Thursday, June 29, 2017

July-August 2017

Administrator’s Notes

By Ralph Gibson, Museums Administrator


We are in the midst of Heritage Trail 2017 and thus far, museums are seeing a boost in attendance over last year!

A few changes seem to have made a big difference. In 2016, few people played the “Get-Up-And-Go” cards because they had to visit 16 museums to qualify for the gift-basket drawing. This year, we reduced the number to 8.

At the same time, students are also roaming the county and partaking in our new scavenger hunt. Participants get the opportunity to win student-friendly prizes, including a Kindle Fire, Samsung Galaxy tablet, and backpacks full of school supplies.

Another big difference compared to years past (when the event was over just one weekend) is the amount of time each visitor spends at a museum. Everyone has time to see so much more of what each museum has to offer. Gold Rush Museum visitors have been staying at least an hour and even longer at the Bernhard.

If you haven’t started yet, it’s not too late! You can visit any participating museum during the summer and pick up a Get-Up-And-Go card (or scavenger hunt if you are a student), and get it stamped during regular business hours. The event ends at 4:00pm on Sunday, September 3rd so get your cards and scavenger hunts turned in by then.

For a full schedule of the Heritage Trail and a list of participating museums, please visit: www.placer.ca.gov/heritagetrail.

The next two weekends of the Trail include: The Gatekeepers Museum & Watson Cabin on July 1st, followed by the Placer County Museum, Gold Country Medical History Museum, and Auburn Chinese Joss House on July 8th.

We hope to see you on the Trail!

 

Swimming in Style

By Kasia Woroniecka, Curator of Collections



Meredith Warren swimming at Lake Tahoe. Circa 1900.
Placer County Archives
Summer is here and so is the warm weather. Time to grab the swimsuit and sunblock and head for the water!

If you were a woman living in the 19th-century, you would also need your short wool dress, pantaloons, full-length dark stockings, and a pair of flat-soled bathing shoes.


Unknown Couple. Circa 1895.
Placer County Archives
In the mid-1800s, mixed bathing (among men and women) became more acceptable and bathing costumes became more publicly visible.

Men wore one-piece knit suits with short-sleeves and knee-length pants. By the late-1800s, two-piece versions consisted of short-sleeved or sleeveless tunics over knee-length pants.


Annette Kellerman posing in 
her famous swimsuit. Circa 1907.
With the popularity of swimming came laws setting minimum standards for beach attire. Bathing costumes were made of dark, wool flannel or serge, and the fabric remained stiff so as not to reveal the female form. Wearing a bathing costume that was too short could get the beach-goer cited, as suits could not end more than six-inches above the knees. Men were required to cover their torsos at most public beaches and pools.

The beginning of a dramatic change in women’s swimwear was marked by a scandalous event in 1907. Annette Kellerman, the Australian champion swimmer and later, movie star, wore a revolutionary new form-fitting one-piece sleeveless bathing suit to a swimming demonstration in Boston.

She was promptly arrested for indecent exposure, yet over the next twenty years, the one-piece became the norm for women.

The post-WWI generation made sports and recreation a big part of social life. In 1921, Jantzen Knitting Mills of Portland patented form-fitting wool knitted swimsuits that held their shape wet and dry. Their advertising slogan, “The suit that changed bathing into swimming” was very successful.

As time went on, the swimsuit got smaller and the fabric improved with the development of latex and nylon.



This sailor inspired swimsuit was
worn by Anna Nelson Rosenberry 
around 1890-1900.  
 It is made of wool crepe 
with a skirt that covers 
the pantaloons underneath.
Placer County Museums Collection

The 1940s were characterized by the two-piece suit. In 1942, as part of rationing during the war, the United States Production Board reduced the amount of fabric allowed for the manufacture of women’s swimwear by 10%.

Yet, it was the introduction of the “bikini” in 1946 that took the world of fashion by storm. The controversy that it caused in the United States was almost as big as the event for which it was named—the atomic testing in the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific. For a time, the bikini was banned in Spain, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, and Australia. It was also prohibited in many US states.

Fashion is ever-changing. Today, consumers have a lot to choose from in the swimwear department. Luckily, heavy wool dresses and stockings are not part of the selection. 


