Marco "Tom" Forster
To preserve the history and heritage
of San Juan Capistrano, the people of our community organized a
Society to do just that. The purpose of the Historical Society is
to bring together people interested in history, especially the history
of California and the area and region surrounding and including
San Juan Capistrano.
Understanding the history of our community
is basic to our democratic way of life, gives us a better understanding
of our state and nation, and promotes a better appreciation of our
heritage. The Society has periodic general meetings of historic
interest and publishes a quarterly newsletter with updates as needed.
The Historical Society includes the
Walking Tour Guides who lead tours of San Juan explaining the relevance
of the historic buildings. The Archival Program collects, preserves
and maintains the historical photos, genealogies, oral histories,
videos, and other unique and important historic records. Visitors,
students and those wishing to utilize the archives are always welcome.
Many students of local schools use the archives for their written
reports. Serious historians and the media also use the archives.
Headquarters for the Historical Society
is the O'Neill Museum on Los Rios Street. The building is over 130
years old and is furnished as it would have been in the 1880s. The
museum is open to the public Tuesday thru Friday 9 am to 4 pm, and
generally on weekends from 12 noon to 3 pm.
To be a part of the preservation of
our history, please join the Society by filling out the application
form and mail it to the Society at 31831 Los Rios Street, San
Juan Capistrano, CA. 92675.
Arley Leck House
The Historical Society raised funds
to create the Richard Henry Dana statue in the Dana Point Harbor.
With the help of the Mission Docents, funds were raised for the
restoration of the Father Serra and Indian boy statue at Mission
San Juan Capistrano. A bronze plaque in the Sacred Garden at the
Mission was placed to honor Paul Arbiso, bell ringer of the mission
for more than 60 years. Mr. Arbiso was also the Patriarch of the
City of San Juan for 23 years.
The Society is presently raising funds
to develop the Los Rios Historic Center, consisting of the O'Neill
Museum, Leck House, Silvas Adobe and an old board and batten house
on the property.
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