VACAVILLE — The history of Solano County’s natives and pioneers was on display Saturday during Peña Adobe Park’s monthly open house.
A group of volunteers were on hand helping the occasional visitors who decided to explore the adobe home built on the land granted to settlers Juan Felipe Peña and Juan Manuel Vaca in 1841.
“Everything but the hooves of the cow were used at Peña Adobe,” said Doug Rogers, of the Vacaville Heritage Council, who explained that even cow’s blood was used to coat the floor to control the dust.
“(Visitors ask) ‘Where is the kitchen,’ ” said Rogers. “They actually cooked outside.”
The park grounds at Lagoon Valley, which was first inhabited by the Ulatis Indians, feature an 100-year-old elm tree and a 1970s monument for Our Lady of Guadalupe. There is also an Indian burial ground and a museum containing photos, relics and fossils, including an imperial mammoth tooth from 20,000 years ago.
“I did not know that there were mammoths in the area, and I did not know any of the names of the tribes,” said Cammie Morin, who works at the Solano Irrigation District in Fairfield.
“It was well worth coming over,” said the Benicia resident.
Inside the Goheen-Mowers Museum, 88-year-old docent Bob Allen offered insight to the past.
“When settlers first came here, the valleys were full of grizzly bears, elk and antelope . . .” he said. “This place was wild.”
The children who were born and grew up here kept antelope as pets, said Allen. When the antelope got big enough to eat, it was hard on the children, he said.
Allen, a Vacaville resident for more than 30 years, said it’s important to be aware of one’s heritage – “otherwise things can be destroyed very easily, and we have very little left.”
Peña Adobe, a state historical landmark, is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of the month. For more information, visit www.penaadobe.org.
Reach Adrienne Harris at 427-6956 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/aharrisdr.