Preservation Fortnight: “Discovering Redlands’ Cultural Geography” May 10 – May 23, 2021

May is National Historic Preservation month.  This year’s celebration will involve virtual activities in lieu of in person events. The selected theme for this year is “Discovering Redlands’ Cultural Geography”. Gaining a more complete understanding of Redlands’ history is possible when more is known about all of our ethnic communities.  Much of the predominant Anglo culture is well documented.  Much of the evidence of ethnic minorities is lost or un-discovered.

Redlands Forum

A panel discussion of this topic will be presented in a Redlands Forum program on Wednesday, May 12 at 5:30 p.m. This event is jointly sponsored by the Redlands Area Historical Society and The Redlands Conservancy.  Sherli Leonard, executive director of the Conservancy, will be the moderator. Panelists are Nathan Gonzales, archivist of the Special Collections at the A. K. Smiley Public Library; Donn Grenda, principal archaeologist with the local firm of SRI and vice president of the Conservancy; and Ron Running, vice president of the Historical Society.

Gonzales will discuss what material the Special Collections has and does not have. He will highlight recent programs that the library has sponsored on this topic. Grenda will discuss recent ethnic discoveries uncovered with his archaeology work in downtown Redlands nearby the Santa Fe depot. Running will demonstrate the Society’s efforts to document the locations of Redlands ethnic past using ESRI’s mapping software in creating story maps.

Information and registration for the event can be found at

Redlands Conservancy Zoom Program

A follow up Zoom program will be presented by Donn Grenda of SRI on Wednesday, May 19 at 7:00 p.m. Donn will present his archaeological work around  Eureka Street and Stuart Avenue. The area is the location of Redlands’ Chinatown and Sonora colonia area that straddled the railroad tracks near the Santa Fe depot. His work is an example of contemporary research of the past can lead to valuable clues about our ethnic past.

Registration for the Zoom meeting can be made at

Maria Armenta Bermudez (b. 1798)