It was a beautiful fall day and the community came together to enjoy the annual Hamilton Museum Fair, a place where the old days meet the new and everyone has fun. The apple pie tasting contest goes on as long as there is pie left, for a $1 you cast your vote on which one is best. This year it was a tie; two pies were voted the best.
Apples were cut and pressed in the old-fashioned press. Raffles donated by the vendors were big hits as usual. Gunfighters enacted staged battles on the lawn to the delight of the crowd. Special speaker Paul Apodaca was back sharing about Cahuilla bird songs and how throughout history people passed their history and folklore down the generations through song.
Paul pointed out that if you knew one 80-year-old woman, her knowledge would go back to 1932, who new another 80-year-old woman, her knowledge going back to 1852, who new another 80-year-old woman, resulting in your firsthand knowledge reaching back to 1772.
Three generations is all it would take to get back to before the founding of our country. The Parks family descendants shared memories of Parks Ranch, now known as Lake Riverside Estates (LRE), and the surrounding areas. LRE will soon celebrate their 50th birthday and plan to have a library of The Parks Ranch memorabilia and a written historical account to honor LRE formations birthday.
A new garden, named the Native Botanical Garden, has been planted with signs naming the native plants in the area as well as a Native American area showcasing a traditional Cahuilla home, a Kish. The newest part is a wetland area. It is the brain child of Meara Stinnell-Levine.
“It has taken many man hours to get where we are, it took many volunteers and will take more to maintain and care for the garden,” says Marea.
If you would like to help with the garden or donate for more signs, contact Meara at The High Country Conservancy (951) 541-4503 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Come visit the Hamilton Museum and get a breath of the past that still affects our present and our future. Located at the end of Contreras Road, turn south at the Little Red School House off Hwy 371 in the heart of Anza. Open from noon to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays, you will likely be greeted by Margaret Wellman Jaenke whose aunts and uncles once lived in the home that now houses the museum itself and the first homes built on the premises.