Brochure of Anderson Marsh State Historic Park (SHP) in California. Published by California Department of Parks and Recreation.
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Our Mission Anderson Marsh State Historic Park The mission of California State Parks is to provide for the health, inspiration and education of the people of California by helping to preserve the state’s extraordinary biological diversity, protecting its most valued natural and cultural resources, and creating opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Four habitats — oak woodlands, freshwater marsh, riparian, and grasslands— with the wildlife they attract, sustained local native California State Parks supports equal access. Prior to arrival, visitors with disabilities who need assistance should contact the park at (707) 279-2267. If you need this publication in an alternate format, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. CALIFORNIA STATE PARKS P.O. Box 942896 Sacramento, CA 94296-0001 For information call: (800) 777-0369 (916) 653-6995, outside the U.S. 711, TTY relay service www.parks.ca.gov Discover the many states of California.™ Anderson Marsh State Historic Park Anderson Ranch Parkway off Hwy. 53 Lower Lake, CA 95457 (707) 279-2267 © 2015 California State Parks people for millennia. Anderson Marsh State Historic Park occupies the southeast corner of the oldest freshwater lake on the North American continent. The largest freshwater lake located entirely within California’s boundaries, Clear Lake has been known to yield lake sediment samples as much as a half-million years old. From late spring to early winter, the marsh is lush and green, its open waters edged by tules and other aquatic growth. Bird watching is rewarding here. Besides fishing, the lake — full of non-native crappie, bluegill, black bass, and catfish — also offers boating, camping, picnicking, and swimming. Native California Indians The area of Anderson Marsh is imprinted with the rich cultural heritage of its native peoples. Southeastern Pomo — The park and adjoining area comprise the ancestral territory of the Koi Nation of Northern California, a Southeastern Pomo tribe. The ancestral Koi were among the first humans to colonize California, arriving at least 14,000 years ago. The Koi, remarkably wealthy and prosperous traders, controlled two local sources of obsidian that were widely traded throughout Northern California. Other resources included magnesite, a beautiful adornment stone used to make highly valued stone beads. Although they did not live at the coast, the Koi also manufactured shell beads and controlled their distribution in Northern California. Clear Lake basin, with its unique fishery, provided abundant protein-rich resources for both trade and sustenance. The Koi permitted non-Pomo people access to the lake and its resources. When non-Indian immigrants first arrived in the mid-1800s, the principal Koi home base was Koi Island, now also known as Indian Island. In 1856, when the federal government forcibly moved many Pomo tribes to the Mendocino Indian Reservation, the Koi were allowed to remain on Koi Island and in the marsh, where the settlers saw the Indians as a source of cheap labor. Between 1870 and 1872, the Koi attended the Ghost Dance at their other Southeastern Pomo neighbors’ home — Elem (or Rattlesnake) Island. When they returned, the Koi found that non-Indian immigrants living on the island had taken their land, and they lost their home to these settlers. Lake Miwok — The Lake Miwok people occupied the southern basin of Clear Lake, east of Seigler Canyon Creek. They speak Ko ots a’Ataw, one of seven distinct Miwok languages. They fished at the southern basin of Clearlake, hunted, and gathered willow, tule, and pine to make baskets. Acorns were used to make bread and mush; the people traveled to the ocean to gather seaweed and shells. Traditional village structures were built with tule, pine, and gray willow. Social activities included traditional feather dancing, ball dances, races, and hand games. Today, the descendants of these peoples use many of the same natural resources their ancestors did. The abundance of resources made Anderson Marsh a gathering place for the native people. The Koi, Lake Miwok, Pomo, Wappo, and Wintun have revived and preserved their ancestral languages and cultures and continue to teach them to future generations. Everything at Anderson Marsh State Historic Park gives a glimpse of the beauty that was and still is cherished by the native people of Lake County. Lake Pomo woman in tule shelter When the State put the land