‘Eaton’s Water’

The Altadena Historical Society presents a free screening of the film ‘Eaton’s Water’

By Justin Chapman, Pasadena Weekly, 1/18/2007

The Altadena Historical Society presents a free screening of the film “Eaton’s Water” at 7 p.m. Monday at the Altadena Community Center.

“Eaton’s Water” is an educational film project of the Altadena Foothills Conservancy and was conceived to bring history alive for area youngsters. In partnership with the Pasadena Unified School District, the film will be used in middle school and high school science and history classes to teach students about our local history and ecology, especially regarding the important role of water in shaping development.

The film’s story focuses on the Eaton family, pioneers who struggled to develop reliable, clean water sources in the foothills of Altadena and is told through the voice of Benjamin Eaton’s second wife Alice. From 1865 to 1874, Benjamin Eaton worked to bring water out of the San Gabriel Mountains via the Arroyo Seco and Eaton Canyon, making possible the development of Pasadena, Altadena and South Pasadena.

The film was two years in the making and a special community outreach project of the Art Center College of Design. Art Center student Sally Levi adapted Michele Zack’s short story about Ben and Alice Eaton, Don Benito Wilson and Dr. John Griffin into a screenplay and finally into a captivating 15-minute film.

After the screening, a panel of distinguished speakers will discuss the making of the film and the education initiative. The panel will include Tim Brick of the Arroyo Seco Foundation; Michele Zack, author of “Altadena: Between Wilderness and City”; Felicity Swerdlow of the Pasadena Unified School District; and Nancy Steele of the Altadena Foothills Conservancy.

—Justin Chapman