Community

The 1995 excavations produced the archaeological evidence that architects needed to accurately design the reconstruction of the McCoy House (Felton 1995:8-19). More exciting from an archaeological perspective, however, were the earlier finds (ibid.: 19-31), and the level of community involvement that they generated.

State park docents, students from several schools and universities, and members of the San Diego County Archaeological Society put in thousands of volunteer hours under the able supervision of Dr. Therese Muranaka.

A team of National Civilian Community Corps members, many previously trained by Dr. Jack Williams at the San Diego Presidio, worked with us for 2 months. This was a rewarding experience for everyone involved, and made us staunch advocates for the federal AmeriCorps program which sponsored them (National Civilian Community Corps 1995).

We were particularly pleased, however, to have descendants of the Silvas family, especially Abel Silvas and David Martinez, take an active interest in the project. They and other family members visited frequently, sharing information on the family’s history, occasionally helping excavate, and taking part in ongoing efforts to interpret our findings. While we are accustomed to sharing our excitement with other archaeologists and park visitors, it was particularly gratifying to find a constituency with such a deep personal interest and stake in our work.