up for sale in 1855, Tennessee-born J.M. Grigsby and his brother had already settled in the area. After filing a claim on the acreage, the Grigsby brothers lived there, farming and raising livestock for the next 15 years. Between 1866 and 1868, the Clear Lake Water Works Company dammed Cache Creek . In 1868 Grigsby and other residents took down the dam and restored the lands for agricultural use. In 1870 Grigsby sold his land to the Clear Lake Water Works Company. Anderson Marsh Archaeological District The presence of a number of prehistoric Koi sites was the inspiration for the park’s acquisition. The significance of these 24 sites — some as old as 14,000 years — has been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places. If you see any Native American artifacts in the park, please protect these precious resources by leaving them where you found them. European American Settlers In the late 1820s, non-Indian hunters and trappers began to arrive. A man named Dennis Yokum filed a Homestead Act claim here in 1854, but he never fulfilled the ownership requirements, so the State of California claimed the land. The Anderson Family In 1885 Scottish immigrant John Still Anderson acquired 1,300 acres of land encompassing the present park from the water company. Later he added 4,000 acres of grazing land in Morgan Valley to the original acquisition. Anderson, his wife Sarah, and their six children operated a dairy. In a field west of the ranch buildings, they grew hay, wheat, and barley for feed, for seed, and for sale. When Anderson purchased the 1,300 acres, buildings on the site included the original (Grigsby) ranch house, where the Andersons lived. After Anderson’s death in 1912, five of his children took over the ranch, shifting its focus to cattle ranching. Anderson’s descendants lived in the original ranch house until the 1960s, when another rancher, Raymond Lyons, bought Sarah and John Anderson it. The last of Anderson’s children, his daughter Mora, lived at the ranch under an agreement until her death in 1966. California State Parks acquired the property in 1982 to protect its significant archaeological and natural resources. The Ranch Complex The complex today includes the ranch house and five small outbuildings. The outbuildings include two non-usable privies from the late 1800s; a double garage (ca. 1930); a smokehouse of 20th-century construction; and a shed and corral built in the 1920s and moved to their current location when Highway 53 was built. The Ranch House This structure was built in three “wings” during different periods. The central segment dates from the 1860s, the parlor wing from the 1880s, and the Craftsmanstyle kitchen wing from the 1920s. The Ranch House exemplifies 19thcentury rural vernacular architecture. Despite substantial alterations over time, the historic integrity of the house is largely intact. Today the ranch house and outbuildings can be toured when volunteers are available. Call the park in advance to schedule tours. natural HISTORY Climate and Geology Located in the eastern part of the Coast Ranges in Lake County, the park has the hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters of the Sacramento Valley. The Clear Lake basin was formed from a combination of tectonic and volcano- McVicar Trail induced processes. The formation around the park consists of lake deposits, alluvium, calcareous siltstone, and diatomite. Geologists believe that faulting from the San Andreas system may increase volcanic activity to the north. Some of the more prominent landscape features visible from the park are the volcanoes of Mt. Konocti to the northwest and Mt. St. Helena to the south. recreational activities Ridge Trail — This 1-mile trail leads through blue oak woodland. Cache Creek Nature Trail — This level, 1.1-mile trail goes along Cache Creek, and through grasslands and riparian areas. Anderson Flats Trail — This easy .8-mile walk goes through grasslands among oaks and spring wildflowers. Marsh Trail — This half-mile walk through oak woodland has a lovely panoramic view of the marsh. McVicar Trail — A 3.5-mile walk through oaks, grasslands, and along the western boundary of the marsh leads to Clear Lake’s shores, across from Indian Island. Habitats and Wildlife Freshwater Marsh The freshwater marsh has two major zones — permanently and seasonally underwater. The smaller, permanently inundated zone consists of year-round open water and supports over half of the remaining tule habitat within Clear Lake. The larger, seasonally inundated zone is perfect for the sedge-rush prairie to thrive. The marsh’s waters