On Friday, March 29 the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation was pleased to welcome the new director of California State Parks, Major General Anthony Jackson, to El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. SBTHP Executive Director Jarrell Jackman and State Parks Channel Coast District Superintendent Richard Rozzelle provided the director and his wife Susan with a tour of the park with assistance from SBTHP Board President John Poucher and Archaeologist Michael Imwalle. Associate Director for Historical Resources Anne Petersen met the group at the Presidio Research Center for a brief overview of the collections.
SBTHP board members, Asian American History Committee members and other friends met Major General Jackson at the Presidio Chapel, where the new director made some engaging remarks about his vision for the state parks system. Attendees were pleased to hear of his strong interest in California’s Asian American history, which traces back to his master degree program in Chinese and Japanese history. The audience was also impressed that the Major General and his wife had left Fallbrook that morning in their motor home and planned to camp for the night at Carpinteria State Beach. There is no better way to get to know our lovely state parks! At the close of the remarks, retired members of the United State Marine Corps Jack Harris and George Ogle good naturedly presented the new director with a bottle of “Jarhead Red” wine to commemorate his military service.
The reception moved to the Chapel courtyard, and attendees enjoyed learning more about the Major General and highlighting the strengths and accomplishments of El Presidio SHP. At the close of the evening, the American History Advisory Committee provided the new director with a tour of the “Nihonmachi Revisited” exhibit about Santa Barbara’s Japanese community and expressed their commitment to the interpretation of Santa Barbara’s Asian American history as well as their interest in seeing Presidio neighborhood treasure Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens become part of El Presidio SHP.
Everyone at SBTHP is very appreciative or Major General Jackson’s visit to El Presidio SHP, and we are all very much looking forward to working with him to care for our wonderful park.