Scientific Resource Surveys, Inc.

Field Specialists out in the field



The Los Encino State Park with the de la Ossa Adobe and Garnier stone structure are situated at the corner of Balboa and Ventura. Located at the border of Fernandeño/Chumash and Gabrielino territory, it was also one of the first investigations that incorporated monitoring and negotiations with two tribal groups. The 'lost' village of Encino was a previously unknown village site largely preserved under a 1930s/40s gas station, bank building, and other structures. A series of excavation phases culminated in a data recovery program where numerous human internments and cremations, one dog cremation and multiple dog burials, and a clay encased bird were found.

Located by over 100 archaeologists, burial goods and shell beads are associated only with the dog interments, not the humans! The burials clustered on the western side of a streambed that transected the property and followed the watercourse across the property. The village site also produced hundreds of materials associated with mainly late Intermediate and Late Prehistoric occupations. Rare Olivella Grooved Rectangular Beads [OGRs] were found in quantity on this site which date to 4,500-5,000 years ago, and show that Encino was along the pathway of distribution of this rare artifact. In 2015, all artifacts and field notes were donated to Los Encino Park for eventual display in the Garnier House.

One of the most important studies conducted at this site also included the location and salvage of the stone foundation of a structure, privy, and trash pit associated with the de la Ossa adobe residents. The structure had functioned in the mid-to late-1800s as a 'way station' for Basques who had migrated to the United States from Spain, Italy, and France. An extensive study was conducted on the Basque culture, Basque shepherding, and Basque acculturation. A political and economic profile of Rancho El Encino was compiled as part of this study that emphasized ownership changes from de la Ossa to Garnier, to Oxarart to Gless, and to the final owners, the Amestoys. Interviews were conducted and recorded at an Amestoy reunion in the Park as part of the investigations. Historic profiles were also compiled documenting production change including cattle and sheep raising, wheat, barley, and sugar beets; transportation changes were also documented for commercial shipping from the Butterfield Stage Line, the Southern Pacific Railroad, and finally a private rail line spur. Commercial buildings on this ranch began with the de la Ossa Adobe and outbuildings in 1859, continued with the addition of the Tavern/Roadhouse in the 1870s, and finally concluded with the Garnier House. Both the prehistoric and historic investigations have been reported in Pacific Coast Archaeological Society Quarterlies including the results of geophysical studies that located additional historic structures from the modern era.

Treasure Island Trailer Park, now called 'Montage Resort,' contained one of the most famous sites in Southern California, previously called the "Goff's Island" site. This was the last site excavated by the Work Progress Administration [WPA], which was the most ambitious of the New Deal introduced by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The WPA located numerous burials, documented rare house structural remains and removed hundreds of artifacts. The site is known to be essentially a shell midden that covers two separate areas, Locus A and Locus B. Locus A (Site A) is located southeast of the grassy entrance atop a hill, and was excavated by the WPA and found to contain both a 'burial mound' and house floor area. Locus B (Site B) is located near the shore on a bluff edge northeast of "Goff's Island" and includes the island. This area was not excavated by the WPA because the location was already covered with roads, parking areas, and camping trailers. Surface surveys indicated that sections of site still retained spotty concentrations of the shell midden where WPA had not excavated and that Goff's Island, although heavily deflated of soil, still retained some archaeological deposits. The excavations exposed intact portions of the site and salvaged all of the material that remained, including all of the earth on the island. Isolated human remains were located and extensive ecological materials including concentrations of fish scales from late prehistoric/protohistoric subsistence activities were located as well.

The site is situated on a slope overlooking the Pacific Ocean and had been extensively terraced in the past in order to accommodate the placement of trailers and mobile homes. The terraces contained formal roads and were heavily planted. The initial investigations included history studies and historic architectural assessments. Historic research at the film library at USC indicated that the property had been used extensively by Hollywood and the film industry for a backdrop for various film productions including two versions of "Treasure Island" [for which the park was named] and "The Long, Long Trailer." In circa 1953, Treasure Island Beach became the destination of The Warner Brothers movie "The Long, Long Trailer" starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. There were two palm trees that were small at the time of filming. During the filming of "The Long, Long Trailer," the trees were named Lucy and Desi. The trees are still there today, and they tower over Studio restaurant at the resort.
The yellow motorhome that was used in "The Long, Long Trailer" was still located on the property and was evaluated by SRSinc for National Register eligibility, including documentation and assessment of the heavy modifications to the structure.

Many Hollywood personalities had also lived in the trailer park including William Boyd, Hopalong Cassidy. He began this role in 1935 with an image of non-smoking, -drinking, -chewing tobacco, -swearing cowboy that rarely kissed a woman. Boyd made a total of 66 Cassidy shows. He was hugely popular at Treasure Island Trailer Park and personally constructed a rock foundation drinking fountain at the clubhouse for all to enjoy.

Radiocarbon dating has shown that CA-ORA-83, commonly referred to as "The Cogged Stone Site," experienced use over a 7,700-year period that encompasses the entire Millingstone Horizon, the entire Intermediate Horizon and continued light use into the Late Prehistoric period. SRSinc has carried out multi-staged investigations over several field seasons over the past 30 years at The Cogged Stone Site and others on Bolsa Chica Mesa. Intensive work included: During this period a total of 48 reports were written by SRSinc. In addition, the company has given a 7-part lecture series at the Pacific Coast Archaeological Society, and prepared an 11-volume Bolsa Chica Technical Series final report. Additional educational materials that have been used on the Bolsa Chica Mesa and Wetlands including signage which covered many of the significant finds entitled:

The overall research program also included specialized and long-term historic studies [7+ years] on the Bolsa Chica Gun Club [est. 1899] and the Bolsa Chica Military Reservation [est. 1937] that both had facilities on the mesa and in the Wetlands. The wetlands historic items include: a wooden wagon bridge, a wooden footbridge, three types of duck blinds, posts and foundations associated with a boat house and "Fort Tipperary" which housed hunting dogs, practice range blocks, and numerous metal artifacts associated with two successive historic irrigation systems used to flood the artificially created duck ponds. HABS/HAER drawings and photographic documentation was conducted on these major historic structures and on two WWII concrete bunkers. An intensive graffiti study was also undertaken of what has been termed the "Bunker Art" or "Closed-Space Graffiti."

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