The 2016 Epic Olive Odyssey

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Trust staffers Kevin McGarry (l) and Sue Udden (r) picking Italian variety olives. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

by Michael Imwalle

On October 22nd, a group of twenty-five volunteer pickers joined Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation staff to harvest the 2016 Santa Inés Mission Mills olive crop. SBTHP staff, board, and community volunteers gathered on a mild Saturday morning to pick the Italian varietals Arebequina, Lucca, and Grappolo variety olives. Santa Inés Mission Mills Agricultural and Maintenance Supervisors Leeann Haslouer and Tom Walton spearheaded the effort that yielded almost 1000 pounds of olives. On Wednesday October 26th, a team of professional pickers picked the Manzanillo and Mission varieties in the Rasmussen and Mill groves.

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Barbeque lunch for volunteers prepared by Tom Walton. Photo by Kevin KcGarry.

By the end of the week we harvested almost four tons of olives. On Friday October 28th, the folks at Figueroa Farms crushed our olives into 120.9 gallons of Extra Virgin olive oil. That converts to almost 120 cases of 12 – 12.5 oz bottles.  The following Monday, the oil was delivered to Olivos del Mar for storage and bottling. The first forty cases were bottled as our 2016 “Olio Nuovo” or new oil. Olio Nuovo is the first press of the season. It is bottled unfiltered, immediately after crushing, and has an intense grassy, peppery fresh flavor. It is loaded with polyphenols making Olio Nuovo the healthiest oil available from each harvest.

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The first forty cases of Olio Nuovo being delivered to El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park gift shop. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Produced from a blend of Arbeqina, Grappalo, Lucca, Manzanillo, and Mission olives, this special early release is available for a limited time. This year’s oil has been delivered and is available today! Order yours online here, or pick some up in the museum shop at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. It sells for $15.00 retail ($13.50 for SBHTP members).

For more great photos from Olive Picking Day 2016, visit our Flickr Album here.

Michael Imwalle is the Associate Executive Director for Cultural Resource Management at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. 

Join us for a Tour of Santa Barbara’s Oldest Neighborhood!

by Anne Petersen

Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) staff have been busy hosting interesting groups for tours at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park.  We enjoy and welcome these opportunities to share the Presidio Neighborhood, Santa Barbara’s founding place.  If you are interested in scheduling a tour, please contact us at (805) 965-0093.

On September 22, we hosted 58 Santa Barbara County planners for the Presidio Neighborhood tour. Many of the attendees were familiar with Santa Barbara, but nonetheless gleaned some new information about the rich history of Santa Barbara’s oldest neighborhood.

On September 22, we hosted ten Japanese students from Education First.  After an orientation to El Presidio SHP by Kevin McGarry, the students visited the Nihonmachi Revisited exhibit in the Presidio Visitor Center. Nihonmachi, or Japantown, was settled in the early 20th century and existed on the same site as the Presidio quadrangle’s north wing long after the fort had fallen into disrepair.

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Kay Van Horn, Anne Petersen and Kevin McGarry with Japanese student from Education First, and their coordinator Susanne Heierling.

Kay Van Horn, a member of SBTHP’s Asian American History Committee, made the tour especially interesting for these students by sharing her family’s history in the Presidio Neighborhood.

We hope you will join us for a tour at El Presidio SHP.  Bring a friend!

 

 

 

2016 United Way Day of Caring

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Transporting mulch. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

by Mike Imwalle

The United Way Day of Caring provides an opportunity to give back to the community through a morning of helping out various nonprofits in the Santa Barbara area. It is the single largest volunteer event in Santa Barbara County with more than 1600 volunteers laboring at 51 work sites. For more than the last decade Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation staff has worked with Day of Caring volunteers to make repairs, routine maintenance, make adobe bricks, and garden at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park.

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Whitewashing the Chapel. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

This year more than 25 volunteers including groups from Westmont College, and our neighbors Anacapa School, and the accounting firm of Damitz, Brooks, Nightingale, Turner & Morrisset. Volunteers helped SBTHP staff complete a variety of important projects. SBTHP staffers Eduardo Garcia and Isidro Ruiz supervised the whitewashing of the exterior of the Presidio Chapel. Using rollers, long poles, and scaffolding, volunteers were able to whitewash the walls and buttresses to a height approximately 24 feet above the ground. This is an enormous task and is only accomplished when large groups of volunteers can be assembled.

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Cleaning King Carlos. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Eduardo also supervised two volunteers who cultivated the soil around all the trees in the Cañedo adobe orchard. When they were finished, they hopped on to ladders and cleaned and waxed the statue of King Carlos III. This does not need to be done often, but when it does it always provides some good photo opportunities.

