Anacapa interns continue to plant the future of the Santa Barbara Presidio.

by Anne Burdette, Josh Colahan, and Ashley Emma

Josh Colahan and Anne Burdette with recently planted lettuce in the new adobe planters at the Northwest Corner Visitor's Center. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Josh Colahan and Anne Burdette with recently planted lettuce in the new adobe planters at the Northwest Corner Visitor’s Center. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

“Hey what up” from the Fall 2016-17 Presidio Heritage Garden interns from the Anacapa School. The Anacapa interns work with the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation staff to develop and maintain the interpretive gardens, living history programs, and exhibits at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. In order to establish a more awesome garden, we care for the plants throughout the Presidio, including lemon, orange, mandarin, pomegranate, fig, and loquat trees, wheat, bananas, peas, lettuce, carrots, fava beans, strawberries, and onions, as well as native shrubs. The gardens must be watered nearly every day during the summer, and occasionally we must remove the persistent encroaching weeds when it rains.

Vegetables with new tile labels at the Northeast Corner of the Presidio. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Vegetables with new tile labels at the Northeast Corner of the Presidio. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

Another important part of maintaining the gardens is planting new plants. Some of these crops will be eaten, used for seeds or will simply be admired by the public. Beets, carrots, green beans, peas and wheat were started from seed in nursery flats. Once the seedlings have grown bigger and stronger they are moved to the various garden planters throughout the park where they will permanently reside until they are mature enough to harvest. The fava beans, however, were planted directly into the ground. We think this might be because they are more durable.

Anne and Josh harvesting giant cane (Arundo donax) at. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Anne and Josh harvesting giant cane (Arundo donax). Photo by Mike Imwalle.

We also made trellises out of the invasive plant Arundo donax or giant cane. The cane, which closely resembles its relative bamboo, was introduced to North America by the Spanish during the 18th century as a building material. During the Presidio era these canes were used extensively to sheath the roofs of the adobes. The trellises are placed next to pea plants and beans so they have a structure to crawl up.

Ashley Emma (the Queen of Hearts) winnowing White Sonora Wheat. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Ashley Emma (the Queen of Hearts) winnowing White Sonora Wheat. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

We have even worked on separating wheat from the chaff. One must grind the wheat in a rather forceful manner. This process removes any unwanted roughage, leaving behind small delicate wheat berries (seeds). We also helped SBTHP curator Rose Thomas clean the Casa de la Guerra Store exhibit and hang the Casa wallpaper exhibit.

Josh and Anne transplanting banana pups at the Presidio  Northeast Corner. Photo by Mike Imwalle.
Josh and Anne transplanting banana pups at the Presidio Northeast Corner. Photo by Mike Imwalle.

The noble fowl of the Presidio, the Black Minorcan hens, majestically frolic and peck about their palace. We give the chickens food and water and have collected their eggs twice. In the future when it is less cold we hope there will be more eggs to collect. We also cleaned the chicken coop and installed new laying pads. A surprisingly arduous task, however a very necessary and rewarding one at that.

Lion dancers at the Asian American Neighborhood Festival. Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.
Lion dancers at the Asian American Neighborhood Festival. Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.

Along with our normal Presidio endeavors we helped set up the Asian American Neighborhood Festival in October. Paper lanterns of various colors and size were hung by rope along a bamboo enclosure that encircled the front of the Presidio. This event was held on a Sunday but even so we showed up to support the event. We moved ice buckets, set up posters, decorated booths and even drew dragons with all of the little kids who came to the event. After we helped set up the event we sat down and enjoyed the festivities. We watched several different dances some included forms of martial arts and sword dancing. There was even a dance where large lion costumes were worn by the dancers which undeniably was a favorite among the crowd.

Anne, Josh and Ashley are a welcome sight in the gardens and at our public programs.  We are grateful for their hard work and positive spirit, and our ongoing partnership with the Anacapa School. 

Veterans Day 2016 at El Presidio SHP

By Heidi Ortloff

Photo by Michael Imwalle.
Photo by Michael Imwalle.

On November 11th, 2016, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation commemorated Veterans Day with a ceremony held at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park. Members of Los Soldados del Real Presidio de Santa Bárbara conducted the ceremony in Spanish era uniforms and carried flags representing the five branches of the U.S. Armed Forces.

