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. 

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.

 

El Coro Collection at the Presidio Research Center

by Laurie Hannah

Elizabeth Hvolboll.  Photo courtesy of the Presidio Research Center.
Elizabeth Hvolboll. Photo courtesy of the Presidio Research Center.

Several years ago, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation received a donation of papers from longtime member and volunteer Elizabeth Hvolboll featuring the musical program reenacted every December at the Presidio and Casa de la Guerra called “Las Posadas.”  The collection of sheet music and lyrics makes up the entire repertoire of El Coro del Real Presidio de Santa Bárbara, the local group that celebrates and performs music of the Californios, founded by Elizabeth Hvolboll and Luis Moreno.  Besides many individual songs for “Las Posadas” and Christmas, there are another 50 folders of folk and mission music that the group has performed over the years.

Courtesy of the Presidio Research Center.
Courtesy of the Presidio Research Center.

This collection complements other materials in the Presidio Research Center, such as the Early California Music audio collection.  Some of the artists represented are The John Biggs Consort of California Mission Music, Musica Antigua de Alta California, and Elizabeth Hvolboll performing in the Chapel.   The Research Center also has a number of songs, songbooks, and articles about California and Spanish music in the vertical files.

The guide to the El Coro del Real Presidio de Santa Barbara collection can be viewed in the Online Archive of California, along with other Research Center collections.  To make an appointment to use the Research Center, please contact Laurie Hannah at 805-965-2004.

Laurie Hannah is the librarian at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation

New Book about Californios in the Civil War

by Melissa Chatfield

California Vaqueros (1024x689)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.

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Author Tom Prezelski speaking about his new book, Californio Lancers. Photo by Melissa Chatfield.

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.

For those who missed this event, Californio Lancers can be purchased in the gift shop at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park  and through our online shop here.

41st Annual California Preservation Conference, New Acts, New Assets: The Changing Face of Preservation

by Michael H.  Imwalle

Approach to Alcatraz Island. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Approach to Alcatraz Island. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

In April 2016 I was fortunate to attend the 41st Annual California Preservation Conference at the San Francisco Presidio. Conference Partners the California Preservation Foundation, the Presidio Trust, and California State Parks Office of Historic Preservation hosted four days of workshops, mobile workshops, study tours, and paper sessions in and around the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Historical Architect Jason Hagin (center) with group discussing ongoing seismic retrofit and rehabilitation of the Quartermaster’s Warehouse. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Historical Architect Jason Hagin (center) with group discussing ongoing seismic retrofit and rehabilitation of the Quartermaster’s Warehouse. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

I began the conference with an eight-hour behind the scenes study tour of Alcatraz entitled, “From Civil War to Civil Rights: Structure Stabilization at Alcatraz.” The morning was spent with National Park Service Historical Architect Jason Hagin visiting ongoing stabilization and rehabilitation projects on the island. Projects ranged from the stabilization of Civil War-era fort underlying the main cell block to the recent “restoration” of the political slogans painted by the American Indians of All Tribes (IOAT) that occupied the island from November 1969 to June 1971.

Political Statements painted on the Water Tank recently “Restored” to commemorate the occupation of the Island by the Indians of All Tribes. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Political Statements painted on the Water Tank recently “Restored” to commemorate the occupation of the Island by the Indians of All Tribes. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

In the afternoon Park Service Ranger John Cantwell gave a very special interpretive tour of the island.  Alcatraz was the first developed as a lighthouse installation and during the Civil War, the military expanded its presence as part of a larger multi-site system of defensive structures designed to ring the San Francisco Bay. Attendees were treated to a tour of the basement under the main cell blocks to see the remnants of the Civil War-era fort and to the top of the lighthouse. We truly got to see the island from bottom to top!

Civil War-era Montgomery Street Barracks on Presidio’s Main Post. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Civil War-era Montgomery Street Barracks on Presidio’s Main Post. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

The following Day I participated in another study tour titled “Adaptive Reuse in the Presidio’s Main Post” with Rob Thomson, Michelle Taylor, and Rob Wallace of the Presidio Trust. We visited several buildings on the main post including the Officer’s Club, the Montgomery Street Barracks, the Inn at the Presidio, and were introduced to the ongoing Presidio Parklands Project.  I also attended the following sessions,  “Simpler National Register Nominations: The MPD Approach” and “Saving Our Historic Post Offices.”

