Tuesday, August 28, 2018

September - October

Administrator’s Notes 

by Ralph Gibson, Museums Administrator

With the grand opening of the Gold Rush Museum on August 17th and the DeWitt History Museum on February 27th earlier this year, we have completed two huge projects. It was four years ago in 2014 that we learned we would be moving the Gold Country Museum to the Depot and we would be getting a new museum to interpret the history of the DeWitt campus. We essentially took on two capital projects at once with a small staff and relatively small budget. We confronted and overcame obstacles on each front. We endured staff changes and worked around events and programs. In the end, we opened two new museums in the same year! Technically, the Gold Rush Museum celebration was a “re-opening,” but the Gold Rush Museum contains only a few whispers of the museum that languished in the Gold Country Fairgrounds. It truly is a new museum and one that will gain in popularity as word of the opening spreads. Thank you so much to our staff, our Volunteers, the Placer County Museums Docent Guild, the Placer County Historical Society and the Native Sons of the Golden West. We couldn’t have done it without all of you. If you haven’t already, please come by and check out our new museums. They are your museums after all.

Coming up are two Community Education programs. The first is Bill George’s presentation of his film “Beyond a Miracle, Creating California’s Agricultural Empire” on September 15th at 1:00 pm at the Bernhard Winery. The second is the Old Auburn Cemetery Tour at 1:30 pm on October 7th. Look for more details in this newsletter.

Collection Strategy

by Kasia Woroniecka, Curator of Collections

Smoking was popular during the Victorian period, and for many men smoking cigars was a social rite which often involved the wearing of special clothing like a smoking jacket, slippers and even a smoking cap.

Cigars were often sold in bundles wrapped by a silk ribbon with the brand name printed on it. These ribbons were collected and even traded with others to obtain a specific collection and to create various objects like quilts, pillows and tablecloths. These narrow ribbons, which are about ¾ inches wide, were stitched on muslin backing, often with fancy stitching and creative patterns. This small unfinished cigar silk quilt was recently donated to our collection.

Creating these quilts required hundreds of ribbons, so understandably it would have taken a long time and a lot of cigars to create a large quilt. Cigar smoking enjoyed consistent support at the time when cigarettes were still rare. By mid-19th century Americans consumed some 300 million cigars annually; by the end of the century that number surpassed 4 billion. Mark Twin declared that "If I cannot smoke in heaven, then I shall not go."

Since many women discouraged their husbands from smoking tobacco, tobacco companies created clever marketing campaigns that included packaging with silk and felt pieces printed with popular actresses, birds, butterflies, flags and other designs that would appeal to women collectors. Companies encouraged the collecting of ribbons and some even offered ribbons for sale to aid in quilting projects.

Victorian etiquette books agreed that smoking is not a desirable habit, yet it provided quilters with the medium to create something that was necessary in their household. The hallmark of the Victorian Era was change, and even quilters were eager to try something new.

What is this?

Sometimes objects in our collection are a little mysterious. They are mysterious because we don’t know how old they are, who made them or what is their purpose. This object, donated to our collection in 1954, is such an object. It stands on a brass base with two arms and three firmly attached pronged elements, which are not removable.

If you know what this is please e-mail the Curator of Collections Kasia Woroniecka at kworonie@placer.ca.gov.

From the Archives: Boo!

by Bryanna Ryan, Curator of Archives

For those of you who love the eerie, spooky, and haunted side of history, the Old Town Auburn Ghost Tour is back!

Tours will be held at 6pm on Saturday, October 27th; Tuesday, October 30th; and Saturday, November 3rd. This hugely popular event sells out quickly, so I encourage you to get tickets while they last.

In the vicinity of Old Town Auburn is where the killer Adolph Webber made his fateful journeys. Here, there were murders, hangings, and even the town’s original burying ground. The Ghost Tours feature re-enactors and storytellers who will bring this spirited history to life.

If this does not satisfy your thirst for the morbid and macabre, visit the Gold Rush Museum where you can see an authentic noose that was used to carry out capital punishment at the hands of the law.

The Hunt is On! 

by Katy Bartosh, Curator of Education

The Grand Opening for the Gold Rush Museum has passed, and while the exhibits may be completed, it’s time to implement some fun activities. If you’ve been to the Courthouse in the past few months, you may have seen the stand in the lobby with Scavenger Hunts. They may seem simple, but they are a quick and easy tool that can engage visitors from 5 to 55 with your collection.

