by Lynne Schmitz

I hope everyone had a very happy Easter. I also hope we are all acclimated to Daylight Savings Time by now. April brings showers, flowers, green hills (again this year), and capricious weather. In San Miguel, it also brings Sagebrush Days, which CIRCLE celebrates our history and pioneer spirit. 

This year’s Sagebrush Days Parade, sponsored by the San Miguel Fireman’s Association, will kick off on Saturday, April 20, at 12 p.m. on Mission Street. It proceeds south to Father Reginald Park by the Mission and returns through town. It’s the only parade in the area where the crowd can see and applaud both sides of the horses, floats, vintage cars, and other entries. The San Miguel Lions Club will be doing their popular barbeque downtown. This year marks the 33rd parade, which was founded in 1991 when Alan Belden gathered a large group of enthusiastic townspeople together to plan the event. 

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Entry forms are available on the website and at the Fire Station, 1150 Mission St., during business hours. If you’d like to help, let them know at the Fire Station. 

Following the parade, members of the Model A Club will gather to display their beautifully restored antique “machines” (an old-fashioned term for early model automobiles) at the Historic Rios-Caledonia Adobe, just south of Mission San Miguel. The cars will be parked along a strip of the original Highway 101, which was built through San Miguel around 1915. You are invited to take a close look at the cars and learn about their history. 

The Adobe was built in 1835 by the Salinan Indians and the Library was built in the 1920s when the property was purchased and improved by the last private owner, Charles Dorries. However, in 1952, when he was unable to continue on the site, it was abandoned and left to destruction by vandalism and the elements. People who wanted to save the historical site appealed to the county. 

In 1964, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors purchased the property, a total of 6 acres, and the buildings. They created a county park with restrooms, a large parking lot, and sunny spots to have picnics. The buildings were carefully restored. In 1968, the Friends of the Adobes was formed to promote the restoration and maintenance of the Adobe for the new museum in the original structure and the building that now houses a research library. 

The museum is open from noon to 3 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. If you haven’t visited in a while, there has been ongoing work and interesting improvements, including a short video of San Miguel and Adobe history and installation of an El Camino Bell. 

The library is open on Fridays from noon to 3 p.m. When the buildings are closed during these hours, it is generally because there are not many docents, even for such short hours. If you enjoy history and talking to people, leave a message at (805) 467-3357 to volunteer.  

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