Grace and Michael discuss the interesting history of Olompali State Park near Novato, California, complete with commentary, photos, on location videos including aerial drone footage using a DJI Phantom drone quadcopter and short supportive video inserts.
We welcome you to see our 16 minute video commentary:
The Olompali story begins with the Miwok Indians settling in the area around 580 AD, who peacefully co-existed with the Mexicans over the centuries. In 1776 Miwok Indians constructed the oldest adobe home north of San Francisco. With the onset of the California gold rush and American settlers heading West, in 1846 Olompali was the site of a Olompali Bear Revolt skirmish or horse theft, leading to rare casualties over California land. Fortunately for the indigenous tribe, the American’s acknowledged that chief Camillo Ynitia and his clan were the rightful landowners for their property. In 1852, Ynitia sold off all but nearly 1,000 acres to James Black for $5,200. Nearly a century later, the Burdel family descendents sold their estate to the University of San Francisco who used the beautiful estate for Jesuit students and seminarians. However, due to high maintenance and upkeep costs, in the 1960s USF began renting out their estate. Most notable renters included the Jerry Garcia and his Grateful Dead band in 1966, whose guest list included Janis Joplin along with Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane band. In 1967, the wealthy Don McCoy started his commune named “The Chosen People” hoping to form a utopian community with free love and good will, including daily distribution of 500 loaves of bread to the needy in the Haight-Asbury San Francisco district. Sadly, after a number of calamities in the coming years, Don forfeited his dream and relinquished his lease with the USF. By mid-2014 his daughter Maura McCoy and partner Greg Gibbs will be producing a documentary video, “Olompali, A California Story.”
The Olompali loop trail is 3 miles long, ascending over 600 feet in elevation with an 8 mile connecting loop that leads to Burdell mountain.
Each year on a Sunday in mid-May, the Park features its annual “Heritage Day” where descendents of the Miwok Indians perform ritual dances, Rangers offer native plant and bird walks, tours of the Camilo Ynitia and Burdell Mansion ruins, The Chosen Family Commune shares memories and historians share stories of the Bear Flag Revolt and the Battle of Olompoli. Throughout the day, presenters demonstrate basket making, flint-knapping, adobe brick-making and blacksmithing.
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