Old Monterey Foundation to hold its second free lecture: “Buffalo Soldiers:  From the Presidio of San Francisco to the Presidio of Monterey”

Old Monterey Foundation to hold its second free lecture: “Buffalo Soldiers:  From the Presidio of San Francisco to the Presidio of Monterey” on Thursday, July 19th sponsored by The Marcia F. Devoe Fund of the Community Foundation



June 2018, Monterey, CA.  Old Monterey Foundation is pleased to continue its season of free lecture events as part of its 2018 Lecture Series sponsored by The Marcia F. Devoe Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County. 




What: “Buffalo Soldiers:  From the Presidio of San Francisco to the Presidio of Monterey”


Join National Park Service Ranger Alejandra Iraheta for an engaging lecture about the African American Buffalo Soldiers and their connection to both the Presidio of Monterey and Presidio of San Francisco, as well as their extraordinary contributions to our nation in a time of overt racism and segregation. Participants will learn about some of the more prominent Buffalo Soldiers including Charles Young and William H. Thompkins. In addition, we will discuss how the actions of the Buffalo Soldiers here in the West Coast helped facilitate many freedoms we enjoy today, including taking a hike in your national park!


Bill Wojtkowski, President of the Old Monterey Foundation Board of Directors, will also present a short overview of improvements accomplished and planned for the Lower Presidio Historic Park. 


When: Thursday, July 19, 2018 - 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.


Where: Irvine Auditorium, McCone Building, MIIS; 499 Pierce Street, Monterey


Free Admission - Reception to follow.


For more information about Old Monterey Foundation, call (831) 346-3030 or visitwww.oldmontereyfoundation.org


The lectures are very popular so attendees are urged to come early to secure a seat.


This lecture is suitable for ages 9 and up.


About Alejandra Iraheta


Alejandra Iraheta works as an Interpretive Park Ranger/Volunteer Coordinator for the National Park Service at the Presidio of San Francisco in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. She has been with the National Park Service since 2011 and has been leading Buffalo Soldier programs for the public since 2012.  Alejandra holds a Bachelors’ degree in Ethnic Studies from Mills College and a Masters of Science in Resource Interpretation degree from Stephen F. Austin University. It was her passion for Ethnic Studies that led her to research and present interpretive programming on the Buffalo Soldiers. As a woman of color, Alejandra is an avid supporter for the advancement of communities of color and believes that stories like that of the Buffalo Soldiers are important as they illustrate the power of perseverance and hard work to inspire future generations.


About Old Monterey Foundation


The Old Monterey Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was formed on February 14, 2011, with the specific mission and purpose of promoting, supporting and enhancing the artistic, cultural and historic environment of historic Downtown Monterey, California.  The group is well known for their work with the Art-in-the-Adobes event that was held from 2011-2013 as well as other fundraisers, lectures and events.  Its private/public partnership with the City of Monterey heralds a new way of doing public business in a State strapped to find funds for park operations and expansions.


The Lower Presidio Historic Park, described as “The Most Historically Significant Site on the West Coast” and “One of the Most Beautiful Places in Monterey”, is becoming a true historic public park to be enjoyed by locals and visitors. Old Monterey Foundation, in cooperation with the City of Monterey, has raised initial funds to complete Phase One of the project to enhance and restore this historic 25.3-acre site. In 2017, it installed eight new interpretive signs, a white wooden perimeter fence, and two new ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) accessible pathways of the Harbor Trail which extends to the Serra Monument and the Vista Trail that goes up the hill to the Sloat Monument.  Old Monterey Foundation is continuing to seek public donations to help complete Phase One of the project, which will improve amenities around the Park with picnic tables, benches, directional signs, and a sidewalk connecting the two trails.  Plans for other improvements, including rebuilding the stables and incorporation of the adjacent Viscaino Park are in the works.


Many local organizations have played a role in the development of this project including Old Monterey Foundation, the Neighborhood Improvement Program, City of Monterey, Rotary Club of Monterey, Community Foundation for Monterey County, Monterey Peninsula Foundation, Presidio of Monterey and Granite Construction. The project is funded by the City of Monterey’s Neighborhood Improvement Program.


The Lower Presidio Historic Park is one of the least-visited historic parks in the area due to some confusion about whether the public is allowed in the area.   Situated in a “hidden in plain sight” location, the Park can be found above Pacific Street at the Lighthouse Curve in Downtown Monterey. The park features spectacular views of the Monterey Bay and Harbor and will become a jewel of the City of Monterey’s park system.      


Old Monterey Foundation invites everyone to become members of "Friends of the Lower Presidio" at  www.oldmontereyfoundation.org and make tax-deductible donations to more quickly restore the park. 


The City of Monterey Outreach Office produced an informative short video about the Lower Presidio Historic Park and its significance to California and American history:  https://youtu.be/Lg7X0spnC4k