History All Around

Sometimes it's easy to forget that history surrounds us. Look closely, though, and you can see it in structures, bridges, roadways, rivers, and other objects. Each has a story to tell, sometimes reaching back hundreds or thousands of years.

Inside Stockton's Fox California Theatre, 1932.

Inside Stockton’s Fox California Theatre, 1932.

San Joaquin County is no exception. Many people don't know that the Stockton Cultural Heritage Board keeps track of historically significant landmarks, sites, districts, and structures within city limits. The Board's lists includes Saint Mary's Church, Hotel Stockton, Benjamin Holt's house, the Nippon Hospital, the Fox California Theatre, the Philomathean Clubhouse, Stockton's Sikh Temple, and many others.

Want to know more about the background of these and other historic resources? One of the most valuable resources is Wikipedia, which can be accessed here.

Other, private organizations have compiled lists of their own. These include Native Daughters of the Golden West, E. Clampus Vitus, and the Daughters of the American Revolution. The Stockton Cultural Heritage Board keeps tabs on historic resources within the city that these organizations have identified, as well.

The longest lists, which people also tend to overlook, are kept by the California Office of Historic Preservation, which administers State Landmarks, the California Register, and California Points of Interest. The Office of Historic Preservation also lists entries for the National Register of Historic Places, which the National Park Service administers. Designations by the state and national governments often overlap with those of the Stockton Cultural Heritage Board.

Items within San Joaquin County listed by the California Office of Historic Preservation and the National Register but not elsewhere include the Bank of Italy in Tracy, French Camp, the Lodi Arch, Stockton's Temple Israel Cemetery, the Temporary Detention Camp at the Japanese-American Stockton Assembly Center, and the Women's Club of Lodi.

The full list of historic resources in San Joaquin County already designated goes on and on. Links to government agencies on the local, state, and national levels that keep track of them can be found elsewhere on the Web site of the San Joaquin County Historical Society. However, other resources probably exist that have somehow escaped scrutiny. Chances are, at least some readers of this blog can identify them.

Here's a challenge: Pretend you have guests coming from outside San Joaquin County. To which historic resources would you direct them—besides those already identified by the Stockton Cultural Heritage Board, the California Office of Historic Preservation, and the National Register? And why would you recommend them?

Send your submissions to me at leighjohnsen@sanjoaquinhistory.org. I'll be happy to post them online.

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