The Liberty Bell Visits Stockton

Is Stockton a celebrity magnet? Maybe so. Perhaps you already know that the city has seen a stream of distinguished guests over the years, among them U.S. presidents Ulysses S. Grant, William McKinley, and Herbert Hoover. But did you know that its list of noteworthy visitors also includes the Liberty Bell?

The Liberty Bell enroute to . . . → Read More: The Liberty Bell Visits Stockton

Historic Water Rights

Hardly a week goes by that I don't hear from somebody in San Joaquin County looking for historic documentation—photographs, maps, and other documentation—to bolster their claim for water rights. I am not an attorney, and I won't presume to offer legal advice, either for myself or for the San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum. I . . . → Read More: Historic Water Rights

Museum Holds Annual MY CAMP

Each June, the San Joaquin County Historical Museum holds an educational and recreational program, called Museum Youth Camp (MY CAMP), for students—campers—from ages six through ten.

Organized, planned, prepared, and directed by Museum Educational Director, the stunning, amazing, and multi-talented Robin Wood, the camp provides learning activities, challenges, and opportunities for the students. It also offers a . . . → Read More: Museum Holds Annual MY CAMP

The Frontier Thesis and San Joaquin County

How would you describe the American character? For many of us, the description would include words like individuality, ruggedness, informality, and initiative. We might even see an image of John Wayne riding high in the saddle, six-shooter at his side, enemies cowering in fear.

Frederick Jackson Turner (1861-1932)

Frederick Jackson Turner didn't know Wayne, but he may . . . → Read More: The Frontier Thesis and San Joaquin County

The Weber Family Library

Imagine yourself caught up in the excitement of California's Gold Rush. Now imagine yourself boarding a ship on the East Coast, sailing to San Francisco, and heading out to the Southern Mines after stopping in Stockton for supplies. Thousands of other gold seekers from throughout the world join you, hoping to make a quick fortune then . . . → Read More: The Weber Family Library

Remarkable Women of Stockton

I grew up among strong, capable women. Deep in the Great Depression, before I was born, one of my grandmothers set up two businesses (that's right, TWO) in the San Francisco Bay Area to put food on the table after my grandfather took ill. Grandma J, a tiny Danish immigrant, ended up doing quite well for . . . → Read More: Remarkable Women of Stockton

Time and Travel

I've been on vacation. My wife and I recently visited Europe. We spent a week in the United Kingdom and another in Switzerland. Our main attraction was Zurich, where our daughter attends graduate school.

Flying kites at Stonehenge.

Historic sites ran a close second, however, as they often do with historians like me. My longsuffering, nonhistorian wife . . . → Read More: Time and Travel

Why Save Old Records?

Old government records are on my mind. Yesterday, I worked in downtown Stockton with one of members of the San Joaquin County Historic Records Inventory Project. So far, the team has inventoried about fifteen hundred items, bound volumes that range in size from small to enormous. We still have a long way to go before we're . . . → Read More: Why Save Old Records?

Theresa and Charles Wriston: Chapter Two

Who would have ever thought? Last week's post, which involved Charles Wriston, his wife, Theresa, and their two children, triggered a lot of feedback. The responses tended to fall into two categories.

The California Constitution of 1849, written at Colton Hall, Monterey, granted women trailblazing rights.

The first filled in missing biographical details. Thanks to one of . . . → Read More: Theresa and Charles Wriston: Chapter Two

Surprises on the Trail of Dusty Old Records

What comes to your mind when you hear the words historic county records? Darkened warehouses? Moldering paper? Dusty shelves? How about stories of tragedy, courage, and compassion?

Old records filled with surprises.

Since the middle of January, I've had the honor to work with three current or former students from the University of the Pacific taking an . . . → Read More: Surprises on the Trail of Dusty Old Records