Photo by Michael Imwalle.
Photo by Michael Imwalle.

The Santa Barbara Community Flute Ensemble accompanied the Soldados and provided American Revolution-period music. Director of Programs Kevin McGarry gave a short introduction to the ceremony, introducing the audience to the rich military history of Santa Barbara which includes the Presidio as a historic military fort. WWll veteran and SBTHP Life Honorary Director James G. Mills gave remarks on his service during WWll which provided the over fifty audience members with a personal connection to service.

James G. Mills.  Photo by Michael Imwalle.
James G. Mills. Photo by Michael Imwalle.

To conclude the event, audience members were invited to share their thoughts concerning the holiday. Many veterans spoke of the impact their service had on their lives and family, which provided a touching end to the ceremony. After the event visitors were welcome to look at a collection of military vehicles on display which were lent by Rob Gordon, as well as tour the Presidio.

Photo by Michael Imwalle.
Photo by Michael Imwalle.

For more photos from the ceremony by Michael Imwalle, visit our Flickr album here.

Heidi Ortloff is a California State Parks interpreter stationed at El Presidio SHP. 

Las Posadas 2016

by Kevin McGarry

Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.
El Coro walks down State Street. Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.

Las Posadas, a traditional reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for lodging in Bethlehem, is a holiday tradition that occurs all over Latin America each December. The Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation  (SBTHP) hosts this program at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park and Casa de la Guerra every year.  This year, the program was scheduled on the traditional date that Posadas begins throughout Mexico, December 16.

Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.
Children represent Mary Joseph and the Angel. Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.

SBTHP’s annual Posadas reflects what this tradition might have looked like in the Presidio neighborhood in the early 1800s. The singing procession begins at the Presidio Chapel, goes up and down State Street stopping outside participating businesses and then ends with a performance and reception at Casa de la Guerra. By coming together to sing and walk together in unity, Una Noche de Las Posadas is a special annual tribute to Santa Barbara’s people, traditions and history.

Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.
Rocky and Suzi Bellman represent Jose and Maria de la Guerra. Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.

This is the second year that the Los Agaves restaurant donated their delicious food for the reception. SBTHP thanks Carlos Luna (owner of Los Agaves) for his continued generosity. The El Coro de Real leader, musician Luis Moreno, did a wonderful job again this year, adding two new songs to the choir’s repertoire and leading the singing peregrinos (pilgrims) in their procession to Casa de la Guerra. Thank you to him and to the other members of El Coro. The 2016 Posadas would not have happened without SBTHP’s committed volunteers: Judy Pearce, Suzi and Rocky Bellman, Jim Garcia, Dr. Paul Mori, Paul McGarry, Christina and Arlene Miguel and the Goodfield family. SBTHP also thanks The Towbes Foundation, Debby and Roger Aceves, David and Louise Borgatello, and Keith J. Mautino for sponsoring Una Noche de Las Posadas.

Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.
The procession is granted admittance at Casa de la Guerra. Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.

For more photos from this year’s Las Posadas by Dr. Paul Mori visit our Flickr album here.

Kevin McGarry is the Director of Programs at the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation. 

2016 Presidio Descendant’s Luncheon

by Mary Louise Days

Photo by Suzi Bellman
Photo by Suzi Bellman

On October 29, 2016 the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and its Genealogy and Descendants Committee hosted its annual luncheon for Presidio descendants at the Alhecama Theatre at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park.   More than ninety guests enjoyed the tamales “with all the trimmings” lunch, as well as a variety of good beverages, tasteful decorations, and wonderful companions.

Photo by Suzi Bellman.
Debra Prescott Waterfall with Daniel Espeseth. Photo by Suzi Bellman.

Staff and volunteers did a yeoman job of setting up tables and chairs, pop-up covers, serving and registration tables, raffle prizes, etc.  Guests were thrilled to receive the tile favors made by Jeannie Davis.  Suzi Bellman created exciting table decorations and displays enjoyed by all.  Her husband Rocky and Debby Aceves’s husband Roger did a tremendous job where volunteer muscle was needed.  There were commendable displays of female strength as well.  SBTHP Board President Terease Chin worked hard during the whole event.

Photo by Suzi Bellman.
Photo by Suzi Bellman.

