Recent Posts

25 August 2008

The Peralta Project

The California Genealogical Society has embarked on an ambitious new project with The Peralta Hacienda Historical Park. The six-acre park, in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, includes the restored 1870 home of Antonio Peralta and preserves the lost legacy of the 44,800-acre Peralta rancho that once covered nearly all of present-day Alameda County. The park site is a city and state landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Chris Pattillo, principal of the landscape firm, PGA Design, has been working with the Friends of Peralta Hacienda on the implementation of the landscape masterplan for the last three years. Chris also sits on the CGS board of directors, so when she learned the next phase of the renovation project included a Peralta family tree, she knew it was time to marry two of her pet projects. Pattillo arranged for Holly Alonso, Executive Director of the Park, to visit the California Genealogical Society and the alliance was born.

Graphic artist Gordan Chan has been commissioned to create the large wall mural featuring the Peralta family tree. The work of art will reside in the 1864 Victorian building on the site and is to be an accurate depiction of some of the genealogy of the family.

Lavinia Grace Schwarz agreed to coordinate the team of CGS volunteers who stepped forward to tackle the enormous project. Judy Bodycote has contributed countless hours of research time and is in charge of creating the database. Dick Rees and Marilyn Willats concentrated on some of the well-known "celebrity" descendants. Some preliminary work was done by Arlene Miles and Verne Deubler.

I'll have lots more to report on the project in the coming weeks.