Gallery to be named after history man

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By John Roe, Edited by Michael Burgess
Page 2, 2/21/03

The display of photos and commentary known as the “Walk of History” which is permanently mounted on the sidewalks of Third Avenue is just one of the achievements of a retiree whose voluntary management of the Chula Vista Heritage Museum lasted 10 years.

When Frank Roseman, 80, retired for the second time last October, the museum’s trustees voted to name one of its galleries after him. The decision was confirmed in a Chula Vista City Council resolution on Dec. 10. A time and place for the unveiling has not yet been set.

The museum is operated as a division of the Chula Vista Public Library. The estimated cost for putting Frank Roseman Gallery signs in the exhibition area is less than $500, and will be absorbed by the library’s budget.

“Mr. Roseman is Mr. Chula Vista Heritage Museum,” Deputy City Manager David Palmer, who proposed the resolution, told council members. “Naming the exhibition area at the Chula Vista Heritage Museum after Mr. Roseman would be a tribute to his numerous contributions and dedicated service to the Chula Vista Public Library and residents of Chula Vista.”

For someone to qualify for having a room or wing named after them, they would have to fulfill one of two criteria set by the library board of trustees.

Either a gift of at least $20,000 must be given to the Library or the individual must have made a notable contribution to the development and enhancement of the Library and/or the City of Chula Vista. Roseman’s extensive community involvement and work with the Heritage Museum made him an ideal candidate. Since his retirement from Rohr Inc. as chief of its Corrective Action Board, Roseman has dedicated the last 32 years to community service. He has been involved in organizations such as the Friends of the Chula Vista Library executive board, Friends of the Chula Vista Heritage Museum Chapter, the Chula Vista Historical Society, the Chula Vista Nature Center, the Tall Ship Society and the Chula Vista 75th Anniversary Committee.

While at the Heritage Museum, Roseman created many displays honoring the City’s agricultural past. He sorted old photographs including those featured in the “Walk of History.” He also retrieved and organized donations from around San Diego County and conducted research to better relate information to museum vistors.

When he began as manager of the Heritage Museum, Roseman met some resistance from the president of the Chula Vista Historical Society, who feared the City of Chula Vista would assume ownership of its collection of artifacts.

“His concern was that the city would take over and all the photographs and artifacts would be taken by them. Of course, this was not true and it never came in question at any time,” Roseman said.

Another problem was the large quantity of materials and contractors Roseman had to find to make the opening of the museum viable and its operation a continued success.

Reference librarian Kim Laru is Roseman’s successor as museum manager.

Roseman said he plans to continue being a docent at the Chula Vista Nature Center, serving as director of the board for the Friends of the Chula Vista Nature Center and helping at the Civic Center Library book store.

Roseman said he wishes to thank the late John Rojas, collector of many photographs and artifacts that helped fill the newly opened museum, Peter Watry, who helped in the later years with displays, grant writing and general assistance and Nora McMartin, the library’s liaison to the museum who helped to deal with the city’s problems.

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