by Paul R. Spitzzeri
Over the years, the Homestead has been fortunate to receive donations from Workman and Temple family members that have included original furniture from the site, documents, letters, photographs and more.
These donors include descendants of William Workman, his brother David, William’s daughter and son-in-law Antonia Margarita and F.P.F. Temple, and Workman’s son, Joseph, among others. All of these artifacts help to add further to our knowledge and understanding of the family’s history and that of greater Los Angeles during our interpretive time period of 1830-1930.
Today, I drove out to Temple City to receive a set of objects from Christine Nevarez, whose great-grandmother was Margarita Antonia Temple Rowland, daughter of Antonia Margarita and F.P.F. Temple. Christine has donated artifacts before and happened to find a few more items in her latest search of her home.
The residence was built by her grandparents, William and Evangeline Knueven in 1926 after they spent a few years living in the Workman House at the Homestead while serving as caretakers at the ranch and has remained in the family for the last ninety years. Christine was raised in the house and returned several years ago to care for her aunt Carol Knueven, who also donated furniture and other materials passed down from Margarita Temple Rowland.
Today’s donation included a group of photographs highlighted here. One is a small purple velvet locket in which is a circa 1875 portrait of Margarita, who was the ninth of eleven children born in her family and the youngest of two surviving daughters.
Another is a snapshot of Margarita with her brother Walter P. Temple dating to about the 1920s. When Walter acquired the Homestead, Margarita was recently widowed (her husband was a descendant of John Rowland, owner of Rancho La Puente with William Workman for about three decades), so Walter built a home for her and another for their sister, Lucinda, and the siblings lived at the west end of the property along what is now Turnbull Canyon Road.
Then, there is a graduation photograph of Margarita’s daughter Marguerite, who was a rare female graduate of the University of Southern California, receiving her bachelor’s degree with a high school teaching certificate in 1916. Another item donated was the commencement program for her graduation. Marguerite, who was married to Norman Guthrie, and lived much of her life in Long Beach, was a longtime Spanish teacher.
Finally, there are some wedding photos of Christine’s grandparents Evangeline and William Knueven from the early 1920s. The photographer was Albert Kopec, who practiced in Los Angeles during the 1920s and took some images of La Casa Nueva, while it was being built at the Homestead. Christine remembered that Kopec was a good friend of her grandfather Knueven.
Every donation, whether it is of Workman and Temple family related material or general regional history, adds to the depth and breadth of the museum’s collection and to our ability to better interpret the greater Los Angeles area. We are always thankful to all our donors and this blog is just one way for the museum to share these donations, as well as purchased objects, with the public as part of our goal to tell the stories of the region.