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of Museums

Courthouse Docket

History of Año Nuevo Island

On Saturday, February 7 at 1 p.m., the Courthouse Docket continues with an illustrated presentation by State Park Interpreter Mike Merritt. Using historic images and maps of the past, the presentation will explore the History of Año Nuevo Island.

Año Nuevo Island is one of the youngest islands on the California coast, yet already it has managed to write itself into the history books with stories of early explorers, light house keepers and nearly extinct ocean going animals. Merritt’s presentation will move through time from the naming of Año Nuevo Point in 1603 to its most recent visitors, marine biologists. Participants will learn the centuries long saga behind this semi-remote island in San Mateo County and leave with stories interesting to all Californians.

As a State Park Interpreter at Año Nuevo State Park, Mike Merritt spends a great deal of time exploring San Mateo County’s coastal parks. In doing so he has discovered a rich history stretching from the days of the Ohlone local tribes to the struggles of early pioneer dairy ranchers. Raised in North Carolina, it wasn’t hard for Merritt to get hooked on California history with its lure of gold and a new beginning. His interest into history really picked up the summer he worked as a seasonal park aide at Butano State Park. There he discovered the diary of one of the early pioneer settlers that came to the area in the 1860s. This story captured his imagination on what it must have been like to live in the place that would one day become a park. Since then Merritt’s interest into the California coast’s past has grown and stretches from the small town of Pescadero to the forests of Waddell Canyon. He has many responsibilities in his job, but his favorite is giving a voice to our California State parks. As a result he enjoys sharing what he has learned in hopes that he can unlock more clues to discover our history.

Next on the Docket

Saturday, March 7: Two Women - Two Mansions, presented by the Museum Auxiliary Saturday, April 18: World War I presented by the World War I Historical Society

The Courthouse Docket is a monthly series of presentations held in the History Museum's Historic Courthroom A. The 2013 Courthouse Docket Series is sponsored by Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation.
Saturday, February 7, 2015
1 p.m.
History Museum, Courtroom A
Museum Admission
$6 for adults, $4 for seniors & students
Click here for event flyer.
Contact Us
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