Explorers. Entrepreneurs. Enigmas.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
The Hidden Stories Series continued to grow with our reception in San Diego on September 23, in honor of two early African-American settlers, Allen Light and Richard Freeman. Light and Freeman co-owned the San Diego House in the 1850s, a single-level saloon and provisions store, now a part of Old Town San Diego State Historic Park.
The first full day of autumn brought ideal weather for the 70 park supporters and history buffs in attendance. They gathered for wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres at the newly-remodeled outdoor patio of Cosmopolitan Hotel, another historic building in Old Town San Diego. The evening began with Elizabeth Goldstein, CSPF President, who spoke passionately about Proposition 21; followed by State Parks’ Clay Phillips, who discussed the devastating effects of the budget cuts; and continued with Historian Guire John Cleary’s history presentation on Light and Freeman, closing with a tour of Old Town San Diego and the San Diego House.
The reception was an offshoot of our first Hidden Stories Series conference in May 2009 titled: “100 Years Since Allensworth: Is California Living Up to the Legacy?” The conference focused on African-Americans and their unknown stories in the foundation of the state parks system. Allensworth—the first town established and populated by African-Americans in 1908, near Bakersfield--prompted the first conference and it resulted in this new website, Conference participants expressed the need to have one place where they can go for resources, information, links and articles about the subjects they care about.