The museum and preserved home are both part of the homestead, where paths meander past gardens and fruit trees. The one-room museum includes American Indian artifacts and photographs of families who settled in the area. Watson founded the Chatsworth Historical Society in 1963, and one of the group’s first major projects was to help save and move the original Chatsworth Community Church to the Oakwood Memorial Park where it still stands today. “There are still a bunch of us old-timers here who work and care for Chatsworth,” said Lillian Schepler, treasurer for the Chatsworth Historical Society. “We’ve had a wonderful life here,” she said. “Chatsworth has been so good to us.” Many who attended the event were unaware of Chatsworth’s early days, of those first families who settled on the land after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Homestead Act in 1862. The historic decree allowed any qualified citizen or intended citizen to acquire up to 160 acres of federal land in the West, free of charge. “I had seen these buildings before, but I had no idea what they were and what they meant,” said Elizabeth Puno, 55, of Reseda. Others said the event itself offered great history lessons. “I went panning for gold, I made butter, and I liked the bean bag race,” said Kristin Long, an 8-year-old Chatsworth resident. “And we learned to polish stones.” Her mother, Lisa Long, said they had come to the event at the last minute, but managed to experience more than they had expected. “It’s been a great outing,” Lisa Long said. “It’s a beautiful park and it’s been a wonderful day.” firstname.lastname@example.org (818) 713-3664160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CHATSWORTH – Virginia Watson helped bring the pioneers of Chatsworth home again. And in return for decades of work, Watson received what she called the best gift she could ever imagine on Sunday: Her name was emblazoned on a small, yet historically vibrant, museum she helped to establish. “I was terribly surprised,” the 86-year-old woman said after the ceremony. “It’s the greatest gift anyone could ever give to me.” Watson was honored during the annual Chatsworth Historical Society Pioneer Days, held on an acre stretch of land where the early-20th-century Hill-Palmer Homestead Cottage still stands inside Chatsworth Park.