Found in the Archives

By Bryanna Ryan, Curator of Archives


In 1904, the community of Auburn was rattled by two bold crimes within a six-month period. The first was the daring daytime robbery of the Placer County Bank by an athletic outlaw in elaborate disguise. All leads had dried up when, on the night of November 10, the Webber house on the hill above Old Town was set ablaze. Soon, all eyes pointed to the eldest son of this prominent local family—Adolph Julius Webber. The sensational trial found Adolph guilty of murdering his parents and both siblings.

Recently, an “orphaned” photograph from the Placer County Mug Book of 1900-1910 was reunited with its page to the discovery that the Archives have Adolph Webber’s mug shot taken at the Courthouse in 1904!

 

The Scoop

By Beth Rohlfes, Supervising Curator


Stories from Heritage Trail Opening Day


Old-fashioned toy station with docent, Bev Jones
As soon as they entered the Bernhard Museum site the morning of June 17th, an extended family including children, parents and grandmother, made a beeline to the carriage barn to discover what Bev Jones’ old-fashioned toy station had to offer.

Rolling Hoops
From classics as familiar as spinning tops and dominoes, to less-recognizable playthings like quoits, game of graces, and rolling hoops - the display encouraged an unavoidable temptation to touch and play. And the guiltiest party? Grandma! She was so excited to revisit so many familiar toys from her childhood that the rest of the family had trouble luring her on to explore the next activity!


Mrs. Bernhard and guests
(Docent, Fran Hanson)
Meanwhile, on the porch of the Bernhard Museum, a mother with three young children stopped to visit with Fran Hanson, our “Ask Mrs. Bernhard” docent for the morning. With their Bernhard Quiz sheets in hand, the stair step adorables had been told that Mrs. Bernhard would help them complete the quiz correctly so that each could collect a prize—two homemade snicker doodle cookies carefully wrapped in a silk bag.

The wise Mrs. Bernhard, not wanting to simply hand them the answers to the quiz, invited them to listen and find the answers in her stories. At the mention of story-time, the youngest of the three climbed unabashedly into Mrs. Bernhard’s lap! And the stories came, along with the answers to the quiz.


Heritage Trail at Bernhard Museum 2017

At the doll station in the old Winery, visitors were busily crafting scraps of fabric and string into multiple versions of themselves and their families. Older siblings helped the younger ones. Girls and boys—and sometimes their adults— eagerly took their places at the table. Museum docent, Diane Adams, fondly referred to four of these youngsters as her “patient boys.” They waited without complaint while eager girls across the table took unknowing advantage of the Victorian “ladies first” rule. Once the dolls were assembled, buttons and string were fashioned into unique accessories.

“Buttons and kids,” said Diane, “are almost as much fun as water and kids!”

 

News from the Placer County Historical Society

By April McDonald-Loomis, President


The new Board of Directors of the Historical Society already has some exciting projects on the books! We are funding new children’s activities for Heritage Trail at the Benton Welty Classroom on June 17th. At the same time, we are also funding a huge mural for the Gold Rush Museum.

The muralist is Derrel Fleener, whose work at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento is highly regarded. The mural will take up one whole wall at the museum and will provide the backdrop for the Panning Stream and Miner’s Camp exhibit. Here is a tiny sneak-peek of one small piece of one of the historic images Derrel will be using for inspiration.


In addition, the Society proudly joined with the El Dorado Historical Society in sponsoring Rodi Lee for a merit award at this year’s Conference of California Historical Societies. This is a state-wide award and a well-deserved one for Rodi. She has patiently made her way through 100 years of newspapers, photographing articles, and creating a huge database of valuable information.

As always, if you have any ideas for speakers for the dinner meetings or ideas to promote the goals of the Society, please let me know!

