Cambrian: Opinion

Of historical trees, Hospitality Night and 100 angels

“One generation plants the trees; another gets the shade.” — Chinese proverb

Someone in 1903, perhaps during the occupancy of Sarah and Samuel Guthrie, planted a start of the Port Orford Cedar tree in front of their elegant home on Center Street. One of only a few growing this far south of their native Oregon forest, the tree now stands tall and stately alongside the Cambria Historical Museum, the former Guthrie-Bianchini House, and now the East Village’s year-round centerpiece.

The Cambria Historical Society is proud to present the community with its brightly lit Christmas tree during Cambria’s Hospitality Night. As previously announced, tonight (Dec. 6), we will have a short performance of the Santa Lucia Middle School’s choir, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Burton Street front yard.

Santa will arrive in a fire truck at 6 p.m., and he will then announce the tree’s illumination. Children are invited to have their pictures taken with him until 8:30; traditional hot cider and cookies will be served. Visitors should be aware that the museum’s nursery has 5-gallon starts cultivated from the original tree available for sale at $25, and planting is possible now that the rains have come to soften our soil and nourish the trees for future generations to enjoy.

A nostalgic look at the reason for the season

Local rancher and author Debbie Soto has written and illustrated a delightful new hard-cover book, suitable for gifts and available in the museum’s bookstore for only $19.95. The lyrical text in “Christmas Eve at Bethany,” conveying the true meaning of Christmas, is also set to music; Debbie has a CD which can accompany it. She will be featured at our meet and greet reception on Sunday, Dec. 9 from 2 to 4 p.m., when we’ll be celebrating with delicious hors d’oeuvres and beverages. Debbie will have a story time for children in the parlor at 2:30. The public is invited to join our members at no charge.

The museum is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m., and Monday morning from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The store has a large selection of historical books, including two others by Bob and Debbie Soto, and unique gift items at nominal costs. All proceeds and donations benefit Historical Society operations and programs.

One Hundred Angels

In October, 2011, we began “looking for” 100 angels who would donate $1,000 each to help us retire the remainder of the mortgage on the museum, which was about $100,000 at that time. Thanks to a generous benefactor and many others who graciously responded, we added to regular monthly payments on the principal and have brought the amount due down to about $40,000. So, with the assistance of just 40 angels more we can reach our goal of burning the mortgage! Please consider us as you plan your taxable deductions for the year; we are open to setting up a creative plan of quarterly payments if you wish. Contact our President Jack Breglio (927-1557); Treasurers Roger Robinson (927-2597) or Alan Doctor (927-7025; or Angels’ Chairman Consuelo Macedo (925-3159).

By clearing the mortgage, it will allow us to focus our on-going efforts to benefit our standing funds: the Wilfred Lyons Memorial Archives, Millie Huffaker Garden maintenance, East Village Historic Park, education and scholarships and general operations. These benefited from community support and participation at Heritage Days and the Harvest Festival. For further information, call the museum at 927-2891, or go to

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the board of directors and members of the Cambria Historical Society!