On Sunday, August 5, the San Juan Capistrano Historical Society is celebrating the grand opening of its latest exhibit on pirates.  The exhibit is located at the Arley Leck House on the Society grounds, 31865 Los Rios Street, and will run through November 18.  The exhibit is open 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Wednesday  through Sunday of each week. The exhibit is free to the public but donations are appreciated for the SJC Society to continue its historic preservation programs.

The contents of this exhibit are from the collection of Bob Minty, San Juan Historical Society member and Dana Point Historical Society board member.  He is also one of the portrayers of the Living History group, which seeks to engage audience members through dialogue with past local historic personalities. Bob Minty will be on hand to answer questions opening day, August 5.

This exhibit is also being sponsored by the Dana Point Historical Society in commemoration of the 200th anniversary on the Raid on San Juan Capistrano by Argentinian patriot and alleged “pirate” Hipólito Bouchard in 1818.  The culmination of this anniversary celebration will be in the first week of November: On Saturday, November 3, a group of Living History “pirates” will recreate the historic walk from Dana Point to San Juan Capistrano to “sack” the town. The walk will begin at Trabuco Creek Trail at Descanso Park, 32506 Paseo Adelanto, SJC,  and end at Los Rios Park, 31747 Los Rios Street,  where the “sacking” will commence.  The public is invited to participate. Blas Aguilar Adobe curator Domingo Belardes will also feature a family-friendly “Pirate Fiesta” at the adobe, located at 31806 El Camino Real, SJC.

The group will then camp overnight on the grounds of the SJC Historical Society.  On Sunday, November 4, the public is invited to attend the “trial” of Bouchard at a joint meeting of the San Juan Capistrano and Dana Point Historical Societies at the San Juan Capistrano Community Center, located at 25925 Camino del Avion, SJC.  A jury will render a verdict deciding if Bouchard is a patriot, privateer or pirate.