Sorry to blog so early, I've been chatty today--I think its one of those cyclical things. I promise not to bog by blog. But nevermind me. This week it was presented to the Park & Rec commission the possibility of nominating Susana Park as a California Pt. of Interest. Now, I have been to National Archives Records and spent daze looking at every single microfiche roll of New Deal (WPA, PWA, CWA, CCC, etc.) stuff in Martinez. I have read most of the newspapers of the 1930's. I even discovered the deed to Susana Park when the City could not! Which is only to say, I might have found the info by now. The City Minutes and Ordinances are missing from 1933-1940, last I checked. I have hit up the historic societies too.
I have heard stories about how the wonderful urban forest of Susana Park was planted on that one acre lot which was given to the City by the Masons. There are hints and urban legends abounding--but just when and how was the park planned and who planted the trees? I had an arborist age the trees and I have counted the rings of the felled--evidence suggest they were mostly planted at the same time (sans the 250 yr old Cork Oak.) which correlates with the Great Depression and the New Deal--which connects to other pieces of information such as the Redwood dedicated to FDR.
Who and why and when were the tree seeds planted? A*N*D*, Someone please explain exactly when and why the area was called "Portuguese Flats"?
Secondly: For the skeptical, curious, and brave, the California Preservation Foundation is having its annual 4 day conference right in Oakland May 3-6. It's totally awesome and you can attend some of it free by volunteering. Urban planners, mayors, city councils, architects, historians, landscapers, the Office of Historic Preservation, attorneys, consultants--most other towns and cities attend. Redevelopment Agency directors and developers--oh yes, it's true. Directors of Main Street Assocations. Historic Society Presidents. No Kidding, imagine that. Planning Commissioners. Public Works Directors. The CPF conference is a place of dedicated professionals and volunteers. http://www.californiapreservation.org/conference.html
There is still time to sign up and/or volunteer. Don't miss out, Historic Martinez!
And do not forget to share your thoughts on Susana Street Park. Danke! Tse Tse.