Extreme Rainfall

Have you noticed how little rain has fallen in San Joaquin County this season? Do you remember how different it was last year? Seasonal variations have occurred for centuries, and they've become the subject of scientific analysis. In fact, an organization called the California Extreme Precipitation Symposium has been studying this subject for almost twenty years. . . . → Read More: Extreme Rainfall

San Joaquin County’s “Italian Windmills”

Museums are like icebergs—only a small portion of most museums' collections are visible to the public. The bulk remains "underwater," stored for future exhibits and preserved for the benefit of future generations. And sometimes fascinating artifacts are visible, but under-appreciated.

Davis-type windmill adapted for domestic use, D. M. Drais farm, Farmington, Calif.

Such is the case with . . . → Read More: San Joaquin County’s “Italian Windmills”

Society Announces Online Research Tool

Remember the San Joaquin County Obituary Index Project? (If you don’t, see the entries for June 16, 2011, and October 12, 2011, below.) Well, work on the project has ended successfully! At last, genealogists, historians, and other researchers can view online citations for or copies of newspaper obituaries in San Joaquin County that date from the . . . → Read More: Society Announces Online Research Tool

Benjamin Holt and the Caterpillar Tractor

I find it amazing that San Joaquin County was for fifty years or so the capital of earthmoving equipment. The County‚Äôs industrial, transportation, and financial infrastructures came into existence shortly after the Gold Rush, during the dry-farmed grain era. But it was the reclamation of rich peat soils of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the switch . . . → Read More: Benjamin Holt and the Caterpillar Tractor

Explosive Films

Chances are, you may not recognize the objects in the photograph below. It's highly unlikely that you know the story behind them, either. But I can almost guarantee that you will never forget either the images or the story after you read the next few paragraphs.

I've worked at the San Joaquin County Historical Museum for about . . . → Read More: Explosive Films