Free lecture on “Buffalo Soldiers: From the Presidio of San Francisco to the Presidio of Monterey” July 19th

Old Monterey Foundation is pleased to continue its season of free events as part of the 2018 Lecture Series sponsored by The Marcia F. Devoe Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County.

Join National Park Service Ranger Alejandra Iraheta for an engaging lecture about the African American Buffalo Soldiers and their connection to both the Presidio of Monterey and Presidio of San Francisco, as well as their extraordinary contributions to our nation in a time of overt racism and segregation. Participants will learn about some of the more prominent Buffalo Soldiers including Charles Young and William H. Thompkins. In addition, we will discuss how the actions of the Buffalo Soldiers here in the West Coast helped facilitate many freedoms we enjoy today, including taking a hike in your national park!

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

Thursday, July 19, 2018
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 about Old Monterey Foundation, 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 Alejandra Iraheta

Alejandra Iraheta works as an Interpretive Park Ranger/Volunteer Coordinator for the National Park Service at the Presidio of San Francisco in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. She has been with the National Park Service since 2011 and has been leading Buffalo Soldier programs for the public since 2012. Alejandra holds a Bachelors’ degree in Ethnic Studies from Mills College and a Masters of Science in Resource Interpretation degree from Stephen F. Austin University. It was her passion for Ethnic Studies that led her to research and present interpretive programming on the Buffalo Soldiers. As a woman of color, Alejandra is an avid supporter for the advancement of communities of color and believes that stories like that of the Buffalo Soldiers are important as they illustrate the power of perseverance and hard work to inspire future generations.


June 16 Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking Tour on American/California Period

With the weather warming, Old Monterey Foundation is resuming monthly Lower Presidio Historic Park Walking tours with noted Monterey Bay historian and author, Tim Thomas on the third Saturday of every month from 10:00am – Noon.

Old Monterey Foundation recently installed a monument sign on Pacific Street to make it even easier to find the park.

The next tour will be held Saturday, June 16, 2018 at 10:00am and will focus on the American/California period beginning in 1846. The American/California period includes the enactment of the first California Constitution in 1849 through the period when Fort Mervine was a coastal defense and cavalry post.

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 contacting Tim Thomas at (831) 521-3304 or via email.  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


Free Lecture on “E. Charlton Fortune: The Colorful Spirit” June 8th

Image: Drying Sails, 1926, oil on canvas. Monterey Museum of Art, bequest of Robert J. Dwyer, 2010.017. Exhibition organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art

For the fifth year, Old Monterey Foundation is pleased to launch its season of free lecture events as part of its 2018 Lecture Series sponsored by The Marcia F. Devoe Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County.

E. Charlton Fortune: The Colorful Spirit

This informative lecture will be presented by Scott Shields, Ph.D. Dr. Shields is the Associate Director and Chief Curator at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. He will chronicle E. Charlton Fortune’s fascinating biography and colorful artistic legacy through stories, anecdotes and powerful paintings.

The Monterey Museum of Art will feature an exhibit of E. Charlton Fortune paintings on exhibit from May 24 through August 27, 2018.

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

Friday, June 8, 2018 – 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Irvine Auditorium, McCone Building, MIIS; 499 Pierce Street, Monterey
Free Admission – Reception to follow

The lecture is free but attendees must obtain have a ticket. Reserve your ticket here. If you are not a member of the Monterey Museum of Art,  select “Old Monterey Foundation members” or “general admission”.

For more information about Old Monterey Foundation, call (831) 346-3030.

This lecture is suitable for ages 9 and up.

Estéban Restaurant Celebrates Monterey’s 248th Birthday June 2

Saturday, June 2, 2018
Estéban Restaurant at Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa

It’s Monterey’s 248th Birthday and Estéban Restaurant wants to celebrate. Located at historic Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa, Estéban will donate 10% of all food sales on Saturday, June 2 from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. to the Old Monterey Foundation for the third year in a row. Founded with the mission to promote, support, and enhance the artistic, cultural, and historic environment of historic Downtown Monterey, the Old Monterey Foundation along with Casa Munras Garden Hotel & Spa share an affinity for maintaining, protecting, and sharing the deep-rooted history of Monterey.

