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SFRC grinding holes.JPG

   At a site north of the creek, in an area of the Retreat Center designated as “open space easement” and oak preserve, visitors discover evidence of long inhabitation of place . . . acorn-grinding holes on the tops of granite boulders.

   California archeological records describe a prehistoric “group of six milling features, with 43 milling surfaces” on granite boulders in a site “200 feet from north to south by 120 feet from east to west.”  In location “The southernmost boulder lies near a spring, the westernmost boulder lies in buckwheat, and the northernmost boulder lies beneath oak trees.”

In Twelve Thousand Years of Native Lifeways, Ipai historian David Tole (Blood of the Band: An Ipai Family Story) describes life in San Diego County watersheds (such as our “Wash Hollow Creek”). From migrations of Hokan-speaking people from 12,000 years, the Ipai band of Kumeyaay emerged a lifeway that included milling acorns around 7,500 years ago.

Surely this site would have been an early choice, with acorns dropping near shaded boulders, with creek and spring.  This “kitchen” may have been used as late as the 1890’s.

   We approach our presence in this history with an attitude of “asking permission,”- with responsibility and respect, while we are living here now.

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