Historical Guides Association of California

2015 Archives
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Here's a list of things we did in 2015!


Behind The Scenes: Then & Now!

Tuesday ~ November 17th ~ 6:30 pm
Refreshments by Debbie George start at 6:00
Rabobank Community Room, Cambria

Don't tell anybody, but his real name is Larry Ross. Yeah... that's the guy we all call Sparky! And on Nov 17th, Sparky is going to give us a behind-the-scenes, nuts-n-bolts look at what it takes to keep this Historical Monument going today... AND... what it took to keep it going, as a holiday residence, in WRH's day!

All those questions regarding electricity (how and when did WR first have it on the hilltop?), water (did he know those springs were up there?), sewage (where did it go?), the big screen (how did the projection system work and change?), the bells (how did they hook the keyboard to the actual bells and keep them working?), needed everyday maintenance (was it carried on even while guests were visiting?), and anything else you can think of... yes, all will be answered!

Come with your questions and plan to get factual information from someone who is our current-day "Byron Hanchett" at the Castle! You won't want to miss this one!

Behind The Scenes - Download & Print Flyer



Larry Crawford Aquires More Vintage Photos!

Tuesday ~ October 20th ~ 6:30 pm
Snacks & Social start about 6:00 pm
Rabobank Community Room, Cambria

You probably have not seen the shot of sunlight streaming into the Refectory and a table lined with straight-backed chairs! Not quite the scene we've grown accustomed to. However, it happened... and there's a photo of those early days of using the Refectory!

This is just one of about 100 vintage photo prints that Guide Larry Crawford acquired for his personal collection just four weeks ago! If you will click on the Download Flyer link at the bottom of this section, you can print it out and see it here for the first time!

The program includes many more photos... many taken inside rooms, including several guest bedrooms and WR's Gothic Sitting Room and Study. See how it was set up in his day! You can "wander the gardens", enjoy the two pools, and get a feel of what it was like in Hearst's time. See why the only consistent thing at San Simeon was CHANGE! If you'd like to go beyond interpreting just facts and data, come fill your cup with these actual views from "the day. According to Crawford, "I think we're going to blow a few of the old stories out of the water!"

Please Note: Victoria Kastner's program on the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in San Francisco has been moved to December 15th. She had a scheduling conflict, so the two programs simply switched places.

Have You Seen This Pic? - Download PDF Flyer





With General Meeting & Open HGA Board Nominations

Tuesday Sept 15

12:45 pm ~ Lighthouse Tour

4:30 ~ 6:00 pm BBQ & Food Share Serving



  • Sign up reservations required.
  • Open to the first 30 HGA members.
  • Meet at old motel building north of Lighthouse at 12:45 pm.
  • $10 p/person Lighthouse entry fee due at that time.
  • Group will carpool south to Lighthouse for tour (limited parking).
  • Tour begins at 1:00 pm and lasts about two hours.
  • Sign up to reserve your spot on the tour.
  • Signups open until all 30 spots are filled.
  • Send reservation email to: hga.castle@gmail.com. 


BBQ & FOOD SHARE ~ 4:30 TILL 6:00 pm

  • Bring your family and play at Hearst State Beach.
  • End-of-summer BBQ and Food Share.
  • BBQ, Garlic Bread & Beans provided by your HGA.
  • Bring to share your favorite salad or dessert.
  • Sign up by Sept 9th for you and your family at: hga.castle@gmail.com.
  • Let us know how many are coming so we have the needed amount of tri-tip.
  • Bring your prefered drinks and appetite.
  • Picnic plates and utensils provided by your HGA.
  • Tri-tip served from 4:30 till 6:00 pm.
  • Dress in layers ~ sometimes it can get windy on the beach.



This is a really short but required yearly meeting for input from the membership and will also open the nomination opportunity for the December voting and election of the 2016-2018 HGA Board, which takes over Jan 1, 2016.


We hope you can attend one or both of the events. Keep in mind, we need to know what events and how many are coming. Also, time is short ~ especially for the BBQ. so email us right away so we'll have your piece of tri-tip ready on the BBQ.

The Lighthouse Tour is a nice walk through history and a recognized place that was here during the time that the land has been owned by the Hearsts. In 1922, WRH made his "home movie" called The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter with shots of the Lighthouse property and beach areas, as well as scenes from the Ranch and the very early stage of building on the hilltop.

The Hearst State Beach is a fun place to play and soak up the history of the little town of San Simeon. A reminder to dress in layers at the beach. It can get windy at times.

Sign up now and let's celebrate the end of summer!

Lighthouse Tour & BBQ Food Share Flyer - Download

JUNE 2015

East of Paso Robles on Hwy 46 
Tuesday ~ June 16th ~ 10:30 am (New Tour Start Time)
Carpooling recommended


Correction: The Paul Clark guided tour will began at 10:30 am (not 10:00 as originally stated). Sorry for any confusion from the "keyboard error".