Now the Gold Rush Museum was lucky to have an Exhibit Technician who could build interactives straight into the Museum itself. But if you don’t have a gold panning stream or a stamp mill, a scavenger hunt may be just the right way to highlight particular objects or broad themes within the museum.

We’ve all seen a visitor walk through a gallery a bit glassy eyed. They’re looking, but not seeing, and having them search for specific artifacts can help them focus. Combine photos and object captions from a few artifacts throughout the gallery on a word document and you’re done. Want something more complicated? You can pick different themes that apply to the time of year, your exhibit, etc. Adding puzzles within the hunt is a good way to entertain children, or create more in-depth activities for events.

Their versatility, and how easy you can change them and print them, also make them a great tool for groups. For example, if a school group is coming to visit with a focus on natural resources, take the template and change all the objects to fit their focus. It works well within the Museum, but can extend to the classroom, special interest groups, holidays, and special exhibitions.

Have fun with it! I certainly do.

They’re Dying to See You  


Murdered and murderers, heartbroken family and lovers, sheriffs and feisty attorneys. All will rise from their graves at the Old Auburn Cemetery on Sunday, October 7, to haunt you with their dramatic stories of Murder and Mayhem in the early days of Auburn’s history.

Sponsored by the Placer County Museums and the Museums’ Docent Guild, this year’s Cemetery Tour will provide visitors with maps to self-guide to 14 gravesites with as many ghostly reenactments.

Located at 170 Fulweiler Avenue, the cemetery will open the tour to the public at 1:30 p.m. and finish at 3:30. Parking will be provided in the County facilities across Fulweiler Avenue from the cemetery. This event is free; no tickets are required.

News from Placer County Historical Society

by April McDonald-Loomis, President


Greetings!

The big news from the Society is the Grand Opening of the Gold Rush Museum this past August 17th. It was pretty hot for the event, but the sterling museum staff were prepared with canopy tents complete with misters, ice cold waters and even cold watermelon. A very nice crowd attended. If you weren’t able to make it, do try to stop by very soon. The museum is outstanding, and the two murals that the Society helped fund are the show pieces! It is amazing the depth and context these murals add to the historical artifacts displays.

Take a look at our website - placercountyhistoricalsociety.org - for some new material. “Friends of Gene Markley,” a group of dedicated folks, have spent an incredible amount of time scanning articles from Gene’s library. There are also some terrific items from vintage Mining and Scientific Press publications that Thomas Birch scanned and are great sources of information. Thanks to Thomas for spending hours and hours to complete this project for us all to be able to access. Thanks are also in store for Jon Brommeland, our webmaster. He keeps us up to date and spends a lot of time ensuring that our website is full of great stuff.

Our next general dinner meeting will be on October 4th. Check the website for details. If you ever have any ideas about speakers you would like to see at our meetings, please contact me or Addah Owens our Vice President and Program Chair. We are always on the lookout for interesting speakers with topics concerning our local history.

Auburn Historic Home Tour 


Sunday, November 4, 2018

10 AM to 4 PM

Here is your chance to see seven local historic homes, some of which have never been open to the public before.

Dr. Snypp’s Queen Ann has been meticulously restored to the late 1800’s and is filled with period antiques.

Attorney Fred Tuttle’s Eastlake home, built in 1890, has been updated inside while keeping the exterior original.

Placer High School Coach Earl Crabbe’s home is a Greene and Greene Craftsman Bungalow built in 1908.

The Trent home, built about 1890, has been extensively remodeled. The property has four rental cottages and a studio apartment in the rear.

Businessman J. M. Francis’ home with Eastlake elements was built about 1898. While some remodeling has been done, it still has the original look.

Superintendent of Schools Irene Burns’ home was built in 1895. The home has been restored and furnished with vintage antiques. This house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Druggist Edward Snowden’s home, built in 1867.

Tickets are $25.00. Proceeds will benefit the State Theater Performing Arts.

