Thesis

Forgetting Qowíšal: History and Memory at Sea Ranch

Purpose: This study explores how the Kashaya Pomo village of Qowíšal became the industrial maritime landscape at Black Point that was transformed in less than a century into a vacation destination through careful management and a complex process of forgetting. One of the purposes of this thesis is to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of Sea Ranch’s history in part by employing environmental historical interpretation, which incorporates multiple viewpoints across ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic class. By applying a new lens of historical understanding to a place that has a strong sense of its own story, this thesis puts this designed landscape in the context of its larger history in order to discover a more inclusive and diverse regional identity that extends outside of Sea Ranch’s boundaries.
 Procedure: This study analyzed historical documents, including photographs, oral histories, maps, articles of incorporation and newspapers as well as secondary sources in an attempt to produce a historical context of the maritime landscapes of Qowíšal, Black Point, and contemporary Sea Ranch. Existing archaeological surveys were also studied. The documentary and archaeological data were examined through the lens of memory and landscape studies to define each maritime cultural landscape, and determine what collective memory exists at Sea Ranch about Qowíšal and Black Point.
 Findings: Documentary and secondary sources illustrate how the area's natural beauty and its sheep ranching heritage has influenced and been commemorated on the Sea Ranch landscape, while the cultural landscapes of Qowíšal and Black Point have been muted or forgotten. While the Qowíšal and Black Point maritime cultural landscapes used the sea as a resource and were dependent upon interconnectedness, the sea is viewed without being used in the Sea Ranch cultural landscape, whose residents value the remoteness and isolation they perceive there.
 Conclusions: By studying Black Point this thesis contributes to research on layered maritime cultural landscapes, Northern California doghole ports, and memory studies. Interpretation at the Sea Ranch Lodge and by Sonoma County Regional Parks, both of whom operate places open to the public at the site of Black Point and Qowíšal, could use an environmental historical model to incorporate the many cultural landscapes that exist in this place, as would be in keeping with the intentions of Master Planner Lawrence Halprin. This thesis adds to the growing body of work dealing with memory and perceptions of landscape, maritime cultural landscapes, and environmental historical interpretations of the past, as well as endangered coastal cultural resources in need of study before they are eroded away by natural forces.

Purpose: This study explores how the Kashaya Pomo village of Qowíšal became the industrial maritime landscape at Black Point that was transformed in less than a century into a vacation destination through careful management and a complex process of forgetting. One of the purposes of this thesis is to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of Sea Ranch’s history in part by employing environmental historical interpretation, which incorporates multiple viewpoints across ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic class. By applying a new lens of historical understanding to a place that has a strong sense of its own story, this thesis puts this designed landscape in the context of its larger history in order to discover a more inclusive and diverse regional identity that extends outside of Sea Ranch’s boundaries. Procedure: This study analyzed historical documents, including photographs, oral histories, maps, articles of incorporation and newspapers as well as secondary sources in an attempt to produce a historical context of the maritime landscapes of Qowíšal, Black Point, and contemporary Sea Ranch. Existing archaeological surveys were also studied. The documentary and archaeological data were examined through the lens of memory and landscape studies to define each maritime cultural landscape, and determine what collective memory exists at Sea Ranch about Qowíšal and Black Point. Findings: Documentary and secondary sources illustrate how the area's natural beauty and its sheep ranching heritage has influenced and been commemorated on the Sea Ranch landscape, while the cultural landscapes of Qowíšal and Black Point have been muted or forgotten. While the Qowíšal and Black Point maritime cultural landscapes used the sea as a resource and were dependent upon interconnectedness, the sea is viewed without being used in the Sea Ranch cultural landscape, whose residents value the remoteness and isolation they perceive there. Conclusions: By studying Black Point this thesis contributes to research on layered maritime cultural landscapes, Northern California doghole ports, and memory studies. Interpretation at the Sea Ranch Lodge and by Sonoma County Regional Parks, both of whom operate places open to the public at the site of Black Point and Qowíšal, could use an environmental historical model to incorporate the many cultural landscapes that exist in this place, as would be in keeping with the intentions of Master Planner Lawrence Halprin. This thesis adds to the growing body of work dealing with memory and perceptions of landscape, maritime cultural landscapes, and environmental historical interpretations of the past, as well as endangered coastal cultural resources in need of study before they are eroded away by natural forces.

Relationships

Items