By PGP DAVID ALLEN
Please note; Brother David writes these reports for the Native Sons Newsletter which is published bi-monthly.
The purpose of the Historical Preservation Foundation of the Native Sons of the Golden West is to make California and American history accessible, informative, meaningful, and entertaining for the public through the preservation, sponsorship, and promotion of historical sites and of events to commemorate historical dates. This past year the HPF has fulfilled that mission in numerous ways and continues to make a difference on its journey of recognizing and assisting in the preservation and education of California history.
In 2014, California State Parks provided $15K in funds that were matched by the HPF and were administered through the California State Parks Foundation to finance ten California Historic Register Landmark plaques throughout the state at various historical sites. Two were completed in 2014 and four more have been added in 2015: the Monterey Custom House, Tomo-Kani State Park in Tehachapi, Bridgeport at the South Yuba State Park, and just recently completed Castro/Breen Adobe in San Juan Bautista. The next monument will be dedicated at Railtown 1897 in Jamestown in June of this year.
A $15K commitment was made to the Sonoma /Petaluma Historic Parks Association to restore and preserve the Vallejo Adobe which will be matched by other groups and Native Sons parlors to preserve this building where Vallejo once lived. This building was owned by the Native Sons from 1902 to 1950.
The Citrus Roots Foundation was the recipient of two grants totaling $4,000 to produce two videos on the citrus industry one entitled The Boom of 1897, which has been completed. The other to produce a video on Citrus Roots…Today’s Legacies from Yesteryear – Water which will be out at the end of 2015.
The HPF has also provided $5K in funds which will be merged with donations from Amador Parlor #17 and the Sutter Creek Community Benefit Foundation to build a Park and Gold Mining Display in Downtown Sutter Creek. The three above donations were brought to the HPF by Nicasio, Rio Hondo, and Amador Parlors.
This year the HPF was able to provide a $1,000 scholarship to a deserving student to the Western Archive Institute. The students came from a candidate’s pool provided by the California Secretary of State.
The HPF has joined forces with the Native Sons Hall Association to provide a total of $2,500 in funding for the Sloat Landing Celebration which takes place in Monterey on July 5 of this year. This is a chance for the Native Sons to not only save this event, but it provides the opportunity to support and develop the infrastructure to keep this event alive in succeeding years.
After several years of visitations and time by the HPF, the Native Sons of the Golden West will be able to provide the dedication ceremony to the new museum at Donner Memorial State Historic Park in Truckee on June 6, 2015. Although this is not an HPF event, it came to be through the efforts of the HPF.
The HPF has been able to make donations to various entities throughout the state of California for a total of just over $70K in the last three years. Currently only the smaller grants and matching grants have come to fruition and they have been sponsored or matched by the HPF. As the list of donations grows and the track record grows, the Foundation will eventually begin to seek and hopefully receive larger grants as was the original plan. This is not an overnight process and will take years to reach our full potential, but the HPF continues to move in the right direction.
You can see that there are many ways in which the HPF can provide services to the order. From matching grants to cash awards to behind the scenes work, the HPF is constantly looking for ways to promote California history and the Native Sons of the Golden West and most importantly tell the story of California.
As the HPF celebrates its 15th year of existence and after many years of struggle the HPF is finally making a difference. The HPF wishes to thank each and every member of the Native Sons along with the parlors for their continued support and faith in the mission of the HPF.