Competition for the beautiful raffle gifts was hot, with funds going toward the committee’s projects.  Luis Moreno provided his wonderful music and song, adding so much to the afternoon.  Rev. Jerry Bellamy greeted guests with a benediction during the brief program which featured welcomes by board secretary Debby Aceves, committee chair Mary Louise Days, executive director Anne Petersen, and committee member Suzi Bellman.

Photo by Suzi Bellman.
The Singers: Russell C Ruiz, Elizabeth Erro Hvolboll Luis Moreno. Photo by Suzi Bellman.

Help during the food service was also provided by SBTHP members Terri Imwalle, Betty Dominguez, and C. Linda Romero.  Helen Cornell assisted Suzi with displays.  Board member Tim Aguilar was in attendance.  The beer was generously donated by board member Katie Hay.  Staff members Mike Imwalle (the tamale, rice and beans man), Alyssa Kichula and Sue Udden were indispensable.

We look forward to seeing everyone again next year! For more photos by Suzi Calderon Bellman of this year’s luncheon, please visit our Flickr album here.

Mary Louise Days is a member of the board of directors of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and  the chair of SBTHP’s Genealogy and Descendants Committee. 

Dia de los Muertos 2016

Photo by Fritz Olenberger.
Photo by Fritz Olenberger.

On October 23, 2016 the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) hosted a free family craft event to celebrate Dia de los Muertos at Casa de la Guerra.  The event also included a display of ofrendas created by Presidio descendants and SBTHP staff to honor loved ones and those we lost this year.

For more beautiful photos from the event by Fritz Olenberger and Suzi Calderon Bellman, please visit our Flickr album here.

 

 

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. 

Asian American Neighborhood Festival 2016

On October 9, 2016 the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, with the extraordinary support of its Asian American History Committee, hosted the 7th annual Asian American Neighborhood Festival at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park.

asian-american-neighborhood-festival-2016-by-fritz-olenberger-49
Photo by Fritz Olenberger.

Hundred of visitors attended this free, family-friendly event which celebrates the history and cultures of the Asian communities that once thrived in and around the Santa Barbara Presidio.

asian-american-neighborhood-festival-2016-by-fritz-olenberger-3
Photo by Fritz Olenberger.

This year’s festival was sponsored by Perry Mazda and the George H. Griffiths and Olive J. Griffiths Charitable Foundation.

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Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.

For more photos of the festival by Fritz Olenberger, Dr. Paul Mori and Mike Imwalle, visit our Flickr album here.

Professor Valerie Matsumoto Presents City Girls

By Anne Petersen

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Kevin McGarry, Kay Van Horn, Anne Petersen, Valerie Matsomoto, Mika Thornburg and Terease Chin. Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.

On September 31, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation hosted Professor Valerie Matsumoto, faculty in both the Asian American Studies and History Departments at UCLA, to speak about her new book, City Girls: The Nisei Social World in Los Angeles, 1920 – 1950.  Professor Matsumoto’s project explores the ways that young Japanese American women’s social clubs helped them navigate discriminatory environments before WWII, through internment and resettlement after the war.

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Valerie Matsumoto presents, City Girls. Photo by Dr. Paul Mori.

More than sixty guests attended the lecture at the Alhecama Theatre, and stayed for the book signing and reception with the author that followed.  Professor Matsumoto’s presentation included amazing historic photographs she collected during her research. In a special highlight of the evening, SBTHP Asian American History Committee member Kay Van Horn spoke during the Q&A about her family’s long history in the Santa Barbara Presidio Neighborhood and her mother Masako Saruwatari’s participation in similar Nisei social activities in Santa Barbara.

citygirlsProfessor Matsumoto has been a good friend and partner to SBTHP over the last twelve years, participating in a 2004 National Endowment for the Humanities advisory workshop to develop themes for a new visitor center, and then again in 2009 to advise on a Visitor Experience Plan for the Historic properties SBTHP manages in downtown Santa Barbara. Her research on Nisei women’s social clubs helps inform our understanding of similar experiences in Santa Barbara’s Nihonmachi, or Japantown, which was located on the site of El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park in the early 20th century.

We look forward to staying informed about Professor Matsumoto’s next research project.  Did you miss the lecture?  You are in luck.  City Girls in available at La Tiendita, the gift shop at El Presidio de Santa Barbara SHP, and on the website here.

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

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