Old Monterey Foundation Lecture - The Historic Buffalo Soldier Trail

Join us! Old Monterey Foundation to Hold a Free Lecture focusing on “The Historic Buffalo Soldier Trail”  on Thursday, August 10, 2017 sponsored by The Marcia F. Devoe Fund of the Community Foundation

July 2017, Monterey, CA.  For the fourth year, Old Monterey Foundation is pleased to announce that will hold its first free lecture event as part of its 2017 Lecture Series sponsored by The Marcia F. Devoe Fund of the Community Foundation for Monterey County. 


What: Focus on the Historic Buffalo Soldier Trail

This presentation will shed light on the little known and mostly forgotten Monterey leg of California’s Historic Buffalo Soldier Trail.  Prior to 1916, the Army was responsible for stewardship of the National Parks, including Yosemite National Park. 

In 1901, the Presidio at Monterey post including what is now the Lower Presidio Historic Park, was reopened by the Army as a cavalry and artillery garrison. Among its first units was the legendary 9th Cavalry, the “Buffalo Soldiers,” who were African-Americans.

A little-known contribution of the Buffalo Soldiers involved eight troops of the 9th Cavalry Regiment and one company of the 24th Infantry Regiment who served in California's Sierra Nevada as some of the first national park rangers. The Buffalo Soldiers from Company H, 24th Infantry Regiment briefly served in Yosemite National Park, Sequoia National Park, and General Grant (Kings Canyon) National Parks.  The Buffalo Soldiers were stationed at the Presidio of Monterey and traveled from their base to Yosemite in 1903 and 1904 fulfilled this Army duty.

The presentation will also show 1904 articles published by area newspapers along the Trail and will provide the information about and names of the troop members who were garrisoned at the Presidio of Monterey who traveled to Yosemite and back.

About the Presenters

About Geneva Brett

Geneva Brett is a Los Banos Real Estate Broker and ten year advocate for California's Historic Buffalo Soldier Trail.  In 2010, she testified before a Congressional Sub Committee in support of the Buffalo Soldiers in the National Parks Study Act, which has since become law.

About Bruce Rivers

Former Seaside resident Bruce E. Rivers is the Senior Pastor of the Mount Moriah First Baptist Church in Dos Palos, CA.

Following the lecture, Bill Wojtkowski, President of the Old Monterey Foundation Board of Directors, will present a short overview of improvements planned for the Lower Presidio Historic Park. 

This lecture is suitable for ages 9 and up.

When: Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 6:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.

Where: Irvine Auditorium, McCone Building, MIIS; 499 Pierce Street, Monterey

Free Admission - Reception to follow

For more information, call [831] 346-3030 or visit www.OldMontereyFoundation.org.

The lectures are very popular so attendees are urged to come early to secure a seat.

The second lecture in the series will take place on August 24th: “Ninety Years of Key Decisions to Preserve Monterey’s History” with presenters Kip Hudson and Mary Wright. Monterey, described as California's most historic city, has been preserved through the impassioned efforts of its surrounding community.  Individuals, organizations and governments have all played a role in its preservation.  Join us for this discussion by community leaders who have participated in many of these achievements and challenges. Finally, a brief overview of the future of Monterey History and Art Association will be provided by the President of the organization, Larry Chavez.   

About Old Monterey Foundation

The Old Monterey Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, was formed on February 14, 2011, with the specific mission and purpose of promoting, supporting and enhancing the artistic, cultural and historic environment of historic Downtown Monterey, California.  The group is well known for their work with the Art-in-the-Adobes event that was held from 2011-2013 as well as other fundraisers, lectures and events.  Its private/public partnership with the City of Monterey heralds a new way of doing public business in a State strapped to find funds for park operations and expansions.

The Lower Presidio Historic Park, described as “The Most Historically Significant Site on the West Coast” and “One of the Most Beautiful Places in Monterey” is on its way to becoming a true historic public park to be enjoyed by locals and visitors. Old Monterey Foundation, in cooperation with the City of Monterey and Department of the Army, has raised initial funds to begin Phase One of the project to enhance and restore this historic 25.3-acre site and is now seeking public donations to help complete Phase One of the $680,000 project. 


The Lower Presidio Historic Park is one of the least-visited historic parks in the area due to some confusion about whether the public is allowed in the area.   Situated in a “hidden in plain sight” location, the Park can be found above Pacific Street at the Lighthouse Curve in Downtown Monterey. The park features spectacular views of the Monterey Bay and Harbor and will become a jewel of the City of Monterey’s park system. Lower Presidio Historic Park is considered by many professional historians as “The Most Historically Significant Site on the West Coast”.  There is current on-going work to raise funds to restore and enhance this 25.3 acre park with incredible views of the Monterey Bay.  Old Monterey Foundation is seeking additional funds to go along the two trails, and for historic signs, park benches and more.


Old Monterey Foundation invites everyone to become members of "Friends of the Lower Presidio" at  www.oldmontereyfoundation.org and make tax-deductible donations to more quickly restore the park. 


The City of Monterey Outreach Office produced an informative short video about the Lower Presidio Historic Park and its significance to California and American history:  https://youtu.be/Lg7X0spnC4k