D. RECOMMENDED PROCEDURES AND ACTION PROGRAM
1. Basic legislation and general protection
General protection by law of surviving historic structures and archeological sites from destruction or vandalism is the first and fundamental need, especially with the recent transfer of the public domain on the island to the Government of Guam, until which these lands were theoretically covered, like all other federal lands, by the Antiquities Act of 1906. A territorial law, similar to the various state laws protecting historic and archeological remains, should be promptly enacted, stating the general policy of conservation of historical resources in line with the historic sites Act of 1935, and specifically prohibiting any disturbance of historic and archeological sites on all government lands, providing for the authorization of excavations or collecting on the island by qualified representatives of reputable institutions, by issuance of permits on the favorable recommendation of the Conservation Committee for Micronesia of the Pacific Science Board (National Research Council), or of the Subcommittee for Pacific Archeology of the same organization. The only other measures looking toward general protection of historic and archeological remains which I can suggest are educational involving a degree of care in arousing local interest and discussed in section three below,
2. Areas to be reserved or developed
(1) AGANA. The plaza and the adjoining "azotea" or governor's garden should be kept, and kept up, much as they are now, with perhaps the addition of historical markers (with fairly long explanatory text, rather than as is preferable in many instances merely labels). Restoration of the 1884-1944 Government house or of the 1912-1944 church, or other public buildings formerly located about the plaza, does not seem necessary or justifiable.
The old Spanish stone bridge just off Marine Drive should be preserved (this requires primarily its being kept clear of vegetation) and could be marked. A very nice little park could be made here, by putting a lily-pond type of small pool under the bridge in the former channel, perhaps enlarging it to a bilobate shape, placing a few shade trees, and furnishing benches a quiet, restful little park, neither a formal garden nor a recreation area.
Of major interest to possible tourists would be the Japanese refuge-tunnels in the hill under the Bishop's residence and the Japanese fort on the hill near Tutujan which I judge to be on the site of, and perhaps incorporating masonry of, old Fort Apugan of the 19th century. The former the artificial caves would require no attention beyond keeping them unoccupied and marking them. The fort needs to be cleared of vegetation and cleaned up generally; the masonry is in fairly good condition.
Restoration or even maintenance of the Torres house as an uninhabited exhibit would be quite possible, but undoubtedly much more costly than its historic interest would justify. Possibly the owners could be induced to rehabilitate it without major structural change and occupy it, out to permit its being designated and marked as a historic house for visitors to see (from the outside). Another possibility, if funds were available, would be acquisition and rehabilitation of the house for use as the historical section of the Guam Territorial Museum or as headquarters for the Guam Historical Society or both. In any case, the Torres House should be preserved somehow from further deterioration and final collapse, if at all possible, as a surviving remnant of pre-war Agana either by the Government of Guam or by the Guam Historical Society, under a satisfactory understanding with the owners. Clearing out of all vegetation is the most urgent need; permanent re-roofing is necessary for continued preservation.
The surviving latte site in the Agana Heights area should be preserved, excavated, and if possible acquired at least the comparatively good east group of latte for interpretive development, possibly as a field archeology laboratory of the Guam Museum.
(2) TUMON BAY. The archeological site (12 latte groups) in Gongna Cove, at the north end of Tumon Bay, is one of the few so located as to be suitable for preservation and interpretation, or "recreational" development. The land on which it is located should be acquired, the site should be brushed off and kept clear; the latte should be preserved, fallen tazas restored again, the area protected from disturbance, the signs replaced, and a detailed interpretive plan worked out, in connection with recreational development of Tumon Bay.
(3) POLANTAT, MAIMAI, URUNO, etc. Archeological sites (latte groups) other than that at Gongna Cove, discussed above under Tumon Bay, and that in the Agana Heights area, need not be specifically reserved developed, out should be given protection, whether on public land, or private property, under the recommended general legislation.
