A Call for Images of the Calaveras River

Volunteers from Stockton's Friends of the Lower Calaveras River and professionals from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, along with videographers from NarrativeLab of Portland, Oregon, are working on a video documentary of the removal of barriers along the Calaveras River to fish that migrate between fresh and salt water.

Recent photograph of the Calaveras River.

The . . . → Read More: A Call for Images of the Calaveras River

Genealogy Seminar Scheduled for Stockton

How could local genealogists be so fortunate? One month ago, I posted a notice in this blog about an upcoming genealogy workshop in Seaside, California. (See post for January 3, 2014.) Recently, I learned about another genealogy seminar coming up in Stockton.

Burns Tower, University of the Pacific.

This all-day seminar will occur on Saturday, February 22, . . . → Read More: Genealogy Seminar Scheduled for Stockton

Trivial Pursuit: The San Joaquin County Edition

One of the Museum's staff members has been working forever on a project that has taken her through every single issue of the San Joaquin Historian, the Society's historic periodical, ever since its creation in 1963. And she's done it several times. Last week, I suggested half-seriously that she knew enough to put together the authoritative . . . → Read More: Trivial Pursuit: The San Joaquin County Edition

Genealogy Made Easier

Some of the most tenacious people I know are genealogists. I have the honor of working with genealogists all the time here at the San Joaquin County Historical Museum. Piecing together tiny bits of biographical data from hundreds of different sources can be rewarding. However, I also know from personal experience that it takes lots of . . . → Read More: Genealogy Made Easier

When a Docent Cheats

I admit it! I cheated on the Museum! I spent volunteer hours with another organization in a far-away and exotic place. Can I ever be forgiven?

“Delightfully similar” children. (Photo Russ Livingston)

My plan for my month-long trip to Thailand was to spend time in a Buddhist monastery and temple, meditating and studying, and teaching English to . . . → Read More: When a Docent Cheats

Stockton’s Industrial Foundations

Have you ever wondered why history has taken the course it has? Those of us who work at the San Joaquin County Historical Museum sometimes do. One of the questions that arises at times is why Stockton developed a manufacturing base in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Wagon factory (lower right) in early Stockton.

The . . . → Read More: Stockton’s Industrial Foundations

Do Museums Make People Smarter?

Can museums make you smarter? A team of researchers based in Arkansas thinks they can. But what about California? Those of us who live in San Joaquin County have some handy tools in our own backyard that can help us answer this question for ourselves.

Having fun getting smarter: Pioneer School at the San Joaquin County . . . → Read More: Do Museums Make People Smarter?

Helen Dewar: Local Girl Makes Good

Who can resist a good biography, especially when the subject excels at her calling? It doesn't matter whether that person lived long ago or more recently. The story becomes even more compelling when the subject is homegrown and makes a positive impact on the world.

A couple weeks ago, one of the Museum's patrons introduced me to . . . → Read More: Helen Dewar: Local Girl Makes Good

Sacramento Archives Crawl 2013

In celebration of National Archives Month, archives and special collections libraries from throughout the Sacramento region will showcase their rarely seen holdings for the public in the Third Annual "Passion for Preservation: Sacramento Archives Crawl." The event occurs on Saturday, October 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., in Sacramento. Historic treasures from more than twenty . . . → Read More: Sacramento Archives Crawl 2013

Grandma, What’s a Speakeasy? Part 2

More things that grandchildren of docents from the San Joaquin County Historical Museum—and other youngsters—will not recognize or know anything about…

Mrs. Murphy's chowder ("Who put the overalls in…")
Old Mrs. Davis ("Lord bless us and save us and…")

lead soldiers
biting lead soldiers
rubbing mercury from a broken thermometer on your dimes to make them shiny
mercury thermometers

Oh, Mrs. Goldberg!
Speedy Gonzales' . . . → Read More: Grandma, What’s a Speakeasy? Part 2