OROVILLE, Calif. - After checking on the property to do some landscaping, one board member on the South Oroville African American Historical Society (SOAAHS) noticed their plaque was damaged.
Kent Fowler, current SOAAHS board member and past president of the Native Sons of the Golden West, said this repair will cost them.
“The plaque itself is about $800 to $1,000, but that’s just to create the plaque,” Fowler explained. “That’s not the maintenance of taking it out and redoing the medal frame and so on. I’m going to guess between $1,500 to $2,000 to restore this plaque to its original intent.”
More than a century after the founding of Southside, people in the area joined together to purchase this piece of land with the intent of building a community center.
Although it ended up being built down the street, the land is a symbol of the self-determination of the Southside community.
In 2018, the Native Sons helped dedicate this property as a historic sight.
As the President of the South Oroville African American Historical Society, this is what upsets John Rivers the most.
"It doesn’t reach out a debase anybody, it’s information,” Rivers said. “It talks about the significance and history of this property. The symbolism that is associated with it adds to part of the history of the people living in this area. It does nothing.”
But Fowler and Rivers aren’t going to let this stop them from moving forward.
“This is for future generations,” Fowler mentioned. “This particular plaque has special meaning because it really bridges two different groups together. That history that needs to be educated.”
Rivers added, “This was out effort to be represented and we are going to continue.”
Both organizations hope to have a new plaque here in the next couple of months and have an even bigger, and better, dedication ceremony.