They will go on sale September 25th online at www.livefromauburn.com or in person at Eisley Nursery, Wildflower or Lyon Real Estate

 

Placer County Historical Society Dinner Meeting

by Addah Owens, Vice President

When: October 4
Time: 6:30 Dinner, 7:30 Program
Where: Veterans Memorial Hall, 100 East Street, Auburn
Cost: $16 per person
Menu: Chicken Marsala, mashed potatoes, seasoned vegetables, salad and dessert
Program: Game Changers: Twelve Elections that Transformed California is a thoroughly researched, non-partisan book that dissects how ordinary Californians have sent powerful messages to Sacramento that reverberated under the Capitol dome and beyond. It puts momentous elections in context and analyzes their future impacts on Californians and the state’s political institutions. Co-authors Steve and Susie Swatt will present their findings for the book, which offers thought-provoking interpretation rooted in decades of experience in journalism, public policy analysis, and political consulting at the state Capitol. Steve Swatt is a Sacramento-based political analyst who spent 23 years at KCRA-TV as its political and public policy reporter. Susie Swatt is a member of the National Advisory Council at UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies.

DO NOT BRING ALCOHOL.

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

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
Sarah Fugate (530) 389-2121

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
Fran Hanson (530) 878-6990

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 

Monday, July 2, 2018

July-August 2018

Administrator’s Notes

by Ralph Gibson, Museums


The Heritage Trail continues through Labor Day weekend with 15 more museums and a Donner Summit History Hike. Visit our website at www.placer.ca.gov/heritagetrail or give us a call (530-889-6500) for the full schedule and more information. If you have kids or grandkids, a Student Scavenger Hunt is part of this year’s event and if they complete their adventure they will be entered into a drawing for great prizes including a Samsung Galaxy 8 tablet and a Kindle Fire tablet. Open to everyone is our drawing for three great gift baskets. All you have to do is pick up a blue Get-Up-And-Go card at one of our participating museums and get it stamped at eight museums to enter the drawing. Your summer adventure, and perhaps a summer prize, awaits!


On August 17th from 4 to 6pm we will have the grand opening of our Gold Rush Museum! You are all invited to attend as we unveil what is truly a new museum. In 2014 we closed our Gold Country Museum in the Gold Country Fairgrounds and relocated to the Auburn Depot at 601 Lincoln Way. We changed the name to the Gold Rush Museum but, honestly, we changed a lot more than that. There are certainly hints of the museum from the fairgrounds, but there is a lot that is new. Like the old museum, we have an indoor panning stream and a mining tunnel, but both are much different and more dynamic. We tackled topics that were ignored in the old museum and added a new twist that will appeal to a new audience. We are proud of our latest museum and we hope to see you on August 17th as we celebrate the grand opening.

Collection Strategy

by Kasia Woroniecka, Curator of Collections


Gold Rush Medicine

Fleam C. 1850-1870
Scientific developments in the 19th century had a major impact on understanding health and disease. Yet medicines of the 1850s did not produce desired results and were often toxic and addictive. Anyone working in the goldfields during the Gold Rush was at risk of serious disease. Many died from treatments that consisted of the use of mercury, opium, arsenic, cocaine, heroin, purging and bleeding.

Olive Tar C. 1850
One of the objects in our collection that was commonly found in a surgeon’s medical kit in the 19th century is a bloodletting tool called a fleam. We know today that bloodletting is not effective for most diseases, yet at the time when antibiotics and antiseptics were not yet discovered bloodletting was used to treat most ailments, including pneumonia and gangrene. The u-shaped blade of the fleam is spring-loaded and activated by the trigger above it. Bloodletting killed more people than it cured, and use of the practice gradually diminished to a few select medical conditions.

The lack of sanitation and medical assistance, as well as a poor diet, meant that even a common cold could develop into a serious, and possibly lethal, illness.

Compound of Manzanita C. 1854
Dysentery, rheumatism, scurvy and infections from injury were common. One of the tinctures sold locally to battle some of these symptoms was the McDonald and Levy’s Compound of Manzanita. Produced by Richard McDonald, who opened a drug store on J Street in Sacramento in 1849, the medicine was distributed by his partner, Mr. Levy, who traveled to remote mining camps selling medical supplies. The drug contained in this interesting bottle had mildly astringent, diuretic and anti-diarrheal properties. The bottles were cast and blown in the eastern United States and would take several months to deliver to Sacramento.

One of the medicines that claimed to cure multiple ailments including bronchitis, colds, sore throat, consumption and bleeding of the lungs was J. R. Stafford’s Olive Tar. It was first sold in the 1850s and the medicine could be ingested or applied topically. According to one testimonial used in an 1855 advertisement, J. R. Stafford’s Olive Tar was also a successful remedy for the sore backs of horses.

Nineteenth century medicines often offered hope but not much more. They presented a solution to those who had no access or could not afford a visit to a doctor. The fact that many spurious cure-alls are still being bottled and pressed into pills today serves as a reminder that our journey to understand and treat illness is far from over.

