Recent Posts

24 July 2009

A Special Board Meeting and Lunch at Peralta Hacienda

The CGS Board of Directors meets on the third Wednesday of every month, usually in the conference room in the CGS Library. This month the directors took a field trip to The Peralta Hacienda Historical Park.

After a delicious lunch arranged by director Chris Pattillo we were led on a personal tour of the Peralta House by its Executive Director, Holly Alonso.

I've written before about the collaborative Peralta Project that was orchestrated by Chris when she learned that plans were being made for a Peralta family tree exhibit. Chris' firm, PGA Design, has been working with the Friends of Peralta Hacienda on the implementation of the landscape masterplan for the hacienda, a six-acre park, in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, which 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.

In the last room on the tour was what we had been waiting to see – the large wall mural featuring the Peralta family tree created by graphic artist Gordan Chan. The genealogy of the Peraltas was first researched by Beverly Enz, a descendant of Antonio Peralta, who put together a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, original letters and photographs.

Her work was painstakingly reviewed and documented by the CGS research team who then traced the descendants of Luis Peralta into the twentieth century. The team - Judy Bodycote, Dick Rees and Lavinia Grace Schwarz – were feted at a banquet last October.

The Peralta Tree Exhibit is fairly extensive, concentrating mainly on Antonio's branch, and covers two walls. It is a beautifully executed display and we were all thrilled to see the project completed and beyond our expectations. Well done, all!

Photographs courtesy of Kathryn Doyle and Jane Knowles Lindsey, Oakland, California.