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History Alive! Chautauqua

Performances by Los Californios and historic presentations of Antonio Garra and Pio Pico

By Beth Montes

Funded in part through a grant from the California Council for Humanities, SOHO is proud to host two performances, one on March 17th and the other on April 14th, 2001.

As part of the celebration of California's sesquicentennial, the California Council for Humanities created History Alive! Chautauqua to introduce the public to characters whose lives were important during the gold rush era. During a two hour performance, a scholar/actor with in-depth knowledge of his subject, portrays an historic character and then breaks character to offer a modern-day perspective on the life and times of the historical figure.

The first character, Antonio Garra, will be portrayed by actor/historian José Rivera. Antonio Garra, a Cupeño Indian, was a political activist and leader of the 1851 Indian tax revolt in Southern California. He was captured, tried and executed by firing squad. Thomas Whaley was one of his executioners. His grave is located in the Campo Santo graveyard in Old Town.

The second Chautauqua performance is about Pio Pico and will be conducted by the actor/historian Roberto Garza. Pio Pico was born on May 5, 1801 at the San Gabriel Archangel Mission. At the time of his birth, his father was a corporal in the San Diego garrison. Upon the death of his father, the 19-year-old Pio opened a small store in San Diego in an effort to support his mother and nine brothers and sisters. He was the last Mexican Governor of California. During his tenure, he moved the capital from Monterrey to Los Angeles. After the annexation of California to the United States, he served as a councilman in Los Angeles.

Los Californios, past winners of SOHO's People In Preservation award, will be playing the music of early California before and after each oration. The group is dedicated to the study and performance of songs of the early Californians and is well known throughout the state.

Mark your calendars for March 17th and April 14th for these exciting performances! Please join us in the gardens at the Whaley House from 1:00-3:00 for the first of SOHO's living history events.

The Whaley House Museum will be open that day from 10am to 4:30pm. If you have not had a chance to visit the museum, plan to set aside some time to go through it before or after the performances. Remember that one of the benefits of SOHO membership is free admission to the museum.

2001 - Volume 32, Issue 1


VIEW digital online version

SOHO Succeeds in Removing Warner Ranch from Most Endangered List!

President's Message

The La Jolla Saga Continues

SOHO's Preservation Revolving Fund
Update on the Whaley House

Whaley House Garden Restoration Project

Haunted Houses: Preservation Help or Horror?
Historic Façade Easement Program

Villa Montezuma Provides Lessons in Color

California Preservation Foundation 26th Annual Conference

History Alive! Chautauqua

The Binational Preservation Front
SOHO's 2001 People In Preservation Awards

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DOWNLOAD full magazine as pdf (1.2mb)


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