From its establishment on June 3, 1770, Monterey’s Spanish heritage can be experienced today through the diverse architectural styles found throughout Downtown Monterey Heritage District. Casa Munras, originally constructed in 1824 by Spanish Diplomat Don Estéban Munras, pays homage to its roots through a commitment to maintain high hospitality standards for which the Munras family was known. A part of the original residence constructed with handmade 32-inch adobe bricks remains and serves as a touchstone to the past in the walls of the Marbella Meeting Room.

Estéban Restaurant serves traditional Spanish-inspired cuisine with a California twist. Relax, sip, savor, and share by the warmth of the fireplace or in the relaxing outdoor patio at Estéban Restaurant. For reservations, call (831) 375-0176.

Nueva California: A Two-Part Novel of Latino California & The Carmel Mission

Nueva California:  A Two-Part Novel of Latino California & The Carmel Mission by Todd Cook includes mentions of the Presidio of Monterey and the Lower Presidio Historic Park.

Volume 1: Though young Diego is a performing “superstar” of the Mexico City stages, he has made enemies and must flee to distant Nueva California in 1775. Taking refuge at beautiful, but remote Mission San Carlos Borromeo del Rio Carmelo, Diego believes his time there will be brief. He teaches music at the mission and serves under his spiritual idol, Father Junipero Serra. Then, Diego meets Antonia, an Indian maiden with whom he becomes smitten. He takes his romantic pursuit too far, however. Fearing their indiscretion will be discovered, Diego devises a plan whereby he and Antonia can escape the mission.

Volume 2: Diego’s attempt to spirit Antonia away from Nueva California ends in tragedy—Antonia is killed by enemy warriors in the Valley of the Oaks, not far from Mission San Antonio. Diego is arrested and brought back to the Bay of Monterey. After a brief time of imprisonment, Father Serra banishes the bitter and grief- stricken Diego from the territory. At first, Diego is relieved to be free of Nueva California, but a few years later, finds himself pulled back. He returns to the Bay of Monterey to seek redemption and live within sight of the mission he comes to love over the years: Mission San Carlos Borromeo. Diego will live to see the mission reach its peak, become secularized under Mexican rule, then finally become abandoned in the 1830’s. Diego will die within the mission ruins in 1857.

Battle of Monterey Living History Re-enactment Saturday, November 18

The Battle of Monterey of 1818, a living-history re-enactment, will be held in Custom House Plaza Saturday, November 18 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Costumed early Spanish soldiers will defend the Custom House. The revolutionary Captain Bouchard will lead the charge as with cannons firing, his Tall Ship recreates the only land/sea battle on the West Coast, ever! The Argentinian privateer Bouchard’s attack is a revolutionary marker for the opening of California’s land and trade policies to the world with Mexico’s independence from the King of Spain.

Also featured in this year’s event will be the wise defense by Spanish Royal Governor Sola of his provincial capital of Alta California. Visitors will view the Spanish Empire’s flag taken down and the invaders hoisting the Argentine national flag. But Sola was able to return in a week and take back Monterey with no loss of local lives, The 1794 Royal Presidio Chapel, later to be known as San Carlos Cathedral, and its Heritage Center will both be open for visitors just one year short of the bicentennial of its survival of the burning of the Royal Presidio.

Mayor Clyde Roberson will open the day’s celebration at the Custom House. In 2016 he issued an official proclamation for the City Council declaring the year 2018 as the celebration of Bicentennial of the Battle of Monterey. It established Monterey’s Museum and Cultural Arts Commission as initiators of the celebration.

hipolito_bouchardThe Old Monterey Foundation is a partner for 2017 and other partnerships are being developed for the 2018 observances. November 18, 2017 will truly be a “pre-enactment” of the bicentennial celebration in 2018. The Tall Ship, “the Lady Washington” will be in the Monterey harbor as part of this year’s 2017 festivities. Educational events and re-enactments are being planned for 2018 exploring the 200th anniversary of this important event in local and U.S. history. Monterey has a unique set of historical buildings from the Spanish and the Mexican eras. The Battle of Monterey is the only battle in the war of independence of Spanish colonies from Spain to take place on the territory of what is now the United States of America. Monterey can be proud of its role as recorded in “The Burning of Monterey” by Peter Uhrowiczk and the “Patriot Pirate “ by Michael Melzer both available at the Monterey Public Library. Let’s celebrate!

For more information on how you may get involved, contact