are home to mallards, double-crested cormorants, and various species of gulls. Terns like to forage here. State-endangered bald eagles winter in the area, to partake of fish and carrion left over from spawning activities in these open waters. Where plants peek above the water’s surface (emergent vegetation), a large number of western grebes are found. Pied-billed grebes, mallards, cinnamon teals, American coot, marsh wrens, and red-winged, tri-colored and yellow-headed blackbirds also live here. Riparian Riparian habitat along Cache and Seigler Canyon creeks is dominated by cottonwoods, valley oaks, California buckeye, California bay, and the rarely seen native California black walnut. The understory in this habitat includes snowberry, California wild rose, and the invasive Himalayan blackberry. Riparian woodland, the smallest and most dense habitat, sustains the greatest species diversity and supports one of the largest great blue heron rookeries on the lake. Red-shouldered hawks, great horned owls, Anna’s hummingbirds, American crows, wood ducks, phainopepla, golden eagles, and northern orioles thrive here. Oak Woodlands The two oak woodland communities on Lewis Ridge include blue oak on the steeper slopes and valley oak in the lower areas, where the ground is more moist. In early spring, wildflowers accent the beauty of the understory. In the drier oak woodlands, nesting birds find seclusion. Tree swallows, Cooper’s hawks, and various woodpeckers — including Nuttall’s, Lewis’s, acorn and pileated woodpeckers — use the area. Black-tailed deer, western gray squirrels, California ground squirrels, and black-tailed hares enjoy a relatively peaceful existence. Protecting our vital Resources Grasslands The grasslands habitat is dominated by non-native plants — largely perennial pepperweed, yellow starthistle, and Harding grass. In summer and fall, water begins to recede and vegetation starts to dry up. The dry grasslands support seed-eating species that seek such native plants as creeping wild rye, slender milkweed, and fiddlenecks. House finches, American goldfinches, non-native ring-necked pheasants, western meadowlarks, western bluebirds, western kingbirds, and several types of sparrow abound. Northern harriers, white-tailed kites, and American kestrels hunt rodents — their favorite prey. The tules that surround the marsh area protect and shelter the fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds seeking refuge here, both underwater and among their hollow reeds. Of Anderson Marsh State Historic Park’s 1,065 acres, 540 acres have been set aside as the Anderson Marsh Natural Preserve. In protecting this fragile wetlands habitat, the park is saving the last 14% of a oncethriving tule (bulrush) marsh that is critically important to the wildlife of the entire lake. accessible features Parking, nearby trailheads, and a portable restroom are accessible in dry weather. The historic ranch house has sloping floors with high thresholds, narrow doorways, and turning space that may require help. Accessibility is continually improving. For updates, visit the park’s page at http://access.parks.ca.gov. Tours and events Depending on volunteer availability, ranch house tours, nature walks, kayak tours, and various scheduled special events are held. For the event schedule, visit www.andersonmarsh.org. To make an appointment for school group, senior, or group tours, email email@example.com or call (707) 995-2658. nearby state parks • Clear Lake State Park 5300 Soda Bay Road Kelseyville 95451 (707) 279-2267 • Robert Louis Stevenson State Park 7 mi. north of Calistoga on Hwy. 29 (707) 942-4575 Cache Creek Nature Trail please remember • All natural and cultural features are protected by law and may not be disturbed or removed. • No artifacts or park specimens may be collected without a permit. • Horses and bicycles are not permitted on park trails. • Except for service animals, dogs are allowed only in the North Flat area of the park, and only on a six-foot leash. • Fires are not allowed in the park. • No smoking is permitted on the trails or in public facilities. • Hunting, firearms, and fireworks are prohibited. • Jumping from rocks and diving are not allowed in any state park. • Be aware of rattlesnakes. These important residents will not attack unless disturbed or cornered. • Poison oak is found throughout the park and causes a bad rash, even when dormant. Learn to recognize and avoid it. “Leaves of three — let it be.” This park is supported in part by the Anderson Marsh Interpretive Association P.O. 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