 

From the Archives: July 4th Tugs-of-War

by Bryanna Ryan, Curator of Archives

 


In honor of Independence Day, here are a few items we would like to share from the archives. Tug-of-War competitions were extremely popular events and a staple of July 4th celebrations throughout Placer County. Teams could be  made up from many different groupings. Some popular parings  were married versus unmarried men, railroad men versus local “strong men” or simply according to whatever community the participants called home. Pulls could last over an hour and drew large crowds. There was usually a small pot of money involved, but bragging rights were the ultimate goal. How will you spend your July 4th?

















 Those Old Carpets are History

by Katy Bartosh, Curator of Education


Have you ever had to move a fragile Victorian tableau of taxidermied birds? Or a nineteenth-century fainting couch?  These items just got checked off our museum worker’s bucket lists last month with our flooring renovation at the Bernhard.

For over twenty years, the Bernhard Museum carpet has been trod upon by tens of thousands of visitors. All of them walking in and out, rain or shine. This foot traffic has done a number on the carpet, which Placer County Custodial has valiantly tried to maintain. However, there is only so much you can do in the face of dirt, dust, and mud, and this summer the carpeting at the Bernhard was replaced.

Kasia Woroniecka, our Curator of Collections, began moving artifacts in late May. Things really began to pick up on Saturday, June 2nd when the museum officially closed to visitors. The curtains came down, artifacts made their way up stairs or out to the winery, and the movers came Monday. By Wednesday, the carpet installation was done, and it was time to move everything back and start cleaning and redecorating!

This was a real team effort! And hopefully, the increased stain resistance and durability of the new carpet, will make it well worth the whirlwind effort.

Special thanks to Fran Hanson and Daphne Lake for washing the Bernhard Museum drapes. With thousands of visitors and Living History students they collect a lot of dust, so this job is very important. The museum looks and smells great! But don’t take our word for it, come see for yourself!


News from Placer County Historical Society

by April McDonald-Loomis, President       

April400@wavecable.com    (530) 823-2128

The Society was pleased to present a plaque to the Gold Rush Museum at the Heritage Trail event on June 16th. The plaque was to commemorate the legacy of May Perry. She was so very influential in forming the basis of our museum system as it exists today. She fought tooth and nail to turn the little exhibit set up for the Sesquicentennial  into a full-time museum. We have some of her letters to the Board of Supervisors, and she was not a little lady writing polite notes. She demanded action and most often was very successful. I am sure some of those supervisors trembled when they received her letters! A special thank you to Archives Volunteer Patt Gray for getting the process started. She was working on some of May’s letters and scrapbooks and became fascinated by this very charismatic woman. It was Patt who first suggested that May deserved some kind of recognition. Thanks also go to Karri Samson, our long time Landmarks Committee Chairperson, for following through and getting the plaque made.

The Society gets quite a few newsletters from other societies, and one of the best just recently received was from the Donner Summit Historical Society. Over the week end of September 15-16th they are hosting their annual Donner Party Hikes. If you are interested in this part of Placer County history, this might be the perfect event for you. As well as several walking tours, some focusing on the Donner sites, one on Roller Pass, one on railroad tunnels and snow sheds. Hey even offer a driving tour. Check out their packed schedule at donnerpartyhike.com

Speaking of Heritage Trail, the Benton Welty Classroom was lucky enough to have Christie Brzyscz and Sandy Rogers back to do the quill and ink penmanship activity. There was a good turnout of families that came to visit the historic classroom. Thanks always go to Jean Allender for being the go-to person for the classroom and to the other Society members who volunteered their time.

We will not have another Dinner Meeting until October 4th. The speaker has yet to be booked but we will certainly let you all know before October.

Hope you all have a wonderful summer!

Remember, it’s not too late to pay your annual dues!

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
Sarah Fugate (530) 389-2121

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

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

May - June 2018

Administrator’s Notes

by Ralph Gibson


We are getting ready to kick off the 11th Annual Heritage Trail! This year, 22 museums from www.placer.ca.gov/heritagetrail.
Roseville to Tahoe will open their doors, admission free, on special Saturdays throughout the summer. The event kicks off on June 16th at the Benton Welty School Room, the Bernhard Museum and the Gold Rush Museum. For the full summer schedule, please visit

A new twist we’ve added this year is that we’ve opened up the event to border museums, those that are outside of Placer County but close to the border. This year the Wheatland History Museum, which is located on the Bear River just outside of Placer County, will be part of the Heritage Trail alongside the Lincoln Area Archives Museum on July 21st.

