Beloved author and DPHS founder Doris I. Walker was honored on April 16, when the bronze tribute by Christopher Pecharka was unveiled at Heritage Park by the Dana Point City Council, together with her sons, Brent and Blair Walker. Mayor Steven Weinberg spoke to the city officials, family and friends in attendance and compared Doris’s love for this area to the description Richard Henry Dana Jr. made of our coastal bluffs as the only romantic spot on the coast. As promised in earlier conceptual drawings, Pecharka’s pop-up storybook sculpture brings to life the heritage of Dana Point and the Orange County coastal area Doris celebrated in her articles, books and programs. Doris was also saluted by Pamela Harrell, Chair of the Orange County Historical Commission, and her fellow commissioners for Doris’s contributions during her years of service on the Orange County Historical Commission. Compass Point at Heritage Park on Old Golden Lantern is now dedicated and renamed as the Doris Walker Overlook. Do take the opportunity to visit and see the three-dimensional Pilgrim, the Capistrano Mission Bells and the Hide Drogher, that are among the historical symbols of our culture and heritage depicted on the sculpture. If you are fortunate to have a copy of Doris I. Walker’s Home Port for Romance, you will be inspired to read and appreciate it again.
Our April 24th meeting was moved to the City Council Chambers in order to video Eric Jessen’s talk, entitled “A Historical Overview of Regional Parks and Open Space in Dana Point.” A reception followed his presentation in our museum gallery where members enjoyed speaking with Eric. We have received raves about Eric’s well-organized and polished presentation and have requests that he be asked to speak again sometime in the next year. Our sincere thanks to Eric, the city staff who prepared the meeting location for us and our board members who made all the arrangements for the evening’s program.
The Scholarship Committee has met and chosen the two recipients whose names will be announced at their high school awards ceremonies in late May. We look forward to being introduced to our scholarship winners at the June 26th Doheny Beach Scholarship BBQ, so please reserve that date for our annual fun event.
The museum gallery is open on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and I want to thank everyone who has made that possible by volunteering for a two-hour shift in the past five weeks. We need and would love to have additional volunteers, so please telephone the Historical Society office, 949-248-8121, and let us know if you are willing to help. The museum can only be open if one of us volunteers and there are interesting books, exhibits and photos to entertain.
Dana Point made a significant contribution to the 38th Annual California Preservation Conference during May 1-3. Five members of the Dana Point Historical Society attended as registered participants or volunteers including Elizabeth Bamattre, Keith Johannes, Linda Moore, DP Councilman Carlos N. Olvera, representing the Orange County Historical Commission, and myself. In addition, members of the City of Dana Point Community planning department in attendance included John Tilton, City Architect; Erica Demkowicz, Senior Planner; Saima Qureshy, Senior Planner; and Christy Teague, Economic Development Manager. The Dana Point Historical Society was named as a Conference Partner because we had representation on the Conference Steering Committee beginning in January 2012 and assisted in locating a hotel for the conference, obtained sponsors and participants for the conference and wrote a study tour to South Orange County entitled Journey Through Time. The City of Dana Point was well acknowledged for sending City Planning representatives to the conference. The California Preservation Foundation and its annual conference is important because it is the only statewide non-profit historic preservation education, advocacy and membership organization in California. The CPF mission is to educate and advocate for the preservation of California’s diverse cultural and architectural heritage through workshops, the Preservation Design Awards and the Annual California Preservation Conference that alternates between northern and southern California.
May 22 is our Founders Day program and Ingrid McGuire is our honoree. I first met Ingrid years ago when she rang our doorbell when campaigning for City Council. Much later, when we met at a Historical Society event, I was amazed that Ingrid remembered where we first met! Our members will have the pleasure of acknowledging Ingrid’s contributions and dedication to our community and we hope you can join us at 6 p.m. that evening.
Barbara Force Johannes