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Museum Lecture on Mountain Archaeology

Michael K. Lerch of Statistical Research, Inc. will discuss “A Century of Archaeology and Ethnography in the San Bernardino Mountains” at the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands on Wednesday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. This guest lecture is open to the public at no charge.

What do Crowder Canyon, Summit Valley, Rock Camp, Deep Creek, Coxey Meadow, Big Pine Flat, Pan Hot Springs, Sugarloaf Meadow, Mission Creek, and Yucaipa all have in common? Each is the location of archaeological studies that have contributed to our understanding of the prehistory of the San Bernardino Mountains. Beginning at the turn of the twentieth century, and continuing today, are ethnographic studies of the Serrano Indians-the people of the mountains-by A. L. Kroeber, John Peabody Harrington, Ruth Benedict, William Duncan Strong, Lowell J. Bean, and others. These studies have recorded information provided by Santos and Tom Manuel, Rosa Morongo, Sarah Martin, Martha Chacon, Katherine Howard, Dorothy Ramon, and other knowledgeable Serrano people from the San Manuel and Morongo Bands of Mission Indians on religion, place names, plant uses, and other aspects of Native American history and culture in the mountains. Based on his own 25 years of experience investigating and recording the archaeological sites of the mountains and learning the culture of the Serrano people, past and present, Mr. Lerch will review and highlight several thousand years of prehistoric and historical Native American occupation and activity in the area.

Michael K. Lerch is a principal investigator at Statistical Research, Inc. (SRI), a cultural resources consulting firm with offices in Redlands and Tucson. He has more than 25 years of experience studying the archaeological resources and Native American cultures of inland southern California. He began his career in 1977 as resident curator at the Asistencia in Redlands, followed by two seasons as an archaeologist with San Bernardino National Forest and a time with the San Bernardino County Museum Association as archaeologist-curator before beginning work as a private consultant. Since joining SRI, he has conducted studies for the Forest Service at sites affected by the Willow Fire and the Old Fire, and helped organize field schools sponsored by California State University, San Bernardino, the San Bernardino National Forest, and SRI. He is active in cultural heritage programs, currently serving as a member of the Board of Directors of the Dorothy Ramon Learning Center, which is dedicated to documenting and preserving the languages, music, ethnobotany, and oral history of southern California’s native cultures.

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. Parking is free. For more information, visit or call (909) 307-2669 / TDD/TTY: (909) 792-1462.

The San Bernardino County Museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is (909) 307-2669 ext. 229 / TDD/TTY: (909) 792-1462.


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San Bernardino County Museum - (909) 307-2669 - 2024 Orange Tree Lane, Redlands, California 92374 TDD/TYY: (909) 792-1462

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