Sac History Happenings

News and developments in Sacramento and California history

August 6, 2013
Heritage Trail showcases Placer County museums

Mother Lode Goldhound.jpgNineteen Placer County museums from Roseville to Tahoe City will strut their stuff during this weekend's 2013 Heritage Trail tour.

The museums are grouped in three "clusters," each close to Interstate 80: Five Valley Museums in South Placer; six Auburn Museums; and seven Mountain Museums in the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe.

Admission will be free at all museums and each will offer special activities that will appeal to visitors of all ages. Many will offer food and beverages.

See the Heritage Trail blog for the latest information on bus tours, raffles, food, souvenirs and activities.

What: The Heritage Trail: Placer County Museums Tour
Where: You can start at any of the 18 participating museums.
When: Aug. 10 & 11, 10 to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free admission at all museums. Bus tours, $10.
For more info: Heritage Trail Blog, Facebook page and Trail Guide Brochure. Call (530) 889-6500 to reserve a seat on the bus tours.

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: At the Gold Country Museum in Auburn a member of the Mother Lode Goldhounds shows a young visitor how to pan for gold. Photograph by Anita Yoder. Courtesy Heritage Trail.

July 29, 2013
Automobile museum car cruise Saturday
JV_CRUISE 228.JPG

Whether you like lowriders, muscle cars, vintage coupes or European sports cars, there will be eye candy for everyone Saturday at the fifth annual California Automobile Museum Car Cruise.

About 350 gleaming automotive specimens are scheduled to leave Lot 1 of California State University, Sacramento, at 4 p.m.

They will head east on Fair Oaks Boulevard and turn left onto Fulton Avenue, Sacramento's car dealership row.

By 5 p.m., the cruisers will park in a closed-off section of Fulton Avenue between Marconi and El Camino avenues.

The car show will last until 8:30 p.m. and will include food trucks, a beer garden and live music by Sacramento-area band Todd Morgan & the Emblems.

More than 20 car show awards will be handed out around 7:30 p.m. A sampling of the winners, listed on the museum website: a 1929 Ford Tudor, a 1930 Ford Model A Coupe, a 1967 Chevy Caprice lowrider, a 1956 Nash Ambassador, a 1958 Chevy Corvette and a 1950 Jaguar Mark V.

There is no charge for spectators.

The cruise is a partnership of the museum and the Fulton Avenue Association. Proceeds benefit the museum.

- Mary Lynne Vellinga

PHOTO CREDIT: Ron Happe waves to cars as they cruise J St. during the 2nd Annual CAM Car Cruise. 2010 Sacramento Bee photograph by Jose Luis Villegas

July 25, 2013
Art in August at Central Library
Art in August.JPG

There will be plenty of local art history featured this summer as Central Library hosts its first annual Art in August program series.

On August 13, Dr. Elaine O'Brien, professor of art history at Sacramento State University, will visit Central Library to deliver a fascinating free lecture on art of the Sacramento area during the tumultuous 60s and 70s. In her talk entitled "Glory Days: The Sacramento-Region Art World of the 1960s and 1970s," O'Brien will discuss regional art galleries; alternative spaces and art departments that accommodated a range of avant-garde practices like Funk; the politicized art of the Royal Chicano Air Force; and Native Northern California artists who radically redefined their traditions.

Art displays will also be on view in the Central Library lobby and Sacramento Room throughout the month. While the lobby will be a showcase for local artists, the Sacramento Room will be exhibiting rare books, historical bookplates, copper printing plates and other printing tools, striking botanical books and plates, early lithographs and art with the city of Sacramento as subject, and conceptual art of the library itself.

What: Glory Days: The Sacramento-Region Art World of the 1960s and 1970s
When: Tuesday, August 13, 6:15 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Where: Central Library, 828 I Street, Sacramento
Cost: Free
For more info: Visit www.saclibrary.org or call (916) 264-2920

July 5, 2013
Dustbowl disaster featured in new Capitol exhibit

CM Dust Bowl Exhibit 2013 -5.jpgThe State Capitol Museum recently opened a new exhibit on the devastating drought and dust bowl that afflicted Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Texas and forced 300,000 refugees to migrate to California.

Illustrated with lyrics and writings of Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck plus photographs by the Depression photographer Dorothea Lange, the exhibition brings to life the cultural, social and political impact these migrants had on the state.

What: The Dust Bowl, California, and the Politics of Hard Times
Where: California State Capitol Museum, Room B-27, 10th and L Sts., Sacramento
When: Though May 15, 2014. Weekdays, 8 to 5 p.m. Weekends, 9 to 5 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: 916-324-0333 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy California State Capitol Museum

June 26, 2013
Sacramento's "Red Scare" trial subject of new exhibit

COMMUNIST TRIAL 1934.JPGOne of the most famous (or infamous) trials held in Sacramento was the 1934-35 case of 18 labor organizers accused of "criminal syndicalism" (the advocating of the overthrow of the U.S. government).

The four-month proceedings -- which drew attention of the entire country -- is the subject of a new exhibit opening this week at the Sacramento History Museum. Interactive displays, video, photographs and other artifacts tell the story of not only the trial, but also the battles between farmworkers and growers that gave rise to it.

The Center for Sacramento History's Flickr page features some compelling photographs of the trial and people outside the courthouse. You can also view a YouTube recording of the 2010 lecture given by UC Davis History Professor Kathryn Olmsted entitled: "Blood & Sunshine: Farm Workers, Unions, and the Great Sacramento Conspiracy Trial of 1935."

What: Trouble in River City
Where: Sacramento History Museum, 101 I St., Sacramento
When: Opens June 27 with a members-only reception, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
Cost: Museum admission -- adults $6, youth (6-17) $4, members and children (5 and under) free.
For more info: (916) 808-7059 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Left to right, defendant Martin Wilson, attorney Leo Gallagher and defendant Caroline Decker participate in the "Red Scare" trial in Sacramento. 1935 Sacramento Bee photograph

June 21, 2013
Railtown debuts new train photography exhibit

RT Connie Cassinetto No 3 in Bronze.jpgMembers of the Sonora Photo Club will display their talents at a new exhibit of train-related images opening this weekend at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. These 30 compelling photographs showcase the historic Shops and Roundhouse, as well as the vintage locomotives and cars.

Visitors can meet the photographers at a special kickoff reception Saturday at 11 a.m.

Founded in 2005, the Sonora Photo Club is a forum where photographers of all experience levels can meet to share skills and experiences. The group meets in the afternoon on the second Sunday of each month.

What: "In Train View" Photo Exhibit
Where: Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Jamestown
When: June 22 through Sept. 1. Park open 10 to 5 p.m.
Cost: $5 adults, $3 youths ages 6-17, free for children 5 and under
For more info: 209-984-3953 or visit Railtown; 209-591-8182 or visit Sonora Photo Club

News Release

PHOTO CREDIT: "No. 3 in Bronze," photograph by Connie Cassinetto. Courtesy Railtown 1897 SHP

June 20, 2013
Take a trip back to 1850s Grass Valley during Gold Rush Days

EK HOLBROOK EXT.JPGGrass Valley will relive its 19th century past during this weekend's Gold Rush Days, a festival of music, shows, exhibits, demonstrations and reenactments in historic downtown.

Among the offerings visitors will enjoy are blacksmithing and gold mining demos by docents of the Empire Mine, a reenactment by the Rough and Ready Chamber and live music by the "Humbugs" and "Past Due and Payable" bands.

What: Gold Rush Days
Where: Downtown Grass Valley
When: June 22-23. Saturday, 12 to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 11 to 5 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: 530-272-8315 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Holbrooke Hotel on Main St. in Grass Valley. 2002 Sacramento Bee photograph by Erhardt Krause

June 18, 2013
Yolo County celebrates Juneteenth
Juneteenth horse.JPG

Juneteenth (June 19) commemorates the day in 1865 when the end of slavery was announced in Galveston, Tex. by a Union army general. Although originally a celebration of the liberation of American slaves, the annual observance has evolved to honor freedom and justice for all peoples.

This Saturday Yolo County will observe Juneteenth with a festival of jazz music, educational exhibits, speeches, food, and arts and crafts vendors. There will also be tributes to local leaders and a special "Hats Off to the Ancestors" headwear fashion show.

The family-friendly event is co-sponsored by the Yolo County Library, its Friends group and the City of Davis Human Relations Commission. DCTV interviewed Jay Johnstone, Davis Library Branch Manger, about the the history of Juneteeth and the weekend's festivities. See the video here.

What: Juneteenth Celebration
Where: Veteran's Memorial Center, 203 East 14th St., Davis
When: June 22, 1 p.m.
Cost: free, but donations appreciated
For more info: newsletter or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Horse drawn wagon ride at the 2003 Juneteenth Festival at Negro Bar in Folsom.

June 17, 2013
Car museum open later this Thursday

MG Auto Museum.jpgThe California Automobile Museum is offering special extended hours and special doings this Thursday and every third Thursday of the month. Evening visitors will enjoy half price admission as well as happy hour prices for craft beer and wine.

Best of all are the many rare and vintage vehicles on display. The permanent collection boasts dozens of beautiful reproductions and originals, including one dating back to 1886.

There are also rotating exhibits, the current one being "Elegance in Motion: Cars of the Golden Age," a collection of luxury vehicles from the 1920s and 30s. The display includes high-end makes such as Stutz, Hispano-Suiza, Duesenburg and Auburn.

What: Cars Under the Stars -- Third Thursdays at the Auto Museum
Where: California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front St. Sacramento
When: Third Thursday of the month, 5 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $8 general; $4 4tudent; kids under 5 free; $1 off for seniors (65+) and AAA members; $4 on 3rd Thursdays (after 5pm). $3 craft beer and $4 wine. Free parking.
For more info: (916) 442-6802 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Vintage MG. Courtesy California Automobile Museum

June 12, 2013
Mechanization of tomato farming told in new exhibit

Fred Heidrick.JPGThe Heidrick Ag History Center opens a new exhibit describing the evolution of California tomato production from hand labor to machines. Besides vintage photographs, visitors will get to examine two early mechanical harvesters, plus a vintage tomato transplanter.

The latest museum newsletter includes an informative essay on California tomato history, including labor shortages and the development of harvesting equipment by private and university engineers.

