Category Archives: Past Events

Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours to focus on Saint Junipero Serra on Saturday, October 21, 2017

Old Monterey Foundation continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay historian and author, Tim Thomas, who offers outstanding “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours” on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM – Noon.

The next walking tour will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2017:   “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: Focus on Saint Junipero Serra”.  Learn more about the history of Father Serra in Monterey County as well as the Serra statue at the park.

Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork;, turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum.

Advance reservations are required by calling Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email timsardine@yahoo.com.  The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and kids are $15 (10-15 years).  Group rates are also available.

About Tim Thomas

About the Lower Presidio Historic Park

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Free Lecture on Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf: Past, Present & Future, Thursday, October 19, 2017

For the fourth year, Old Monterey Foundation is pleased to continue its free lecture events as part of its 2017 Lecture Series sponsored by The Marcia F. Devoe Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County.

Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf: Past, Present & Future

Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf has seen bales of Chinese silks and barrels of Spanish wine, whaling ships, Navy cutters, and fishing boats by the score; Fisherman’s Wharf, in its various incarnations, has been the focus of Monterey’s economic life for centuries.

Based on a 2016 study by the Monterey County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf is the #1 destination for visitors to our region. Enjoy a great presentation about Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf including its more than 100 years of history.

In her fascinating presentation, Monterey native Mary Alice Cerrito Fettis, immediate Past President and current Board Member of Fisherman’s Wharf Association, who grew up at her father’s restaurant on the Wharf, will discuss:

  • Key historic highlights at Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf over the past 100 years
  • Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf today
  • Whalefest Monterey
  • Other happenings at Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf

She will also show many historic photos of Monterey’s Old Fisherman’s Wharf.

Bill Wojtkowski, President of the Old Monterey Foundation Board of Directors, will present a short overview of improvements planned for the Lower Presidio Historic Park.

Thursday, October 19, 2017 – 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Irvine Auditorium, McCone Building, MIIS; 499 Pierce Street, Monterey
Free Admission – Reception to follow

For more information, call (831) 346-3030.
The lectures are very popular so attendees are urged to come early to secure a seat.
This lecture is suitable for ages 9 and up.

 About the Presenter: Mary Alice Cerrito Fettis

Mary Alice Cerrito Fettis headshot (3)xMary Alice Cerrito Fettis is a dedicated community leader.  She currently serves on the Fisherman’s Wharf Association Board of Directors as immediate Past  President and is Chair of the annual Whalefest Monterey event held on the Wharf. She is Past President and serves on the Board of Directors of the North Fremont Business District, and is a member of Monterey Commercial Property Owners Association. She serves on the Boards of Advisors for the Hellenic Cultural Institute and the Merienda Committee. She is Past Co-Chair of La Merienda, Past Board member, Monterey History & Art Association, Past Board member Hellenic Cultural Institute, and Past President Monterey County Hospitality Association.

Mary Alice was born and raised in Monterey and graduated from Santa Catalina School and received her BA and MAT from Santa Clara University. As an international charter flight attendant, Mary Alice traveled to over 45 countries which gave her a broad view of life. She managed the family restaurant, banquet, and entertainment businesses and was also a real estate agent with Pan American Real Estate over 25 years. Currently, she is a real estate property manager representing family interests. Mary Alice is married to Nick Fettis who composes, plays, and tunes pianos.

Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour to focus on Fort Mervine Saturday, September 16, 2017

Old Monterey Foundation continues to team up with noted Monterey Bay historian and author, Tim Thomas, who offers outstanding “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours” on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00 AM – Noon.

The next walking tour will be held on Saturday, September 16, 2017:   “Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour: “Focus on Fort Mervine”. Tim Thomas will discuss the era of Fort Mervine at Lower Presidio Historic Park.

The First American Fort on the Pacific After the United States took control of the Mexican capital of California at Monterey in July 1846, the US Army built its first American fort on the west coast on this hill. Fort Mervine overlooks the harbor, located above what had been an earlier Spanish and Mexican fort called “El Castillo.” It was eventually named for Captain William Mervine.

Under direction from Commodore Sloat, Captain Mervine led the forces ashore to raise the American flag over the Custom House of Monterey. Construction of the fort began in 1846 under the direction of engineer Lt. Henry Halleck and the supervision of Lt. Edward O. C. Ord. Both men would later go on to become notable Civil War generals as would a young lieutenant who assisted in the fort’s construction named William Tecumseh Sherman. The fort was completed in 1847.

