Monument at grave of David S. Terry, Stockton Rural Cemetery.
Whoever said "dead men don't tell tales" must have never visited a cemetery. As any local historian can attest, the tombstones and monuments of the deceased actually do tell stories. In fact, they stand as some of the richest sources for biography and local history anywhere . . . → Read More: Stockton Rural Cemetery Celebrates 150 Years
Where have the past four years gone? I don't know about you, but it seems to me that the last presidential campaign never ended. So here we sit, two and one-half months from the next election, as the presidential candidates swing at each other and the war of words escalates. Could political emotions get much hotter?
. . . → Read More: Charles M. Weber Desecrates a Flag
Illustration from 1884 edition of the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Last year, I joined three other San Joaquin County archivists one cool winter day for lunch in a downtown Stockton park. Our interests often converge and the conversation moved from one subject to another. Then it turned to movies and television programs filmed locally—either . . . → Read More: Hollywood and San Joaquin County
I like old photographs. I like them especially when I know something about them—for example, the names of the subjects and the context. When I don't, I'm tempted to make up imaginary stories that may or may not be grounded in reality.
Leon Clancy Collect., S.J. Co. Hist. Museum
Several months ago, I came across the photograph . . . → Read More: Racing Cars in Stockton
I find it amazing that San Joaquin County was for fifty years or so the capital of earthmoving equipment. The County’s industrial, transportation, and financial infrastructures came into existence shortly after the Gold Rush, during the dry-farmed grain era. But it was the reclamation of rich peat soils of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the switch . . . → Read More: Benjamin Holt and the Caterpillar Tractor
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
Stockton’s prominence at the time stereoviews were popular has ensured some amazing three-dimensional glimpses of the city from as early as the 1870s. One of the men who made that possible was Benjamin P. Batchelder, one of Stockton’s first photographers, who occupied a studio on El Dorado Street from 1874 to 1893. A successful producer of . . . → Read More: Early Glimpses of Stockton in Stereoview
Last week, one of my colleagues asked me if I knew any good Thanksgiving stories from San Joaquin County’s past. I had to admit that I didn’t, but I promised to look. So off I went. Unfortunately, I haven’t succeeded yet, but I did come across an item that started me thinking about how different people . . . → Read More: Thanksgiving One Century Ago
I doubt that many current residents of San Joaquin County recognize the name Henry B. Budd. That’s unfortunate. A civil engineer, Budd was one of San Joaquin County’s most prominent shakers and movers early in the twentieth century. He recently came to my attention because a donor has given the Museum a map from 1912 that . . . → Read More: Stockton in 1912
Do you remember the following men? Stanley Iichiki, Robert T. Kishi, Seichi Nakamoto, Dick Z. Masuda, and Akira Otsubo, of Stockton; Kay K. Masaoka of Lodi; George Nakamura of Acampo; Ko Tanaka of Lodi; and Minoru Yoshida of Linden.1 They left San Joaquin County as young men and never returned. Their graves can be found in . . . → Read More: San Joaquin County’s Japanese-American Soldiers