President’s Message Holiday 2021 by Barbara Force Johannes

President’s Message Holiday 2021 by Barbara Force Johannes

Our Thursday, December 9th annual Holiday Reception [editor’s note: canceled due to weather] will be held  at the Lantern Village Community Park to celebrate the installation of two original Dana Point Lantern Streetlights.  The Historical Society will honor and thank the City of Dana Point for restoring the two original lantern posts.   When the 1929 Street of the Violet lantern post was removed on February 11, 2021, due to its deteriorated condition, the city promised local neighbors that the lantern post would be restored and installed nearby.  The Historical Society agreed to store the Violet Lantern post along with another original post and lantern that had been rescued from a Laguna Beach dumpster by Historical Society volunteers and stored for more than a decade. The city and the Historical Society subsequently agreed that the city would restore both lantern posts and install them in the Lantern Village Park.  When the lantern posts were taken to South Coast Lighting and Design for rehabilitation, our rescued lantern frame was used to replicate a new copper lantern to replace the lantern missing from the Violet Lantern post.  Both lantern posts were installed Friday, November 12th, on custom-made concrete foundations.   This would not have happened without the City of Dana Point, the storage unit supported by our members’ dues and those volunteers who saved one of the original lantern street lights.   Please join us, the Lantern Village Association and City of Dana Point officials for holiday refreshments and a lantern ribbon-cutting.  The City of Dana Point 2022 Calendar featuring Historical Society photos will be given out at the event.

Photo courtesy of Compass Real Estate.

The Historical Society was pleased to learn that the City’s Planning Commission designated the 1929 bluff-top home located at 24422 Santa Clara (pictured) as a significant historical structure on the City’s Historic Register at their October 25th meeting. The City Council approved the Commission’s recommendation for Edward and Kathleen Lambert to enter into an agreement with the City for participation in the Mills Act Program. The Historical Society supported the owner’s application with a letter to the City Council and spoke in favor of granting the Mills Act designation at the November 16th City Council meeting.  The Council approved the owner’s request unanimously.  According to the Community Development Department, the structure is the 43rd addition to the Dana Point Historic Resource Register.  The home is among the Woodruff-era homes featured on the Historical Society’s Walking Tour.

The Society’s Board of Directors has received a number of recent gifts to the Museum.  Susan and Paul Hinman visited our October Board Meeting to present a gift from Joan Sowden Deily of her book, Alone On the Sea.  The limited-edition book chronicles the voyages her brother, John Mark Sowden (1920-1990), and the three different times he circumnavigated the world in his 24’7” wooden boat, the TARMIN.  For his achievement, John Sowden secured a place in the Guinness Book of Records.  Joan and her family lived at 34401 Street of the Green Lantern.  Joan lived in Dana Point from 1949 to1954.  She was one of 29 graduates in the Capistrano High School Class of 1952.  There were 130 students attending the only high school in the district.   You may want to stop in and review her book and her note about her memories of Dana Point in the 1950s.  Joan’s parents lived out their lives in Dana Point.  Joan now lives in Montana where she resides on Flathead Lakeshore near the Hinman’s home.

Don Merrill visited our November board meeting to present us with a beautifully framed copy of the painting (pictured), “Brig ‘Pilgrim’, the vessel on which R. H. Dana served in Two Years Before the Mast” by prominent maritime painter J. Duncan Gleason (1881-1959). Gleason was born in Watsonville, California, studied art at the University of Southern California and many other art schools, and painted the Brig Pilgrim c. 1915.  The current owner purchased the painting, formerly in the Richard Kelton collection of marine paintings and Don asked the owner, a friend of his son, to have a copy made for the Dana Point Historical Society and then delivered it to us.

We also wish to thank several generous people who have recently given or sent historical information to us to be archived, shared in a future newsletter, or possibly arranged as a future program.

Many thanks to Tom Blake, columnist and author, who spoke at our October 27 meeting about his new book, Tutor & Spunky’s Deli: A Dana Point Landmark.  Tom donated a copy of his book to the museum and shared his experiences as the founder of Tutor and Spunky’s for an interesting review of 26 years of local history.  If you couldn’t attend, just Google “Tom Blake” and the video will come up on your browser.

Special thanks to David Matuszak, who fascinated members at our November 17 meeting with the research for his book San Onofre: Memories of a Legendary Surfing Beach.   A lively reception followed as Dave signed his voluminous book for members and regaled us with more surfing stories.  Dave’s program was also recorded and will be soon be available.

I am thankful for our Board of Directors, our members and our friends who have supported the Historical Society during this challenging year.  Thank you for giving us your talent and time—we couldn’t have managed without you!  We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays!