by Ralph Gibson
The leaves are turning gold and amber, but for the life of me, I don’t know why. Has someone been showing the trees a calendar? As I write this we’ve had our first real crisp morning since last year, yet the trees around the courthouse and the Bernhard Museum look like they are on fire.
Of course, what makes the leaves turn isn’t the temperature, but rather the diminishing light as the days grow shorter with winter’s approach. But it still feels odd to see fall leaves when it’s ninety degrees outside.
I hope cooler, wetter weather comes soon because just a couple of weeks after you read this we’ll be decorating the Bernhard Museum for Victorian Christmas. Christmas lights and eighty degrees don’t mix well. The holiday season will be well represented in our three Auburn Museums with the Bernhard getting the usual 19th century holiday treatment, a big Christmas tree trimmed in the foyer of the courthouse, and the Gold Rush Museum adorned with a few holiday touches, including special panels recounting Christmas Day in 1849 from Gold Rush era journals.
Because Christmas has been celebrated in our area since at least 1848, the holiday has become a part of our history and worthy of interpretation. The Bernhard and Gold Rush Museums will be decorated by November 18th, and the courthouse tree will go up the following Saturday, November 21st. I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
The Michael D. Lininger Collection
by Kasia Woroniecka
Curator of Collections
Another wonderful donation recently became part of our permanent collection. Donated by Dr. Richard Raymond Lininger and his wife, Ana Marie Lininger, the objects belonged to Dr. Lininger’s great grandfather Michael David Lininger, master builder and former mayor of Auburn. The donation includes a large chest of tools, souvenir medals and fraternal ribbons, a Knights Templar uniform and hats, as well as photos and documents that became part of the Archives collection.
Michael David Lininger was born in Cumberland, Pennsylvania, in 1842. A few years later the Liningers moved to Iowa. In 1861 Michael married Anna Moore, and when the Civil War broke out he enlisted in the Union Army 28th Iowa Volunteers as a sergeant. He took part in the battles of Vicksburg, Red River, Shenandoah, Berryville, Winchester, Fisher’s Hill and Cedar Creek.
After receiving an honorable discharge in August 1865, Lininger returned to Iowa. In 1872 he moved his family to Ophir and later to Auburn.
Michael Lininger died in 1931 in Auburn. His obituary described him as a man who was “loved by all who knew him and respected even by those who differed with him on civic enterprises for his honesty in dealing fairly and squarely with every problem which came before him.”
Volunteers Help Fashion a User-Friendly Research Center
by Debbie Poulsen
Curator of Archives
One of our proudest accomplishments this year is adding a new link on the Placer County Archives and Research Center website. The link connects people to a 1200+ page pdf database of Auburn area vital records and articles of note from the Placer Herald, 1863-1915.
During this long-term project, volunteers extracted vital record dates from the newspaper, year by year, onto 3x5” index cards. The information was then merged into the database and linked to our website.
Along with births, marriages, and deaths, the database also includes references to a limited number of articles about business endeavors and other interesting items published in the Placer Herald newspaper.
While online access saves time and money for researchers, it can also whet their appetites for a visit to Placer County to see firsthand where their emigrant ancestors engaged in local industries like gold mining and fruit ranching. Placer County Archives gets requests for information from places as far away as Australia, Alaska, Germany and Wales, and it is not unusual for these people to visit us a few years after their initial inquiries.
Recently, visitors from Texas were so delighted with their archives visit that they gave us big hugs as they left! They had traveled here to review the two large boxes of correspondence and documents members of their family had donated to our Robert Watson Collection. Watson was their grandfather and a prominent constable in Tahoe City in the early 1900s. After requesting information three years ago, the granddaughters decided to plan a trip to visit us and the Tahoe area. The long journey to Placer County, they said, was well worth it!
Our museum software program, called “PastPerfect,” provides access to almost 28,000 digitally scanned images from our collections. In order to view and order on site visitors need to come to our site and use the computer in our Research Room. These images cover many aspects of Placer County’s history, including many photographic images of people and homes. There is a chance we have images of a grandparent that you may not have seen!
Research visitors often say they are very impressed. They usually leave with more material and images than they ever imagined existed. Each year we receive numerous donations of historic letters, books, slides, movies, and images. We are continuously organizing and making it easier for people to find things.
Come visit and see for yourself!
by Beth Rohlfes
In our rush to Christmas, let’s not forget Thanksgiving. We are grateful for the opportunity to enjoy such a lively history here in Placer County. THANK YOU to those who make it come alive!
“God bless us, everyone,” and welcome all to a cozy Victorian Christmas at the courthouse again this year during Old Town Country Christmas. Hot cider and holiday cookies await our guests, along with festive displays of carriages and quilts, holiday music and a golden Christmas tree decked with glittered cards handmade by children in years past.
