The resurgence in COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County has forced a reimplementation of many mandates, such as the return of mask-wearing for everyone indoors – including the vaccinated. However, many county facilities and museums have been allowed to reopen with safety guidelines in place for guests and employees.
A favorite history spot among Santa Clarita residents is the William S. Hart Museum. The museum has been closed since the coronavirus lockdown first began early last year and, despite sister museums like the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County, or NHMLAC, in Exposition Park and the La Brea Tar Pits in Hancock Park resuming business, Sally Marquez, the communications manager for NHMLAC, said an opening for the William S. Hart Museum is not in the works.
“We do not have a projected reopening date yet for the Hart Museum,” she said. “We will be implementing safety measures for staff and visitors based on [Los Angeles County Department] Public Health guidelines for indoor spaces before reopening to the public.”
NHMLAC’s website addresses the concern over the Hart Museum’s status with a similar statement. The guidelines that will be set in place at the museum once it does reopen will look very similar to what is being applied at NHMLAC’s two other public facilities, their website continued.
The mansion’s exterior can still be viewed, and the trails to the house remain open. Visitors can still see the ranch house, the bunk house, Hart’s old swimming pool and Mary Ellen’s tea room, however the ranch house also remains closed, according to the Hart Museum website. Hart Park also remains open.
As NHMLAC’s website explained, “Per Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, we are still requiring masks be worn at all times in all of our indoor spaces and outdoor Butterfly Pavilion. This applies to ALL guests over the ages two and above, regardless of vaccination status. We appreciate your help in protecting our community members who are not yet able to receive the vaccination.”
This mask requirement also asks that guests wear a mask with at least two layers of woven fabric. Face coverings that have a single layer, a one-way valve, or are a neck gaiter are not allowed.
On their website, NHMLAC asks those who are planning a visit to their other two museums to please respect their staff.
“We look forward to your visit,” their website reads. “Please note, the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County will not tolerate inappropriate behavior, including, but not limited to, yelling, violence, intimidation, threats, harassment, aggression, swearing, damage, abuse, or sexual harassment. Individuals who are aggressive toward staff or other visitors will be expelled from NHM and La Brea Tar Pits and escorted off the property.”
Most people from SCV know the museum and William S. Hart Park as the location for the city’s annual Cowboy Festival. The event is a large-scale gathering of people from all over Southern California celebrating Santa Clarita’s western heritage. With the pandemic, the festival has not taken place since 2019 and has been postponed to 2022.
Another popular Hart Park event canceled last year due to the pandemic was the Hart of the West Native American Pow Wow. The Friends of Hart Park website reminds people to “stay tuned” as details for the 2021 eventually become available.
Tickets to the Natural History Museum and the La Brea Tar Pits are available online and it is strongly recommended that those interested in visiting reserve their tickets in advance so that they have guaranteed entry.
You can visit the Natural History Museums of Los Angeles County website to see their guidelines in-depth here.
The William S. Hart Museum is located in Newhall at 24151 Newhall Ave.
Guests with questions regarding accessibility are kindly asked to call the museum at 661.254.4584 or or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Guests may also call the William S. Hart Park Office at 661.259-1750 for any questions specifically regarding the park.
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