Historical Society to launch new picture book

RANCHO SANTA FE — The Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society has a slew of projects in the works, including the publication of a new picture book featuring approximately 200 historic images of the Ranch. The book will be published in the coming months by Arcadia Publishing and on Nov. 19, Debbie Seracini, acquisitions editor for Arcadia Publishing, met with board members to review the timeline and explain the publishing process.
Cultural landscape specialist Vonn Marie May is chairing the book project, which will involve sorting through dozens of boxes of archived pictures. “We need to bury ourselves in the archives and get going,” May said with enthusiasm. Choosing a maximum of 240 pictures will be a difficult assignment considering the vast number of photographs available. In addition to pictures, the book will also feature old maps, letters and postcards.
“You can touch a lot of hearts with this book,” Seracini, who offered tips and suggestions for making the book successful, said. The initial print run will be for 1,800 books and will retail for $21.95. Arcadia Publishing will work with the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society to market and distribute the historical picture book.
Not only do archived photos need to be sorted for the book project, but President Chaco Clotfelter would also like to see those photos digitized. “The pictures will deteriorate over time and we need to get them in digital format,” he said. This project, too, will require time and volunteers.
Clotfelter and board members are also working on other projects, including video interviews, which they would like to see become part of the permanent archives. The idea is to ask longtime residents to share their stories and memories of Rancho Santa Fe and record the interview for posterity on video. Video producers have been contacted and consulted, but the cost is expensive and perhaps prohibitive. The board is exploring a less costly format using borrowed equipment and volunteers. It’s hoped that a format or template could be established to record residents for years to come.
The “Bells Project” is near completion and soon six commemorative bells will be placed along the historic route of El Camino Real in Rancho Santa Fe. An encroachment permit was required prior to installation at one of the locations but that situation is being dealt with. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for the near future.
The Historical Society also has a 2009 calendar that will feature pictures from the Ranch’s past — including people and events that shaped the village such as the Rancho Santa Fe Hunt, Coutour de Elegance, the polo field, the Shady Lady’s and more. Calendars will be ready for purchase by Dec. 15.
The cookbook that was announced earlier in the year has been put on hold. Competing cookbooks from The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe and Willis Allen made the project less viable at this time.
If interested in volunteering for any of these projects, contact the Rancho Santa Fe Historical Society administrator Sharon Fabry at (858) 756-9291 or e-mail rsfhs@rsfhistoricalsociety.com.

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