Fort Mervine was first known as Fort Stockton in honor of the Navy commander of the Pacific Squadron. When the U. S. Army’s Third Artillery arrived in 1847, they renamed it “Monterey Redoubt.” But the renaming didn’t stop. The fort was called Fort Hill, Fort Savannah (for Commodore Sloat’s flagship), Fort Halleck, and so on at various times. But Fort Mervine is the name that finally stuck. Fort Mervine consisted of barracks, officer’s quarters, a bakery, and other buildings enclosed by a wood palisade atop an earthen mound. It was 650 feet long and 400 feet wide with ravelins – angled, fortified embankments housing artillery pieces – at each corner. Today only the forward ravelin remains, mounted with four 1861 Siege rifles and one 24-pound siege howitzer.

The fort closed in 1852 during the Gold Rush, then was reactivated during the Civil War, only to be closed again in 1865. The ruins of Fort Mervine now stand as the ancestor to the present day Presidio of Monterey.

Tours meet in front of the City of Monterey’s Presidio of Monterey Museum, 113 Corporal Ewing, Building #113. From Monterey, take Pacific Street past the Monterey Conference Center and the First Theater to the end of Pacific where it forks, take the left fork;, turn left onto Artillery Road, turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it a short way to the Presidio of Monterey Museum in the center of the Park against the hill; from Pacific Grove, take Lighthouse Avenue in New Monterey, bear right to go onto Pacific Street and then go to Artillery Road, turn right, and then turn right on Corporal Ewing Road and follow it to the Presidio of Monterey Museum. Note: there will be construction in the area during September.

Advance reservations are required by calling Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email timsardine@yahoo.com.  The tour is for ages 10-adult only and the cost is $20 for adults and kids are $15 (10-15 years).  Group rates are also available.

About Tim Thomas

About the Lower Presidio Historic Park

Groundbreaking Ceremony for new ADA Pathways at the Lower Presidio Historic Park Monday, August 14th

Don’t miss the special Groundbreaking Ceremony for the new ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible pathways to the Sloat, Serra and Bouchard Monuments at the Lower Presidio Historic Park, located at 76th Artillery Street and Corporal Ewing Road in Monterey on Monday, August 14, 2017 at 11:45 a.m. The ceremony will take place at the concrete pad just below the Saint Serra monument (across from the Presidio of Monterey Museum).

Speakers at the ceremony will include City of Monterey Mayor Clyde Roberson, Garrison Commander Lawrence Brown, a representative from the Neighborhood Improvement Program, and Old Monterey Foundation’s Board President, Bill Wojtkowski.

Many local organizations have played a role in the development of this project including Old Monterey Foundation, the Neighborhood Improvement Program, City of Monterey, Rotary Club of Monterey, Community Foundation for Monterey County, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Presidio of Monterey, and Granite Construction. The project is funded by the City of Monterey’s Neighborhood Improvement Program.

For more information, call (831) 346-3030.

About the Lower Presidio Historic Park

Free Lecture on “The Historic Buffalo Soldier Trail” Thursday, August 10

For the fourth year, Old Monterey Foundation is pleased to announce that will hold the first free event in the 2017 Lecture Series sponsored by The Marcia F. Devoe Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County on Thursday, August 10, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in Irvine Auditorium, McCone Building, Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey, 499 Pierce Street, Monterey.

AT A GLANCE:

What: Focus on the Historic Buffalo Soldier Trail

This presentation will shed light on the little known and mostly forgotten Monterey leg of California’s Historic Buffalo Soldier Trail.  Prior to 1916, the Army was responsible for stewardship of the National Parks, including Yosemite National Park.

In 1901, the Presidio at Monterey post including what is now the Lower Presidio Historic Park, was reopened by the Army as a cavalry and artillery garrison. Among its first units was the legendary 9th Cavalry, the “Buffalo Soldiers,” who were African-Americans.

A little-known contribution of the Buffalo Soldiers involved eight troops of the 9th Cavalry Regiment and one company of the 24th Infantry Regiment who served in California’s Sierra Nevada as some of the first national park rangers. The Buffalo Soldiers from Company H, 24th Infantry Regiment briefly served in Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and General Grant (Kings Canyon) National Parks.  The Buffalo Soldiers were stationed at the Presidio of Monterey and traveled from their base to Yosemite in 1903 and 1904 fulfilled this Army duty.

The presentation will also show 1904 articles published by area newspapers along the Trail and will provide the information about and names of the troop members who were garrisoned at the Presidio of Monterey who traveled to Yosemite and back.