What: Tomatoes: The California Story
Where: Heidrick Ag History Center, 1962 Hays Lane, Woodland
When: starts June 12. Museum open Wednesday thru Sunday, 10 to 5 p.m.
Cost: Adults, $8; AAA members with valid membership card, $7; veterans with valid government issued ID, $7; students with valid student ID, $7; seniors 65 and older, $7; kids (6-12 years old), $5; kids under 5, free.
For more info: 530-666-9700 or museum newsletter

PHOTO CREDIT: Fred Heidrick with some of the vintage farm equipment he amassed for 60 years. His donated collection formed the core of the Heidrick Ag History Center. 1997 Sacramento Bee photograph by John Trotter

June 4, 2013
Art competition captures the spirit of California pioneers

GOLD RUSH photo.JPGThe California Museum will debut a new exhibit of contemporary artwork capturing the spirit of early California prior to 1869.

The pieces are finalists in the California Pioneer Heritage Art Contest sponsored by the California Heritage Pioneer Foundation. The competition allows a wide variety of media: painting, sculpture, drawings, textiles, ceramics, photography, and printmaking. You can view a gallery of the 2010 contest entries on the Foundation's website. There's also a video of the 2010 exhibition at the Folsom History Museum.

What: California Pioneer Spirit in Art exhibit
Where: California Museum, 1020 O St., Sacramento
When: June 7 thru Sept. 1. Museum hours: Monday closed; Tues. thru Sat. 10 to 5:00 p.m.; Sunday 12 to 5:00 p.m.
Cost: General Admission (18+) $8.50; college students & seniors (65+) w/valid ID $7.00; youth (6-17) $6.00; children (5 & under) free; California Museum, NARN and Time Travelers members free.
For more info: 916-653-7524 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: George H. Johnson's hand-painted photograph of '49ers entitled "Miners with Rocker and Blue Shirts." AP Photo/National Museum of American Art

May 24, 2013
USC photo collection is rich in local images

J Street 1907.jpgAlthough the California Historical Society's online photo collection (1860-1960) is comprised mainly with images of Los Angeles and Southern California, you'll find a sizable number taken in Sacramento and surrounding areas.

Some 60 of the 25,000 CHS photographs housed at the University of Southern California Digital Library depict turn-of-the-century scenes of Sacramento: homes, streets, public buildings, people, transportation and river views. Among them are the Catholic Cathedral, State Capitol, Governor's Mansion, Sutter's Fort (before renovation), C.B. Crocker Art Gallery and many others.

The California Historical Society, located at 678 Mission St. in San Francisco, maintains both a museum and research library. Its current exhibition, Curating the Bay: Crowdsourcing a New Environmental History, an experiment using the Internet to collect stories and materials from the public "to create a richer, more diverse history of the San Francisco Bay."

PHOTO CREDIT: View of J Street in Sacramento, ca.1907. Photograph by Charles C. Pierce, C.C. Pierce Photography Collection, 1860-1960.

May 23, 2013
"Golden Age" cars grace the California Auto Museum

Thumbnail image for 1928crysler4door.JPGThe California Automobile Museum gets in the Gatsby mood with a new exhibit of "Golden Age" vehicles from the 1920s and Art Deco era.

Over 20 lavish cars, including Stutz, Hispano-Suiza, Duesenburg and Auburn models, will be unveiled this Saturday at the Grand Opening where you can meet the owners and partake in a wine tasting (for folks 21 and older).

And don't forget the Vettes for Vets car show this Sunday behind the museum. The public can ogle the Corvettes for free and veterans get free admission to the museum.

What: Elegance in Motion: Cars of the Golden Age
Where: California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front St., Sacramento
When: May 25 thru Oct. 13, 10 to 6 p.m. Mon thru Sun. Exhibit Grand Opening Celebration May 25, 1 to 3 p.m.
Cost: $8 General Admission; $7 seniors 65+ & AAA; $4 Students; Museum members & kids 0-4 yrs free
For more info: (916) 442-6802 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: 1928 Chrysler at the Towe Auto Museum (now called the California Automobile Museum). 2000 photograph by Steve Young.

May 20, 2013
Railroad museums offer special Memorial weekend activities
jazzfestivalDance_05_16_11.jpg

Memorial Day is coming up, and that means big doings at the rail museums in Old Sacramento and Jamestown in Tuolumne County.

To help celebrate the Sacramento Music Festival, the California State Railroad Museum will offer musical performances inside the museum and on the Sacramento Southern excursion trains that will operate all during the extended weekend. In addition, festival badge holders will enjoy free admission to the museum. Several musical venues will be close by.

Down at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, the excursion trains will run all three weekend days. Sierra No. 3, the "movie star" steam locomotive, will operate Saturday and Sunday and the vintage diesel engine on Monday. Singer Jim Nelson of the Black Irish Band will entertain passengers on every ride. Visitors can also enjoy tours of the famous Caboose No. 7, special equipment demonstrations and picnicking on the Roundhouse lawn.

What: Jazz Festival Activities at the California State Railroad Museum
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park. Excursion trains depart from the Central Pacific Railroad Freight Depot (on Front Street between J and K Streets)
When: May 24-27 - special activities inside the Museum. May 25-27 - excursion trains running. Museum open 10 to 5 p.m. Excursion trains depart hourly from 11 to 5 p.m. (Saturday through Monday)
Cost: Museum admission -- $10 adults, $5 youths ages 6-17, free for children ages 5 and under. Excursion train rides -- $10 adults; $5 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under ($15 for first class tickets aboard the El Dorado; free for children 5 and under).
For more info: 916-445-6645 or website

What: Excursion Train Rides Over Memorial Day Weekend
Where: Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Jamestown
When: May 25-27. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. (trains depart on the hour)
Cost: General train ride tickets - $15 adults, $8 youths ages 6-17, free for children 5 and under
For more info: 209-984-3953 or website

News releases

PHOTO CREDIT: Dancers enjoy the music inside the Railroad Museum during the 2011 Sacramento Music Festival. Courtesy California State Railroad Museum

May 14, 2013
Night Out at the Maidu Museum

Maidu Museum interior.jpgAs part of Roseville's 3rd Saturday Art Walk, the Maidu Museum will offer free admission to a special evening program.

The featured speaker is Nisenan Maidu educator April Moore discussing misconceptions about California native traditions. There will also be a reception to kick off two new art exhibits: "Traditions Learned Through Time" by Billy Hawk Enos and "Artwork by Winema Marie Suehead."

Light refreshments will be available.

What: Night Out at the Museum
Where: Maidu Museum & Historic Site, 311 Vernon St., Roseville
When: may 18, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Program starts at 7 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: 916-774-5200

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Maidu Museum and Hisoric Site

May 9, 2013
Rio Linda's Farm & Tractor Days

MAJ ROGER LUBIENS TRACTOR.JPGThe Rio Linda Historical Society will again host Annual Farm & Tractor Days this weekend.

For history buffs there will be dozens of antique steam engines, tractors, and fire trucks on display. And visitors can also tour the Ranch House Museum and historic homes in the vicinity. The morning Tractor Parade leaves Saturday at 7:30 a.m. from Dry Creek Ranch. Western style BBQ served 11:30 to 1:30 p.m.

What: 19th Annual Farm & Tractor Days
Where: Historic Dry Creek Ranch House, 6852 Dry Creek Rd., Rio Linda
When: May 10 & 11, 9 to 3 p.m. Friday is School & Youth Day; Saturday is Family & Community Day.
Cost: $2 donation at the gate; free parking.
For more info: (916) 838-3506

Event flyer

PHOTO CREDIT: Roger Lubiens of Folsom participates in Farm & Tractor Days on his 1948 McCormick Farmall Cub tractor. 2006 Sacramento Bee photograph by Michael A. Jones

May 8, 2013
Expert to speak on model trucks and toy tractors

toy truck.JPGAs part of its Second Saturday Educational Series, Heidrick Ag Center will present Hubert Bryant speaking on the collecting of vintage model trucks and toy tractors.

Bryant will discuss the evolution of the toy vehicle craft, from wood, metal to plastic. Visitors will get to examine items from his personal collection, as well as those from the museum's holdings.

Each month the Center focuses on a different aspect of California agricultural and transportation history. Its permanent collection consists of two main galleries: the Fred C. Heidrick Antique Ag Collection and the Hays Antique Truck Museum.

What: Second Saturday Educational Series: Collectable Trucks and Toy Tractors
Where: Heidrick Ag History Center, 1962 Hays Lane, Woodland
When: May 11, 12 to 2 p.m.
Cost: $10 non-members; $7 members; $5 kids 5-18; kids under 5 free.
For more info: (530) 666-9700 or email

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Heidrick Ag History Center

May 7, 2013
Special National Train Day events at Railtown and Rail Museum

CALIFORNIA RAILROAD MUSEUM.JPGThis Saturday the 6th Annual National Train Day will be celebrated at over 200 cities around the country.

Locally, the State Railroad Museum will offer free admission, tours of contemporary Amtrak cars and other special activities including Interpretative Handcar rides and children's "Chuggington Station." As a special bonus nearby Sacramento History Museum will also offer free admission for this day only.

Over in Jamestown (Tuolumne County) Railtown 1897 will observe Train Day with excursion rides featuring the "movie star" steam locomotive Sierra No. 3 and Caboose No. 7. In addition visitors can enjoy tours of the historic Roundhouse and Shops and special displays of rarely-seen historic locomotives, equipment and vehicles, including the No. 28 & 2 locomotives and vintage track maintenance vehicles.

What: National Train Day
Where: California State Railroad Museum, 2nd and I Sts., Old Sacramento
When: May 11, 10 to 5 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: 916-445-6645 or website

What: National Train Day
Where: Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Jamestown
When: May 11, 11 to 3 p.m.
Cost: Park admission, $5 adults, $3 for youths ages 6-17, free for children 5  and under. Train rides: $15 adults, $8 youths ages 6-17, free for children 5 and under.
For more info: 209-984-3953 or website

News Release

PHOTO CREDIT: Southern Pacific No. 1 CP Huntington. Courtesy California State Railroad Museum

May 2, 2013
Central Library to showcase 1940s Sacramento

K Street 1945.jpgRation Book.jpgThe Capital Decades series returns to Central Library this May with special programs and displays showcasing 1940s Sacramento:

City Life (Tuesday, May 14, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.)
Amanda Graham, Tom Tolley and James Scott will discuss what everyday life was like for Sacramentans during the 1940s.They will cover a wide range of topics, including social life and entertainment, the Sacramento homefront and contribution to the war effort, businesses, schools, transportation and post-war changes.

