Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rancho Los Cerritos Seeks Volunteers

From Rancho Los Cerritos...

Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site is seeking volunteers to “become” rancheros, housewives, field hands, sheepherders, cooks, gardeners, or housemaids, and then present these unique accounts of Rancho life to the general public as living history volunteers.

Would you please share the attached flyer and information with
interested volunteers and members?

What is Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site?
Rancho Los Cerritos is a National and State Historic Landmark. Operated as a public museum since 1955 by the City of Long Beach, the 1844 adobe and grounds echo with the rich history of Spanish, Mexican and American California and the families who helped transform southern California from its ranching beginnings to a modern, urban society. Public hours are Wednesday-Sunday afternoons, with school programs, special events, lectures, concerts and other activities throughout the year.

Training Information
This ten-week training course will include a detailed look at Rancho Los Cerritos’ history, architecture, collections and gardens. Additionally, volunteers will select an historical persona and explore the world of living history interpretation through character development, storytelling, interactive games, and improvisation techniques. By the end of training, our new living history docents will be so immersed in the customs, manners, morals and costumes of their chosen character and time period that they will be ready to share the Rancho’s unique stories with visitors of all ages!

Once our new visitor education center is completed in June 2011, the Rancho will introduce “Visitors from the Past” living history tours on a regular basis. As living history docents, graduates of our training class will be expected to volunteer a minimum of one afternoon per month (Wednesday-Sunday), portraying a character from the past and sharing his/her unique, enjoyable and vibrant style with the general public.

Visitors from the Past Living History Tours at Rancho Los Cerritos
“Visitors from the Past” tours are designed to allow museum guests to chose an interpreter with whom to tour the property—perhaps one of the Rancho’s previous owners, or a field hand, a domestic servant, or even a visiting family member. For instance, guests may tour with Ying, the Rancho’s 1870s Chinese cook, who would share stories of laundry day and the many mouths he must feed during shearing time, as well as tales of the Chinese peddler who brought vegetables along with news from Chinatown in Los Angeles. If guests follow Arthur Orchard, the Bixby family’s mid-20th century gardener, they would learn about Llewellyn Bixby Sr.’s new estate garden designed by landscape architect Ralph Cornell. Touring with Margaret Bixby, wife of sheep rancher Jotham Bixby, they will hear about the joys and challenges of raising a young family on the California frontier and how she chose to furnish her well-appointed adobe home. And from Rafaela Cota de Temple, they would learn about life in Mexican California, and how her husband built the two-story adobe home in 1844 as headquarters for his 27,000-acre cattle ranch.

Please feel free to call Meighan Maguire or Ellen Calomiris at (562) 570-1755 if you have any questions.

Thank you for your help!

Rancho Los Cerritos Historic Site * 4600 Virginia Road * Long Beach 90807
(562) 570-1755 *