EL POLIN SPRINGS IN THE PRESIDIO (11/07/11)
Most San Franciscans know little about the Presidio of San Francisco. We have a population of about 816,000 and there is a lot of turn over; especially with decent families leaving - that is father, mother, and children. Since the year 2000 over eighty thousand families have left. Other San Franciscans hear about the Presidio of San Francisco but know little of the true history.
El Polin Springs is one habitat where the Ohlone made their abode. All over the Presidio there were small clans of about forty to fifty Ohlone and they all lived peacefully for over fifteen thousand years. The Ohlone were the First People of the Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, and the extended Bay Area.
We know the thousands of year of living by the Ohlone from the many remains and artifacts that have been carbon dated - all found at the Presidio of San Francisco and nearby areas. I know more from the after effects of Crissy Field Project - where remains and artifacts were found - stored in a garage that caught on fire - the remains and artifacts charred - and all under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service.
The National Park Service formed around 1916 is in the business of Preservation and Protection - but when it comes to the First People, the Native Americans the National Park Service, the Department of Interior are far removed from that Mission Objective and practice - blatant discrimination and disdain.
When the First Russian mostly fur traders inadvertently landed near today‚s Crissy Field and were met by the Ohlone clans they treated them with respect. Then the Spanish arrived with the diabolic Franciscans Missionaries who in their zeal to convert all to Christianity - destroyed all that was good.
Murals at the Officers Club building 50, the Presidio Chapel have murals that give a good description of the early Ohlone and the military. One mural depicting the Russians who had befriended the Presidio Commandant; other murals giving some more information about the Ohlone and other activities. The military kept good records and I was privy to a lot of the documents. Most of these documents were handed over to the National Park Service and are in their Archives on the Presidio of San Francisco by the Horse Stables.
Some years ago a team of archeologists from Stanford started digging around El Polin Springs, again strangers that seem to know more than the First People itself. These drab archeologists found the remains of an early home belonging to a Spanish Family; part of the foundation of the home and the early Spanish residents that lived very near El Polin Springs. Much was made about this discovery but it did not impress those that know more.
The Buffalo Soldiers for example camped in the hundreds nearby El Polin Springs because the water was clean and tasted good. This was much before the Army planted Eucalyptus trees, whose leaves are acidic and can contaminate most anything including the water from the pristine El Polin springs.
Very little is mentioned about the Buffalo Soldiers because those that rewrite history would like to erase any notable mention of the colored soldiers, the minorities, and pretend that the history is all about the devious Whites.
The Buffalo Soldiers were Engineers and graded much of the Presidio of San Francisco. They also surveyed and patrolled the so called Federal Lands - Yosemite Park and so on. The Buffalo Soldiers wrote the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) how to maintain and patrol the Parks and handed over this document to the National Park Service. Little is mentioned about this fact the entire Federal Lands stolen from the First People - Yosemite Park, Sequoia Park - millions of acres including Hetch Hetchy Valley.
Recently, I went to El Polin Springs and the entire area looks completely different. Now, if this area had anything remotely to do with Whites of which we know one fact - (all the land was stolen, the First People killed, the women raped and many other atrocities committed) - care would have been taken to restore and keep the original site the same; with little if no change at all. >p> The benches at El Polin Springs - made of Eucalyptus trees that were felled, and the other cobble stone beds constructed for the flow of the water - is a design that does not relate in any form to the original El Polin Springs that I knew for a long, long time when I worked at the Presidio of San Francisco. Different strokes for different folks.
Some years ago a plague was stolen from the El Polin site mentioning a long told tale that if any woman drank of the waters she would be granted fertility - more when there was a full moon. Little was made of this plague and the theft but for us that cared for El Polin Springs - it spelled the future and the nonchalant manner in which the Presidio Trust conducts its affairs.
The Presdio Trust a quasi-Federal Agency now control Area A which is much of the Presidio, most of its buildings, and of course areas like El Polin Springs. The National Park Service has control of the area along the Bay - Crissy Field, Baker Beach and so on.
When the Presidio Trust initially assumed controlled of Area B and the El Polin Springs dogs in droves came to El Polin spring to take a piss on anything and everything the dogs saw. When the Army was there such nonsense was not permitted. But it is strange when it comes to some folks who have no respect for the land, the deep history Ų dogs leaving their excreta all over the place and their owners - devoid of any etiquette.
The Military Police would not tolerate such nonsense. Today, the former Military Quarters are occupied by mainly Whites, most working for the Presidio of San Francisco, most completely ignorant of the Ohlone history, and less of the times before they came to the Presidio to work for the diabolical Presidio Trust. The Presido Trust has been receiving large sums of money - appropriated by Congress - the appropriation ends in the year 2013.
The first Director of the Presidio Trust a corrupt man named James Meadow wasted millions and pocketed more. He was fired after one nice, detail article spelled out all the corrupt involved under his jurisdiction. The National Park Service and one Superintendent, Brian O‚Neill was complicated too in many of the actions. Brian O‚Neill passed away some time - corruption is till the forte of the National Park Service at the Golden Park National Recreation Area.
Higher ups where some drastic changes have been done to the landscape around El Polin Springs - the remains, of the Ohlone were found when the Army had jurisdiction over the 1480 acres. T he Stanford Archeologists wanted me to point to them the exact location. I refused for one single reason; I do not pander to such type of people and do not respect their work in any form or shape.
Shell mounds are found all over the Presidio and it natural that those Ohlone clans living near El Polin were buried nearby where they habituated. Shell mounds are Sacred burial grounds of the Ohlone and are found in the hundreds all over San Francisco and the extended Bay Area. The largest intact Shell Mound is found at the San Bruno Mountains by Highway 101 going to the Airport and near Brisbane.
Here are some photographs of the El Polin area as you see it today:
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