(4) UMATAC. The three old forts and the ruined church should be acquired by the Territorial Government, for protection and for possible development as a historical park. A certain amount of repair and stabilization is needed at all these buildings. A most interesting plan for interpretive development here, with museum exhibits and other interpretive devices covering the early Spanish period, could be worked up, but I do not believe it would be justifiable, even if the area were to be considered for National Historic site status, unless the history of Spanish Guam were not covered in the Guam Museum.
(5) SEJA BAY. The old Spanish stone bridge at Seja Bay should also be protected, which could perhaps be done most simply by reserving it along with the buildings at Umatac and placing it under the same supervision.
(6) THE "CASA REAL" AT RITIDIAN POINT. This very interesting ruin, close to a house belonging to Juan Castro of Toto and presumably on his property, certainly should be acquired, protected, and preserved, if at all possible, even if it is not surprisingly old as suggested above. No special interpretive or other development, beyond clearing it and keeping it brushed off, is recommended at the present time; but it could well be designated nevertheless as a territorial historical park for primarily protective purposes.
(7) WORLD WAR II SITES AND MONUMENTS. Preservation and historical development of the landing beaches north and south of Apra Harbor would be pleasing but is not practicable. The only areas requiring special treatment in this connection would appear to be very limited ones at the historical markers described below insection 3-c. Of the physical remains of Japanese occupation mentioned insection B-6 above, the coast defense guns on the beach at Gongna Cove and the tunnels in the cliff behind Agana are of interest; the former can be protected from vandalism, if not from natural deterioration, by inclusion, along with the adjoining restored archeological (latte) site, in general recreational development of Tumon Beach, and the tunnels require neither special preservation, except for prohibition of vandalism, nor any extensive interpretation.
3. Interpretive Program
None of the protective measures recommended for preservation of historic sites and archeological remains are fully justifiable unless at least some degree of public use, current or expectable, is involved. As I do not envision tourism becoming very important on Guam, in the foreseeable future, the following recommendations are intended primarily for the direct benefit, inspirational and educational, of the people of Guam themselves.
a. Territorial Museum. The first requisite, it seems to me, is development of the Guam Museum, to cover both natural history and human history, with particular emphasis on marine biology and Marianas archeology, to serve both as a collecting-point and repository, for scientific and historical data as well as for actual specimens, and also as an educational medium for the people of Guam, especially school children, with systematic exhibits incorporating explanatory statements. A tentative detailed museum plan can be worked up for later submission if desired. Organized displays on each of several fields of interest should be prepared. In addition, and without awaiting plans, historical and archeological objects can be accumulated systematically, and should include such items as the three-legged concrete metate now lying out beside a house in Umatac, and uprooted latte stones at Magazine 173, NAD, as well as available smaller archeological specimens. The installation of an exhibit on Guam in the Interior Department Museum in Washington is also a good idea (see Guam Daily News, October 12, 1951).
More helpful as a general guide than anything I could write a recent paper by Alfred N. Brooks on "Village and small-town museums," (Museum News, March 1, 1952, p. 7), which strikes me as so valuable a clear-cut statement of basic principles applicable to all small museum that I quote it in full forthwith:
b. Division of Conservation and Sciences. The idea of a separate governmental unit for these purposes may be impracticable or premature, but I wish nevertheless to offer the suggestion for consideration. It will no doubt suffice, at least for the time being, to have parks and monuments administered by the Director of the Department of Land Management, and the museum handled along with the public library by the Department of Education, but I believe it would be desirable to establish a separate organization, to combine the functions of a state Parks board, the supervision of the territorial Museum, and other concerns of the government in the fields of conservation and science.
c. Markers and Wayside Exhibits.
(1) Existing historical Markers and Monuments
First in historical order is the Magellan Monument at Umatac; as discussed above, there is no known positive evidence that Umatac actually was the point at which Magellan landed.
A stone marker at the north end of Tumon Beach carries the inscription: "In this very place was martyred the Venerable Father Diego Luis de Sanvitores, S.J., on April 2, 1672. Msgr. Olano Vic. Apostolic dedicated this remembrance. Being Governor of Guam Capt. J. P. Alexander U.S.N., January, 1940." The monument is in fair condition; a small chapel adjoining is kept up and in current use.