SBTHP Board Member and volunteer Tim Aguilar supervised a small group of volunteers who scraped and sanded the posts and beams of the choir loft and stairs inside the chapel. Last year volunteers helped a paint the interior of the doors, this year they prepared the other interior woodwork so that it could be primed and painted to match. The reconstructed chapel was dedicated on December 12, 1985, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. For more than 30 years it has once again served the community as a gathering place for lectures, films, concerts, memorials, weddings, and a variety of other special events. The volunteer efforts to keep this building maintained inside and out are always appreciated.

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Scraping paint in the Chapel interior. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
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Pruning the herb bed. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

SBTHP Executive Director Anne Petersen and Anacapa School volunteer Wes Izuno supervised a group of volunteers in the Presidio Heritage Garden. They pulled out the summer crop of tomatoes, peppers, and cabbages and pruned our sage, lavender, and rosemary. Volunteers also meticulously pruned our Misi Luki bananas, and all the plants in our demonstration plant garden.  Garden volunteers also hauled 2 cubic yards of mulch and topsoil the garden planters to prepare for our fall plantings. Anne also served as our “chicken whisperer” singlehandedly giving “dirt baths” to all six of our Minorcan Black Hens!

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The 2016 United Way Day of Caring El Presidio SHP team!

Thank you to Sue Udden for organizing the sign in table, morning coffee, and pizza lunch for everyone. Thanks to Anna Ogden and Lindsay Rorick of the United Way of Santa Barbara County for organizing the volunteers. Special thanks to all the volunteers who made the 2016 Day of Caring such a productive day at El Presidio de Santa Barbara SHP.

Mike Imwalle is the Associate Executive Director for Cultural Resource Management at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. 

SBTHP James Osborne Craig Drawings at Indigo Interiors

Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation is pleased to have loaned three architectural drawings by James Osborne Craig from its permanent collection to the Architectural Rendering exhibit now on display at Indigo Interiors. Two of the historic drawings are of De la Guerra Plaza; projected schemes for the unrealized redesign of the Plaza, and the third rendering is the courtyard of El Paseo, which Craig designed shortly before his death in 1922.  These drawings give context to the work of well-known contemporary architects represented in this dynamic show.

Indigo owners Tom and Genny Cummings invited locally based architects, Brian Cearnal, Jeff Shelton, Mark Shields, Fred Sweeney and Christopher de Rose, to show a selection of drawings from their commissions and projects. The opening reception during Downtown Santa Barbara‘s First Thursday program on September 1 was packed with the participant’s friends and family and many others who appreciate great architecture and its contribution to one’s daily life. The exhibit will run through the end of October.

 

El Presidio SHP’s Entry in Old Spanish Days Fiesta Parade

 

Participants in SBTHP's Old Spanish days parade entry representing El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park.  Photo courtesy of Suzi Bellman.
Participants in SBTHP’s Old Spanish Days parade entry representing El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. Photo courtesy of Suzi Bellman.

This year the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) once again hosted an entry in the Old Spanish Days Fiesta Parade on August 5, 2016.  This year’s group, like last year’s included a strong contingent of Presidio descendants representing Santa Barbara’s founding families. The descendants were coordinated by SBTHP Genealogy and Descendants Committee Member and Docent Suzi Calderon Bellman. Several docents from La Purisima Mission State Historic Park also participated, along with staff and docents of SBTHP. From all reports, ours was one of the largest walking entries in this year’s parade! For more images of the parade entry by Suzi Calderon Bellman, Rocky Bellman and  Michael Imwalle visit our Flickr Album here.

History and Art Collide at Santa Barbara’s 2016 I Madonnari Festival

by Dana Hughes

The finished product. Photo by Dana Hughes.
The finished product. Photo by Dana Hughes.

During the I Madonnari festival, this year held from May 28 to May 30 2016, color and imagination bring the parking lot of Old Mission Santa Barbara  to life. A kaleidoscope of 150 scenes created by local—and international—artists cover the pavement in a festival borrowed from Italy but perfectly suited to Santa Barbara’s love for art, music, food, and community fun.

The guitarist was based on depictions of soldados and on the Presidio’s living history docents. Photo by Dana Hughes.
The guitarist was based on depictions of soldados and on the Presidio’s living history docents. Photo by Dana Hughes.

This year I had the privilege to paint a square representing the El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Hitsoric Park, and wondered how exactly to illustrate the site’s Spanish Colonial heritage for the average of 25,000 visitors who attend. The finished product brought together a number of inspirations I had picked up during my research and time as an education intern with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, focusing on the people of Spanish and Mexican California and the art and music with which they beautified their world.

