President’s Message 2012 November/December

Barbara Profile ShotThis is the season to count our blessings and thank you, our members and sponsors, for your support throughout the year.  We commend and thank the City Planning Commissioners for granting historic designations this summer to four of Dana Point’s earliest historic resources, as well as the first Woodruff commercial building and the 1929 La Cresta apartment building currently under restoration.   We were grateful to accept the city’s offer of a lease, and, delighted to receive the keys to Suite 104 on September 24.

Thanks to the efforts of the committee and everyone who attended—a reported 100 people—officials, guests and members gathered for Sunset at the Drogher to celebrate our 25th Anniversary kick-off on September 26 and to remember and reminisce.  Our Society was congratulated for our founders’ vision and recognized for the dedicated volunteers who have collected, guarded and recorded Dana Point’s historic resources.

It is important for us to acknowledge that all this doesn’t just happen by itself.  Members and sponsors donate dues, underwrite projects and volunteer expertise and time.  As seen in this issue, volunteers moved furniture to the new museum space and reorganized items in storage this fall.  We moved office furnishings and display cabinets into our new space at City Hall and succeeded in closing two storage units.  Progress!

My heartfelt thanks go to the board of directors and members who have organized our projects and events this year. The Nominating and Bylaws Committees met to choose a slate of officers and to propose needed bylaw revisions to be voted upon at the Annual General Meeting on January 23, 2013.  The Baby Beach Tile Wall Committee again installed several sets of personalized, hand-painted tiles on October 28.  The Museum Committee has ordered a wall hanging system, researched furnishings and restored display cabinets.  The October 24 Ghost Walk on Los Rios Street was fun and, thanks to member Nada Chatwell, we have an account of our experience in this issue. Could there be a better location for a ghost walk and legends tour than the oldest residential neighborhood in California with adobes dating to the 1790s?

Our relaxing November 7 field trip to the Mission Inn received raves.  The balmy fall day explained why Riverside was a popular winter resort in the 1890s.  Just a day after our national election, we toured where ten U.S. Presidents had visited. The Mission Inn also has very interesting ties to Orange County and, coincidentally, to our January meeting. Duane Roberts, the current owner of the Mission Inn, owns a historic Camel Point home in Laguna Beach. In this same area Frank Miller, the hotel’s inspired visionary, built a home in South Laguna in 1918 while building the Mission Inn with the same architect, Arthur B. Benton. Now known as the Villa Rockledge and owned by Roger W. Jones since 1972, it is to be auctioned December 15, 2012 at noon with an opening bid of $10.5 million and is appraised at $25.7 million.  Even more interesting, Eric Jessen, retired Chief of the County of Orange Harbors, Beaches, and Parks Department, has agreed to speak at our January meeting. When Eric was a landscape contractor, he designed and executed the historic landscape restoration of a Laguna Beach National Historic Landmark—the Villa Rockledge! Mark your 2013 calendar for our January 23 meeting.

Thanks for giving your support to the Dana Point Historical Society. I look forward to visiting with you at the December 2nd Holiday Open House.  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Barbara Force Johannes

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