One of our project team members, an industrial artist by the name of Stacy Dukes. He was really interested in knowing what the original Sycamore tree that stood in this spot on 5th and Sycamore street looked like originally. Ryan Smolar then reached out to our team Historian Manny Escamilla to find out. Manny was soon able to dig up the historical record and a picture of the tree, as seen below. According to Stacy Dukes, "Projects are not simple—or hard--they are emphatic explorations," and this was the beginning point of our groups emphatic exploration into the historic past and how that past would hopefully link us to the present.
What we are beginning to find here, is that this present tree, its placement within the city, its legacy, is much more than the mere ground on which it sits. The tree is more than its relationship to the current parking lot in which it resides, the fence that stands beside it, or the asphalt lot that was poured around it. The tree in fact is a link to the history of place.
The tree itself establishes a history, a continuity of place and time. If we look back into the native traditions we even find that while most of us use the term "sense of place" often and rather carelessly when we think about nature or our home, in reality our senses of place, do not really belong to us alone at all, but rather has been created by individuals and other cultures before us and far beyond our individual experiences of place and time.
Taking the time to notice this is part of the process of re-membering is a very important part of the work. Looking at the past, re-membering the tree holds a history as well is a real process that must occur for us to re-link past to present and bring the attention needed for th bring health of the tree to be restored. Its disrepair has come from the community forgetting the birthplace of the city. Therefore, the journey is about recovering the birth place of the dream that is today The City of Santa Ana, CA.
Old Sycamore Hall, Santa Ana's amusement center in the 1880's.
Old Sycamore Hall, Santa Ana's amusement center in the 1880's. Duplicate photo labelled as: Sycamore Hall 1875. Brewery Salon sign is partially visible under a huge tree in front of the hall. Men are also visible standing and sitting outside of the building.
Santa Ana Public Library
Copyright restrictions applying to use or reproduction of this image available from the Santa Ana Public Library. W. P. A. Cities & Towns vol.
Santa Ana Birthplace Location
We believe the Calliotree is an amazing revival of local history using organic life, digital technology, and simple creativity.