By popular acclamation, the Cambria Historical Society will present Dr. Dan Krieger as the keynote speaker during its annual Recognitions Banquet on Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Cambria Pines Lodge.
The venue will accommodate all who are interested in the history of the Central Coast, so the public is graciously invited to attend the dinner with advance reservations, available at the historical museum or on the group’s website.
Dr. Krieger is professor emeritus of history at Cal Poly and past president of the California Mission Studies Association. He will present the most up-to-date information about Cambria’s relation to mission trails to San Miguel and San Antonio de Padua.
In Krieger’s words: “The Rancho San Simeón en la playa (“at the beach”) was the outlet to the sea for the inland missions. Mission San Antonio de Padua had originally relied on the steep San Carpoforo Canyon access first followed by the Portola Expedition in 1769. But when Mission San Miguel’s Father Juan Cabot developed the San Simeón landing, both missions used it as their primary access to oceangoing vessels.
“By the 1820s, Rancho San Simeón en la playa had several large adobe structures and a year-round population. Recently, retired state of California archaeologist Glenn Farris has documented much of the activity surrounding this important landing, including
Native American births at the site.
“Rancho San Simeón was also the meeting place of a seaborne trade with Sitka, Alaska’s Russian American Co. as well as English, Boston and French merchant entrepreneurs. During the period of Mexican rule, Rancho San Simeón became a place of interest for the great powers ranging from France’s King Louis Philippe to President James K. Polk’s secretary of the Navy, George Bancroft.”
If this has piqued your interest to learn much more beyond the traditional tales, you will also be intrigued to hear about the alleged “French spy,” Eugène Duflot de Mofras.
Ahead at the museum
The Historical Society is committed to preserving and presenting the area’s past, and educating the public about the fascinating facts and cast of characters that comprise our heritage and legacy. Funding for operations depends on membership and community support, especially at our major fundraiser, Vine Dining, this year Sunday, April 26, at
Stolo Family Vineyards, so please save the date.
In the coming months, the Board of Directors will announce an exciting schedule of small group presentations to be held in the parlor of the museum, 2251 Center St. at Burton Drive. Since members may attend as a perquisite, the general public is invited to join in for a small $10 fee, which may be applied to a membership. Attendance is limited to 40.
The group will provide training for potential museum docents — call Penny Church at 927-1442; garden docent/volunteers, call Consuelo Macedo at 927-3159. The Cambria Historical Museum is staffed from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday; the Heirloom Gardens are available all day every day.
Call 927-2891 for information.