 

Calendar of Events 

 

Click to Enlarge

Placer County Historical Organizations  

Colfax Area Historical Society
Chris Miller (530) 346-8599
colfaxhistory.org

Donner Summit Historical Society
Bill Oudegeest, (209) 606-6859
donnersummithistoricalsociety.org

Foresthill Divide Historical Society
Sandy Simester, (530) 367-3535
foresthillhistory.org

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
bobd@iname.com lincolnhwy.org

Lincoln Area Archives Museum
Elizabeth Jansen, (916) 645-3800
laamca.org

Joss House Museum and Chinese History Center
Richard Yue, (530) 346-7121

Loomis Basin Historical Society
Karen Clifford, (916) 663-3871
ppgn.com/loomishistorical.html

Roseville Fire Museum
Jim Giblin
JGiblin@roseville.ca.us, rosevillefiremuseum.org

Maidu Museum & Historic Site
Glenie Strome, (916) 782-3299
roseville.ca.us/indianmuseum

Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor #59
Dave Allen, (530) 878-2878
dsallen59@sbcglobal.net

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) 823-2128
April400@wavecable.com

Placer County Museums Docent Guild
Tom Innes, (530) 888-8969

Rocklin Historical Society
Hank Lohse, President (916) 624-3464
rocklinhistory.org

Roseville Historical Society
Christina Richter, (916) 773-3003
rosevillehistorical.org

North Lake Tahoe Historical Society
Marnie Carr, (530) 583-1762
northtahoemuseums.org

Placer County Genealogical Society,
Toni Rosasco, (530) 888-8036
pcgs.pcgenes.com

Thursday, May 4, 2017

May-June 2017

Administrator’s Notes

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!

Museums News
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.
The popularity of enormous hats reached its peak during the Edwardian era. The creativity of milliners saw no boundaries with hats made of taffeta, silk bows, flowers, artificial fruit, bird feathers, and—in some cases—fully stuffed birds.

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
Created by corset, this figure was formed by forcing the hips back and the bust forward with the hat becoming an essential and increasingly larger element needed to accomplish this look.

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
The Arts and Crafts movement, Art Nouveau, Egyptian Revival, and Orientalism all influenced the many elements of hatpin design.

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
During a city council meeting in Chicago in 1910, an ordinance supporter was quoted as saying: “If women care to wear carrots and roosters on their heads, that is a matter for their own concern but when it comes to wearing swords, they must be stopped.”

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.

Hatpin defense tactics are illustrated in this 1904 article featured in the San Francisco Sunday Call.

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
The Station A Post Office in Old Town Auburn is in danger of closing its doors and with it, shuttering a very significant part of local history. This is not just any Post Office. The building dates to January of 1878, although the U.S. Postal Service had occupied the lot as early as 1861.

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
The Old Town Business Association pays rent for the space and is working to keep this historic establishment operating for the U.S.P.S. but cannot do this without help from the community. Stop in, buy stamps, send your mail through here, or even think about renting one of historic P.O. boxes. Please help us save Station A and be a part of history!



The Scoop

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
This year’s summer-long Heritage Trail kicks off with a day for whole families to enjoy old-fashioned learning and fun together. Mrs. Bernhard herself will greet visitors to the Bernhard Museum as she shares stories of stolen apricot pies and encourages guests to explore vintage wagons, toys, games, and crafts.

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
So stop in for a visit, or make it a whole day. Bring your picnic lunch and spread your blanket on the beautiful grounds of the Bernhard Museum. Refreshments will be provided.

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 brohlfes@placer.ca.gov.


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 hamiltonjane1@me.com

DO NOT BRING ALCOHOL. County directives prohibit it, and, we can't get liability coverage.



Calendar of Events

Click to enlarge.

 

Placer County Historical Organizations  

Colfax Area Historical Society
Chris Miller (530) 346-8599
colfaxhistory.org

Donner Summit Historical Society
Bill Oudegeest, (209) 606-6859
donnersummithistoricalsociety.org

Foresthill Divide Historical Society
Sandy Simester, (530) 367-3535
foresthillhistory.org

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
bobd@iname.com lincolnhwy.org

Lincoln Area Archives Museum
Elizabeth Jansen, (916) 645-3800
laamca.org

Joss House Museum and Chinese History Center
Richard Yue, (530) 346-7121

Loomis Basin Historical Society
Karen Clifford, (916) 663-3871
ppgn.com/loomishistorical.html

Roseville Fire Museum
Jim Giblin
JGiblin@roseville.ca.us, rosevillefiremuseum.org

