By Amara N. Beaty, V&V Staff Writer
20 years ago on July 12, the monumental move of the H. Lee House to Lemon Grove’s Treganza Heritage Park took place. On the 16th of July this year, the small, close-knit community members gathered in the historical center to celebrate.
The Tudor-styled home was designed by British architect Frederick C. Clemesha and built by Scottish carpenter George Simpson at Troy Street in Lemon Grove for Harold Lee in 1928. She, lovingly dubbed “Lady Lee,” now serves as a cultural center in the heart of Lemon Grove. She sits right across from the Lemon Grove Parsonage Museum.
As the day began, I expected the event to be just an open-house tour and some historical facts about the house. Instead, I saw much more. I was met with a community of people who deeply cared for one another and for the town in which they lived. All day long, people reminisced on old times, dreamed of the future, and swapped stories of what this day meant to them.
“It’s great to see so much energy in our community and people who are excited for the 20th anniversary of the Lee House. What’s encouraging to me is that we have so many people who care about Lemon Grove,” said George Gastil, Lemon Grove City Councilmember.
Gastil, as well as many others, shared stories of how the “Lemon Grovites” often had community gatherings due to their community being so small and diverse. Families would often, and still do, come together to support one another, giving a true meaning to the phrase “it takes a village,” and the word “community.” It was apparent to me as an outsider of Lemon Grove that this was a community of people with a vision for the future.
“20 years ago, we had kids to take care of! I wasn’t thinking much about the move back then. So the forethought that CalTrans had to make the move means a lot to me today,” said Laura Hook, President of the Lemon Grove Historical Society, when asked what this commemoration meant to her.
The Lee House is open every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.