Starting the woman’s portrait. Photo by Dana Hughes
Starting the woman’s portrait. Photo by Dana Hughes

The soldado playing guitar was based on pictures of living history docents at the Santa Barbara Presidio, performing traditional Spanish songs for dancing. In the scene I painted, he is playing next to a woman who was based loosely on a portrait of Francisca de la Guerra. Though born in the mid-nineteenth century, and not the colonial Spanish period the soldado represents, as a member of the prominent de la Guerra family she kept Spanish heritage alive throughout her life, and was known to particularly love Spanish folk songs. I altered the portrait somewhat to have her sewing an altarpiece for the Presidio chapel, which was inspired by the painstaking crafts performed by soldier’s wives and other women of Spanish and Mexican California, and the beautiful floral designs festooning altar cloths, shawls, and paintings. An image of St. Barbara with her characteristic tower is also present on the altar cloth, and Presidio architecture is visible in the background.

The Presidio Chapel in the background. Photo by Dana Hughes.
The Presidio Chapel in the background. Photo by Dana Hughes.

I enjoyed this opportunity to try to bring some of Santa Barbara’s past occupants and their stories to life, and felt privileged to be part of an event where artists bring together stories as varied and vibrant as our community!

Dana Hughes is a UCSB graduate student in the History Department and a 2015 Higman Intern.

Descendants Gathering at Santa Barbara Presidio Founding Day Festival April 23, 2016

by Suzi Calderon Bellman

Photo by Suzi Calderon Bellman.
Photo by Suzi Calderon Bellman.

This is something that I hope will be done each year.  Hopefully it will bring in new descendants to El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. Being a member of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation’s Genealogy & Descendants Committee I knew I needed to put together something special. I had planned the first one in 2014.

Now when 2016 came about I knew right away what I wanted to do. In August 2015 I had a Pico Family Reunion and I had turned the Pico Adobe into a museum. That’s where I got the idea to do the same for the Descendants of the Presidio. It is true when it was said “Third Time is the Charm.”

The Museum (a room in the Northwest Corner of the Presidio) was set up to included everyone’s ancestors. It was a room that shared just how everyone was connected to the founding of Santa Barbara.

Seventy-seven years ago the Native Daughters’ Reina del Mar Parlor No. 126 had Descendants honor their Pioneer Families. That was 31 July 1939 during the Pre-Fiesta Tea. On 23 April 2016, during the 234th commemoration of the birthday of Santa Barbara, It was the Descendants of 2016′ turn to honor the Descendants of 1939 who were honoring the Pioneer Families of Santa Barbara. This time we had Calderon, Carlon, Cota, Cordero, Garcia, German, Lopez, Pico, Romero, Valenzuela, Valdez and many more. That picture turned out wonderful!

Courtesy fo Suzi Calderon Bellman.
Courtesy fo Suzi Calderon Bellman.

As each descendant entered the “Video Room” I had them sign a book and then I took their picture while they were facing a mirror. I then asked them “Who is your favorite ancestor?” That’s where I captured some wonderful expressions!

Click through to our Flickr album here to see the photo’s of the Happy Descendants of the Presidio de Santa Barbara!

Suzi Calderon Bellman is a Presidio family descendant and a member of SBTHP’s Genealogy and Descendant’s Committee. 

Anacapa Interns Plant the Future of Santa Barbara Presidio

Daisy, Morgan Lauren and Ray on the job. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Daisy, Morgan Lauren and Ray on the job. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

At the beginning of the Spring Semester Anacapa School students Daisy Gonzalez, Morgan Lamberti, Lauren Sloan and Ray Johnson began their Presidio Heritage Garden internships with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.

Planting a new bed. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Planting a new bed. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

We began our work in the garden by clearing out the dead plants from last season. Since we started, we have planted Fava beans, Christmas Lima beans, Kentucky Wonder green beans, artichokes, carrots, radishes, broccoli, onions, celery, tomatoes, strawberries, and a variety of herbs.

Harvesting vegetables. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Harvesting vegetables. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

The Santa Barbara Presidio Heritage Garden produces phenomenal produce. Every day we enjoy fresh juicy oranges. The broccoli was more delicious than anything you could find at the store. The loquats are also the intern’s favorite afternoon snack to enjoy in the sun.

The Presidio chickens.  Photo by Mike Imwalle.
The Presidio chickens. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

The job has its hazards. Especially when the wind picks up and creates a dust storm in front of the Presidio. Lauren was almost hit with a sign. We all returned to school with dirt in their shirts, hair, and teeth. We have so much fun as interns, that even when Ray falls in a cactus, he still wants to come back.

 

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