Monday, April 18, 2011

Father Rinaldi’s Foundation of 1856

Shasta County August 29, 1993

Not the philanthropic kind, we’re talkin’ about cut stone and mortar. A foundation with a non state local plaque dedicated to the half-baked road of good intensions. Church in the lurch, no steeple for Rinaldi’s people.

Back in the days when California had a few dollars for such things, the Office of Historic Preservation (the folks in charge of state landmarks) intended to review all of the landmarks and make sure they adhere to the criteria to be one in the first place. In a state loaded with firsts and deeds of significance that are unrecognized at this level, here lies an imposter that in this writer’s view should hand over its place in the registry to something more deserving.  Yet for the purposes of this venture of going to every state landmark, one goes with the blind unquestioning duty of the soldier.

Following photos from Syd Whittle at the historical marker database.

Since this landmark is a bit of a bore, let’s do a bit of signage 101. If you’ve driven California’s roads to any degree you’ve no doubt passed tan and brown signs in the landmark shape that have said ‘Historic Landmark 3 miles ahead’, or ‘Historic Landmark 500’ ahead’, or various other directions along with the landmark’s title. Well, there’s a whole designated code to all of this yet the use of these signs is spotty and inconsistent, and that’s too bad for it would make it a lot easier for the motorist with a casual interest.

The one pictured here is a G13-1, or advance directional. G13-1 should be used on conventional highways to guide motorist by the most direct route to registered historical landmarks which are located within 8 km of the highway. The sign should be placed not more than 45 m in advance of the intersection on the right.”

The ones you encounter of freeways are G 13-2’s. “The G13-2 sign should be used on freeways to guide motorists to the original 21 California Missions and other important well-known historical landmarks. See Section 123.5 of the Streets and Highways Code for signing to Missions. The G13-2 sign should also be used on freeways to guide motorists to historical landmarks that have a profound impact on the history of California as a whole.”

Then there’s the G86: “White on green signs (G86) may be used on freeways where the landmark generates considerable traffic. Such signs shall be followed up by standard historical landmark signs on the next exit ramps.”

Finally, there’s the G14 approach sign, typically saying ‘500’ ahead’: “The Advance Historical Landmark sign (G14) should be used in advance of a registered historical landmark monument or plaque within or adjacent to the right of way. The sign should be placed 150 m to 450 m in advance of the landmark or monument on the right, depending on the approach speed of traffic.”

So there you have it, the secret code unveiled and fodder to show any fellow passengers how anal you’ve become.

Plaque inscription: NO. 483 FATHER RINALDI'S FOUNDATION OF 1856 - In the summer of 1853 Archbishop Alemany of San Francisco sent Father Florian Schwenninger to take over the mission of Shasta County. In the later part of 1853 a small wooden church was built. In 1855 Father Schwenninger moved over to Weaverville and Shasta's new priest, Father Raphael Rinaldi, decided to build a structure of cut stone to replace the small wooden church that had served since 1853. In 1857 the cornerstone of the church was laid, but for some reason its walls never rose, the foundation can still be seen (1963).
Location: NW corner of intersection of
Red Bluff Rd
and Crocker Alley, Shasta
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: REDDING
Google maps: 40.592888,-122.488482

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