Descendants Gathering at Santa Barbara Presidio Founding Day Festival April 23, 2016

by Suzi Calderon Bellman

Photo by Suzi Calderon Bellman.


This is something that I hope will be done each year.  Hopefully it will bring in new descendants to El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park. Being a member of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation’s Genealogy & Descendants Committee I knew I needed to put together something special. I had planned the first one in 2014.

Now when 2016 came about I knew right away what I wanted to do. In August 2015 I had a Pico Family Reunion and I had turned the Pico Adobe into a museum. That’s where I got the idea to do the same for the Descendants of the Presidio. It is true when it was said “Third Time is the Charm.”

The Museum (a room in the Northwest Corner of the Presidio) was set up to included everyone’s ancestors. It was a room that shared just how everyone was connected to the founding of Santa Barbara.

Seventy-seven years ago the Native Daughters’ Reina del Mar Parlor No. 126 had Descendants honor their Pioneer Families. That was 31 July 1939 during the Pre-Fiesta Tea. On 23 April 2016, during the 234th commemoration of the birthday of Santa Barbara, It was the Descendants of 2016′ turn to honor the Descendants of 1939 who were honoring the Pioneer Families of Santa Barbara. This time we had Calderon, Carlon, Cota, Cordero, Garcia, German, Lopez, Pico, Romero, Valenzuela, Valdez and many more. That picture turned out wonderful!

Courtesy fo Suzi Calderon Bellman.


As each descendant entered the “Video Room” I had them sign a book and then I took their picture while they were facing a mirror. I then asked them “Who is your favorite ancestor?” That’s where I captured some wonderful expressions!

Click through to our Flickr album here to see the photo’s of the Happy Descendants of the Presidio de Santa Barbara!

Suzi Calderon Bellman is a Presidio family descendant and a member of SBTHP’s Genealogy and Descendant’s Committee. 

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