A new focus this year is the heritage of our early highways: The Lincoln Highway and Historic Highway 40. Along with the Trail Guide, you’ll receive a free Highway 40 Driving Guide that also highlights many of the museums on this year’s Heritage Trail. Some of the participating museums will have speakers and special interpretation on the early highways. So saddle up your horse, hitch your wagon or start your engine and join us on this year’s Heritage Trail!

Collection Strategy

by Kasia Woroniecka, Curator of Collections 


The history of the family album dates back to the origins of photography itself. The flatness of photos and the desire to preserve and share them gave way to the creation of albums that were often produced with ornate leather covers, brass clasps and locks, gilt edgings and other decorations. They became prized possessions, intended to be handed down through the family over many generations.

Before photography the only way to preserve one’s likeness was to have a portrait painted by an artist, which was expensive. By the mid-1800’s, scientists and photographers were experimenting with new and more efficient ways to take and process photographs. Emulsion plates, which replaced the daguerreotypes, were less expensive and took only two seconds of exposure time. This made them very popular with portrait photography, especially since early daguerreotypes had to be exposed to light for at least 15 minutes.

In the 1870s, the invention of dry plates allowed photographers to store images and develop them later. Cameras became smaller and the exposure time decreased. By the late nineteenth century photography was no longer just for the professionals and the wealthy. The improvements in technology and processing as well as inexpensive cameras made by Kodak made photography a favorite pastime.

Today, the ornate photo album has given way to the self-published photobook or the digital album. People still desire the physical object that can be held and shown to others, but the convenience of a computer program that organizes images is difficult to give up. Hopefully, the photo album will survive in one form or another.

The popularity of collecting photographs brought with it much innovation and creativity in the area of book binding. Many producers of albums were determined at outdoing each other in the extravagance of materials and decorations. The album was more than a book of photographs – it became an object d’art.

This album’s red velvet cover features a mirror in the shape of a heart, as well as a beautiful metal edging and a clasp. According to the donor the photos might be of the Macy family.
Circa 1890-1900.

This small album with an embossed cover and a brass clasp is a
carte-de-viste album. These small albumen prints were mounted on cards 2.5 “x 4” and were very popular as their size made them relatively inexpensive. The format was an international standard, and fit photo albums all over the world. This album dates to 1870s.

The wooden cover of this photo album contains an intricately made metal decoration of leaves and flowers. The album contains photographs of the Dependener family. Frank “Big Dip” Dependener was one of Auburn’s most colorful lawmen, but his photo is not in this album.

This photo album with a stand was made around 1870. It has a celluloid medallion on the front cover that depicts a scroll with birds and berries on a green velvet
background.


This photo album is a feast for the senses. Orange velvet, or what remains of it, covers the spine and the edges of the back board that rest on a beautifully embossed platform. The cover, made of celluloid, depicts two cherubs in a chariot driven by three butterflies. The last page presents a surprise: an insert with a Swiss made music box movement that plays two songs: “Alice, Where Art Thou” and “She May Have Seen Better Days.” According to the donor of the album, which contains no photographs, it was purchased around 1895.

From the Archives:

by Bryanna Ryan, Curator of Archives 


Connecting the Dots 

Archives hold the primary sources and records that document history as it unfolds. It is through the study of these materials that researchers can illuminate a forgotten past or help foster a broader understanding of historic events. The more widely accessible they become, the greater the opportunity is for scholars to connect-the-dots. In today’s internet age, this means getting them digitized and online.

While that is the future of this facility, researchers today must still do the work of calling, emailing, and even making appointments to come in and see the original documents themselves.

Recently, a researcher from Oregon contacted us to learn if we had any records of Jean Baptiste Charbonneau in Placer County. As the son of Sacagawea, Charbonneau is a historic figure. As a baby, he traveled on the Lewis and Clark Expedition and spent his adult years as a trapper, explorer and scout in the American West.

Famed mountaineer, Jim Beckwourth wrote about visiting Charbonneau at Murder’s Bar in 1849.
However, he does not appear in the 1850 or 1852 Federal Census. For such a monumental figure, this period of his life until his death in 1866 remains largely unknown to most scholars. Discoveries in our Archives have revealed glimpses of Charbonneau’s life via official business records for the County of Placer.