Interpretive Signage explaining the settlement of El Polin Springs. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Interpretive signage explaining the settlement of El Polin Springs. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

On the last day of the conference I participated in another study tour entitled “El Polin Springs: Habitat Restoration, Cultural Landscapes, and Archeology in the Presidio.” El Polin Springs is a natural, year-round water source that provided water for Native Ohlone, Spanish-colonial, Mexican, and U.S. Army-era settlers.

Water from the El Polin Spring running through stone-lined channels towards Tennessee Hollow. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Water from the El Polin Spring running through stone-lined channels towards Tennessee Hollow. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

The tour included a visit to the small settlement of El Polin to see the spring and several archaeological features including an adobe houses of the Miramontes and Briones families. The day finished up with a tour of the archaeological lab where it was nice to touch base with archaeological colleagues from the Presidio Trust. Like the model of El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park within the State Park system, revenues garnered from the rents of adaptively reused buildings within the San Francisco Presidio are reinvested by the Presidio Trust into new development projects within the park.

Michael Imwalle is the Archaeologist at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation

Sharing Historic Theater Seats with our Neighbors in San Luis Obispo!

by Anne  Petersen

The recreated marquee of the Obispo Theatre at the San Liuis Obispo County History Center. Photo by Anne Petersen.
The recreated marquee of the Obispo Theatre at the San Liuis Obispo County History Center. Photo by Anne Petersen.

The History Center for San Luis Obispo County recently installed a new exhibit titled “Once Upon a Time in the West: a History of San Luis Obispo County” about the historic Obispo Theatre, a movie theater that opened in 1928 and was much beloved by the local community until it was lost in a fire in the mid-1970s.

Alhecama Theatre seats in storage. Photo by Anne Petersen
Alhecama Theatre seats in storage. Photo by Anne Petersen

In order to help furnish part of the recreated interior of the theater, Director and Curator Eva Ulz put a call out to area museums and historic sites inquiring about a loan of 1930s-era theater seats.

Mike Imwalle tours Exhibits Committee members John Schutz and Bob Tedone. around the Alhecama Theatre.  Photo by Anne Petersen.
Mike Imwalle tours Exhibits Committee members John Schutz and Bob Tedone. around the Alhecama Theatre. Photo by Anne Petersen.

The timing was perfect for the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, as we had recently removed theatre seats which had been installed in the 1930s at the Alhecama Theatre and placed them in  storage.  During SBTHP’s restoration of the Alhecama, built in 1925 as the Pueblo Theatre to serve the Santa Barbara School of the Arts,  we learned that the theater had originally been designed as a multipurpose space.   As a result, we removed the later rake seating and restored the original hardwood floors.

Mike Imwalle with members of the SLO History Center's Exhibits Committee, John Schutz and Bob Tedone trying out the seats.  Photo by Anne Petersen.
Mike Imwalle with members of the SLO History Center’s Exhibits Committee, John Schutz and Bob Tedone trying out the seats. Photo by Anne Petersen.

We were thrilled at the opportunity to lend four of the seats to the History Center to help interpret a theatre in the region from a similar era.  In late January of this year two members of the History Center’s exhibits committee made the trip down to pick up the seats, and Archaeologist Mike Imwalle gave them a tour of the Alhecama.   In early March, SBTHP Board President Terease Chin and myself visited Eva Ulz at the History Center to see the Alhecama seats in the new Obispo Theater display.

Eva Ulz and Terease Chin enjoy the seats installed at the History Center. Photo by Anne Petersen.
Eva Ulz and Terease Chin enjoy the seats installed at the History Center. Photo by Anne Petersen.

SBTHP is proud of this great collaboration with the San Luis Obispo County History Center, and we encourage you to visit our friends there on your next trip north along the coast.  We also hope you’ll join us at an event or program at the Alhecama Theatre, a beautifully restored historic resource in El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. 

Anne Petersen is the executive director of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. 

 

 

 

 

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