Sometimes I marvel at the amount of data floating around "out there." Any stranger who knows where to look can discover where I live (and have lived), my telephone number, my age, and the names of members in my family. And that's just the beginning.
Have you ever wondered how different things were in the past?
. . . → Read More: The Great Register of San Joaquin County
The San Joaquin County Historical Society is pleased to announce receipt of an award from the California Preservation Needs Assessment Project. The award will support an analysis by outside professionals of preservation needs within the San Joaquin County Historical Museum’s archives and library. This award complements another, more general one that the U.S. Institute of Museum . . . → Read More: Historical Society Awarded Grant
Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel
It’s nice to include other “voices” at the Museum. I’ve been collecting quotes to help us plan and develop the Museum's Nature Education Facilities Program, a grant project. In my file are excerpts from literature, historic accounts (such as Spanish diaries of the first European description of the Delta, Central Valley, and Sierra . . . → Read More: The Poetry of Wilma Elizabeth McDaniel
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
Have you ever wondered about the history of the Pledge of Allegiance? I know I did after coming across the photograph to the left.
This image comes from a collection of photographs and documents that U.C. Cooperative Extension agricultural advisors in San Joaquin County gave to the Museum some time ago. It shows a group of women . . . → Read More: I Pledge Allegiance
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
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
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
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
”I encourage students to pursue an idea far enough so they can see what the…stereotypes are. Only then do they begin to hit pay dirt.” (Robert Morgan)
I began my career as a seasonal worker at Caswell Memorial State Park, in southern San Joaquin County. Preparing for campfire programs, I soon realized that what I had been . . . → Read More: Stereotypes of Native People in San Joaquin County, Part 1