In 1852, J.B. Charbonneau was paid $48 by the Placer County Board of Supervisors for services as assistant surveyor. In 1857, he wrote a petition to the Board to operate a ferry across the American River at Manhattan Bar and posted his notice in the Placer Herald newspaper in July.

He finally appears in the 1860 census and by 1861 John B. Charbonneau (now 56-years-old) is listed in the Placer County Directory as a Clerk at the Orleans Hotel in Auburn. In 1866 he died en route to new adventures in Oregon, leaving behind his life in Placer County and the original documents that help piece it together for today’s researchers.

This is just one example of some of the little-known parts of history that exist in this archive and we hope to make accessible online to researchers around the world. In the meantime, our card catalog awaits you!

By the way, in related news, the Placer Herald and Auburn Journal are now searchable online! Unfortunately, this newspaper site is not free, but we have a subscription and are happy to help researchers, using this new and amazing tool we have at our disposal.

News from Placer County Historical Society

by April McDonald-Loomis, President


April400@wavecable.com (530) 823-2128

At the April dinner meeting we held the election for the Society Board of Directors. For the coming year the Board will consist of:

President: April McDonald -Loomis

1st Vice President: Mike Holmes

2nd Vice President & Programs: Addah Owens

Secretary: Richard Ravalli

Treasurer: Al Stoll

Membership Chair: Jane Hamilton

Board Members: John Knox, Sherri Schackner, Carmel Barry-Schweyer, Karri Samson, Karen Bleuel, Jean Allender, Delana Ruud and immediate past president, Walt Wilson.

Also at the dinner meeting, the Board presented a draft copy of the by-laws changes to the membership. We will vote on them at the next board meeting in June. If you need a copy, please contact me.

This is the time of year that dues need to be collected. You can send your check for the individual membership for $10.00, the family membership for $15.00 or the lifetime membership for $200.00 to:

Placer County Historical Society
P. O. Box 5643
Auburn, California 95604

Heritage Trail is set for June 16th at the Benton Welty Historic Classroom at City Hall. As always, we will need volunteers to help out. Christie Brzyscz has again volunteered to be in charge of the ink pen handwriting activity that the children so enjoyed last year. Jean Allender will again put together a great gift basket for the drawing. Please let me know if you can come for a couple of hours and help monitor the activities.

The next Board meeting will be May 3rd at 2:00 in room #10 at City Hall.

The next Dinner meeting will be June 7th at 6:30 at the Veteran’s Hall.

April McDonald-Loomis
President

Rusty Wranglers from the Historical Society at the AAUW Trivia Bee. Michael Otten, April McDonald-Loomis and Walt Wilson. We came in the top 10.

Placer County Historical Society Dinner Meeting

by Addah Owens, Vice President


When: June 7th, 2018

Time:  6:30 Dinner, 7:30 Program

Where: Veterans Memorial Hall, 100 East Street, Auburn

Cost: $16 per person

Menu: BBQ Tri-ip and Chicken, BBQ Beans, Salad, and Strawberry Shortcake. Catered by Lisa Bloom, A Window Opened

Program: The program will be presented by Brendan Compton. Brendan has been making documentary films for twenty-five years. His company is BA Productions. He recently presented to the Society the informative and enjoyable program on the use of rotary plows in the Sierra. This program will be a short film interviewing Nancy Longnecker, a resident of Blue Canyon since 1936. She has wonderful tales of growing up in that isolated community in the foothills. Her family includes engineers who drove the Donner Summit route for many years. This promises to be an in-depth look at one of Placer County’s unique citizens.

DO NOT BRING ALCOHOL.

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

 

Calendar of Events


May                    June                  

Click on the calendar 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
Sarah Fugate (530) 389-2121

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

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

March - April 2018

Administrator’s Notes

by Ralph Gibson


We now live in a world where the County of Placer manages seven museums. On Tuesday, February 27th, we had the grand opening for our new DeWitt History Museum. The event was attended by over 200 people including Supervisors Jim Holmes and Jennifer Montgomery, the new CEO Todd Leopold and former Museums Administrator, Melanie Barton. As a staff, we enjoyed working on this project but are glad to have it behind us so we can refocus our efforts on completing another monumental task: the Gold Rush Museum. So, back to work!