Fashions & Styles (Tuesday, May 21, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.)
The Sacramento Art Deco Society will direct a fashion show featuring vintage clothes and accessories of the 1940s.

Motion Pictures (Tuesday, May 28, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.)
Local film historian Matias Bombal will share film clips and discuss the movie-going experience of the 1940s .

All programs will be held in the Tsakopoulos Library Galleria at 828 I Street.

Visitors to Central Library are also invited to view displays of 1940s material from the Sacramento Public Library and Sacramento Art Deco Society throughout the month of May. Subjects will include fashion, defense work, rationing, and Japanese internment.

For more info: http://www.saclibrary.org; (916) 264-2920

April 30, 2013
Congratulations to the California History Day winners

RB History Day 2.JPGNational History Day is a year-long competition in the area of historical research, writing and analysis (sort of history's equivalent of a science fair for primary and secondary school students around the country). Contestants who qualified at the regional level went on to compete at this past weekend's state gathering in Sacramento where winners were chosen for the national competition coming up in Maryland June 9-13.

This year's NHD theme is Turning Points in History: People, Ideas, Events. Students chose a related event from local, state, national or world history and presented their research in one of six formats: 2-D display, documentary video, exhibit, paper, performance or website.

Special kudos go to students in the Sacramento region who earned awards at the state meet:

Savannah Hill, a student at Spring View Middle School in Rocklin, runner up in the Junior Individual Documentary category for her entry Cesar Chavez and the UFW: The Harvest for Change.

Aishwarya Nadgauda, a student at Sacramento Country Day School, runner up in the Senior Individual Documentary category for her entry Setting off a Reaction that Changed the World Forever.

Evan Shen, a student at Winston Churchill Middle School, California History Junior Historical Paper Award for his entry, The Economic Impacts of the Transcontinental Railroad on the US.

Sara Warady, a student at St. Francis  High School, California History Senior Historical Paper Award for her entry, Art Saves: How Dorothea Lange Used Photography to Ameliorate the Lives of Okie Migrants During the Great Depression.

Jacqueline Holben, a student at St. Francis High School, Nikirk Memorial Art Award for her entry, The Funk Art Movement.

Congratulations to all the students who participated in California History Day!

PHOTO CREDIT: Bishop Union High School student Lara Stickells explains her two dimensional display to judges E. J. Renner, Anne Everton, and Dave Kahl during the National History Day state finals at the Red Lion Hotel in Sacramento. 2013 Sacramento Bee photograph by Randall Benton

April 30, 2013
California Missions exhibit begins at California Museum

Mission San Juan Cap.jpgToday the California Museum unveils its new year-long exhibition devoted to the 21 missions established in the Golden State from 1769 to 1823.

The Mission system established by the Franciscans was Europe's first attempt to settle the American West Coast. These outposts introduced livestock, farming and ranching to the state and played a pivotal role in California's development.

What: California Missions: A Journey Along the El Camino Real
Where: California Museum, 1020 O St., Sacramento
When: April 30 thru April 27, 2014. Monday, closed; Tuesday thru Saturday, 10 to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.
Cost: General admission (18+), $8.50; college students & seniors (65+), $7; youth (6-17), $6; children (5 & under), free.
For more info: 916-653-7524 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Mission at San Juan Capistrano. The mission is said to be the oldest church in the West and the only remaining building in the United States where Father Junipero Serra recited Mass. 2004 AP Photo/Los Angeles Times photograph by Karen Tapia-Andersen

April 19, 2013
Remembering 1963 at the Crocker Art Museum

Civil Rights march 1963.jpgReaders will share personal stories on the theme of Remembering 1963 & Civil Rights at the Crocker Art Museum on April 25 as part of TrueStory, a new local non-fiction reading series from the literary micro-magazine Under the Gum Tree.  Three featured readers will share their stories and attendees will have the opportunity to sign up for 5-minutes of open mic. This is the kick-off event for the reading series, and is held in conjunction with a new exhibition at the Crocker Art Museum, Rebirth of a Nation: Thomas Somerville's 1963, which will be on display through May 5.

What: Truestory: Remembering 1963 & Civil Rights
When: Thursday, April 25, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Where: Crocker Art Museum, 216 O Street, Sacramento
Cost: $5 for museum members; $8 for nonmembers
For more info: http://tellatruestory.com; tellatruestory@gmail.com

IMAGE CREDIT: Civil rights march on Wash[ington], D.C., Aug. 28, 1963; Warren K. Leffler, photographer; Library of Congress.

April 11, 2013
Vintage headwear on display during special tour

CSH hat.jpgWhat do Titanic-era hats, flapper cloches, 1960s pillbox hats, men's top hats, fedoras, old firefighter helmets and military headwear have in common? They'll all be on display at the Center for Sacramento History's Inside the Vault Textile Tour featuring 75 examples of vintage head covering dating from the 1860s to the 1970s.

CSH will offer three public tours over four days, each led by expert guides who will explain the historical significance of these rarely-seen artifacts.

On Sunday Dr. Susan Kaiser, Professor of Women and Gender Studies at UC Davis and author of Fashion and Cultural Studies, will give a multimedia presentation, "Fashioning Time and Place."

Space is limited at these tours, so advanced ticket purchase is recommended.

What: Inside the Vault Textile Tours: Hats & Headwear!
Where: Center for Sacramento History, 551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd., Sacramento
When: April 18-21. Public Tours - 11 a.m., 1 & 3 p.m. each day. Presentation by Dr. Kaiser followed by tour at 3 p.m. Sunday.
Cost: $15 for daily tours; $25 for special presentation and tour. Buy tickets.
For more info: 916-808-7072 or website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Center for Sacramento History

March 29, 2013
Weaving, old and new, subject of new Folsom exhibit

March2013_Page_1.jpgThe Folsom History Museum and Hangtown Fibers Guild have collaborated on a new exhibit that explores the history of yarn production, weaving, and hand weaving techniques. Visitors will have the opportunity to see ongoing loom demonstrations and contemporary fiber art.

Founded in 1960, the Folsom Historical Society was created to preserve the town's history and to reconstruct the old Wells Fargo & Company assay office for use as the Folsom History Museum.

What: Weaving the Past into the Future
Where: Folsom History Museum, 823 Sutter St., Folsom
When: March 30 thru May 19, Tuesday thru Sunday, 11 to 4 p.m.
Cost: $4 for adults; $2 for youth; children under 12 free.
For more info: 916.985-2707 or FHS newsetter

March 19, 2013
Califoria Museum opens 7th Annual Hall of Fame Exhibit

Joe Montana.jpgEstablished in 2006, the California Hall of Fame honors "legendary people who embody California's innovative spirit and have made their mark on history." Inductees are chosen from all fields of endeavor, including the arts, business, sports, academia and government.

The California Museum will open its new Hall of Fame Exhibit to the public this Thursday. The displays showcase personal items and ephemera that reflect the achievements and careers of each honoree.

The 7th gala ceremony inducting this year's class will be held Wednesday evening from 7 to 8 p.m. at the California Museum. Public television stations in the state will broadcast the proceedings live. Watch for The Bee's news coverage the next day.

The 2013 Hall of Fame Class

Gregory Bateson, anthropologist and social scientist
Warren Beatty, actor, director and producer
Charles and Ray Eames, groundbreaking designers
Dolores Huerta, farmworker labor organizer
Ishi, celebrated Native American
Joe Montana, football great
Warner Brothers, movie makers

What: 7th Annual California Hall of Fame Exhibit
Where: California Museum of History, 1020 O St., Sacramento
When: opens March 21. Museum hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.; Monday, closed.
Cost: Adults (18+), $8.50; college students & seniors (65+), $7; youth (6-17), $6; children (under 6), free.
For more info: 916-653-7524 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Former San Francisco 49ers great Joe Montana poses after his enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2000. AP Photo/Mark Duncan

March 13, 2013
Remarkable Women exhibit continues at the California Museum

JD_MARIA_BOBBY.JPGIt being Women's History Month, it's appropriate to remind readers about the California's Remarkable Women exhibit which continues at the California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.

Inspired by former First Lady Maria Shriver, the displays honor the myriad contributions women have made to the state, past and present. Included are profiles of some 200 significant people who excelled in a variety of occupations, including Dolores Huerta, Jane Lathrop Stanford, Elizabeth Taylor, Peggy Fleming, Alice Waters, Meg Whitman and Sally Ride.

The Bee's Anita Creamer profiled California's Remarkable Women when it opened in May 2004. You can read it here.

What: California's Remarkable Women exhibit
Where: California Museum, 1020 O St., Sacramento, CA
When: Ongoing. Tues-Sat 10 to 5 p.m., Sun 12 to 5 p.m.
Cost: general $8.50, students & seniors (65+) $7, youth (6-13) $6, children (5 and under) free.
For more info: (916) 653-7524 and website

PHOTO CREDIT: First Lady Maria Shriver looks over the Remarkable Women exhibit at the California Museum. 2004 Sacramento Bee photograph by John Decker

March 12, 2013
Paintings depict romance of Hawaii's rail history

RR Sugar Cane Trains.jpgYou don't normally think of railroads in the history of Hawaii, but beginning in the late 1800s up to 1940 narrow-gauge trains were essential for moving sugar cane from plantations to the island mills.

The romance of those steam-powered locomotives is depicted in a collection of colorful paintings now on display at the California State Railroad Museum. Inspired by historic photographs, artist Mike Kotowski painted the series between 1976-1978 for a calendar commemorating the 100th anniversary of the introduction of steam trains for cane transport.

Thumbnail image for RR Sugar Cane Trains 2.jpgWhat: Sweet Stop -- Mike Kotowski's Sugar Cane Trains of Hawaii
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento
When: March 12 thru Aug. 25, 10 to 5 p.m.
Cost: Museum admission: $10 adults; $5 youths ages 6-17; free for children 5 and under  
For more info: 916-445-6645 or website

News release

IMAGE CREDIT: Calendar paintings by Michael F. Kotowski. Courtesy California State Railroad Museum

March 8, 2013
The California State Library celebrates Women's History Month, along with bridges and ferries.

