Questions regarding the Santee Historical Society


Are these related to Santee History?

We have been asked by one of our members why the Santee Historical Society is doing events that don’t seem to be related to Santee History.   The answer is twofold:

  • The events bring people into the Santee Historical Society Museum (“the Santee Barn”).  These are people who ordinarily would not come to see us.  Thus, new people are going thru the museum and seeing and learning about Santee History.
  • These events are really related to Santee History. For instance:
    1. Our Monarch Butterfly event – Santee has historically been an agricultural community.   Our city was originally full of Muscat grapes, exotic fruit trees, and award winning Guernsey’s, along with native milkweed.   The Santee Historical Society is proudly continuing Santee’s tradition of excellence in agriculture by helping preserve the Monarch Butterfly and educating the public about the necessity and beauty of nature.
    2. Our Children’s Public Safety Event –
      1. The Santee Firefighters have been a part of Santee for a very long time. They began as a volunteer Fire Dept. During the Children’s Public Safety Event there will be information on the history of the Santee Fire Dept along with information needed by today’s children to remain safe.  This is in keeping with the spirit of the Santee Fire Dept since its inception
      2. The Santee Sheriff Dept will be helping with the Bicycle Safety Event for our children. Bicycles have been a part of Santee since the 1900’s.   The safety of our children has been a part of Santee forever.

Hopefully we have answered some of your questions about the relevance of our programs to the history of Santee.  We are continuing to learn about our City’s past, present and future.

If you have suggestions to help improve our programs, increase our outreach, and can help us accomplish our goals, please join us on Tuesday mornings.   We hope you will be a part of this learning process with us.

 


Why do we need family photographs at the museum?

Images have power. As a form of language, visual data influences the way we create social meaning and share cultural knowledge. Seeing and then interpreting what we see is critical to our understanding the world from a particular lens or worldview.

Additionally, images have an ability to communicate beyond the power or necessity of words. It is true that a picture can be worth a thousand words, particularly in contemporary cultures that are visually driven. Images offer “thick descriptions” of people, events, places, and particular moments in time. It’s why social media is so popular and instrumental in present-day cultures.

Santee School marbles

Images also offer first-person perspectives on historical events that help us see and understand from different points of view. Photographs allow us to immerse ourselves in the histories and moments caught in a camera’s lens.

Photographs can be objects or works of art. They can be a form of archival texts that document time, or windows into different cultures and worlds from our past. I like to think that photographs can bear witness. They provide visual evidence of a culture as a testament to our nation’s history.

It is for us to capture images of our times to preserve them for future generations. Fortunately with the availability access to social media and cloud storage today’s youth and those to come can enjoy these photos and many others that were once “lost”.

15432-1 Santee - Santee School - 1903

A photograph is actually an object in many ways. Just as museums are most interested in collecting original three-dimensional artifacts, we collect original photographs, negatives, digital negatives, or digital scans from negatives, depending on why and how the photo will be shared with the public. Antique and vintage photos and negatives are different from the contemporary images that sometimes come to us as digital negatives from the photographer.

In addition to being an object, though, images are also archival documents. So we’d want to collect images as original archival material as well. As a museum operating in the 21st century, we recognize that the original might also include digital files from digital cameras or high-resolution scans of negatives, which helps to stabilize images.

Our job is to share history and preserve American legacies, and sharing and preserving the work of photographers who have documented our nation’s culture and history is part of that.

The provenance and personal stories behind certain images, as well as the donors’ reasons for wanting to donate, are incredibly moving. People support our vision by helping to build the museum through donating family treasures has real value to us. Our collection is like a family album of sorts, with thousands of different branches in the family tree, and each one is significant to telling a broader story. Our donors become an important part of a  history, and the sense that the museum is working with a community of people as part of a family aligns with our mission.

Parts of this article are from – Aaron Bryant, NMAAHC’s curator



Find Happiness in Retirement

When researching the effects of giving in retirement, Merrill Lynch found that women find great happiness from helping others and giving back to their community and are more likely to define success in retirement by generosity than their financial situation.  

Approximately 68% of women also feel that retirement is the ideal time to give back. When your working years suddenly end, and you are left wondering what your purpose is, committing yourself to volunteer work gives your days meaning.   Any kind of volunteering is beneficial to your psychological wellness, whether it’s shelving books at the library, walking dogs for the local animal shelter, or even giving your time to a cause related to your career.  

Why not look at the Santee Historical Society for your place to volunteer!  Call us at (619)449-2024 or email us at Info@SanteeHistoricalSociety.org

Full article HERE



Help Wanted



Wanted – Oral History Project Coordinator

Santee Historical Society is looking for a volunteer  Project Coordinator for our Oral History Project.  We put out a call to our residents to record their memories of Santee before 1980, and we have been overwhelmed with the response.  It has been wonderful.

Our good luck is your good fortune.  Now we need someone that is willing to coordinate the effort to get all these memories recorded.  Contacts need to be made, and appointments set for interviews.    Some Oral Histories will be done by personal interview at homes, or at the Barn, by  telephone or by questionnaire.  The Oral History Coordinator will be responsible for managing all aspects of the oral history project, including recruiting and training volunteers for the project.

Part of the job is to secure volunteers to interview these people and ensure that written summaries of the interviews are made.  

