Chamber’s Alpine mixer timely opportunity
By the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce
It was good networking, food and wine at the “It’s After 5 Somewhere” Mixer of the Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 5!
Chamber directors, members, guests and staff kicked back and enjoyed the cool evening breezes and a peek back in time at the Alpine Historical Society’s John DeWitt Historic Museum & Library at 2116 Tavern Road.
Chamber Vice Chairman Bob Ring of the Alpine Barons Market provided a healthy feast with almost sinful desserts. Smooth handcrafted wines from Japatul’s Rock Canyon Vineyards were poured by the winery’s owner, Tim Peterson.
Recalling family history, Ring remembered living as a child in one of two small pioneer houses that are now part of the museum’s rich collection. Exhibits date back to the 1800s.
“We had dart games in the back room of the house and the darts would go through the back wall,” Ring said.
That drew grins before Jon Green, program and outreach director of the Back Country Land Trust (BCLT), delivered his good news.
“Okay. I don’t have history or wine,” Green began. “We have something else. The Back Country Land Trust just got a grant to put native plants in Alpine.”
Green said part of the $34,000 San Diego Foundation grant will be used to support BCLT’s Living Classrooms program for school children in Alpine and the Mountain Empire. The program, which includes exciting outdoor field trips, is in its fifth year.
On behalf of the Alpine Historical Society, current President Tom Myers told the group the organization was founded in 1962 and the museum opened in 1998.
Myers noted that the all-volunteer organization is operating “on a really small budget, about $30,000 a year.”
The museum exists because of the Historical Society’s 200 members, the businesses that support the organization and donations, he said.
The Historical Society is always looking for new members, docents, volunteers and supporters.
Vikki Colley, Historical Society vice president and secretary, started as a museum docent about 16 years ago.
“I think the best part is talking to all the people, especially the kids that stop by,” said Colley, a former school teacher. “The first time they come here, they say ‘I didn’t know Alpine had history.’’’
During the mixer, tours of the museum’s exhibits brought back memories for some as well as opportunities to chat with friends and meet current or potential business partners.
“I’m enjoying it very much,” said Keli Cadenhead of Alpine. “Seeing familiar faces that I haven’t bumped into for years.”