Remembering the Lincoln Highway

Last weekend, my wife and I flew to Colorado for a family reunion. The flight—over the Sierra Nevada range, Utah, and the Rocky Mountains—took all of two and one-half hours. We landed in Denver, rested and ready to drive our rental car several additional hours.

Travel hasn't always been this easy. One of the most significant landmarks . . . → Read More: Remembering the Lincoln Highway

The Civil War Comes to San Joaquin County

Close your eyes for a moment and think "Civil War." What do you see? A bearded men in a stovepipe hat? Fuzzy black-and-white daguerreotypes? Corpses on a battlefield? For many of us, the Civil War is only a vague and distant thought. For others, however, the people, issues, and conflicts are still very much alive. How . . . → Read More: The Civil War Comes to San Joaquin County

Some San Joaquin County “Firsts”

As an anthropologist, I'm not accustomed to thinking in terms of "firsts." But I was asked by the members of the staff at Madden Library at California State University, Fresno, to compile a list for San Joaquin County as part of an exhibition on "firsts" in the greater San Joaquin Valley.

Bidwell-Bartleson party member Charles M. . . . → Read More: Some San Joaquin County “Firsts”

The Masked Banker

Why is this man wearing a mask? Is he a gangster? Has he put on a disguise for Halloween? No, he's actually protecting himself from a highly contagious disease.

The year is 1918. The worst of the First World War is over and peace is just around the corner. Hundreds of thousands of people throughout the world . . . → Read More: The Masked Banker

Critter Corral Opens at Museum

How would the history of San Joaquin County have been different without its farm animals? What about now? For more than 150 years, they've played a vital role in the County's way of life. Despite their historic importance, however, cattle, sheep, horses, and other farm animals tend to get overlooked nowadays by a population—especially children—that often . . . → Read More: Critter Corral Opens at Museum

The Other Charles Webers

Did you know that early San Joaquin County had two other Charles Webers, in addition to Charles Maria Weber, the founder of Stockton? One bore the name Charles Kimball Weber, and the other, his son, Charles Oscar Weber. Neither man was as wealthy or influential as Stockton's founder, but both owned sizable farms and left respectable . . . → Read More: The Other Charles Webers

The Lodi Comets

How many women motorcyclists can you remember seeing? Not many, I'll wager. My own eyes were opened about five years ago after learning that one of my nieces motorcycled to and from classes each day while attending college in southern California. Every other motorcyclist I see nowadays seems to be female.

Lodi mayor Mabel Richey (right) . . . → Read More: The Lodi Comets

Robert G. LeTourneau: Dean of Earthmoving

In an earlier posting (Feb. 8, 2012), I addressed the importance of Benjamin Holt in the history of earthmoving equipment. Another giant of the industry, Robert G. LeTourneau, also had roots in San Joaquin County. He doesn't have a prominent street in Stockton named for him and he is lesser-known. But he was no less important.

. . . → Read More: Robert G. LeTourneau: Dean of Earthmoving

John McLeod: Overlooked Action Figure

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

Museum Opens New Exhibit

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