The successful candidate will be responsible for coordinating all aspects of the project, including:

– recruiting, supporting and coordinating volunteers;
– organizing interviews and appropriate training for volunteers;
– undertaking research and creating materials for use on the website & temp exhibit;

– organizing and publicizing the project’s program of events.

Applicants for Oral History Project Coordinator should have previous experience working with volunteers, knowledge of and interest in history, an understanding of oral history and experience in interviewing techniques.  They should also have excellent organizational and communication skills.  This is a volunteer job, and the coordinator would need to join the Santee Historical Society.

This is a lot of work, but it can be an opportunity to have your work seen by tens of thousands on the internet.    If you are interested, please send your resume to us at  info@santeehistoricalsociety.org



Want Help in Achieving Great Happiness?

When researching the effects of giving in retirement, Merrill Lynch found that women find great happiness from helping others and giving back to their community and are more likely to define success in retirement by generosity than their financial situation.   Approximately 68% of women also feel that retirement is the ideal time to give back.

When your working years suddenly end, and you are left wondering what your purpose is, committing yourself to volunteer work gives your days meaning.   Any kind of volunteering is beneficial to your psychological wellness, whether it’s shelving books at the library, walking dogs for the local animal shelter, or even giving your time to a cause related to your career.  

Why not look at the Santee Historical Society for your place to volunteer! 

Call us at (619)449-2024 or email us at Info@SanteeHistoricalSociety.org

Full article HERE


Terry Hansen – Santee man: A way with wood –

Hanson 20150325_165749_r900x493

Even as macular degeneration steals Terry Hansen’s eyesight and arthritis and other health problems slow him, the Santee resident is still crafting original wooden works of art that are beauties to behold. Even losing the top of his left thumb and full use of parts of his four left fingers from an accident three years ago, has not stopped Hansen from creating items from jewelry boxes to storage chests, from game boards to cutting boards, from small tables to counter tops. His items continue to draw applause, attention and awards at art fairs and craft shows around California and the West Coast. He is a featured artist at a show this weekend in Burbank.Hansen’s bursting star made of orange, padauk, purpleheart, maple, Peruvian walnut, wenge, bocote and cocobolo woods grabs attention in the front lobby at La Maestra Community Health Center in City Heights.

“I’m here to be an artist,” Hansen, 63, said of his purpose in life. “Five hundred years from now I want someone to look at my art and say, ‘He had so much in his heart when he made that.’ The idea is that if I do something positive for the world, the less harmful the world is. I guess I’m just an old hippie. I’ve had an amazing career.”

Hansen is a wood inlay artist, who for more than 45 years has been piecing together, almost like a jigsaw puzzle, exotic pieces of colorful wood in meticulous detail. His abstract, intricate and unique geometric designs made from more than 70 kinds of colorful wood from around the world have won him ribbons at the San Diego County Fair and other local contests for more than 30 years.

Inspired by M.C. Escher, Hansen works out of a soundproofed, modest garage studio near Santee Lakes, where colorful wood pieces are sorted out, stacked, separated and line the walls and floor. An electrical saw, knives and other cutting instruments and designing tools are at hand, as are special eye-wear and magnifying lenses to help him see.

“Having a background in woodworking, I’m amazed at his capabilities,” said North County resident Curtis Gerwig, who met Hansen at a Coronado art show 15 years ago, bought one of Hansen’s wooden trunks and went from being a fan to a friend. “I know the kinds of rare, exotic woods he uses and how really difficult it is to inlay, to create a plane finish and actually bring out the grain from the woods. They actually pop off the surface. The way he cuts wood and presents it as an art form is something he’s been working on and honing for 30 years. As far as woodworking, there is no comparison on the West Coast. I have great appreciation for it.”

He’s not alone. Over the years, Hansen said his items have been bought by a curator at the Smithsonian Institution, sold to George W. Bush long before he was president, and have been shown at the Louvre in Paris.
Hansen said he has made more than 43,000 items, not including wooden bars and wooden countertops, like the one he created in his garage for the kitchen of his rental home near Santee Lakes, where he lives with a roommate and four cats.

In his bedroom, Hansen has an intricate multicolored dresser with several drawers that he built many years ago. On top of it is his most cherished creation, a beautifully crafted box holding his mother’s ashes.

Hansen, a Michigan native and twice married and divorced with five children, has lived in Missouri, Florida and out of a mobile home as he traveled cross country for 15 years. Since coming to California, he has lived in several places in San Diego County. He said he first visited California 33 years ago, falling in love with San Diego.

For a time Hansen said he lived out of his mobile home, but for nearly 10 years he also lived among the homeless in the San Diego Riverbed off Friars Road. Health issues and finances put him on the street, but with help from his family, he got back on his feet again. Since the mid-2000s, he has called Santee home.

Another problem has arisen recently for Hansen. City officials have told him he is violating municipal code requirements for a home-based business, including not having a business license, noise and dust emanating from the garage, and an accessory structure in the backyard. Neighbors from across the street have attended City Council meetings to complain about what they say are traffic and parking issues related to his business.

Santee Planning Director Melanie Kush said Hansen may have underestimated his hobby-turned-business.

“A lot of crafters begin small and then they grow, they grow so fast,” Kush said. “They haven’t thought about going someplace else where cottage industries (belong). And sometimes businesses like his belong in industrial areas.”