In honor of Women's History Month, the California State Library and the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls have created a colorful online weekly calendar of women from California history who achieved success in science, technology, engineering or math - the STEM fields. These images and biographical materials are drawn from the California History Section's own collection with an emphasis on women in science and math professions, echoing the National Women's History Month effort to commemorate women in STEM professions who strode past barriers in pursuit of their dreams. For the third week in March, the calendar highlights a woman veteran for Women's Military History Week. Maggie Gee was a training pilot in World War II, serving as a Women's Air Force Service Pilot, known as the WASPs. Gee also spent 30 years as a research physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The online calendar can be viewed at http://www.library.ca.gov/calhist/calendar1.html

v1p265b.jpgAlso celebrating Women's History Month is a new exhibit in the State Library's first floor rotunda. "California Women in the War Effort" documents the role of California Women in the military during wartime, and also highlights women's efforts on the home front. Included in this exhibit are fascinating and often visually attractive magazine articles from the library's general collection as well as photographs, letters home, and assorted realia from the California History Section's special collections. Likewise on display are uniforms and posters on loan from the California State Military Museum.

Taking a different tack, the California History Section's featured book display for March is titled "Ferries and Bridges in California," and showcases books on bridges from the mighty steel triumphs crossing the Golden gate and San Francisco to the smaller drawbridges and covered wooden structures prevalent in California's rural areas. But before the construction of bridges, California's residents depended on ferries to cross the state's bodies of water. Larger boats were used on San Francisco Bay and San Diego Bay, but much simpler ferries served the Sacramento and San Joaquin Delta where bridges did not exist. Also on display are books on the river steamers Delta King and Delta Queen, which were technically not ferries but plied the bay and rivers nonetheless.2008-2619.jpg

March 4, 2013
Art exhibition is a study of a pivotal time in U.S. history

Somerville_Otis-2009_002.jpgA pivotal year in U.S. history is the subject of a three-dimensional, multimedia art exhibit now showing at the Crocker Art Museum. 1963 by San Francisco artist Thomas Somerville, evokes the politics, activism and culture of the 60s through sculpture, video, painting and collage. The large, room-like piece is meant to be viewed from the inside and outside.

Accompanying this exhibition is an evening of readings scheduled for April 25 at the Crocker. The first in the TrueStory narrative series, Remembering 1963 & Civil Rights will bring writers and poets together to share their experiences and perspectives about this important time. TrueStory is hosted by Elaine Gale, CSUS Associate Professor of Communication Studies and Journalism, and Janna Marlie Maron, editor-publisher of Under the Gum Tree magazine. 

Maron and Gale are currently seeking submissions for the April 25 event. Even if you don't have first-hand experience of this important year in civil right history, perhaps you've heard stories from older relatives, or you grew up in a town where demonstrations occurred. If so, you're encouraged to write up and share your story. If interested, email Janna Maron at jms@jannamarlies.com.

What: Rebirth of a Nation: Thomas Somerville's 1963
Where: Crocker Art Museum, 216 O St., Sacramento
When: March 3 to May 5, Tues-Sun 10 to 5 p.m., Thurs 10 to 9 p.m.
Cost: Adults $10, seniors (65 and older) $8, college students $8, youth (7-17) $5, children (6 and under) free
For more info: 916-808-7000 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: 1963 by Thomas Somerville. Courtesy Crocker Art Museum

February 19, 2013
Legendary designer Ray Eames subject of new exhibit

CharlesRayEames_1948.jpgRay Eames: A Century of Modern Design, a new exhibit opening at the The California Museum on February 23, will explore the life and work of Sacramento-born design icon Ray Eames.

The display has been developed in partnership with Eames Office and includes rarely-seen artifacts from the Eames family archives - over 100 original works produced by Ray and Charles Eames. Curators are incorporating new research into Ray's early life in Sacramento and her work before meeting Charles in 1941. RayKaiserEames_1920s_paperdoll.jpgArtifacts, photographs, sketches, furniture, paintings and more representing 60 years of her professional work will present her as a pioneer for female artists in the field.

The Ray Eames exhibit builds on work done for the 2006 Sactown Magazine article, "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Woman," and the 2011 PBS American Masters documentary, Eames: The Architect and the Painter, with new research conducted by Carla Hartman, Education Director at Eames Office.

What: Ray Eames: A Century of Modern Design exhibit opening
When: February 23, 2013, 10:00 a.m. (on display through February 2014)
Where: The California Museum, 1020 O Street, Sacramento
Cost: Museum membership required for opening reception
For more info: (916) 653-7524 or http://www.californiamuseum.org/ToHofmannWithLoveFromBuddha_1940s.jpg

IMAGE CREDITS: (Top) Charles & Ray on a Velocette motorcycle, Venica, CA, 1948; (Middle) Childhood paper dolls, ca. 1920s; (Bottom) "To Hofmann with Love from Buddha," ca. 1941. All images used with permission, ©2013 Eames Office, LLC (eamesoffice.com).

February 7, 2013
Tuskegee Airmen honored at Aerospace Museum

Tuskegee Airmen.jpgThe Tuskegee Airmen were the first African Americans to serve as aviators during World War II.  They not only fought heroically in Europe, they also overcame prejudice and discrimination in the Army Air Forces. Their success helped prepare the way for desegregation of the U.S. military in 1948.

During Black History Month, the Aerospace Museum of California celebrates the Tuskegee Airmen with an exhibit featuring artifacts, equipment, uniforms and personal items belonging to Col. George S. "Spanky" Roberts, a local member of this elite group. The PBS documentary They Fought Two Wars will also be shown.

What: Tuskegee Airmen Exhibit
Where: Aerospace Museum of California, 3200 Freedom Park Drive, McClellan
When: February 2013, 9 to 5 p.m., except Sundays when open 10 to 5 p.m.
Cost: Adult $8, senior (65+) $6, youth (13-17) $6, child (6-12) $5, active military w/ID free, child 5 & under free.
For more info: 916-643-3192 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Major James A. Ellison, left, inspects the cadets at the Basic and Advanced Flying School at the Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Ala, in 1942. AP Photo/U.S. Army Signal Corps

February 6, 2013
Museum demonstrations teach the state's agricultural history

Fordson Tractor.JPGThe Heidrick Ag History Center, a 130,000-square foot museum devoted to California's farming past, begins its monthly series of educational programs this weekend. Every second Saturday the museum will focus on a different type of vintage agricultural machinery.

On Feb. 9, museum docents will demonstrate the Monitor Rice Separator, which was used to isolate rice kernels from debris in Yolo County more than 100 years ago. On March 9, they'll show how custom engine bearings and other parts were made for the repair and restoration of antique machinery.

What: Second Saturday Educational Series
When: Feb. 9 and Mar. 9, 12 to 2 p.m.
Where: Heidrick Ag History Center, 1962 Hays Lane, Woodland
Cost: $10 non-members, $7 members, $5 kids 5-18, children under 5 free
For more info: contact Iulia Bodeanu at (530) 666-9700 or membership@aghistory.org

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Fordson tractor. Courtesy Heidrick Ag History Center

January 31, 2013
African American History Month events in Sacramento

WHITEW1.JPGFebruary is African American History Month (aka Black History Month). This year's theme is "Black Women in American Culture and History," honoring the many roles they've played in the development of the nation.

Sacramento will celebrate the month with a variety of cultural events.

At the Sacramento Public Library:

Ladies of Lincoln's Era Exhibit. Twelve women who made a difference, including Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and Clara Barton. Feb. 1 thru March 11.

Celebrate Black History Month with Ebo Okokan. Explore Afro-Cuban culture through music, dance and drumming. Feb. 10, 2 p.m.

Here's to the Ladies with the Vivian Lee Quartet. Sacramento vocalist Vivian Lee will share stories and music of the great jazz singers of the past, Carmen McRea, Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson and Dinah Washington. Feb. 20, 6:30 p.m. (for adults).

March on Washington, Fifty Years Later. CSUS Professor Joseph Palermo will discuss the 1963 March on Washington during which Martin Luther King gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech. Feb. 26, 6 p.m. (for adults).

At the Crocker Art Museum:

Black History Month Family Festival. African American history celebrated in a program of music, dance, dramatic performance, gallery experiences, hands-on art and arts/crafts market. Feb. 18, 11 to 3 p.m.

At the Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum:

Greatness: A Celebration And Legacy Of Black History. Six art exhibits: "Family: Those We Love," Sacramento Africa American Art Collective; "Mudcloth Madness," Kuumba Collective Art Gallery; "The Slave Experience," Joe Pollakoff; "Past, Lessons Learned" and "Black History is World History," Roshumba Clarke; "Through My Eyes," James House; and the Phoenix Park Magic Johnson Community Empowerment Youth Exhibit. Special Museum Day activities include Magician Forrest Barnes, The Youth Aviation Academy, pianist Ras-Nico, the Kucheza Ngoma II Dance Company. Also there will be a marketplace, museum guided tours, food, entertainment, storytelling and children's art activities. Feb. 2, 10 to 4 p.m.

PHOTO CREDIT: "Woman Worker" by Charles White. The painting is oil on canvas from 1951. It was displayed at the Crocker Art Museum in 2000.

January 28, 2013
15th Annual Sacramento Museum Day

RB Sculpture 4.JPGMuseum Day is your once-a-year opportunity to sample the region's wealth of art, history, science and wildlife exhibits for free or half-price.

The event features 28 facilities, including the Sacramento History Museum, California State Railroad Museum, Aerospace Museum of California, the California Museum, State Capitol Museum, State Indian Museum, State Military Museum and Sutter's Fort.

Many of the venues are within walking distance of each other. Event planners suggest that guest visit no more than three museums so as to have enough time to experience each one fully and to travel between them.

Please note that shuttle buses will not operate this time.

What: Sacramento Museum Day 2013
Where: 28 museums located throughout the Sacramento region (complete list and map)
When: Feb. 2, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last guests are admitted at 4 p.m.)
Cost: free at 26 museums; half-priced at Sacramento Zoo & Fairytale Town (Sacramento Zoo is $5.75 for adults, $3.75 for children ages 2-11 and free for children under two; Fairytale Town is $2.50 for everyone and free for children under two years of age).
For more info: 916-808-7777 or website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: "Folded Circle Cube and Disc," a 14-foot, 3,000-pound sculpture by artist Fletcher Benton sits in front of the Crocker Art Museum. 2011 Sacramento Bee photograph by Randall Benton

December 17, 2012
Free admission at Maidu Museum for three days

MAIDU MUSEUM 4a.JPGHere's a good opportunity to visit the Maidu Museum & Historic Site in Roseville. For the next three days admission is free. Visitors will enjoy galleries of contemporary native art and interactive exhibits depicting the life and culture of the Nisenan Maidu people who lived in this region for centuries. The Museum is built next to the historic Maidu village site where you can examine ancient bedrock mortar holes, petroglyphs and other archaeological features.

