On March 24, Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation lecture series fans were treated to a rare lecture and book signing on the American Civil War period as it relates to Santa Barbara. Tom Prezelski, a former Arizona State Representative and independent historian, gave a presentation in support of his recently published book Californio Lancers The 1st Battalion of Native Cavalry in the Far West, 1863-1866.
Descendants and history enthusiasts gathered to hear how members of the de la Guerra family and other Central Coast families enlisted to serve the Union Army, lending their legendary horsemanship to the effort. Prezelski shared his research on the problems and accomplishments of these Californios with an audience of their descendants, eager with questions to explore at the end of the lecture. The author was pleased to sign books at the reception, before returning to Arizona.
On February 4, 2016 the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation hosted a popular annual program, Presidio Pastimes by Candlelight at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. On that unseasonably mild evening the Presidio came to life with the smells of chiles in the kitchen, and the sound of guitars drifting from the Chapel. The commandant hosted visitors in his sala, and a Presidio resident introduced guests to her chickens and described some of her regular tasks, including laundry and mending.
SBTHP is proud to participate in Downtown Santa Barbara’s1st Thursday program for this event. For more photographs from the evening by Myriah Nina Photography and Suzi Calderon Bellman please visit our Flickr album here.
SBTHP’s first Early California Days program of the year on Thursday April 7, and our new docents turned out en force! We are proud and appreciative of all of our volunteers, who ensured that several hundred Santa Barbara County school children had an excellent experience at the park.
Would you like to learn more about becoming a docent with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation? You can email Melissa Chatfield at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (805) 965-2004.
On Monday February 29th, 2016 Cate School teachers Annalee Salcedo, Wendi Butler, and Taylor Wyatt arrived at the Presidio with eighteen students to volunteer for the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. Associate Director of Historic Resources Anne Petersen welcomed the group and and Archaeologist Michael Imwalle provided a brief introduction to the history of the Presidio and adobe construction. After we a brief safety meeting with master adobero Tim Aguilar, SBTHP Maintenance Supervisor Eduardo Garcia gave them an introduction to “Whitewashing 101.”
Students sifting decomposed granite with a mechanical sifter. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Students stripping loose plaster from the walls of the yards behind the Northeast Corner complex. Loose plaster and whitewash is stripped in preparation for a new layer of whitewash. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Students divided into four teams and leapt into action (I couldn’t resist) assisting Tim and Isidro Ruiz with plastering the garden walls on the Northwest Corner. Another group worked at sifting decomposed granite for repairing paths and walkways at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara SHP and the Casa de la Guerra. Under Eduardo’s direction two groups worked on preparing and whitewashing buildings and walls around the Northeast Corner complex. Thanks to students Tessa Denison, Charles Shi, Stefan Suh, Isabela Montes de Oza, Maddie Goodman, Julie Phan, William Barron, Eunbie Coe, Jennifer Soh, Kate Tunnel, Malachi Schrager, Morgan Pierce, Henry Dawson, Elizabeth Douglas, Anna Hasson, Diarra Pouye, Elliott Rosenthal, and Zac Towbes for all your hard work!
Without hard working volunteers like those from Cate School, it would be impossible to maintain all the adobe structures in the park. We appreciate your annual contribution and look forward to working with you again next year!
Mike Imwalle is the archaeologist at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.
What does this nineteenth-century syringe excavated at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park have to do with an unassuming 1871 brick building at 914 -1916 Anacapa Street?
All will be revealed in the upcoming Winter 2016 issue of La Campana. Do you receive La Campana? This full-color publication is a benefit of membership in the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. For more information on how you can keep up to date with wonderful articles on local history and the latest efforts at SBTHP, click here.
Meanwhile we’ll be putting the finishing touches on the story of a little known center of medical treatment in Santa Barbara, which will land in your mailbox soon!