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
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
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.
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.
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
It is made of wool crepe
with a skirt that covers
the pantaloons underneath.
Placer County Museums Collection
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!
By Beth Rohlfes, Supervising Curator
Stories from Heritage Trail Opening Day
Old-fashioned toy station with docent, Bev Jones
Mrs. Bernhard and guests
(Docent, Fran Hanson)
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
“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
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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) 823-2128
Placer County Museums Docent Guild
Tom Innes, (530) 888-8969
Rocklin Historical Society
Hank Lohse, President (916) 624-3464
Roseville Historical Society
Christina Richter, (916) 773-3003
North Lake Tahoe Historical Society
Marnie Carr, (530) 583-1762
Placer County Genealogical Society,
Toni Rosasco, (530) 888-8036