During Free Museum Days guests will also be treated to hands-on activities, guided tours, and complimentary coffee and cider.

The current Museum exhibit (running through Jan. 9) features native artwork by Frank Day and Jeremy Peconom.

What: Free Museum Days
Where: Maidu Museum & Historic Site, 1970 Johnson Ranch Dr., Roseville
When: Dec. 18 thru 20, 9 to 4 p.m. Guided Tours 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: (916) 774-5934 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: The Maidu Museum in Roseville opened in 2010. Sacramento Bee photograph by Anne Chadwick Williams

December 14, 2012
Things to See at the State Library

London.bmpIt's now December, meaning that there is a new book display in the California History Section. This month's theme is Putting Pen to Paper, featuring the works of California authors. Many well-known names associated with our state are represented, among them Jack London, John Steinbeck, Raymond Chandler, Bret Harte, William Saroyan, and Sacramento's own Joan Didion. Of course, we cannot forget that Mark Twain lived in California for a time. Later, more controversial writers are also displayed, such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. These works have been selected for your reading pleasure and are located in the shelves next to the lockers in the California History Room on the second floor at 900 N Street.

In the rotunda gallery just outside the History Room the California Calls You exhibit (with a few items from an upcoming sports display thrown in) is still drawing positive comments from library patrons, who marvel at these masterpieces of graphic design and promotion. And in the downstairs lobby the Culinary California exhibit has been held over for another month, appropriate for this season of sumptuous repast, and now surrounded by holiday decorations.

Harte.bmpShown here are photographs of Jack London and Bret Harte from the State Library's collection.

December 13, 2012
See the gingerbread masterpieces at the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse

Gingerbread Holiday.jpgFor 20 years the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse has held a gingerbread house decorating contest. This year's winners were announced on Monday and their creations will be on display for public viewing until Dec. 22. After that, some of them will be donated to children's homes and hospitals.

Built in 1977, the replica one-room schoolhouse is a learning center whose mission is to acquaint students of all ages with early California educational practice. Furnished with a pot-bellied stove, vintage student desks and other 19th century items, the Museum is open to the general public and available for per-arranged school field trips.

What: Gingerbread Holiday
Where: Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum, 1200 Front St., Sacramento
When: thru Dec. 22, 1 to 4 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: (916) 483-8818or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum

December 12, 2012
Film documents restoration of the "Movie Star Locomotive"

Sierra No. 3, the most famous of the vintage locomotives operating at Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, has appeared in over 100 movies and television shows since 1920. Its credits include High Noon, The Great Race, Back to the Future III, Pale Rider, Little House on the Prairie, Rawhide and Petticoat Junction.

Built in 1891, Sierra No. 3 in 2007 went through a complete three-year restoration at a cost of $1.5 million. The story of this immense effort is told in the 2012 documentary The Sierra #3 Locomotive: A Star is Reborn (part of the "Ultimate Restorations" series of TV specials).

Locally, the PBS station KVIE will broadcast the film on Dec. 16 at 1 p.m. and again on Dec. 22 at 5 a.m. You can watch the trailer below.

December 11, 2012
Wide-ranging Eames' life and work celebrated in new volume

Eames book.jpgAlthough Charles and Ray Eames are best known for their distinctive Mid-Century furniture designs, the couple also made important contributions to art, craft, toys, architecture, photography and film.

A new, lavishly illustrated volume celebrates the life and work of this extraordinary husband-and-wife team. Drawing upon their own words and images, Eames: Beautiful Details aims to take the reader through a wide-ranging exploration of their unique aesthetic sensibility that transcended traditional artistic and professional boundaries.

Coming next year to the California Museum is a new exhibit honoring the 100th birthday of Sacramento native Ray Eames. Ray Eames: A Century of Modern Design will focus on her early life and work before meeting future husband Charles. The displays will feature rarely-seen artifacts from the Eames family collection.

The Museum will also host a benefit event in support of the exhibit on Jan. 26. "A Toast to Sacramento Design" will honor the contributions of Ray Eames and Miles Treaser, Sacramento furniture distributor who died last month. Benefit attendees will get a sneak peek at the Ray Eames exhibit which opens Feb. 23.

November 22, 2012
Small trains take center stage at Railroad Museum
RR Small Train Holiday 2.jpg

Generally the main floor of the State Railroad Museum is dominated by huge steam and diesel locomotives. But this weekend the behemoths give way to the small trains -- toy train and scale model displays -- that will delight visitors of all ages.

In addition to the exhibits, there will be hand car rides, a scavenger hunt, a film about vintage toy trains, plus an appearance by Mrs. Claus who'll be greeting kids and sharing stories.

What: Small Train Holiday!
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park
When: Nov. 23 & 24, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $10 for adults; $5 youths ages 6-17 and free for children five and under
For more info: 916-445-6645 or go to website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Toy train exhibits. Courtesy California State Railroad Museum

November 15, 2012
CAM exhibit celebrates 4-wheel drive travel
1943 Jeep(R) MB.JPG

Since their development during World War II, four-wheel drive vehicles have provided civilians with greater opportunity to get off the pavement and explore the natural world. "Off the Beaten Path" is the California Automobile Museum's new exhibit celebrating the history of these hardy vehicles, from military equipment through the modern SUV. Included in the display are jeeps, Volkswagens and the Mercedes-Benz Unimog.

Incidentally, CAM is recruiting new volunteer docents for training that starts Jan. 10. See the Museum's website for details.

What: Off the Beaten Path
Where: California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front St., Sacramento
When: Nov. 10 thru Jan. 20, 2013. Museum hours: Monday thru Friday, 10 to 6 p.m. Every third Thursday, 10 to 9 p.m.
Cost: $8 general, $4 student, free kids under 5, $1 off for seniors (65+) and AAA members, $4 on 3rd Thursdays (after 5 p.m.).
For more info: (916) 442-6802 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: 1943 U.S. military jeep. Courtesy DaimlerChrysler

November 13, 2012
Donner Party doll returns to Sutter's Fort
SF Patty Reed Doll & Stand.jpg

This Thursday Sutter's Fort will unveil its new Orientation Gallery, permanent exhibit and movie theater to the public. The mission of the gallery and exhibit is to educate visitors to the important role the Fort played -- as central gathering spot for diverse cultural groups -- in the history of California.

The star of the exhibit is the Patty Reed Doll, which returns to public display after a 15 month restoration. The iconic toy accompanied 8-year-old Martha Jane "Patty" Reed as she and her family traveled overland to California in what became the infamous Donner Party. Reed survived the deadly winter of 1846-47 and lived to 1923. In 1946 her heirs donated Dolly to Sutter's Fort, the Donner Party's intended destination.

This Saturday at the next "Hands on History" event, visitors will have the opportunity hear stories about the Donner tragedy and view the Patty Reed doll and other Donner artifacts. In addition there will be hands-on demos of wagon packing, quill pen writing and rag or corn husk doll making.

What: "One Fort, Many Views" Orientation Gallery & Exhibit Opening
Where: Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, 2701 L St., Sacramento
When: Nov. 15 (note: once opened, the gallery and exhibit will be permanent at the Fort). Hours: 10 to 5 p.m.
Cost: Regular Fort admission: $5 per adult (18+), $3 per youth (ages 6-17), free for children 5 years and under. Note that on Special Interpretive Program Days (including Nov. 15 & 17) cost $7 per adult (18 and older), $5 per youth (ages 6-17).
For more info: 916-445-4422 or website

What: Hands on History -- There are Folks Trapped in the Mountains
Where: Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, 2701 L St., Sacramento
When: Nov. 17, 10 to 5 p.m. Cannon firing demonstrations: 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Musket demonstrations periodically throughout the day.
Cost: $7 per adult (18+), $5 per youth (ages 6-17), free for children 5 years and under.
For more info: 916-445-4422 or website

News releases

PHOTO CREDIT: Priceless doll belonging to Martha Jane "Patty" Reed who in 1846 migrated west with her family in what became known as the Donner Party. Courtesy Sutter's Fort State Historic Park

November 6, 2012
Local museums offer special Veteran's Day programs

AOC_aces_025a.JPGTwo Sacramento historical museums will observe this Veteran's Day weekend with special programs.

The Aerospace Museum, home to a large collection of military aircraft on display, will honor vets Memorial Plaza with a ceremony that includes a tribute to the flag, followed by the National Anthem, a wreath laying and speeches.

The State Military Museum, which exhibits California-related Army and National Guard artifacts (flags, weapons, equipment, etc.), will offer free admission for everyone on Sunday and be open Monday, Veteran's Day.

What: Veteran's Day Tribute
Where: Aerospace Museum of California, 3200 Freedom Park Dr., McClellan
When: Nov. 11 museum hours 10 to 5 p.m.(special ceremony at 11 a.m.). Veterans Day hours: 9 to 5 p.m.
Cost: museum admission -- adults $8; seniors (65+) $6; youths (13-17) $6; children (6-12) $5; children 5 & under free; active military w ID free; museum members free.
For more info: 916-643-3192 or website

What: Veteran's Day Celebration
Where: California State Military Museum, 1119 2nd St., Old Sacramento
When: Nov. 11, 10 to 5 p.m; Nov. 12, 10 to 4 p.m.
Cost: Sunday free admission for all. Monday regular admission: adults $5; children (6-17) and seniors (55+) $3; children under five and under free; patrons with a current membership card free.
For more info: (916) 854-1900 or website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Casa Roble High School AFROTC. students James Rozak, 16, left, and Derric Caporaso, 18, present colors before a program at the Aerospace Museum of California. 2008 Sacramento Bee photograph by Autumn Payne

November 1, 2012
What's New at the California State Library

California History Room at the State Library, in honor of Veterans' Day, has selected California Military History as the theme for its November book display. The theme this month is California's military history.  Books covering all aspects of life in the service are displayed for your reading pleasure in Room 200 on the shelves by the lockers, among them the U.S. Navy's strong 4.bmppresence in San Diego, the Golden Gate's artillery batteries, California's own Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, and the U.S. Army's ill-fated attempt to employ camels in the state's deserts. Also on display is an authentic World War II U.S. Marine Corps woman's corporal uniform.

