by Ralph Gibson
The Heritage Trail 2015 (August 15th & 16th) is fast approaching and this year brings some big changes. First, one museum has dropped out (the Western Skisport Museum) but another has dropped in (The Museum of Sierra Ski History and the 1960 Winter Olympics), which brings our total this year to 20 museums.
Another big change this year will be the addition of a second Mountain Tour bus. On Saturday, the bus will run to Tahoe City where it will stop at the new Museum of Sierra Ski History, the Watson Cabin and the Gatekeepers Museum before heading up the hill where it will make a final stop at the Donner Summit Historical Society Museum. On Sunday, the bus begins at the Donner Summit Historical Society Museum before heading west to the Golden Drift Museum, the Colfax Area Heritage Museum and the Forest Hill Divide Museum. As always, reserved seats are $10 and we ask that you pack your own lunch. If you are interested, please call our office to reserve your seat today!
For the valley, we’re trying something different. For Saturday only, we have reserved two Pride shuttles that will rotate between the seven valley museums. One shuttle will begin at the Maidu Museum and another at the Roseville Historical Society’s Carnegie Museum. At 10:30 am, they move on to the next museum where they will stop, let passengers off and new passengers on, then head to the next and so on. The shuttles will run until 5:00 pm – one full hour after the last museum closes – to make sure everyone makes it back to their cars. We’ve never done this, so there are sure to be glitches, but we hope everyone will be patient and willing to give us good feedback so we can improve upon the idea next year. All the museums need help to pull this off, so please consider volunteering for the Heritage Trail one day and riding it the next. I hope to see you on the Trail!
In Search of Self
While serving as a US Peace Corps Volunteer on the Island of Dominica, 1992-1994, Mary Ann Bachman Kollenberg wrote home to friends and family and kept an extensive journal. She has recently complied her adventure in a self-published book. Mary Ann's book of published letters “In Search of Self, Reflections from the Eastern Caribbean” is in print and on E-book.
Mary Ann vividly describes her initial observations of surrounding islands, her home stay family and the culture and personality of Dominica. Her everyday life and feelings are documented in her letters home describing her tasks and frustrations with teaching safer and newer environmental practices to the islanders. Her descriptions are colorful and interesting.
On page 16, she writes:
August 17, 1992—5:30 p.m.
Dominica “Dear Folks, I’m in Roseau, Dominica! Sitting on a second-story veranda overlooking busy Cork Street, wires going everywhere, poles, tin roofs of every color (green, orange, red, rusty brown), peaked roofs with gable ends, hipped roofs with dormers. Opposite is a bakery at street level with a restaurant above, also with a full balcony, plants hanging everywhere.”
Mary Ann now resides in Lincoln, but at age 80 is unable to actively promote her book. Due to health challenges, she is not presently available for interviews or discussion.
To obtain a copy of “In Search of Self” contact Archway Publishing, bookstore.archwaypublishing.com, 1-888-242-5904, or order it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. It can also be downloaded to Kindle as an E-book.
by Beth Rohlfes
Curator of Education
Bravo to Placer County Museum docents who helped plan and present a delightful community experience last month during the annual Jump into Summer event at the Bernhard Museum. Their enthusiasm to make history come alive exploded into an exciting production of authentic 19th century activity for a few short hours on that Saturday morning.
From the docents in their colorful Victorian outfits—layers of prints and lace, bows and sun hats—to the 24 member Auburn Concert Band—brandishing an array of shiny instruments and fluttering musical scores—everyone was primed to embrace visitors in comfortable reminders of days gone by.
Little faces grinned ear to ear as young guests dressed up in period attire for photo sittings in the barn. Boys were as eager as girls to play act with dolls they made themselves from simple fabric scraps and string. And faces like those of 2-year old Vander and his mom, visiting from the Bay Area, showed the pure joy of eating hand-cranked ice creaml!
On August 15 and 16, from 10:00 until 4:00 each day we’ll be creating similar experiences for visitors to enjoy at the Placer County Museums. The 8th annual Heritage Trail event will require all hands on as we prepare to showcase our museums and welcome visitors into the exciting history of Placer County.
So come join us! If you’ve been wondering what it’s like to volunteer with the Museums, this is a wonderful opportunity for new volunteers to join our docent forces and see what our museums are all about. If you have a few hours to help, call us at (530) 889-6500.
by Kasia Woroniecka
Curator of Collections
The American Red Cross was established by Clara Barton in 1881. It was modeled on the Swiss Red Cross, which was founded in 1866. Clara Barton worked as a nurse during the American Civil War and became known the “Angel of the Battlefield” for her hard work and dedication. Exhausted by war she traveled to Europe in 1868 where she was introduced to the Red Cross in Geneva, Switzerland. After returning to the United States she became president of the American branch of the Red Cross in 1881.
It was probably that same dedication to help people in need that drove Norma to become a Red Cross nurse. Norma was born in 1916 in Portland, Oregon. While a student at the Willamette University in Salem, Oregon she traveled to Japan in 1936 as part of an exchange program. She graduated from the American University in 1945 and began work at the DeWitt Army Hospital. Sherry Little and Kim Sterrett, Norma’s children, remember their mother talking about writing letters home for the wounded GI’s while stationed at DeWitt. When the war broke out in Europe in 1939 the Red Cross became the chief provider of relief supplies. After the attack on Pearl Harbor the Red Cross quickly mobilized a volunteer and staff force. Those who stayed at home served in hospitals, collected scrap, ran victory gardens and programs on nutrition, first aid and safety. At the peak of wartime activity in 1945 7.5 million Red Cross volunteers and 39,000 paid staff provided service to the military.
Norma’s next assignment was on the island of Guam. She met her future husband Edwin Sterrett at the Travis Air Force Base cafeteria before they both departed for Guam. They married there in 1950 and eventually moved to Napa, CA where she worked as a librarian. She died in Napa in 1988.
We are still looking for artifacts, photos and information on DeWitt, its patients and staff from the time it was an Army hospital until it became the Placer County Government Center. Please contact the Archives (530-889-7789) or Artifact Collections (530-889-7705) for donations.
Placer County Historical Society News
by Walt Wilson
We are still working on the itinerary. Things to explore include the new Ronald Reagan bronze statute by world renowned artist Doug Van Howd of Auburn, the newly refurbished State Library and Courts Building, the Peace Officers Memorial containing the names of officers killed in the line of duty, including Michael Davis and Danny Oliver of Placer County, a tour of the State Archives, the State Capitol and a picnic lunch in the Capitol’s Civil War Memorial Grove.
The plan is to carpool and order picnic lunches from Bistro 103 in Old Town Auburn. If you are interested please contact me. Be sure to provide your name(s), phone, email. Thanks.
Walt Wilson, President, Placer County Historical Society. 530 878-6640 firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Lyndell Grey, (916) 645-3517
Historical Advisory Board
Glenn Vineyard, (916) 747-1961
Old Town Auburn Preservation Society
Lynn Carpenter, (530) 885-1252
Lincoln Highway Association
Bob Dieterich, email@example.com
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
Jim Giblin, JGiblin@roseville.ca.us
Maidu Museum & Historic Site
Glenie Strome, (916) 782-3299
Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor #59
Dave Allen, (530) 878-2878
Golden Drift Historical Society
Jim Ricker, (530) 389-8344
Newcastle Portuguese Hall Association
Aileen Gage (530) 885-9113
Placer County Historical Society Walt Wilson, (530) 878-6640 placercountyhistoricalsociety.org
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,
(530) 888-8036 pcgenes.com