Old Santa Monica Forestry Station

Jul 22, 2010 by Lisa Newton

While taking a walk in covering a story for Travelin’ Local where I’ve never been before, sometimes out of nowhere I often times discover something new and totally unexpected.

That’s exactly what happened when I was looking for the Kappe Residence.

For example, while heading up Latimer Street, next to the Rustic Canyon Recreation Center, I came across the Old Santa Monica Forestry Station.

On the stone monument at the Station, its dedication plaque says:

In 1887, the State Board of Forestry established the nation’s first experimental forestry station. Located in Rustic Canyon, the station tested exotic trees for planting in California, established plantations for management studies, and produced planting stock for scientific and conservation purposes. The station was operated by the Board of Forestry until 1893 and by the University of California until 1923. California Registered Historic Landmark No. 840

As a matter of local fact and lore, in 1885 the California State Board of Forestry was born–and the Old Santa Monica Forestry Station was part of its mission. The Board of Forestry–consisting of a three man team–was only able to function in an educational and advisory capacity, due to its lack of clear statutory authority and minimal budgeting.

Short lived, the Board was disbanded in 1893.

Be that as it may, today, it’s integral past existence and contribution of the Old Santa Monica Forestry Station stands as one of their short lived success stories, and up to the current–it’s an interesting spot of land where a little bit of California history took place.

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Architecture, Culture, Hiking/Walking, Recreation, SoCal
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