President’s Message April 2015

Barbara Profile Shot

Based on all reports received, our March efforts to take Dana Point history to the public were a success, thanks to our dedicated volunteers. Visitors from Texas (including a distant relation to both S.H Woodruff AND the wife of Richard Henry Dana, Jr.) wrote:  “We appreciate the time that you gave up on your weekend so that you could give us a 90 minute walking tour of Dana Point on March 14, during the last weekend of the Festival of Whales. We found the tour to be very informative and extremely interesting  . . .Your tour was one of the highlights of our trip . . .” 

 Did you see the Richard Henry Dana, Jr. Bicentennial Exhibit for March at the Dana Point Library announcing the Fifth Annual Reading of Two Years Before the Mast?  Our entry in the March 7th Festival of Whales Parade, in collaboration with the California Fire Museum, was a hit. The restored 1964 Crown Coach Fire Engine displayed DPHS banners advertising the Fifth Annual Reading of TYBTM.  The fire engine also attracted many children who were thrilled to climb into the driver’s seat before the parade started.

The DPHS Booth was set up during both FOW weekends at the corner of Harbor Drive and Island Way as part of Art in the Park. We answered questions prompted by the large banners displaying historic harbor photos, distributed complimentary post cards, calendars and posters to interested visitors and sold items relating to Dana Point history. Three well attended FOW Historic Walking Tours were conducted March 7th and 8th and a third tour by appointment on March 14.

 The Historical Society’s Dana Bicentennial Banners were installed on city light poles March 16 in anticipation of the Fifth Annual Reading of TYBTM the last weekend of March.  We are especially grateful to The Strand, CR&R, the Docent Society of Mission San Juan Capistrano and the individuals who have contributed, to date, half the cost of the Dana banner project in our effort to salute the author whose 1840 bestseller made California and this coast well known.  The City of Dana Point plans to install a permanent version of the Dana banner artwork on the Del Prado archway now under construction near Blue Lantern.

 I am looking forward to seeing you at our April 22nd program, 7:00 pm in the City Council Chambers.   Maritime historian Randy Biddle is driving from Valencia to give us a “Fresh View of the brig Pilgrim” and Jeff Rosaler, Chief Rigger of Pilgrim II, will contrast how the later vessel compares with the original.  A museum reception will follow the program.

The note from our Texas visitors concluded:  “We feel that there are individuals such as you within Dana Point who are real treasures to the community.  Among these I would include Bob Minty whose talks about “Moby Dick” and “Two Years Before the Mast” we enjoyed at the Ocean Institute  . . .  I only wish I could be in Dana Point this coming weekend when volunteers read Two Years Before the Mast.  Thanks again for being so generous with you time and sharing with us the wonderful history of Dana Point.  Sincerely, Linda Loomis.”

 As president, please allow me to echo Linda’s words to our Board of Directors, Historical Society members, Dana Bicentennial sponsors, volunteers and guest readers. You do give up your time, donate your support and you are the real treasures of Dana Point who preserve and share our heritage with tourists, residents and students. Thank you for your generosity.


Barbara Force Johannes

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