About the Presenters

About Geneva Brett

Geneva Brett is a Los Banos Real Estate Broker and ten year advocate for California’s Historic Buffalo Soldier Trail.  In 2010, she testified before a Congressional Sub Committee in support of the Buffalo Soldiers in the National Parks Study Act, which has since become law.

About Bruce Rivers

Former Seaside resident Bruce E. Rivers is the Senior Pastor of the Mount Moriah First Baptist Church in Dos Palos, CA.

Following the lecture, Bill Wojtkowski, President of the Old Monterey Foundation Board of Directors, will present a short overview of improvements planned for the Lower Presidio Historic Park.

This lecture is suitable for ages 9 and up.

When: Thursday, August 10, 2017 – 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Where: Irvine Auditorium, McCone Building, MIIS; 499 Pierce Street, Monterey

Free Admission – Reception to follow

For more information, call (831) 346-3030.

The lectures are very popular so attendees are urged to come early to secure a seat.

The second lecture in the series will take place on August 24th: “Ninety Years of Key Decisions to Preserve Monterey’s History” with presenters Kip Hudson and Mary Wright. Monterey, described as California’s most historic city, has been preserved through the impassioned efforts of its surrounding community.  Individuals, organizations and governments have all played a role in its preservation.  Join us for this discussion by community leaders who have participated in many of these achievements and challenges. Finally, a brief overview of the future of Monterey History and Art Association will be provided by the President of the organization, Larry Chavez.

About Old Monterey Foundation

About the Lower Presidio Historic Park 

“Picnic in the Park at Lower Presidio Historic Park” on Saturday, July 1 attracts hundreds of people to enjoy family-friendly event

July 5, 2017. Kicking off the 4th of July holiday weekend, Old Monterey Foundation held its first ever “Picnic in the Park” at Lower Presidio Historic Park on Saturday, July 1, 2017, a well-attended free family-friendly event! Hundreds of people attended this “FUNdraiser” and enjoyed great food, live entertainment, historic reenactments, walking tours, costume contests, scavenger hunt, prizes and much more. They learned that Old Monterey Foundation is continuing to raise funds to develop trails and interpretive signs for all the monuments to enhance and restore this park which is considered “The Most Historically Significant Site on the West Coast” and how they can donate to support this project. Attendees also enjoyed the spectacular views of the beautiful Monterey Bay, Old Fisherman’s Wharf and the Monterey Harbor at this park that is hidden in plain view as well as the restored Saint Serra statue.

After a welcome by Bill Wojtkowski, President, Old Monterey Foundation, the event continued with an Opening Prayer by Louise J. Miranda Ramirez, Tribal Chairwoman of the Ohlone/ Costanoan-Esselen Nation who later gave a brief presentation about their important history at the Lower Presidio Historic Park. Attendees enjoyed several great musical sets from Derek Bodkin & the Hovering Breadcat Folk Ensemble who performed crowd-pleasing folk, rock and seafaring music.  They also enjoyed the local youth dance troupe performances from DiFranco DanceProject and Ragamuffin Musical Theatre Company of Pacific Grove. Attendees sampled food from several food trucks, Taste of Mexico, Indian Gourmet, Poke Lab, and enjoyed other sweet treats and brews, including wine and beer.

A crowd-pleasing highlight was the historic costumed reenactment during the Picnic in the Park event. Argentinian Privateer Hippolyte Bouchard (regarded by his victims as a pirate) and his loyal crew reenacted the colorful capture of the Presidio of Monterey (El Castillo) in 1818.  Reenactor Maria Antoni Pico’s shared a fascinating recollection of the battle as well.

Picnic in the Park also featured costume contests with prizes for best dressed pirate-both kids and adult with lots of pirate booty, photo ops with pirates and historic reenactors, a scavenger hunt with prizes and face painting for the kids. Attendees took free Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tours with historian Tim Thomas and he shared fascinating historic highlights about the park.  They also visited the Presidio of Monterey Museum, also located on the site and operated by the City of Monterey, and viewed exhibits, artifacts, and videos that lead visitors through Monterey’s various stages of military development from the indigenous period which highlights the area’s native populations, through the Spanish and Mexican periods and up to present day.

Sponsors of Picnic in the Park included KSBW 8 NBC, Central Coast ABC and Estrella TV Costa, Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association and Peter B’s Brewpub.

For more information about how to get involved and support Old Monterey Foundation’s Lower Presidio Historic Park Project and become a Friend of the Lower Presidio, call (831) 346-3030 or email piratesinthepark@gmail.com.