Naked Babies in the Mail

Understanding the past can be hard. Sometimes, we accidentally make it even harder with mistakes that send us sailing off the charts.

Last week, I came across an interesting postcard in the Museum's collections. It dates from the early years of the twentieth century and features a baby posing innocently without a stitch of clothing. Here's the . . . → Read More: Naked Babies in the Mail

The Lodi Comets

How many women motorcyclists can you remember seeing? Not many, I'll wager. My own eyes were opened about five years ago after learning that one of my nieces motorcycled to and from classes each day while attending college in southern California. Every other motorcyclist I see nowadays seems to be female.

Lodi mayor Mabel Richey (right) . . . → Read More: The Lodi Comets

Celebrity Names in San Joaquin County

Have you ever wanted to meet your doppelgänger, the person who supposedly looks just like you? I'm not convinced I have one, though a number of friends once told me that some guy in college looked just like me—from behind. How about meeting someone who shares your first and last names? That seems more likely, though . . . → Read More: Celebrity Names in San Joaquin County

Sounds from the Gold Rush Era

Have you ever wondered what the past sounded like? That's right, sounds from the past—before there were cars, airplanes, and radios. Human voices, animals, birds, and nonmotorized vehicles like wagons and carriages dominated the soundscape. But there were also choirs, bands, and pianos, and they sang or played music we don't hear often today.

A time . . . → Read More: Sounds from the Gold Rush Era

Stockton the Hero: A Rap Tribute

How could anybody ever forget Commodore Robert F. Stockton (depicted below)? Who? You know, the U.S. naval officer who commanded American forces in California during the Mexican War and served as military governor in 1846 and 1847. Remember now? Remember how Charles M. Weber admired him so much that he named the city of Stockton after . . . → Read More: Stockton the Hero: A Rap Tribute

On the Edge

Who says history is boring? Lots of people. All too often, conventional wisdom sees history as a disjointed smattering of names, dates, and battles. Often it has tended to equate the study of history with the accomplishments of males. What often gets overlooked, however, is an expanded definition that includes not only stories of men, but . . . → Read More: On the Edge

Harriet Chalmers Adams, Explorer

I have a soft spot for explorers. My interest dates back to childhood, when I poured over old black-and-white issues of National Geographic while visiting my grandparents in Berkeley. It wasn't hard for me to close my eyes, slip on an imaginary pith helmet, and see myself hacking my way through virgin forests to dig up . . . → Read More: Harriet Chalmers Adams, Explorer

Waiting for Santa

I like photographs a lot. Sometimes they give me information I can't find anywhere else. Other times, I see glimpses into artistic sensitivity and expertise. But the images I find most memorable are ones that open doors into the personality of the photographer, giving me a sense of what it might have been like to know . . . → Read More: Waiting for Santa

Another Look at the Westward Migration

Life can be hard. Life was very hard for many of our ancestors. Last week, I was reminded of this reality when I came across an eighty-page manuscript consisting of transcribed letters between Henry Beers Underhill (1821-1904); an early settler of Stockton, California; his first wife, Harriette Young Fish Underhill (1827-1854); and other family members.

“The . . . → Read More: Another Look at the Westward Migration

A Century of Agriculture in San Joaquin County

Have you ever had the irresistible urge to study the history of San Joaquin County agriculture over the past century? Well, your moment has arrived. The San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum is pleased to announce the availability of its U.C. Agricultural Cooperative Extension Collection for San Joaquin County.

Extension agent Elizabeth Willis embarks . . . → Read More: A Century of Agriculture in San Joaquin County