Saturday, November 20, 2010

Heritage Museum of O.C., California Heritage Day

Last weekend, I attended California Heritage Day at the Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Ana. The event celebrated the anniversary of the signing of the original California Constitution, which was ratified in 1848. As Sharon Brown pointed out, "It was published in both English and Spanish. It guaranteed significant rights to the established Spanish-speaking population. Most of these were withdrawn when the NEW 1879 Constitution replaced it."
Anyway, I thought I'd share some of the photos I took that day. The image above shows Ernie Perez Tautimes Salas of the Tongva people, performing a traditional blessing during the day's opening ceremony. Below is a fellow dressed as the Franciscan padres did during the Mission era.
I don't think enough people know about the Heritage Museum of Orange County (HMOC). It's an especially great place to take kids -- either individually or whole school classes. While they don't have all these reenactors milling around every day, there is a lot to see and do here. Everything from blacksmith demonstrations to panning for gold.
But the centerpiece is really the Kellogg House -- home of one of Orange County's first surveyors, Hiram Clay Kellogg and his family. This Victorian gem is now a very hands-on museum, where kids can experience what everyday life was like in California around 1900. They can play the pump organ, churn butter, run a foot-operated washing machine, listen to cylinder records and a Victrola, use a stereopticon, pick oranges, try on period clothing, and much more.
I know I'm starting to sound like an ad. But I believe in this place and really think it deserves extra attention. I actually worked there as a docent when I was in college, and let's just say that the current management and staff have clearly worked their butts off to improve and enliven the place. Oh, yes... Back to the photos: A couple Californios show off their guns, bear skins, and fancy duds in the image above. Yes, those were real knives they had stuck in their belts (and in their boots), but I wasn't intimidated. As you'll see in the photo below, I was carrying a pick-axe.
Yes, that's me, at the "Falcon Mining Co." claim, getting a jump on "Talk Like A Grizzled Prospector Day."
I also ran into my friend and fellow OCHS board member, Carolyn Schoff, (shown in the photo below,) who I almost didn't recognize in her Early California attire!
All these photos -- plus images of many other historical events and locations I visit (and a whole lotta other random stuff) -- are posted on my Flickr site: Feel free to stop by and visit whenever. Note especially the photo sets marked "Orange County History," "Knott's Berry Farm," "Tiki & Polynesian Pop," and so forth.


Viewliner Ltd. said...

Thanks for all the great posts Chris. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, Richard.

Connie Moreno said...

Oh my gosh, I love your blog for what I learn from it! I had no idea the heritage museum existed - now I must visit it soon. You rock.

Sharon Brown said...

Thanks for your wonderful post and great pictures. We at the Heritage Museum need all the publicity we can get.