A much older historical memorial is the roadside shrine between Asan and Agat, just off the present highway (Marine Drive) north of the turnoff to Agana Heights and Santa Rita, with two plaques in the altar. The upper one states in Spanish, "The Governor Don Felipe Cerain, R.I.P.., had this difficult road constructed in 1784 and 1785, planted the coconut-trees of the community, and brought [caused, produced] innumerable benefits to these islands. Pray to God for his soul," and the second reads, "The Governor Don Francisco Villalobos, the governors, [i.e., Commissioners] Don Antonio Guerrero, Don Juan de Rivers, an Don Lucas de Castor, and all the district leaders [cavezas de barangay heads of wards] of Agana, with the help of their fellow citizens succeeded from 1832 to 1834 in establishing the first rice fields in this fertile meadow. They gratefully entreat the protection of the Virgin Mother of God, and in honor of the Sovereign Queen they wish to make its name, Cienega de La Purisima."
Most of the other existing historical markers or monuments pertain to World War II and the liberation of Guam. The first in historical sequence and most interesting is the concrete memorial at Merizo commemorating the rising there against Japanese occupation, just before the American reconquest, and the Guamanians killed by the Japanese for that attempt: "Requerdon ayu sihu i manmapuno nu i Japones giya tinta, Maleso gi dia 15 di Julio, 1944; yan giya faha, Maleso gi dia di Julio, 1944. (lists of 16 names and 30 names, executed at the localities Tinto and Faha, respectively) Mandichoso i manmatai gi sainata mahatsa esta na tablero nu i taotao Maleso. 1948."
The next in order of time and significance is the monument with a shell and a flagpole, placed by the American Legion, on Marine Drive opposite the road dawn from Santa Rita, "At this point landed U. S. forces 21 July 1944 liberation of Guam."
Two command post locations during the brief campaign are indicated by less permanent signs: A board marker in a small low-fenced plot at Piti, "Command post of Brig. Gen. L. C. Shepherd, USMC, 1st Provisional Marine Brigade, July 1944, during reconquest of Guam," and a red board marker on the road from Agana to Maina and Koontz Junction, near Tutujan, "Command post of Maj. Gen. R. S. Geiger, USMC, 3rd Amphibious Corps, August 1944, liberation of Guam."
Finally there is the Battle of Yigo monument, on the highway close to Yigo, with a wooden sign between two American tanks, at the approximate location of the last organized Japanese resistance.
(2) Proposed Additional Markers and Exhibits. All of the existing signs and shrines described above should be maintained; those of wood should be replaced by otherwise similar markers of permanent materials.
The following are suggested in addition:
d. Tours, Talks, and Schoolwork. Probably as an extension service of the territorial museum, provision of guided trips to historic and archeological sites, and of illustrated lectures and informal talks on scientific and historical fields in the Mariana islands, would be desirable. Very possibly the Pan-American World Airways would like to have such interpretive services, field trips as well as talks, available for travelers required to lay over in Guam.
Of particular value, it seems to me, would be the incorporation of guided field trips, to such points of historical interest as Umatac, in the school curriculum at appropriate times; the study of history, often found pretty dry, especially by quite young scholars with yet undeveloped imaginations, may come alive when depending not entirely on books and lectures but also utilizing actual sites and remains.
e. Publication Needs and Possibilities. Comprehensive but comprehensible summaries of the various fields of science and human history, in Guam are, it seems to me, a felt want: non-technical surveys of the geology, flora, fauna, pre-Spanish archeology, early history, and recent history, sufficiently complete and correct to be of some value, but so clearly and simply written as to be of wide understandability and general interest. These, and also more detailed scientific publications, should be among the objectives of the Guam Museum. I doubt that a museum journal is needed, but either a revived Guam Recorder or a historical society periodical bulletin, even a mimeographed one, should be encouraged.
Last Updated: 14-Feb-2004