Christmas Tree Lane started twinkling this year in Altadena on Dec. 8 and now the Blue Star of Palawoo has made its appearance in the hills above the community.
Local Bill Westphal, who has an online Altadena weather cam, shared some of the history behind the blue star that will shine until New Year’s Day. Mike Manning (Mr. Altadena) and Dr. Elkins, who owns the home where the star first appeared, contributed knowledge and photos to the piece on Westphal’s website here.
The star was originally built in the late 1920s by F.B. Nightingale, who “was the manager of the Lighting Department of the General Electric Supply Corporation of Los Angeles at the time and has been referred to as ‘the Father of Outdoor Lighting,’” according to Westphal’s piece.
More “Star of Palawoo” tidbits from Westphal’s site:
* F.B. Nightingale erected the star on a crest above his estate that was called Palawoo, an Indian word for bird’s nest.
* The original star was 35 feet high and made of wood, but later burned down in a 1935 brush fire. Determined, Nightingale built a second star made of metal.
* When Dr. Elkins bought the estate in 1989 he did not know about the star but eventually found a wire behind the home running up to the crest and discovered the star, which he has kept on display since, despite windstorms.
See a current image of the star via the Altadena Weather Cam: http://www.westphalfamily.com/wxdata2.html
Read more about the evolution and history of the Star of Palawoo here.