Maidu Museum & Historic Site
Glenie Strome, (916) 782-3299
roseville.ca.us/indianmuseum

Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor #59
Dave Allen, (530) 878-2878
dsallen59@sbcglobal.net

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) 823-2128
April400@wavecable.com

Placer County Museums Docent Guild
Tom Innes, (530) 888-8969

Rocklin Historical Society
Barbara Chapman, (916) 415-0153
rocklinhistory.org

Roseville Historical Society
Phoebe Astill, (916) 773-3003
rosevillehistorical.org

North Lake Tahoe Historical Society
Rebecca Phipps, (530) 583-1762
northtahoemuseums.org

Placer County Genealogical Society,
Toni Rosasco, (530) 888-8036
pcgs.pcgenes.com

Thursday, March 9, 2017

March - April 2017

 

Administrator’s Notes 

by Ralph Gibson 


One hundred years ago, World War I was raging in Europe. Though great armies had clashed over large geographic areas before, this was the first true “world” war—involving over 30 countries around the globe by the time guns fell silent on November 11, 1918.

All of the men and women who participated in this monumental conflict are gone. No one is left to share first-hand experiences of going “over the top” in the face of enemy machine-gun fire, or trying to sleep in muddy, rat-infested trenches as artillery shells explode all around.

Fortunately, epic historic events like WWI are recognized for their significance and through “oral histories,” some personal narratives have been captured by historians. The first person accounts of suffragists, political refugees, Native Americans, and Dust-Bowl migrants are just a few examples of notable accounts that have been partially preserved through recording the words of those who lived through it.

While there are numerous official documents, photographs, maps, letters and journals that tell the stories of events like the Great War, it is the personal perspective gained through a well done oral history which can help bring an event (back) to life.

Those few Oral Histories of WWI veterans are precious. They remind us we need to immediately turn our attention to veterans and participants of WWII. They are fast disappearing and it is their stories and perspectives we need to capture before it is too late.

At the same time, the perspectives of family members and others “back home” all contribute to the story and our collective ability to understand past experiences.

Good, effective oral histories require a well-trained, practiced interviewer and time. We always keep any eye out for oral history seminars and workshops to share with everyone. If you happen to know of a workshop or seminar, please call our office at 530-889-6500.


The Vacuum

by Kasia Woroniecka, Curator of Collections


Who is ready for some spring cleaning? Winter is almost over and, if you feel ready to tackle those floors, closets, attics and garages, you might need some tools to help with the project. One of them will surely be a vacuum—hopefully a bit more efficient than the ones in our collection.

Victorians gave us simple eco-friendly tips on cleaning just about anything with lemons, vinegar and baking soda. Yet carpet cleaning, as with most housework, was not an easy task in the 19th-century. Prior to the introduction of vacuums, most housewives used rug-beaters, brooms and dust pans to clean floors and carpets.

Cleaning and caring for the home took a lot of time and many Victorian women turned to domestic economy handbooks for time-saving tips. One of the most popular was Mrs. Beeton’s Book of Household Management, published in 1861 with very interesting, if not unusual, tips on carpet maintenance:

“Take a pail of cold water, and add to it three gills (teacups) of ox-gall (contents of ox’s gallbladder). Rub it into the carpet with a soft brush. It will raise a lather, which must be washed off with clear water. Rub dry with clean cloth.”

“A weak solution of alum or soda are used for reviving the colours. The crumb of a hot wheaten loaf rubbed over the carpet has been found effective.”

Many of the Victorian homes had large and small rugs and carpets to cover poor quality, soft wood floors. Large rugs became a staple in the upper-middle class American homes.

The earliest carpet cleaning machines were hand-pumped. The first vacuum sweeper was produced in Iowa by Daniel Hess in 1860. The machine had a rotating brush and a bellows mechanism to generate suction. One of the earliest examples in our collection is a Surprise Suction Sweeper, manufactured around 1908 by the Import and Export Company from New York. The handle moves up and down, creating suction. Some manually operated models required two persons to function: one to operate the bellows and one to move the mouthpiece over the carpet.

The first motorized vacuum cleaner was invented in 1899 by John S. Thurman. It was powered by gasoline.

