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ON ALL Day 2017 - A Desert Reflection at Llano del Rio

We thank the many guests who joined Positional Projects on Saturday, May 6th, from 10-4, for ON ALL Day - A Desert Reflection at Llano del Rio, a self-guided tour featuring multiple locations around the 2,000 acres of the experimental spcialist utopian community honoring their final May Day celebration in 1917. Organizer Karyl Newman shared new insights into the colony’s history from her Beinecke Fellowship while presentations by special guests offered new perspectives and responses to California Historic Landmark #933. Each guest received a souvenir guide. At this and future ON ALL Day events, we look forward to reflecting on Llano’s important history and continuing to build a new public memory, together.

Site #1

The Hotel

Paul Greenstein and Dr. Dydia DeLyser hosted the hotel/clubhouse ruins and the north most portion of the colony. Many community structures were located here, the post office, steam laundry, soap factory, print shop, founder Job Harriman’s tent and a large swimming hole. Guests visited the tent to view their collection of Llano del Rio ephemera, parked nearby were their 1913 Metz roadster and 1910 Indian motorcycle.

Site #2

The Silo

Jean Monte, Moriah Cain Gross and Kristen Cramer (Anahata Mousai) hosted the dairy barn and silo ruins where they offered a soundbath on the half hour from 10:30 to 3:30. The concrete silo was completed in 1916 with a three hundred ton capacity and excellent acoustics. While not used for grain storage, the exterior metal straps kept fermented greens contained, only one of which remains today around this sturdy structure engineered by colonist Bradford Mathewson. 

Site #3

The New City

Karyl Newman hosted the location of the New City, planned by Alice Constance Austin. Walter Millsap helped build the model of the permanent residences, “The house will be built around a patio or court, turning blank wall towards the neighbor, against which he in turn constructs his house.” The kitchenless homes would be served by rail, delivering food and laundry. As lifelong friends, Millsap and AC Austin continued to pitch her feminist ideas on city and residential planning, publishing “The Next Step” in 1935.

Site #4

The Logging Camp

Leora Wien hosted her work MaxineMaxine - MayQueens2017, at Jackson Lake where colony hunting cabins were located, while the logging camp was located to the southwest. Every year colonists would celebrate with a maypole. Leora Wien and Michelle Andrade created this iteration honoring a woman whose inspired political commentary is sustaining the vision of a more egalitarian, just, and harmonious future. Coincidentally, Rep. Waters represents the 43rd Congressional district, where a tight-knit core of comrades, including Walter Millsap and AC Austin, settled in the mid 1920’s.

And now a word from our guests...

“Llano del Rio - we see the ruins on Hwy 138... who knew the extent of the land & peoples' history? Thank YOU team for hosting this event. 

“We had such fun at the On All Day event at the site of the old Llano Del Rio cooperative colony, circa 1914! We got to explore the old buildings, learn some history, enjoy a sound bath inside of an old silo, and ride in a car from 1913! What more could a couple of desert dwellers ask for?! Thanks to all who helped put on this wonderful event, and brought the past alive for the day.”

“Everything was presented so well and I was so pleased to learn more about a local place I 'thought I Knew'. It was an interesting way to spend a beautiful Antelope Valley day. Each stop was an abundance of information and history. Thank you for all the work and so many others did to put this on. It was Much Appreciated. 

A Perfect Day.”

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities.