by Ralph Gibson, Museums Administrator
Summer is here and this year welcomes the 10th anniversary of the Heritage Trail which starts on June 17.
We hope each of you takes time this summer to explore our County’s rich history by visiting at least one of the twenty- one participating museums.
Like last year, the event is spread throughout the summer with small geographic clusters of museums hosting their Heritage Trail day. This way you can take your time to explore everything they have to offer.
For a full Heritage Trail summer schedule, please visit our blog at: theheritagetrail.blogspot.com or look for one of our posters that will be popping up at every museum.
History surrounds us—get out there and explore!
The Gold Rush Museum has been progressing along and we are working on the last few big installations on the second floor. This summer, renowned muralist Derrel Fleener will be painting a large 1849 gold mining scene on the first floor. This gift to the museum is being generously donated by the Placer County Historical Society—thank you PCHS!
Later this year, our exhibit team will transition to working in the DeWitt History Museum. I will keep you abreast of our progress in future issues of The Placer. Have a great summer, everyone!
Hang Onto Your Hat
By Kasia Woroniecka, Curator of Collections
PCM: Unknown Women. Circa 1900.
Women’s fashion took on a new opulence with design trends that revolved around the ideal “S-curve” standard of beauty.
|PCM: Helen Reed. Circa 1905|
To secure these huge creations to the head, hatpins—sometimes as long as eighteen inches—were skewered through the hair and the hat. The more elaborate the hat, the more pins it required.
Prior to John Howe’s 1832 invention of the first practical machine for manufacturing pins, they were made by hand and were very expensive. Early factories produced fewer than 5,000 pins a day but, by 1835, Howe’s machine was producing 70,000 pins daily.
The first hatpins were simple metal skewers. Later, these were made of silver studded with topaz, garnet, amethyst, pearl, seashell, ivory, and porcelain.
|PCM: Vincent P. Gianella Collection|
Besides being functional and often beautifully designed, hatpins were also controversial. In 1908, fearing suffragists might use their hatpins as weapons, laws were passed limiting the legal length to nine inches. By 1912, additional ordinances were passed all over the United States requiring hatpin tips to be capped to prevent accidental injury.
|PCM: Unknown Woman Circa 1910|
In 1913 Milwaukee, breaking the hatpin length ordinance in city limits was subject to arrest and a fine of one dollar ($23 today).
At the turn of the 20th century, women’s role in society was slowly changing. Technologies like the bicycle and new work opportunities in retail establishments and offices offered them a level of independence and the ability to move around unchaperoned.
Any man who attempted an unwanted advance soon discovered that a hatpin made a formidable weapon.
By 1913, hats were becoming smaller and less elaborate. Enormous plumes and stuffed birds had fallen out of vogue and smaller brims foreshadowed the cloche hats of the 1920s. Today, hatpins are collectible items. Genuine examples are not easy to find and, since hatpins are fairly easy to make, the market is flooded with fakes and reproductions.
Saving “Station A”
by Bryanna Ryan, Curator of Archives
|PCM: Station A Post Office. Circa 1910|
Stepping into this space is to stand where 139 years of postal activities have taken place. Patrons can still send and receive mail, and even rent one of the historic P.O. boxes adorning the interior.
|PCM: Auburn Post Office. 1909|
By Beth Rrohlfes, Curator of Education
Don’t miss Heritage Trail Opening Day—Saturday, June 17th, 10:00AM—4:00PM!
|Bhaki Banning at 2016 Heritage Trail|
There will be hand-cranked ice cream and fresh produce, live music, seed spitting contests, and more!
Real life gold miners at the Gold Rush Museum will teach novices some gold panning tricks. And the day will round off nicely with a visit to the historic Benton-Welty School Room.
|Daphne Lake at 2016 Heritage Trail|
Follow the details of this great summer-long event at theheritagetrail.blogspot.com.
Would you like to volunteer to help with activities at the Bernhard Museum on June 17th? If so, contact me at 530-889-6506 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
News from the Placer County Historical Society
By April McDonald-Loomis, President
Calling All Docents!
On June 2nd the Auburn Streetscape History and Art Committee will be joining with the Art Walk folks for a gala evening. The Art Walk will feature local artists as well as several music venues. The SHAAC will be unveiling several new tiles in Central Square and giving away some prizes for a “tile contest.”
SHAAC is in need of docents, in costume, to be in Central Square and talk about some of the people featured on the historic tiles. A docent would only need to attend from 6:00pm-8:00pm and be responsible for about three personalities.
We will hold a briefing before the event and pass out information. This should be a great evening! I hope you can help! Please contact me if you are interested. April400@wavecable.com or (530) 823-2128.
In Other News
The Placer County Historical Society has just elected the new board for 2017-2019. I am proud to be the new President of the Society. It is quite an honor!
I look forward to an exciting year. We have some ideas for some new projects and hope that if you have ideas, that you will contact me and share!
Mike Holmes is the new First Vice-President, Addah Owens will continue as the Second Vice-President, as will Secretary, Richard Ravalli, and Treasurer, Al Stoll.
Board Members are Jean Allender, Karen Bleuel, Delana Ruud, John Knox, Melanie Barton, Karrie Samson, and Sherri Shackner.
Walt Wilson will leave as President but we certainly hope he will stay involved. He is owed a large round of applause for the fine job he has done for the last two years.
PCHS Dinner Meeting
By Addah Owens, Program Chair
When: June 1, 2017
Time: 6:30 Dinner, 7:30 Program
Where: Veterans Hall, 100 East St, Auburn
Cost: $16 per person
Menu: Summer Barbeque
Program: “America’s Best Female Sharpshooter, the Rise and Fall of Lillian Francis Smith”
Author, Julia Bricklin from the Los Angeles area will be discussing her new book about sharpshooter, Lillian Francis Smith. Of special interest to Placer County, Lillian owned a shooting gallery right in Auburn for a short time.
Books will be available for purchase for $24.99.
Mail Dinner Checks to: PCHS c/o Jane Hamilton, 1871 Crockett Road, Auburn , CA 95603.
(530) 885-7839 or email@example.com
DO NOT BRING ALCOHOL. County directives prohibit it, and, we can't get liability coverage.
* Also changed PCHS President to is on Historical Organizations page with phone number (530) 878-6640
Calendar of Events
|Click to enlarge.|
Placer County Historical OrganizationsColfax Area Historical Society
Chris Miller (530) 346-8599
Donner Summit Historical Society
Bill Oudegeest, (209) 606-6859
Foresthill Divide Historical Society
Sandy Simester, (530) 367-3535
Fruitvale School Hall Community Association
Historical Advisory Board
Old Town Auburn Preservation Society
Lincoln Highway Association
Lincoln Area Archives Museum
Elizabeth Jansen, (916) 645-3800
Joss House Museum and Chinese History Center
Richard Yue, (530) 346-7121
Loomis Basin Historical Society
Karen Clifford, (916) 663-3871
Roseville Fire Museum
Maidu Museum & Historic Site
Glenie Strome, (916) 782-3299
Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor #59
Dave Allen, (530) 878-2878
Newcastle Portuguese Hall Association
Mario Farinha, (530) 269-2412
Golden Drift Historical Society
Jim Ricker, (530) 389-8344
Newcastle Portuguese Hall Association
Aileen Gage (530) 885-9113
Placer County Historical Society
April McDonald-Loomis, (530) 878-6640
Placer County Museums Docent Guild
Tom Innes, (530) 888-8969
Rocklin Historical Society
Barbara Chapman, (916) 415-0153
Roseville Historical Society
Phoebe Astill, (916) 773-3003
North Lake Tahoe Historical Society
Rebecca Phipps, (530) 583-1762
Placer County Genealogical Society,
Toni Rosasco, (530) 888-8036