Featured this month in the library's first floor rotunda is a new exhibit on California food. The delights of the palate have always been a part of California life, but the 1840s and 1850s influx of gold seekers from all over the world brought a full range of cuisines to this state. Accordingly, this exhibit showcases nineteenth-century menus relating to the Pacific Mail Steamship Company and the Southern Pacific Railroad along with later restaurant menus which reflect California's fine graphic art tradition (including some from San Francisco's fabled Poodle Dog), and calendars from Sacramento's now defunct Tientsin Cafe. Among the books on display are What Mrs. Fisher Knows About Old Southern Cooking, the first cookbook by an African-American in the U.S. (printed by San Francisco women in 1881), and a manuscript cookbook from the Gold Rush by Kezia Curtis written in 1851. The subject of drink is not ignored either, with Cocktail Boothby's American Bartender, published in 1891 in San Francisco, on display along with a bottle of "Recall Red" and a plaque, made from an old distillery vat, honoring San Francisco Chronicle columnist Stanton Delaplane for introducing Irish Coffee to the United States.

3.bmpIn keeping with the above theme of food and drink, this month's "A Night at the State Library" program is called Culinary California and will feature guest speaker Kotaro "Taro" Arai. Taro, owner of Mikuni Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Sacramento, is one of the top sushi chefs in California. Twenty-five years ago his parents, who had recently emigrated from Japan, opened their first Mikuni restaurant in Fair Oaks. Today there are eight Mikuni restaurants in Northern California, and one of the reasons for their success is the culinary genius of Taro. His inspired creations include both the traditional Japanese style sushi as well as his eclectic, creative variations that appeal to the American palate.

In addition, the library's Principal Librarian Emeritus for Special Collections, Gary Kurutz, will speak on our great collection of culinary treasures here at the State Library, and specifically about our November exhibit described above.

"A Night at the State Library" will take place on Wednesday, November 14. The doors open at 5PM and the program will begin at 6. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free with RSVP to rfontaine@library.ca.gov or 916-653-9942. The California State Library is located at 900 N Street in Sacramento.

October 24, 2012
Quilts exhibit tour and reception at Sac State

Four Eagles Quilt.JPGSac State's Department of Special Collections and University Archives will host an exhibit tour and reception for Piecing the Past Together: Nineteenth Century Quilts on Sunday, October 28. The exhibit showcases beautiful quilting pieces from the collection of Chris and Carol Gebel which are on display from September 7 through December 20.  Carol Gebel, a local collector and the University's former library services specialist, chose examples from her collection that illustrate the evolving history of the quilt.  Piecing the Past Together is part of a double exhibit on quilts at the University. The Artistry of the Traditional Quilt exhibit runs concurrently in the Library Gallery Annex.

What: Piecing the Past Together: Nineteenth Century Quilts exhibit tour and reception
When: Sunday, October 28, 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Where: The University Library, Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA), Sacramento State University, 6000 J Street
For more info: 916-278-6144

PHOTO CREDIT: "Four Eagles," ca. 1875, Pennsylvania. Photograph by Julie Thomas.

October 15, 2012
New Capitol exhibit features Depression-era public art

WPA mural.jpgDebuting today at the State Capitol is an exhibit of artwork commissioned by the California State Parks during the Depression (1934-1942). Funded by state and federal work relief programs, these commissions helped keep talented artists employed during the economic slump.

"California Treasures" features art from a 450-item collection that encompasses mural paintings, easel paintings, watercolors, pastels, and ink and pencil drawings. Included in the exhibit are: color drawings of plants and birds of Mount Diablo; watercolors of the redwood trees of Big Basin; and Clarkson Dye's oil painting impressions of California landscapes.

What: "California Treasures: Artwork of the Great Depression" Exhibit
Where: State Capitol Museum, Historic Archives Room, 10th & L Sts., Sacramento   
When: Oct. 15 through May 17, 2013. Hours 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Complimentary.
For more info: 916-324-0333 or visit website

News Release

IMAGE CREDIT: Mural by James Fitzgerald. Courtesy California State Capitol Museum

October 8, 2012
Hone your genealogy skills at Family History Day

FHD gallery view.JPGAre you interested in researching your family's history, but don't know how to begin? Well Family History Day is just the place to learn about the tools and techniques of genealogy. Choose from 20 novice-level classes covering a wide range of topics, including census and vital records, cemeteries, maps, ethnic research, use of archives and libraries, and the Internet.

There will also be behind-the-scenes tours of the State Archive collections, exhibits by over 25 local and national organizations, and the opportunity to browse the Root Cellar Genealogical Library there at the Archives. As in past years, some of the FHD volunteers and exhibitors will be dress in period attire.

For the first time a class syllabus containing teacher handouts and exhibitor list will be available. The cost is $5 and you can reserve a copy now.

What: 14th Annual Family History Day
Where: California State Archives, 1020 O St., Sacramento
When: Oct. 13, 8:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: (916) 653-7715 or FHD Blog

Class Schedule
News release
Event flyer

PHOTO CREDIT: Previous Family History Day as seen from the Gallery at the California State Archives. Courtesy Root Cellar

October 2, 2012
Julia Morgan exhibit documents a celebrated architecture career

JULIAMORGAN HOUSE.JPGYesterday the State Library opened a month-long exhibit celebrating the career of California's first licensed architect, Julia Morgan. The displays focus on her use of terra cotta produced by the Gladding, McBean factory in Lincoln. Morgan incorporated terra cotta in the design of three important projects: the San Francisco Examiner Building, the Post-Enquirer Building in Oakland, and the Methodist Chinese Mission in San Francisco. Also included in the exhibit are rare photographs and periodicals documenting her work.

The debut coincides with start of the 2012 Julia Morgan Festival that will be observed at venues around California, many of which were designed by Morgan herself.

What: Julia Morgan Exhibit
Where: California State Library Rotunda, 900 N St., Sacramento
When: Oct. 1-31, 9 to 5 p.m., Mon. thru Fri.
Cost: free
For more info: website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: The living room of the Julia Morgan House in Sacramento. 2011 Sacramento Bee photograph by Paul Kitagaki, Jr.

September 24, 2012
Transcontinental railroad turns 150

LincDodgeLR.jpgIn celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Pacific Railroad Act of 1862 that authorized the transcontinental railroad, the California State Railroad Museum will unveil a new exhibit documenting the history of the Union Pacific, beginning with Abraham Lincoln's initial support of the national project and its construction, through wars, disasters and expansion up to the present.

On display will be photos, maps, artifacts and memorabilia, including: a souvenir gold album locket containing a picture of Lincoln during his presidential campaign; railroad advertising, posters and marketing materials; large "drum-head" signs that once "brought up the rear" of famous passenger trains; photos of railroad workers building the Transcontinental Railroad; and the iconic Union Pacific logo as it changed over time.

In addition to the debut of the exhibit Union Pacific is hosting a two-day celebration this weekend in Old Sacramento. Visitors will be treated to a tour of the "Living Legend" No. 844 steam locomotive and a chance to see the vintage 1960s Promontory baggage car and other historic passenger cars and equipment. Plus there will be free rides on the Sacramento Southern excursion train and UP's 956 miniature train. And for just this weekend, the Railroad Museum and Sacramento History Museum will offer free admission.

Also check out the UP 150 Anniversary website which includes an extensive timeline, employee stories and historic advertisements.

What: "Building America: Abraham Lincoln, California and the Union Pacific Railroad" Exhibit
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park
When: Sept. 29 through Aug. 2013
Cost: $10 adults; $5 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under. Free museum admission on Sept. 29 & 30.
For more info: 916-445-6645 or website

News release for the CSRM exhibit
News release for the Union Pacific celebration

PHOTO CREDIT: C. Everett Johnson's painting of Gen. Grenville Dodge and Abraham Lincoln considering routes for the transcontinental railroad, Aug. 1859.

September 19, 2012
The cars of 1968 on display at the Automobile Museum

1968-Poster_small_FinalHR.JPGIt's back to the swinging 60s when the California Automobile Museum debuts its "1968" exhibit this Saturday.

A rotating display of vintage cars (including the 1968 Pontiac GTO, Dodge Charger, Chevy Nova, Ford Mustang, Plymouth Road Runner and Ford Torino) will be accompanied by special exhibits explaining the historic context (in music, toys, politics and advertising) of that tumultuous year.

Dress up in your mod 60s clothing and come to the special exhibit preview Friday (6 to 8 p.m.). Light refreshments and photo opportunities will be available. All ages welcome.

What: 1968
Where: California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front St. Sacramento
When: Sept. 22 thru May 12, 1913. Museum Hours: 10 to 6 p.m. Monday thru Sunday Open until 9 p.m. on third Thursdays.
Cost: $8 adults; $7 vintage (65 and older); $4 students (with current student ID); children 4 and under free.
For more info: (916) 442-6802 or website

September 18, 2012
A wild west train wrought in wood

RR Whittle Stop Engine.jpgToday the Railroad Museum unveils a whimsical exhibit depicting an 1880s steam train carved out of wood by master whittlers. Accompanied by "a handcar, water tower, railroad depot, crossing gate and a cadre of more than 40 humorous characters from all walks of life in the West," this display will sure to delight visitors of all ages.

It took 25 artisans of the Caricature Carvers of America a year to meticulously whittle, sculpt and paint the colorful ensemble. On Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. the carvers will be on hand to meet the public and provide a special demonstration of the whittler's art.

"Whittle Stop" will be available for public viewing for one year in the Gallery Lobby near the Museum entrance and store.

What: "Whittle Stop: A Cast of Caricatures on a Wild West Train" Exhibit
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park
When: Sept. 18 through Sept. 2013
Cost: Museum admission -- $10 adults; $5 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under.
For more info: 916-445-6645 or website

News Release

PHOTO CREDIT: 1880s steam engine, part of the Whittle Stop exhibit. Courtesy California State Railroad Museum

September 14, 2012
One Book celebrates Constitution

book covers.jpgThe Sacramento Public Library has chosen two books for this fall's Big Read/One Book program to celebrate our nation's founding documents: The Penguin Guide to the U.S. Constitution, edited by Richard Beeman, Ph.D; and Constitution Café by Christopher Phillips, Ph.D.

