Camp Pendleton stained glass window dedicated
Last updated 5/11/2007 at Noon
CAMP PENDLETON — On April 23 a replica of a window located in the Ranch House Chapel in Camp Pendleton which was lost in a 1993 flood was dedicated. The artist, John Bera, was on hand for the ceremony. The intricate window was the only one that was lost in the flood of 1993. Other windows lost in the flood were recovered intact but the St. George window was the only one missing. Its restoration cost almost $6,000. The eight original windows, made by American Glass Co. in the 1940s, only cost $250.
The flood of 1993 destroyed the two longest walls of the chapel. The flood also uncovered original stenciled poppies on the back wall, and during restoration stenciling to match the poppies was done on the chapel walls. A volunteer, Kathy Williams, restored chairs and lecterns which had been flood-damaged and were from the John Barrymore collection. The majority of the pews and the baptismal font were found after the flood, then Base Maintenance restored and fabricated missing parts.
Construction on the chapel was initially begun in the early 1800s. It was believed to have first been a winery for Mission San Luis Rey, then it was used as a blacksmith shop during the O’Neill rancho era from the 1880s until the 1940s. In the early 1940s it became a chapel for the USMC Women Reserves, then later it served all Marines.
The altar niche area was created in 1940s to reflect mission period art with a two-foot-high gilded wooden altar cross made in the 17th century by Franciscan Friars in Peru. A sacristy display of religious artifacts purchased by Anthony Quinn from the John Barrymore estate was donated to the chapel during the filming of “Guadalcanal Diary.”