The Long Walk

"Dad, are we almost there?"

Remember how boring it was to ride long distances in the family car when you were a kid? Except for the excitement of violating that invisible boundary in the back seat that separated you and your brother. But that had its downside, too.

Maintenance supervisor Mike Mason discovers how heavy the . . . → Read More: The Long Walk

New Exhibition Explores American Workforce

Every day, folks are hard at work on farms, in factories, hospitals, schools, fire stations, offices, squad cars, and homes, all helping our communities thrive. In tribute to workers, the San Joaquin County Historical Museum will host the California premiere of "The Way We Worked," a Smithsonian Institution traveling exhibition. "The Way We Worked" will be . . . → Read More: New Exhibition Explores American Workforce

Market Hunting in the San Joaquin Valley

Remember Passenger Pigeons? Probably not. The last one died in 1914, a casualty of mass deforestation and overhunting. An estimated three to five billion lived in North America when Europeans arrived, but their numbers plummeted over the next three centuries. Perpetuation of this once–numerous bird apparently wasn't a matter of high priority.

Duck hunter in the . . . → Read More: Market Hunting in the San Joaquin Valley

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