One Book begins on September 18, the day after the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. Free events including author presentations, special exhibitions, craft programs, performances, book discussions and film screenings will explore the history and enduring legacy of the U.S. Constitution through the end of October at a number of library locations. In addition, two displays will go up in the lobby of the Central Library: a panel display on our nation's constitution and an exhibit case featuring Sacramento Room treasures on the history of the U.S. and California constitutions.

Copies of both books will be on sale at the authors' presentations and free copies of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights will be available at all Sacramento Public Library locations during Constitution Week (September 17-21). 

All One Book events are listed in the Sacramento Public Library's online events calendar. For more information, visit www.saclibrary.org or call (916) 264-2920.

August 9, 2012
The State Library celebrates the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War

The California State Library's monthly cultural series, "A Night at the State Library," resumes on Wednesday, August 15 and will feature Dr. Robert J. Chandler, a widely recognized authority on the American West, who will discuss California during the Civil War years. Even though the state was remote from the war's battlefields, many of its citizens actively fought in the hostilities, and Californians gave great financial support mainly to the Union. And even though California had been a free state since 1850, a fair amount of its population came from the South and supported slavery: the war once and for all settled the issue of which way California would turn.

Gettysburg.jpgIn conjunction with this presentation, some of the best Civil War materials in the library's collection are on display in its first floor rotunda. Among them are letters from Californians serving in the United States Army, some of whom did not come anywhere close to the Eastern battlefields and spent the war protecting Western facilities from local Native American tribes. Also on exhibit are pro-Union speeches by Reverend Thomas Starr King, the famous "wallpaper" edition of the Vicksburg, Mississippi Daily Citizen, an engraving of the bombardment of Fort Sumter, and seldom seen textbooks and other volumes from the Confederate States, who found themselves cut off from the big Northern publishers and had to print these works themselves. In addition, the California History Section is showcasing books on the Civil War as it affected California and the Southwest for the August book display in its second floor reading room.

Monitor.jpgThe California State Library is located at 900 N Street in Sacramento. The "A Night at the State Library" event will, as mentioned above, take place on August 15. The doors open at 5PM and the presentation begins at 6PM. Light refreshments will be served. Admission is free: please RSVP to rfontaine@library.ca.gov or 916-653-9942 if you plan to attend.

July 30, 2012
More ink sketches of historic train depots at the State Railroad Museum

Menlo Park SP LR.jpgArtist Walter J. Wedlock began sketching vintage train stations in the 1970s in an effort to preserve them in ink before a third of them were torn down. The resulting collection of 52 drawings and one watercolor were eventually donated to the California State Railroad Museum.

Last year the museum unveiled 26 of the works in a special exhibition. Starting Friday the public will be able to view the rest of the sketches. Included in "Phase Two" are depots in Menlo Park (completed in 1867), Placentia (1910) and two in Fullerton (1922 and 1930). The artwork will remain on display until March 4 of next year.

What: Wedlock's Gift: California Railroad Depot Images In Ink - Phase Two
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park
When: August 3 through March 4, 2013
Cost: $9 adults; $4 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under
For more info: 916-445-6645 or visit website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Menlo Park Southern Pacific Depot. Opened in 1867 and still serves passengers today.

July 20, 2012
Malakoff Diggins Park reopens today

Bloomfield.JPGCalifornia State Parks has announced that Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park will reopen today.

Daily operation of the facility ceased in November 2011 due to budget cutbacks. But new state money will allow the park to be open to the public Friday through Sunday this summer. A pending agreement with the Malakoff Diggins Park Association, the Olmsted Park Fund, South Yuba River Citizens League and other groups should insure ongoing operation.

Located 34 miles northeast of Grass Valley, Malakoff Diggins is historically important for being the site of the world's largest hydraulic mine that dates back to 1852. A mining camp, Humbug City grew up nearby and developed into the bustling little town of North Bloomfield. Despite legal challenges by those concerned with debris washing into rivers, hydraulic mining continued at Malakoff until 1910.

Today visitors can see the historic buildings and mining equipment in North Bloomfield. There's also a museum and gift shop where you can catch talks and tours on the weekends.

Park brochure

PHOTO CREDIT: A water cannon once used to blast away hillsides in search of gold is on display alongside the historic buildings of North Bloomfield in Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park. 1998 Sacramento Bee photograph by Dick Schmidt

July 5, 2012
News from the California History Section

Drop by the California History Room at the State Library, Room 200 at 900 N Street in Sacramento, between 9:30 and 4:00 Monday through Friday, and see its book display from July: "Bloomin' California." Selected for your reading pleasure are books on California botany, ranging from a 1930 state textbook on California wildflowers to a book on the gardens of Alcatraz to another on that state icon, the California Poppy (and while you're visiting, take a look at the California Room's own poppies that amazingly, magically, never wilt!).

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Off the downstairs rotunda, the annual Juneteenth exhibit is still on display, showcasing the contributions of African-Americans to California's history. And in the second floor rotunda you can still see the popular California Calls You exhibit, featuring the often graphically striking promotional materials that have inspired people to visit or move to California over the years. Also on display are a few items from an upcoming exhibit on California sports, which will replace California Calls You in the near future.

Recently processed manuscript collections include material on renowned food writer M. F. K. Fisher, the California Alpine Club, the San Pedro-built ship USS Grama, and California attorney William C. Mathes. And issue #103 of the California State Library Foundation Bulletin is soon to be released, which will include articles on Yosemite artist Thomas Almond Ayres, foundation board vice-president George Basye, the many books and reports issued in the aftermath of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, the pre-bridge Golden Gate, and another recently processed manuscript collection: that of former California State Senator and San Francisco Supervisor Quentin L. Kopp.

sunshine apts.bmpIncluded here for The Bee readership's viewing pleasure are two images from the California History Section's photograph collection: a woman and emu at San Francisco's fabled Woodward's Gardens, and the Sunshine Apartments on Los Angeles' Bunker Hill before the neighborhood was almost entirely leveled.

June 25, 2012
Dixon vet's ship models help teach WWII naval history

Holbrook 2.jpgHeber Holbrook, 88, is a survivor of both the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and the Naval Battle at Guadalcanal. As a way to remember his wartime experiences, he's made a hobby of collecting museum-quality models of important WWII naval ships.

The collection includes the USS Arizona (which sunk at Pearl Harbor), the USS Juneau (which was destroyed at Guadalcanal) and the USS San Francisco (on which Holbrook was wounded during the Guadalcanal battle).

As reported recently in the Dixon Tribune, Holbrook has been collecting ship models for 20 years. Eventually he wants to see the replicas donated to a naval museum on the West Coast. Until then he's loaned the Arizona for display at the Dixon Chamber of Commerce.

You can read the full profile of Mr. Holbrook on the Tribune's Facebook page.

Holbrook 1.jpg

PHOTO CREDIT: Heber Holbrook, right, and stands next to a model of the USS Arizona on display at the Dixon Chamber of Commerce. Looking on is Chamber Chief Administer Carol Pruett and Chamber President Bert Gaulke. Below, the USS Arizona replica made by Model Ship Masters of Los Angeles. Courtesy the Dixon Chamber and Dixon Tribune

June 14, 2012
Father's Day offerings at the rail museums

SP Diesel 6051.jpgTake Dad for a train ride this Father's Day. Both the State Railroad Museum and its sister attraction, Railtown 1897 in Jamestown, will be offering excursions pulled by vintage steam and diesel locomotives.

Railtown's famous "Movie Star Locomotive" Sierra No. 3 and Caboose No. 7 will take guests for the six-mile, 40-minute excursion through the beautiful Gold Country foothills. And to celebrate the holiday dads (and granddads) will receive commemorative Belgium chocolate bars, while the kids get balloons.

In Old Sacramento the usual excursion trains will be running every hour taking passengers for a scenic 40-minute jaunt along the Sacramento River. Buy tickets online or first come, first served on the day of the ride. A special treat this Sunday is the display of seven rarely-seen vintage diesel locomotives -- two inside the museum, five outside the building.

What: "Diesels & Dads" on Father's Day!
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park. Special diesels on display inside and outside the Museum. Excursion trains depart from the Central Pacific Railroad Freight Depot (on Front St. between J and K Sts.).
When: June 17, 2012. Museum hours 10 to 5 p.m. Special diesels on display from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Weekend excursion train rides depart hourly from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Museum admission: $9 adults; $4 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under. Excursion train rides: $10 adults; $5 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under ($15 for first class tickets aboard the El Dorado).
For more info: 916-445-6645 or website

What: Steam-Powered Excursion Train Rides on Father's Day!
Where: Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Jamestown
When: June 17, 2012. Excursion trains depart hourly from 11 to 3 p.m.
Cost: $13 adults, $6 youths ages 6-17, free for children 5 and under (includes Park admission).
For more info: 209-984-3953 or visit website

News releases

PHOTO CREDIT: Southern Pacific Diesel 6051 locomotive. Courtesy California State Road Museum

June 9, 2012
New history displays in the Sacramento Room

Sacramento music display.JPG Six new displays are ready for viewing in the Sacramento Room at the Central Library, each highlighting diverse resources from the library's special collections and archives.

Displays on the history of weddings in Sacramento and on summer activities through the years are located at the entrance to the Sacramento Room. Four additional displays are located inside the reading room. A Sacramento music display draws from the Sacramento Musicians and Songwriters special collection as well as the ephemera and manuscript collections, and includes sheet music, CDs, record albums and posters. "Sacramento Free Library, 1879" gives a snapshot of the library the year it became a public institution. This display includes books that were in the original library collection, photographs, and examples of early library records. Another case features eye-catching books from the special Children's Collection, and Sacramento fiction is the subject of the last display, with examples of books set in Sacramento locales.

The displays will be available to view during open hours through the end of July.

PHOTO: Sacramento music display inside the Sacramento Room.

June 7, 2012
Go Climb a Rock

Yosemite #8.bmpThose of you visiting the California State Library for its annual Juneteenth exhibit will also want to climb the stairs or take the elevator to the library's second floor. There, the theme of the California History Section's monthly featured book exhibit is "Go Climb a Rock," showcasing the state's fabulous scenic wonder-Yosemite! You will see books on every aspect of Yosemite, including children's stories, photographic and artistic views throughout the years, its Native Americans, conservation efforts, and the stewardship of the park under the United States Army. Drop by the State Library's California History Room at 900 N Street, Room 200 between 9:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, and partake in the glory of one of this state's (and this country's) natural treasures.