Kids! Join us at our Victorian Christmas craft table to create your own unique cards and ornaments.
Bring the whole family to the event, Saturdays, December 12 and 19, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Be sure to come for special holiday music performed by the Auburn Concert Band woodwind ensemble, on the 19th at 6:15 p.m.
By Michael Otten
Immediate Past President, PCHSCCHS and National History Day in Rocklin
Be one in a 100. Join a group that comes together to learn from each other while celebrating the remarkable history of our communities.
I’m recruiting museums and history-oriented organizations and individuals to become members of the Conference of California Historical Societies.
After a decade as president of the Placer County Historical Societies I have been elected 2nd Vice President of the Conference (CCHS) as well as Region 8 VP. Of the 40 CCHS Regions, my Sierra Gateway Region has the most counties: Placer, Nevada, Sierra, Sutter and Yuba. I am also temporary VP for Region 7, dubbed the Goldfield Gateway covering Sacramento and Yolo, until a permanent replacement can be found.
At the October Symposium in Redding, CCHS set a goal of 100 new members for 2016. My goal is to have the biggest boost from our area.
The CCHS is a strong supporter of National History Day. This year the California County Coordinators voted to make William Jessup University in Rocklin the permanent home of the state contest. Mark May 6-7, 2016, to attend. This is a special opportunity for students, grades 4 to 12, to be involved in creating projects based on the theme of “exploration, encounter, exchange in history.”
A History Day workshop is set for Nov. 14 at the State Archives. For information go to www.nhdca.org.
To join CCHS please go to www.californiahistorian.com or contact me at email@example.com or 530 888-7837.
…Walt Wilson, Placer County Historical Society president, seeks donated items for the Christmas dinner drawing Dec. 3. Be prepared for historical trivial questions for a chance to win a history book. Check www.placercountyhistoricalsociety.org for a special trivia question.
Christmas Dinner Meeting
By Addah Owens, Vice President
When: December 3
Time: 6:30 Dinner, 7:30 Program
Where: Auburn Veterans Hall, 100 East St, Auburn
Cost: $15 per person
Menu: Roast turkey, roast baron of beef, sweet potatoes, seasonal vegetables, rolls, salad, dessert and coffee.
Program: Western author Chris Enss will discuss the life and career of movie, recording and TV
cowboy Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Evans. The program, titled “Happy Trails,” will cover how the two met, how they overcame the hurdles of show business and marriage, thanks to their steadfast faith. Chris will also have her books on sale before and after the program. Be sure to ask her to sign them!
We will also sell tickets during the evening for our annual “drawing.”
Mail Check to: PCHS c/o Betty Samson, 8780 Baxter Grade Rd, Auburn, CA 95603
DO NOT BRING ALCOHOL. County directives prohibit it, and, we can't get liability coverage.
The Exhibit Preparator's Collection
by Jason Adair
I’ve taken the liberty to place If You’re a Robot And You Know It at the top of your children’s/grandchildren’s Christmas list. I’m not totally clairvoyant, but I’m pretty sure if they’re between the ages of 3-6 they are going to love this pop-up book I helped write and did the music for. Scholastic put it out last month and you can buy it TODAY on Amazon.com.
Also, have a Merry Christmas or whatever winter holiday you choose to celebrate with your family and friends!
Click on calendar to enlarge
Placer County Historical Organizations
Colfax Area Historical Society,
Chris Miller (530) 346-8599
Donner Summit Historical Society
Bill Oudegeest, (209) 606-6859
Foresthill Divide Historical Society
Sandy Simester, (530) 367-3535
Fruitvale School Hall Community Association
Lyndell Grey, (916) 645-3517
Historical Advisory Board
Glenn Vineyard, (916) 747-1961
Old Town Auburn Preservation Society
Lynn Carpenter, (530) 885-1252
Lincoln Highway Association
Bob Dieterich, firstname.lastname@example.org
Lincoln Area Archives Museum
Elizabeth Jansen , (916) 645-3800
Joss House Museum and Chinese History Center
Richard Yue, (530) 346-7121
Loomis Basin Historical Society
Karen Clifford, (916) 663-3871
Roseville Fire Museum
Jim Giblin, JGiblin@roseville.ca.us
Maidu Museum & Historic Site
Glenie Strome, (916) 782-3299
Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor #59
Dave Allen, (530) 878-2878
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
Placer County Museums Docent Guild
Tom Innes, (530) 888-8969
Rocklin Historical Society
Barbara Chapman, (916) 415-0153
Roseville Historical Society
Phoebe Astill, (916) 773-3003
North Lake Tahoe Historical Society
Rebecca Phipps, (530) 583-1762
Placer County Genealogical Society,
Toni Rosasco, (530) 888-8036