 

  
 

Collection Strategy

by Kasia Woroniecka, Curator of Collections

Armand Marseille Doll

This beautiful doll needs your help. She was recently donated to our collection and will eventually be on display at the Bernhard Museum. She came to us in her “unmentionables”, and as a proper Victorian lady she needs a wardrobe reflecting the time period in which she was created: 1895-1910. She needs at least two outfits that can be rotated when other textiles at the museum are installed. Since dolls were dressed as dolls are today, in costumes reflecting current fashion, she needs dresses of the late Victorian period, in either junior or adult style, made of variety of fabrics, including linen, cotton, wool, silk, velvet, lace, lawn, or sateen.

Our doll was made by a German doll maker Armand Marseille in the period of the late19th and early 20th century that was often called the “Golden Age” of dolls. During this time Germany was the doll making capital supplying 80 percent of the world production of dolls. The company specialized in making dolls heads and at their height it produced over 1,000 doll head a day. The composition and the stuffed leather bodies were supplied by other manufacturers and added to the Marseille head molds.

The French name of the founder of the company, Armand Marseille, has caused some confusion in the world of antique toys. Marseille was born in 1856 in St. Petersburg, Russia. His father was an architect to the court of Tsar Alexander II. The family moved to Germany in the 1860s. In 1884, the 19 years old Marseille purchased his first in a series of toy and porcelain factories that he merged into his own company, the Armand Marseille Porzellanfabrik. Marseille’s only son, Armand J., also known as Herman, took over the business in 1918, and the company continued production until the 1930s.

Armand Marseille made a large variety of baby dolls, dolly-faced child dolls and character dolls. Brand names include Floradora, Queen Louise, Darling Dolly, the Dream Baby and Just Me. Armand Marseille dolls are generally very clearly marked on the back of the bisque head. Mold 390, the mold of our doll, was the most commonly made.

Some of the most popular women’s magazines of the Victorian period, like the The Delineator, offered detailed doll clothes patters to make an extensive doll’s wardrobe. Hopefully one day our doll will make her debut in the fashion of her time. If any of or our talented readers are interested in this sewing project, please contact the Curator of Collections Kasia Woroniecka at kworonie@placer.ca.gov for more information.

From the Archives: Spanish Flat 

by Bryanna Ryan, Curator of Archives


One of the most iconic images of the California Gold Rush is a daguerreotype taken at Spanish Flat in 1852. The early life of this village was brief but prosperous. Year-round water arrived via the Bear River and Auburn Canal Company in 1852.

By 1861, the diggings were “worked out” and water had helped transform the area into a fertile garden spot primarily owned by horticulturalist, James Collins.

Researchers studying the Flat over the years have become acquainted with some of the more well-documented aspects of its history.

Recently, diligent research efforts by Archives volunteer, John Knox, breathes new life into the story of Spanish Flat and reveals a better understanding of the location and existence of this historic place.

Using books of Land Claims and Deeds, John’s research locates the village upon the Flat as nestled at the intersection of today’s Nevada Street and Mount Vernon Road. At the time, these were the main wagon roads leading from Auburn to Nevada City and Marysville, respectively.

An 1853 Deed shows the sale of “that certain house located on Spanish Flat…being the third house on the left side of the road going from Auburn to Grass Valley.”

1852 Records of Retailing Licenses show nine merchant establishments serving liquor, and the Placer Herald records great detail of events upon the Flat. Using Assessment Rolls and Court Case Files, research continues to reveal a more complete picture of this historic location.

One of the exciting aspects of studying history is knowing that new sources can reveal such a wealth of information. They can change perceptions, expose myths, and illuminate forgotten stories. It is never too late to add a new chapter to an old story.

The Scoop 

by Beth Rohlfes, Supervising Curator 


Don’t miss the Placer County Museums’ FREE Community Education events this spring! Seating is limited, so please let us know if you plan to attend. 530-889-6500 or brohlfes@placer.ca.gov.

March 17 

The “Good Old Days” of Leeches and Arsenic, by Dr. Bob LaPerriere

1:00 p.m. at the Gold Rush Museum, 601 Lincoln Way, Auburn

When a miner’s gold fever turned into a real fever or worse, they could sometimes expect the cure to be as bad - or worse - than the illness. Come find out what kind of treatments miners could expect from a doctor’s visit. People during the Gold Rush era trusted the experts, even though “Many of the doctors were really not doctors” according to LaPerriere. He will share first-hand accounts of the devastation of disease that plagued early travelers to California and their treatments.

April 14

The Japantowns of Placer County, by David Unruhe 

1:00 p.m. at the Bernhard Museum Winery, 291 Auburn-Folsom Road, Auburn

“It would surprise many in California to learn that there was once an active Japantown in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.” The Japantowns of Placer County

Join David Unruh, as he shares oral histories, artifacts and photographs of local communities and existing historic buildings to help visualize the once thriving Japanese communities that have enriched Placer County’s cultural and economic history.