Great advances in science and medicine during the 19th-century had a major impact on understanding health and disease. Cleanliness and hygiene became key components of Victorian life and offered manufacturers a new “scientific” tool. The portable vacuum cleaner was represented as the only modern way to clean the house.

The manufacturers of the Duntley Pneumatic Cleaner, were the pioneers in the portable vacuum business. In many of their ads, they stressed that only a vacuum cleaner could remove the “real dust—the old, ground-in, dangerous, germ laden dirt that other methods never touch.”

The Duntley Pneumatic Cleaner in our collection was made around 1910 and donated in 1988 by Mel and Karen Locher. According to the donor, it came from the W.B. Lardner residence on Orange Street in Auburn. Lardner was a Placer County district attorney, a state assemblyman, and a state senator.

The first electric vacuum cleaner was invented in 1901 and was large enough to necessitate being pulled by a horse. With the wagon parked out front, the 100-foot hose was used to clean households. The first portable electric vacuum was invented in 1908 by James Murray who, faced with financial difficulty, sold his patent to William Hoover, who turned it into a commercial success.

The first vacuums with disposable bags appeared in the1920s. Here is another example from our collection, the Bee-Vac Electric Cleaner made by Birtman Electric Company circa 1925.

Housework is definitely much easier these days. Unless you’re very fond of experimenting with 19th-century cleaning tips, there is really no need to rub your carpet with fresh bread. Your Hoover or Dyson will do the job just fine.


The Scoop

by Beth Rohlfes, Curator of Education


This week I found an interesting homeschool internet site by Samantha, a self described “teen entrepreneur, college freshman, former un-socialized homeschooler.” I am always surfing the internet for fresh ideas in education, especially when they wander outside traditional classroom learning. This piqued my interest. Whether or not she’s as young as she claims, Samantha’s declared passion for history and statement that textbooks are pretty much the most boring way to learn history made me eager to check out her list of alternative learning ideas. Check out some of Samantha’s list below, in italics.

Books
    Read memoirs/journals, biographies, historical fiction.

Well, yeah! Ask any of our docents. Our Museum archives, Docent Library and local libraries are treasure chests for all of these. And the primary documents are most rewarding!

Media
    Watch documentaries, historical movies, docudramas.
    Listen to podcasts or other historical testimonies.

This made me contemplate how, thanks to technology, the possibilities on Samantha’s list have expanded over the past 30+ years. These options were limited back when I was Samantha’s age.

The next category is my favorite, with several “well, yeah” ideas. Still, some are fresh. And think about how the internet has enhanced these possibilities.

Experience It
    Go to a museum. (Now, there’s an idea!)
    Try to “go back in time” - eat 40s rations, recreate a Victorian-era tea party, host a roaring ‘20s costume party—have fun!
    Listen to music from the time.
    Research and make food from the time.
    Look at advertisements from the time period.
    Look at art/drawings from the time for insight into how people thought/felt at the time.
    Try to find some radio broadcasts from the time.

And don’t discount Samantha’s final list of projects.

Projects
     ୦ Create a timeline for a person, an event or notable events for a certain period.
     ୦ Create an argument for the opposite side that you are on.

Most of us have been out of the classroom for a while, so we likely are not in a position to trash the textbooks. But maybe Samantha’s list will help us think outside the box next time we have some leisure time to explore history.

Here is a link to Samantha’s site.


News from Placer County Historical Society: Carnegie Library Floods, Moldy Books

by Michael Otten, immediate past president



Auburn Public Library, circa 1910
PCM ID#: 1981.68.28

You might call the old Auburn Public Library - 175 Almond St.—the birthplace of the venerable Placer County Historical Society. We have weathered many a storm during our more than a century of existence. But February’s record rain waterlogged the home of the PCHS, the Placer County Historical Foundation and the Placer County Genealogical Society and sent us in search of a permanent, safe place for our historical records, books and equipment.

We have found at least temporary haven at the Placer County Archives at DeWitt thanks to Museums Administrator, Ralph Gibson and Archivist, Bryanna Ryan. They also helped me, Walt, Bonnie and David Wilson, John Knox and PCGS President, Cyndi Davis relocate.

