2008: The BHS Anniversary Walk

    For our third walk, urged by the Berkeley Historical Society’s Paul Grunland, a quite different     approach was taken. Above all we wanted the tour handout to be something of permanent value -- a kind of handbook about the District and our research on it. The eventual result was a printed and bound booklet of 79 pages that required several months of preparation. The booklet was most attractively designed and printed by  John Aronovici  of the BHS, and its high-quality paper allowed good reproduction of numerous historical photographs.

     Unlike the previous two handouts, this booklet was not, strictly speaking, a guide to the walk, although the walk leaders regularly cited it.  Instead, each participant was given a route map with the stopping points clearly shown (a needed precaution, since the walkers soon became separated), and  some detours from the main route marked as optional.  Paul opened the walk with his usual style, then  various MSHHIG members  delivered comments, which were kept short, at the stopping points. In this way were able to control the walk’s progress more successfully than before. We were careful, when speaking, to include a number of historical  anecdotes, some of them humorous, with the basic architectural and institutional history, and these were well received. We felt afterwards that the vanished human side of our district’s past  excited as much interest as the visible reminders of it, but that each reinforced the other.

     Once again, we assembled at St. Joseph’s and began, under the guidance of its helpful archivist Norma Grey, with a tour of the church’s nave.  This time we were also privileged to view an exhibit on its history in the lobby.  The occasion was doubly appropriate: the BHS was celebrating its thirtieth anniversary, and  the Reverend Harry Morrison, the late pastor of St. Joseph’s and a tireless local historian, had been its cofounder and first president. A profile of Father Morrison was included in the walk handout (see History: Biographies).

     About 100 copies of the 2008 walk handout were printed, all of them have now been distributed. Rather than reprint it here -- it was, as mentioned, less a guide than a handbook -- we have  divided its contents  among other sections (see especially  History, Buildings, Institutions, and Infrastructure).  For concise guides based on the latest research, see  Self-guided Tours from BAHA

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