Save Our Heritage Organisation
March 2001 - Volume 32, Issue 1
Update on the Whaley House
By Bruce Coons
On November 21st we took over operation of the Whaley House and have been very pleased with the operation so far. We have started to realize some of the goals for SOHO‚s operation of the Museum, although we are constrained by not being able to make any substantive changes until the resolution of the court case between the county and the Historic Shrine Foundation. The court date has been pushed out and we do not know when it will finally go to court, but we expect it to be resolved by end of March or April.
We have hired docents, Mary Wendorf, Martin Wolfe, Christopher Pro, Victor Santana, and Troy Jordan, and have over forty volunteer docents including many long-term SOHO and Historic Shrine Foundation members. We applied and received grants from the California Council of the Humanities for their Chautauqua programs and will be presenting these programs in March and April. We have also joined the Old Town Trolley's Ghosts and Gravestones Tour along with the San Diego Historical Society. This partnership is, as we expected, a great success for all concerned as there was a great pent up demand to see the Whaley House after dark.
The Garden committee is developing the interpretive and use plan that will guide the future of the grounds. Our membership is increasing daily. SOHO, in its new role as museum steward, is being well received by the public. The Steering committee is virtually bursting with wonderful plans to be started as soon as our hands are free.
This is a very exciting time in SOHO‚s and the Whaley House's history. It has been interesting sorting between the history and the folklore of the site. A timely article from the National Trust for Historic Preservation on the subject is reprinted in this issue. Kathy Flanigan has completed a 19-page timeline history of the house to enable us to more accurately interpret the History of the Whaley family and their home. She is currently working on the History of the Folklore.
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