Riverside’s Trujillo Adobe, is now nationally recognized as one of America’s most endangered historic places. KVCR’s Megan Jamerson reports, this recognition is part of an effort by descendants of the region’s early pioneers to preserve history before it’s too late.
Right now, it’s impossible to see what’s left of the over 150-year-old Trujillo Adobe that sits near the corner of West Center Street and Orange, because of the protective structure that’s been built around it. Nancy Melendez, President of the Spanish Town Heritage Foundation hopes to change that.
"There are only three walls left at the adobe. So, they enclosed it,” said Melendez.
The adobe being named "endangered" by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, plus recent progress with the city, shows that the grassroots effort to highlight the history of the first Hispanic families to settle in the Inland Empire is gaining momentum said Melendez.
“It gives validation to all of us who have known the story for so long and have tried to share it and have not had the success in doing so," said Melendez. "We feel empowered, acknowledged, recognized, it’s wonderful.”
This story is personal for Melendez. She is one of hundreds living today that are direct descendants of those families. The foundation she leads plans to create a living museum called Spanish Town that would include the adobe and its sister community of Agua Mansa across the Santa Ana River in Colton.
Melendez said the museum will help the region understand its place in history, preserve pioneer stories and acknowledge those indigenous communities that came before us all.