Have you ever wondered where McLeod Lake, in downtown Stockton, got its name? I did. If you look at the Museum's earliest map of the Stockton area, which dates from the middle 1840s, you can see this very Scottish name right in the middle of what was then very Hispanic territory. How did this happen?
McLeod . . . → Read More: John McLeod: Overlooked Action Figure
A new exhibit titled "Wherever There's a Fight: A History of Civil Liberties in California" has opened at the San Joaquin County Historical Museum. The traveling exhibit, rich with narrative and photographs, animates the history of civil liberties focusing on the hidden stories of unsung heroes and heroines who stood up for their rights in the . . . → Read More: Museum Opens New Exhibit
In an earlier blog, I addressed San Joaquin County's lesser-known Chinese-American "potato king," Chin Lung (January 25, 2012). Here's the story of the County's nationally known "potato king," Japanese-American George Shima.
Japanese immigrant Ushijima Seikichi, later known as George Shima, arrived in San Joaquin County in 1889 and worked his way from migrant laborer to farmer in . . . → Read More: George Shima, “Potato King”
Most Northern Californians probably know about a community in the San Francisco Bay Area named Vallejo. They may also be aware that its name honors General Mariano G. Vallejo, an early California landowner in the Sonoma area. What many people don't know is that a connection exists between Vallejo and San Joaquin County. In fact, the . . . → Read More: The Rise of Mariano G. Vallejo
When Charles Weber's partner received a Mexican land grant for Rancho del Campo de los Franceses in what is now central San Joaquin County, he agreed to settle eleven families on the 48,000-acre property. In 1844, herders James Williams and Thomas Lindsay built tule huts and began living near what would later be called Stockton Slough.
Later . . . → Read More: Tragedy in Early San Joaquin County
How could anybody ever forget Commodore Robert F. Stockton (depicted below)? Who? You know, the U.S. naval officer who commanded American forces in California during the Mexican War and served as military governor in 1846 and 1847. Remember now? Remember how Charles M. Weber admired him so much that he named the city of Stockton after . . . → Read More: Stockton the Hero: A Rap Tribute
Visitors to the San Joaquin County Historical Museum will recognize the image below as a photograph of the Calaveras Schoolhouse, a genuine nineteenth-century structure moved to and currently located at the Museum. The San Joaquin County Historical Society is pleased to announce a grant from Walmart for a new interpretive panel that discusses the school's history, . . . → Read More: The Calaveras Schoolhouse Project
Who says history is boring? Lots of people. All too often, conventional wisdom sees history as a disjointed smattering of names, dates, and battles. Often it has tended to equate the study of history with the accomplishments of males. What often gets overlooked, however, is an expanded definition that includes not only stories of men, but . . . → Read More: On the Edge
I like photographs a lot. Sometimes they give me information I can't find anywhere else. Other times, I see glimpses into artistic sensitivity and expertise. But the images I find most memorable are ones that open doors into the personality of the photographer, giving me a sense of what it might have been like to know . . . → Read More: Waiting for Santa
Jedediah Strong Smith (1799–1831) and about fifteen trappers with the Rocky Mountain Fur Company entered California in November 1826. They were hoping to "find parts of the country as well stocked with Beaver as the waters of the Missouri." Smith and his party had crossed the Mojave Desert and the San Bernardino Mountains (a route later . . . → Read More: The Origins of French Camp, California