Historical Society of Santa Rosa

February 25, 2015

Ethnic Neighborhoods

The HSSR had a very successful year in 2014. Our aim was to attain lift-off and gain the attention of the historical community and, hopefully, the community at large. In order to accomplish this we decided to do a series of events. The first was the Great Santa Rosa History Hunt held September 20th and it was a success. We had over 80 participants from 8 to 80 years old. The winner was a 6 year old boy who attends Kawana School. All those who took part remarked on how much they enjoyed the day and hoped we would do it again in 2015. We intend to do just that and attract more “hunters”. Our next activity was the Historic Talk by Gaye LeBaron on September 24th at the 6th Street Playhouse. We had over 130 attendees at Gaye’s presentation and many volunteered their own stories. As one person said on the way out, "This was like listening to stories in someone’s living room.” The idea was to bring history to the people of Santa Rosa and I think we did.

The third event was held the day after the election as ex-Congressman Doug Bosco and Press Democrat political writer Pete Golis discussed local politics in the past with a little reflection on the state of politics today. Again, a very enjoyable evening with many staying after to talk with friends. Our aim was to have people leave with a smile on their faces and I believe we did that.

For 2015, we have two events planned so far with the first event, A night at the Sonoma County Museum, held on January 14 for a tour of and presentation on the “Hole in the Head” exhibit at no cost to members. We limited this to HSSR members as a way of thanking them and also supporting the Museum. We believe we can establish a good working relationship with the Museum and eventually have a “Santa Rosa Room” in the near future. We are excited about the prospect and understand it will take time but know it will be a success in the long run.

The next event will be held on February 25th starting at 6:00 PM at the 6th Street Playhouse once again. It will be a talk on Ethnic Neighborhoods in Santa Rosa. We are planning short presentations by representatives from different ethnic groups and then questions from the moderator and audience. Gaye LeBaron will be the moderator for the evening and Nick Tipon from the HSSR Board has been in charge of organizing the event. Representatives from Latino, Black, Italian, Japanese and Chinese communities will present. Topics will include stories of living in Santa Rosa during a formative period of the town’s history. Email Staci Pastis at StaciPastis@aol.com or call Staci at (707) 332-1347 if you would like to attend. Seating is limited so reserve a spot.

We have a number of other events in the planning stage and will update you once we solidify our plans. It has been a gratifying year and we thank you for your support. As we work our way into 2015 we have a few needs to address. If you know something interesting about Santa Rosa history and enjoy writing please let us know at newsletter@historicalsocietysantarosa.org . . . We would love to have more submissions for our newsletter. Editor Mike Daniels can be reached at mdaniels@sonic.net.

We have added a couple of new board members and are very excited about what they bring to the board. Doug Bower was the Assistant Superintendent of Santa Rosa City Schools for 38 years and was also a founding board member of Schools Plus and Santa Rosa High School Foundation. Denise Hill just joined us and has been involved with the St. Rose Neighborhood Association for many years as well as involvement in many other civic associations. They both bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the board and we are fortunate to have them join us.

We look forward to an even better year in 2015 and we will keep you posted. If for some reason you are not getting the newsletter and frequent email blasts about our events contact us at membership@historicalsocietysantarosa.org.

— Mike Grace, President, HSSR