San Francisco’s Windows into the Past

The diverse history of San Francisco did not start in with the California Gold Rush in the 1840s. Nor did it begin in 1776 when the Spanish established a Mission and a Presidio. Instead, San Francisco’s history dates back thousands of years further in time. During those millennia California was the land of Native Americans, and the Ohlone Tribe called San Francisco, and indeed much of the Bay Area home, as do their descents today. Yet, standing at the Moscone Center in the heart of this urban setting, it may seem an impossible task to envision what everyday life was like on this spot 500 or 1000 years ago.

A treasure trove of knowledge about ancient San Francisco was discovered through archaeological excavations of the Yerba Buena site during the Moscone Center Expansion project. In order to fully appreciate this history, one must first envision a non-urban landscape of plant-covered sand dunes spreading right up to the nearby edge of Mission Bay’s marsh. The Yerba Buena settlement was well situated for fishing and shellfish gathering, as well as traveling by tule boat to nearby bayshore communities. This Ohlone settlement thrived here for a thousand years before relocating to a nearby setting along Mission Bay.

Visitors in San Francisco are being educated on the history of their city thanks to the two new fiberglass embedded panels, and National Park Service traditional T style exhibit bases. Tammara Norton, Art Director at Far Western Anthropological Research Group, Inc., designed the two panels above for the San Francisco Public Works. Together, Pannier and Tammara, have produced approximately 100 panels over 11 years. Pannier’s fiberglass embedded panels at the Moscone Center summarize a little-known chapter in the history of the San Francisco Peninsula. The panels also represent a rare urban example of how history is often preserved right below our feet, and how archaeology can provide us with a window into what everyday life was like in the distant past.

Recent News Stories

San Francisco’s Windows into the Past

The diverse history of San Francisco did not start in with the California Gold Rush in the 1840s. Nor did it begin in 1776 when the Spanish established a Mission and a Presidio. Instead, San Francisco’s history dates back thousands of years further in time. During those millennia California was the land of Native Americans, […]

US Lighthouse Society Outdoor Historical Exhibits

Over the past two and a half years, the Chesapeake Chapter of the US Lighthouse Society has created and installed fifteen indoor lighthouse historical exhibits. They established the Offshore Lighthouse Historical Placard program in 2016. There are several purposes to the program; one of them being to preserve the history of Lighthouses, Lighthouse Keepers, Lightships […]

Ongoing Historical Interpretation in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

The City of Lancaster is one of the largest historic districts in the country, according to the National Register of Historic Places. The African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania has initiated a program to educate visitors on the history of the area. Approximately 25 historical sites, people and events have been identified for […]

US Lighthouse Society Outdoor Historical Exhibits

Over the past two and a half years, the Chesapeake Chapter of the US Lighthouse Society has created and installed fifteen indoor lighthouse historical exhibits. They established the Offshore Lighthouse Historical Placard program in 2016. There are several purposes to the program; one of them being to preserve the history of Lighthouses, Lighthouse Keepers, Lightships and Lightship crew in the Chesapeake  Bay core area.

Ongoing Historical Interpretation in Lancaster, Pennsylvania

The City of Lancaster is one of the largest historic districts in the country, according to the National Register of Historic Places. The African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania has initiated a program to educate visitors on the history of the area. Approximately 25 historical sites, people and events have been identified for interpretive outdoor panels and exhibit bases.

Retelling History Through Interpretive Signage

Tennessee’s largest state park, South Cumberland State Park, consumes nearly 31,000 acres of deeply-forested, rugged and breathtaking landscape; defined by the environmentally-unique escarpments and canyons of the Cumberland Plateau. Located between Nashville and Chattanooga, the park contains a dozen major waterfalls and nearly 100 miles of wilderness hiking trails. Also found in the large state park, is the site of a Civilian Conservation Corps camp.

“Lasting Legacy” Interpretive Exhibits in Perry County, Pennsylvania

By the year 2020, over 100 National Park Service style historical exhibits will be installed throughout Perry County. The Perry County Bicentennial Committee decided to begin the project several years ago, for the anniversary of Perry County’s legal establishment. Numerous interpretive panels have already been designed, manufactured, and installed through the county. Over 25 exhibits will be placed at Bicentennial Plaza, at the Lynn Sheaffer Dum Memorial Park.

Outdoor Signage Accompanies New River Access in Frankenmuth, Michigan

Organized in 2007, the Cass River Greenway initiative has a goal to boost recreational opportunities and promote environmental well-being of the Cass River Corridor in Frankenmuth, Michigan. In the decade since its inception, the Cass River Greenway has worked with municipalities to provide public access points and increase awareness of the river. As part of the change, volunteers have worked with Pannier to produce Fiberglass Embedded (FE) panels and upright triangular exhibit bases to better orient and educate locals and tourists alike.

Enhancing Alabama Bird Watching through Fiberglass Embedded (FE) Signs

Due to its geographical location, Alabama is an attractive location for bird watchers to visit. The state is a haven for many resident birds found only in the Southeastern U.S., plus serves as a significant flyway for birds traveling from South and Central America all the way to the Arctic Circle. The Alabama Birding Trails project covers nearly 300 locations across the state that have been deemed premier birding sites by seasoned birders and naturalists. One of the cornerstones of the project is interpretive panels at locations statewide. To date, Pannier has manufactured nearly 30 outdoor exhibits with future plans for additional waysides.

Protecting the Nature of Massachusetts through Fiberglass Embedded (FE) Signage

Mass Audubon, which cares for nearly 40,000 acres of land throughout Massachusetts, is visited annually by more than half a million people. The organization places much emphasis on their mission of “Protecting the Nature of Massachusetts” and has partnered with Pannier for well over a decade to help provide an educational and enriching experience by way of durable, exterior signage.

The Battle of Brandywine told through Historical Signage in Birmingham Township, Pennsylvania

Birmingham Township in Chester County, Pennsylvania, is packed with history. The township, which only covers an area of about six square miles, is home to the largest and longest land battle of the American Revolutionary War; The Battle of Brandywine. Over the last six years, Pannier has had the honor to partner with the township to create historical markers for two major battlefields that play an important role in America’s history.