Guide Susie Fulton says...."Hearst's influence locally wasn't just along the coastline... part of his eclectic style of collecting found its way to a chapel outside Shandon. Please join us for this HGA discovery visit, Tuesday, June 16th, tour start time at 10:30 am. Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy on the Chapel grounds. To limit the number of cars, I would ask folks from North County to share a ride... the same for Cambria, for Cayucos and Morro Bay folks, and SLO and 5 Cities areas, too. These carpools are not being organized by your HGA; rather, recommended for those attending to arrange their own carpool meet-ups to reduce the number of cars arriving. So, I still recommend you schedule yourselves to arrive in the parking lot around 10:00 am. It will take a little time to walk the hill to the chapel and get everyone together. Paul Clark, Central Coast attorney, will be our host and is representing the Clark family, owners of the Chapel. Check below for his driving directions. There are copies of these directions in the guide trailer in my cubby hole #33, as well as carpool sign in sheets on the table. These will help give us an idea of about how many folks to expect. Just one more new adventure for those of us who have not experienced this local gathering place in the Shandon hills. See you there!"  (Susie is the "point person" for this HGA road trip to Chapel Hill.) 

Paul Clark welcomes us for a personal tour to the Chapel, built by his father. It is said that this private, Mission-style building was "constructed out of fragments from Hearst Castle". We'll learn more about what that means as Mr. Clark shows us around the facility.

To restate: it is recommended that those who can, please carpool... we are welcome to pack "brown-bag" lunches to enjoy in a picnic on the outside grounds after the tour... and dress is casual jeans, sneakers, etc.

Here are the driving instructions given by Mr Clark: 

  • Get to Paso Robles.
  • Take Hwy 46 East from Paso Robles about 18 miles to Shandon.
  • On Hwy 46 as you approach the first Shandon intersection (where the brushed chrome grape fountain is on the right), turn left on to McMillan Canyon Rd. This is a dangerous intersection to turn left, so please be careful. You will see the Chapel on the hill as you drive up McMillan Canyon Rd.
  • At about 1 mile, you come to a parking lot and if you like, park and take the fairly steep walk/hike to the top where the Chapel is located.
  • Or...(Plan B)... continue to drive up McMillan Canyon Rd. where you will see additional parking in a clearly marked lot closer to the Chapel.
  • Plan to be parked, up to the Chapel, and ready to start the tour with our host at 10:30 am.
Please keep in mind this is the middle of the day on Tuesday. There will be no evening event that night at Rabobank Community Room. Hope your schedule is such that you can join us! 

Chapel Hill Day Trip - Download Flyer & Directions

May 2015

"It's All About Quality" 
Museum Director 
Tuesday ~ May 19th ~ 6:30 pm
Snacks & Social start about 6:00 pm
Rabobank Community Room, Cambria

Mary Levkoff, our Museum Director, joins us.

April 2015


This month there will be no program. We were working on three possibilities, but at the end of the day, it turns out there were scheduling challenges with the presenters of all three. It just wasn't working. So, we will see you in May for Mary Levkoff. Thanks very much for your support. 

March 2015

Bob Conlen On What's Coming 
Tuesday ~ March 17th ~ 6:30 pm
Snacks & Social start about 6:00 pm
Rabobank Community Room, Cambria
Tim noted that March 17th is St. Patrick's Day!
So through the efforts of several, we will have
Corned Beef and Cabbage to celebrate St. Patty's
Day on Tuesday! So come join us! Dinner's on!!

About 12 years ago, Bob Conlen addressed the HGA with the news that there would be extreme pruning done in the gardens. As we know today, it was the right thing to do!

Now, questions about the drought are a concern. What will happen as we ease out of this dry period? What are the plans for some of those dormant beds? Is any additional extreme pruning or removal of non-historic plants/trees planned? And what about the Hearst’s Pergola... are things going to change with that section of WRH’s gardens? Inquiring minds (guides and guests) want to know!

Get answers to these questions and more from Bob at our next HGA monthly program!

If you haven’t renewed your membership, please plan to do so at this next meeting.

See you there! 

February 2015

An Archaeologist's View
1890s Map of San Simeon
Tuesday ~ February 17th ~ 6:30 pm
Snacks & Social start about 6:00 pm
Rabobank Community Room, Cambria

Did you know we have an on-staff Archaeologist?

It is the job of Elise Wheeler to dig (in History and sometimes in the dirt) to reveal the many uses, in different time periods and by different peoples, of the land on the Central Coast and the area known as San Simeon or Hearst Ranch. Elise will tell us about the interactions that took place between the Native American populations here and the earliest settlers (Missionaries). She may give us some ideas of what to look for as we walk our Coastal paths... or thoughts on how you can help the overall effort to gently push back the curtain of history.

This is a different look at the Hearst story; yet, a very important part of the historical value of the area! So, plan to join us this coming Tuesday evening for our first program of the 2015 HGA season.

Please remember to update your HGA membership for 2015 by taking one of the membership forms when you arrive or click on the form link above to download your own PDF form file. Simply send it in with your check to the address on the form or drop it off at the HGA mailbox in the Guide Lounge on the hilltop.

Mark your calendar and we'll see you there! 

San Simeon Archaeology - Download Flyer

Have you renewed your HGA membership?

Historical Guides Association
PO Box 152
Cambria, CA 93428
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