News from Placer County Historical Society

by April McDonald-Loomis, President  April400@wavecable.com (530) 823-2128


Happy Spring!

It’s the time of year for the Society to elect officers for the coming terms. Carmel Barry-Schweyer, the former curator at the Placer County Archives, has agreed to step in and fill in the position recently vacated by Melanie Barton. We all extend our best wishes to Melanie who is facing some medical issues.

We now have a Facebook page. If you belong to Facebook just search for Placer County Historical Society. It is interesting to see that this platform is attracting some folks who are eager to learn about what we do.

The Society is trying to come up with an idea to tie into the One Book, One Community event in late April. The book this year is about the Donner Party. If anyone has any thoughts, please contact a board member. We are looking for volunteers to help with Heritage Trail at the Benton Welty Classroom on June 16th. Please contact a board member if you are willing to lend a hand.

Members of your board will be participating in the annual AAUW Trivia Night on March 24th at the State Theater, wish us luck! Make plans to attend this great fund raiser. Our Treasurer, Al Stoll, has just finished revamping and updating our By-Laws. Most of the changes are clerical in nature and just streamline some antiquated language. Copies for your review will be available at the next General Meeting on April 5th, we will then vote on the acceptance at the June 7th meeting.

Here is the slate of candidates for the Board for the coming term:

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, 2018-2020): Sherri Schackner, Karri Samson, Carmel Barry-Schweyer

Board members (Two-Year Terms, 2017-2019): Jean Allender, Karen Bleuel, Delana Ruud, John Knox

Nomination Committee: Walt Wilson, Michael Otten, George Lay, Mike Holmes, Jane Mispley, Delana Ruud.

Officers will be elected at the dinner meeting on April 5th 2018 at 6:30 pm, Veteran’s Memorial Hall, 100 East St. Auburn. 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 1st.

Education isn’t all in the Textbook

by Katy Bartosh, Curator of Education


February saw the end of the Gold Rush Program and the beginning of Bernhard Living History. While I’ve worked with students before, these programs have reminded me that no student interaction is the same, and how that’s one of the best parts of the job.

Two things have stood out in the last few weeks. First, children are wonderfully creative, and second, it’s very rewarding to teach a child to hammer a nail.

During the Gold Rush Program each student receives the biography of a historic person from Placer County. During the conclusion the students tell us what they’ve learned about their person. One girl got Mrs. Elizabeth Kittler. At a point in her narrative, our fourth grader assumed the persona of Mrs. Kittler, (recently widowed, raising six babes on her own) and her friends joined in, consoling her, and generally putting on a grand show with the grieving widow. The docents are still talking about it.

During Living History, getting in to character is easier with everyone in Victorian attire. However, that doesn’t always make doing 19th century chores any easier. Butter churning and wheat grinding aren’t usually familiar to kids, but they pick them up quickly. Assembling fruit crates with a hammer and nails can be a bit trickier. One boy wanted nothing to do with his hammer and nail. I put in his first two nails then started the next two and got him to finish them. The next ones he started and finished with me just holding the box, after which he told me that he could do it alone.

It might not seem like a big thing, getting a kid comfortable hammering a nail, but is that what are they’re really learning? Sure, but you’re also helping grow their self-confidence.

Getting positive feedback from teachers is great. But when students act out a part or learn a new skill it feels truly rewarding. It’s then that I know we aren’t only meeting content standards, but that we’re giving kids room to explore and grow.

Placer County Historical Society Dinner Meeting

by Addah Owens, Vice President 


When: April 5, 2018

Time:  6:30. Dinner, 7:30 Program

Where: Veterans Memorial Hall, 100 East St, Auburn

Cost: $16 per person

Menu: Glazed Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, Roasted Vegetables, Salad, and Dessert

Program: An overview of the newly published Arcadia Book “Railroads of Placer County” by Author’s Art Sommers & Roger Staab. This book includes 14 different railroads that have operated in or through Placer County since 1861. Co-author Roger Staab will describe how the book evolved, highlight the railroads included in the book, and show a sample of the 200 photos and maps that help tell the stories of these railroad lines. Copies of the book will be available for sale after the presentation.

DO NOT BRING ALCOHOL. 

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

 

 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
Sarah Fugate, (530) 389-2121

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