About DAR

California DAR

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Katuktu Chapter History

Katuktu Chapter was organized November 15, 1967, by Mrs. Sydney J. Graham, organizing regent. It was confirmed December 7 (Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day), 1967.  The name and place "Katuktu" existed long before the year 1825. Maps of the Spanish and Mexican period in California show a small hill marked on the old road, Camino Viejo, running along the foothills of the Santa Ana mountains. It was called "Sierra de las Ranas" by the Spaniards and served as a landmark for these early travelers up and down the coast of California. Because of the location, it could also be seen from the sea. Later, the hill determined the eastern boundary line of Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana and marked the northern corner of Rancho San Joaquin. 

Long before this, however, the Indians had used it as a guide in their early travels. They called it "katuktu," meaning prominence, and often camped at its foot. These Indians, of Shoshonean stock, believed that their ancestors, the very first people, had camped there during a great flood that had submerged the whole world. The hill thus saved them from destruction and became almost a sacred spot of the Indians of early California. They believed that the campfires of their fathers had burned the rocks until they became the coppery color that caused the early settlers from New England, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to call it "Red Hill," as it is known today. Its color is actually caused by the cinnabar or mercury ore in its rocks. The hill stands 347 feet above sea level and lies just north of La Colina and east of Newport in Tustin. It is Registered State Landmark #203. 

It seemed most appropriate that this new DAR chapter in Tustin should choose the early Indian name for this spot so closely associated with the history of the area. Certainly "Katuktu," so deeply entwined in the minds of the early Americans who lived here, and so much a part of their daily lives, is a place and a name worthy of commemoration.

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