Christie, treasurer; Carol Mason, docent coordinator; Si Bollinger, member-at-large; and Janice McGinnis, member-at-large.
A board of directors for the Westwood Museum was first formed in 2013 to provide oversight of the collection of artifacts and museum displays and establish protocols and procedures to preserve the history of the logging town built to house the employees of the Red River Lumber Company owned by Thomas Barlow Walker. It now operates as a nonprofit under Westwood Museum Inc.
Plans for the town of Westwood and plant that produced lumber, plywood, box shook and venetian blind slats were drawn up in the Red River office in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The first unit of the mill was built in 1913.
When it was completed in 1914, the mill stretched about a mile between Westwood and Pinetown. It was operated by Walker’s son Fletcher. Accompanying Fletcher to Westwood were his wife, Eveline, and their four sons, Theodore, Fletcher Jr., Kenneth and Norman.
The fundraising dinner for the museum is hosted by Calvary Chapel Westwood, located next door. They began in 2014. The featured speaker at the first event was Jerry Beavers, author of “Westwood: More Than Just a Company Owned Logging Town.”
Although he lived in Westwood as a young man, Beavers did extensive research before writing his book.
In 2015, Marilyn Morris Quadrio, a local historian and author of the book “Big Meadows and Lake Almanor,” was the keynote speaker. In 2016, Mike Floyd, who wrote a booklet titled “Western Pacific Railroad in Northern California,” was the speaker. Floyd provided details on railroad operations in the area and the important role they played in the history of the logging industry. He showed several slides.
In 2017 Filmmaker Molly Barber introduced the DVD she produced featuring interviews with longtime residents, which focused on Westwood in the 1930s and 1940s. Its title is “Heart and Soul: A Tribute to the Legendary Town and Those who Made it That Way.” The history of local law enforcement was the topic of the address delivered by Si Bollinger in 2018. O
nce a resident Deputy Sheriff for Lassen County, Bollinger gave details from personal experience on what this job was like in the small town of Westwood.
About 100 people usually attend this dinner.