Leaks in Placer County’s first Carnegie Library, now called the Old Library Art Studios, caused widespread flooding and a mold-producing soaking.

The water damaged and destroyed many PCHS books, with the most affected being the popular reprinted editions of the 1861 Placer County Directory and Lardner and Brock’s 1924 “History of Placer and Nevada Counties.” We hope to sell some of the least damaged at our annual dinner meeting April 6.

Special thanks go to artist, Paula Amerine, for alerting us to the situation and the City Public Works crew for mop up and mold control efforts. Artists, Thien Dao and Linda Green appeared to be most adversely affected.

The upper floor of the building housed the city’s first free public library while the first floor was used as Auburn’s City Hall and chambers for the three City Trustees. During the Depression, the police chief used the first floor to find work for the jobless.

The Auburn Library doubled as City Hall from 1909 until 1937 when the seat of local government moved to Central Square. In 2011, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

otten@ssctv.net or call (530) 888-7837


PCHS 2017-19 NOMINATIONS


President: April McDonald-Loomis 1st
Vice President: J.M. “Mike” Holmes
2nd Vice President (programs): Addah Owens
Secretary: Richard Ravalli
Treasurer: Al Stoll
Immediate Past President: Walt Wilson
Board Members (Two-year Terms, 2017-19): Jean Allender, Karen Bleuel, Delana Ruud, John Knox. Nomination Committee: Michael Otten, chair; George Lay, Mike Holmes, Jane Mispley, Delana Ruud,
Officers will be elected at annual membership dinner meeting on April 6, 2017, at 6:30 pm, Veterans memorial Hall, 100 East Street, Auburn, CA. Additional nominations may be made and a vote taken. If a candidate is unopposed, election to that office may be made by voice vote. Should there be more than one nominee for an office then there shall be an election by ballot for that office. Those elected will assume office May 1, the start of the PCHS fiscal year. Placer County Historical Society Dinner Meeting By Addah Owens, Program Chair

When: April 6, 2017
Time:  6:30 Dinner, 7:30 Program
Where: Veterans Hall, 100 East St, Auburn
Cost: $16 per person
Menu: Chicken masala, mashed potatoes, seasoned vegetables, salad and dessert.
Program: Jack Duncan will discuss atomic bomb research during World War II (1939-1945). He formerly served as an Army Air Force navigator in the Western Pacific during WWII. In 1953 he went on to work at Lawrence Livermore Labs and spent the next 28 years associated with work in nuclear explosives “atomic bombs”.

Mail Checks to: PCHS c/o Jane Hamilton, 1871 Crockett Road, Auburn , CA 95603. (530) 885-7839 or hamiltonjane1@me.com

DO NOT BRING ALCOHOL. County directives prohibit it, and, we can't get liability coverage.

Calendar of Events

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Placer County Historical Organizations  

Colfax Area Historical Society
Chris Miller (530) 346-8599
colfaxhistory.org

Donner Summit Historical Society
Bill Oudegeest, (209) 606-6859
donnersummithistoricalsociety.org

Foresthill Divide Historical Society
Sandy Simester, (530) 367-3535
foresthillhistory.org

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
bobd@iname.com lincolnhwy.org

Lincoln Area Archives Museum
Elizabeth Jansen, (916) 645-3800
laamca.org

Joss House Museum and Chinese History Center
Richard Yue, (530) 346-7121

Loomis Basin Historical Society
Karen Clifford, (916) 663-3871
ppgn.com/loomishistorical.html

Roseville Fire Museum
Jim Giblin
JGiblin@roseville.ca.us, rosevillefiremuseum.org

Maidu Museum & Historic Site
Glenie Strome, (916) 782-3299
roseville.ca.us/indianmuseum

Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor #59
Dave Allen, (530) 878-2878
dsallen59@sbcglobal.net

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
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
rocklinhistory.org

Roseville Historical Society
Phoebe Astill, (916) 773-3003
rosevillehistorical.org

North Lake Tahoe Historical Society
Rebecca Phipps, (530) 583-1762
northtahoemuseums.org

Placer County Genealogical Society,
Toni Rosasco, (530) 888-8036
pcgs.pcgenes.com