The Good Old Days Revisited

The past always holds surprises. Several weeks ago, Stockton historian Alice van Ommeren started an online discussion among local archivists about "wanted postcards," postcards that law enforcement officials from an earlier age circulated by mail hoping to catch criminals. That exchange reminded me of a scrapbook I found in the Museum’s collection some time ago.

Wanted . . . → Read More: The Good Old Days Revisited

Stereotypes of Native People in San Joaquin County, Part 3

There are two remaining stereotypes that I’d like to address. First, that the Indians from San Joaquin County area were nothing special.

It is remarkable enough that the ancestors of the Native people from what is now San Joaquin County settled this area perhaps thirteen thousand years ago and developed lifeways suited to a new and changing . . . → Read More: Stereotypes of Native People in San Joaquin County, Part 3

Stereotypes of Native People in San Joaquin County, Part 2

American educators and the mainstream media have depicted the Native peoples of California—especially in the Central Valley—as passive, weak, and disinclined to defend their homelands. Americans tend to put the warrior Indians of the Great Plains on a pedestal, even though their cultures developed after Europeans reintroduced the horse to the New World. California Indians had . . . → Read More: Stereotypes of Native People in San Joaquin County, Part 2

Earthworm Tractors

Have you ever heard of Earthworm Tractors? Neither had I. At least not until one of the Museum’s intrepid volunteers, Gail Erwin, came across the name on a paper in one of our collections. The document dated from the 1930s, and the imagery it evokes was obviously intended to remind readers of Caterpillar Tractors, whose origins . . . → Read More: Earthworm Tractors