As an added treat, shown here are two nineteenth-century images of Yosemite from the library's collection. These, along with many other fine photographs and prints, can be accessed in the California State Library's online photo catalog.Yosemite #1.bmp

June 5, 2012
New tractor exhibit at the Heidrick Ag History Center
Heidrick.JPG

The Heidrick Ag History Center will kick off its new interactive exhibit with a special reception next week. The museum will showcase ten antique tractors which visitors can learn about using their cell phones to hear prerecorded historical information on each item.

Ed and Sue Claessen, authors of Making Tracks: C.L Best & The Caterpillar Tractor Co., and collectors Doug and Matt Veerkamp will be on hand to provide historical insights on the Caterpiller company and the Caterpiller equipment housed at the museum.

Reception guests will also be treated to appetizers and tastings from Berryessa Gap, Capay Valley Vineyards, Copper Hill Olive Oil, Lucero Oil, Putah Creek Winery, Simas Family Vineyard, and Seka Hills Wine & Olive Oil.

The Heidrick Ag History Center, comprised of the Fred C. Heidrick Antique Ag Collection and the Hays Antique Truck Collection, is the largest assemblage of antique truck and tractors in North America.

What: Reception to open a new interactive exhibit
Where: Heidrick Ag History Center, 1962 Hays Lane, Woodland
When: June 13, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Cost: $20. Free to annual museum members.
For more info/RSVP by June 8: 530-666-9700 or email

News release
Event flyer

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Heidrick Ag History Center

June 5, 2012
California State Library's Juneteenth exhibit documents history

Juneteenth will be celebrated June 19, but the California State Library is getting a jump on the holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the freeing of the last slaves in America, on June 19, 1865.

The library's Juneteenth National Freedom Day Exhibit 2012 features "historical items that document the African American experience," taken from the library's collection. Among them are:

- The first California printing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
- A copy of the Thirteenth Amendment, which forbids slavery and involuntary servitude.
- Rare books on slavery and the Abolitionist Movement.
- A transcript of the 1839 Amistad Slavery Trial.
- Art by African American illustrator Grafton Tyler Brown.

The exhibit is on display now through July 31, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at 900 N St., Sacramento.

More information: www.library.ca.gov.

-- Allen Pierleoni

June 5, 2012
New exhibit honors 100 years of Girl Scouting

GSUSA_100thGuide_0004115.jpgThe California Museum will celebrate the Centennial of Girl Scouting with a new interactive exhibit documenting the history and achievements of the worldwide organization dedicated to the development of young women. The displays of rare artifacts -- vintage uniforms, books, badges and photographs -- help tell the story of Girl Scouts, whose members include founder Juliette Gordon Low, civil rights activist Dolores Huerta and California Museum Trustee Lisa Ling.

Girl Scouts Heart of Central California will hold a special 100th Anniversary Gala at the California Museum on June 22 (5:30-7:30 p.m.).

What: The Girl Scout Promise -- 100 Years of Girl Scouting in California
Where: The California Museum, 1020 O St., Sacramento
When: June 7 thru Sept. 30. Tuesday thru Saturday: 10 to 5 p.m.; Sunday: 12 to 5 p.m.
Cost: Admission: adults, $8.50; seniors 65+ and college students with valid ID, $7; youth (ages 6-17), $6; children (5 & under), free.
For more info: (916) 653-7524 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Girl Scouts Heart of Central California

May 29, 2012
Summer Reading poster display at Central Library

Summer Reading commences on June 1 at the Sacramento Public Library, and in celebration, summer reading posters from years past will be on display at the Central Library. Eye-catching posters representing five decades of summer reading programs have been pulled from the library archives and will be exhibited on the first floor of the library from June 6 through mid-August, 2012. 

Summer Reading 1980.JPGSummer Reading 1995.JPG Sacramento Public Library has hosted summer reading programs for over 50 years. The programs encourage children's reading over the summer months through reading challenges, story times, and other special programs. This year's theme is DREAM BIG, and Summer Reading runs from June 1 through August 15. Participants can sign up and learn more at http://www.saclibrary.org/.

IMAGE CREDIT: 1980 Sacramento Public Library Summer Reading poster ("Super People") and 1995 Summer Reading poster ("Hunt for Treasure"). From the Archives of the Sacramento Public Library.

May 28, 2012
150 years of passenger train style explored in new exhibit

Lucius Beebe Car.jpgThis Thursday the State Railroad Museum unveils a new exhibit chronicling the evolution of passenger railroading since the 1870s. A variety of articles display the innovations in comfort, design, technology and service that improved train travel over the decades.

You'll see various seating from the 19th century to the present, different types of sleeping accommodations and other amenities, as well as a selection of vintage lights, dining utensils and china. There's even a barber chair used in the early 1900s and a bar from a 30s lounge car.

"Ticket to Ride" will be located in the Mezzanine Gallery near the entrance to the Museum Theater.

What: "Ticket to Ride: 150 Years Passenger Comfort & Style" Exhibit
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park
When: May 31 through March 2013
Cost: $9 adults; $4 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under
For more info: 916-445-6645 or website

News Release

PHOTO CREDIT: Lucius Morris Beebe's private car, The Gold Coast, built in 1905, on display in 1982 at the California State Railroad Museum. Photo Special to the Bee by Curt W. Kaldor

May 24, 2012
The jazzy side of the Railroad Museum

Sac Music logo.JPGTo get in the spirit of this weekend's 39th annual Sacramento Music Festival in Old Sacramento, the California State Railroad Museum will provide its own live music inside the building.

A variety of banjo groups will perform in the Roundhouse on Friday (1 to 4 p.m.) and Saturday thru Monday (11 to 4 p.m.). There will be more live music in the Museum Theater on Saturday and Sunday (1 and 2:30 p.m. And passengers enjoying the 40-minute excursion train rides will be treated to performances by members of the Sacramento Banjo Band.

Excursion trains will run all three weekend days, departing hourly from 11 to 5 p.m. from the nearby Central pacific Depot on Front St. between J and K Sts. Tickets may be purchased at the Sacramento Southern Railroad ticket office starting 10: 30 a.m. on the day of the ride (first-come, first served).

What: Jazz-Related Activities at the California State Railroad Museum
Where: 2nd and I Sts., Old Sacramento
When: May 26-28, 10 to 5 p.m.
Cost: Museum admission: general $9, youth (6-17) $4, children (0-5) free. Excursion train rides: general $10, youth (6-17) $5, children (0-5) free. First class Eldorado Car: per person $15, children (0-5) free. Free museum admission for those holding Music Festival badges.
For more info: (916) 445-6645 or website

May 22, 2012
Railtown 1897 to run train excursions on Memorial Day

Sierra 3 Bell Mooney Road.JPGIt's a big weekend coming up for Railtown 1897 State Historic Park. The vintage trains will run all three days, taking passengers on a 40-minute ride through California's Gold Country. The "Movie Star Locomotive" Sierra No. 3 will working Saturday. And on Sunday the Pullman car No. 2901 will be available for its first trip of the season.

All weekend the historic belt shop will be running and the famous Caboose No. 7 will be open for tours.

Train excursion tickets may be purchased online in advance or at the park starting 10 a.m. on the day of the ride (first come -- first served).

What: Excursion Train Rides Over Memorial Day Weekend
Where: Railtown 1897 State Historic Park
When: May 26 to 28. Excursion trains depart on-the-hour from 11 to 3 p.m
Cost: General train rides - $13 adults, $6 youths ages 6-17, free for children 5 and under. First-class train ride (Sunday only): $21 adults, $9 youths ages 6-17, free for children 5 and under.
For more info: 209-984-3953 or www.railtown1897.org

News Release

PHOTO CREDIT: Sierra No. 3, the "Movie Star" steam locomotive. Courtesy Railtown 1897 State Historic Park

May 21, 2012
'Vettes for Vets' car show is cruising for Corvette owners

Corvettes.JPGThe Corvette has been America's sportscar since General Motors introduced the first model in 1953. The fiberglass convertible was meant to compete with the likes of British-made Triumph and Jaguar, and cost around $2,000. The Beach Boys' song "Shut Down," about a drag race involving a 1963 Stingray, helped put the official stamp on the Corvette as an icon.

That's the kind of lore that you'll hear when Corvette owners and fans gather at the "Vettes for Vets" car show at the California Automobile Museum, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 27. It's in honor of "the hard work and dedication that military veterans have committed to our country."

The Corvette showing is free to everyone; military veterans will be admitted free to two special exhibits inside the museum, opening the same day. "No Job Too Big" will display commercial vehicles such as buses, tow trucks and police cars. The second show will feature the French Citron DS.

If you're a Corvette owner, you can display your car at the "Vettes for Vets" show. Advance registration is $10, or $15 the day of the event. To register: (916) 442-6802, www.calautomuseum.org.

General admission to the museum is $8, $7 seniors, $4 students, free for age 4 and younger. The museum is at 2200 Front St., Sacramento.

-- Allen Pierleoni

PHOTO CREDIT: 1959 and 1963 Chevrolet Corvettes on display at the Towe Auto Museum. 2004 photograph by Ken Jordan

May 3, 2012
The California State Library Celebrates the Golden Gate Bridge

For the month of May, the California State Library will celebrate the 75th birthday of San Francisco's fabled Golden Gate Bridge. The library's California History Room has changed its featured display to showcase many fascinating books about the bridge. Particularly noteworthy are the 1938 official report on the bridge's construction, a more recent report on the Doyle Drive approach to the span (timely since that inadequate and dangerous stretch of highway was torn down this past weekend), and a 1921 volume titled Bridging the Golden Gate, showing the ungainly original design for the bridge which fortunately did not come to pass.

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And on Wednesday, May 16, the monthly "A Night at the State Library" program will present the 1968 film Bullitt, starring Steve McQueen as a San Francisco police lieutenant and showcasing an almost 11-minute car chase in which the Golden Gate Bridge is visible (permission to actually film part of this chase on the bridge was denied by authorities). A post-film discussion will feature historic photos and archival material on San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge from the State Library's collection. The library is located at 900 N Street in Sacramento. The doors open at 5PM, the presentation starts at 6PM, and light refreshments will be served. If you wish to attend please RSVP to rfontaine@library.ca.gov or call 916-215-9280.

GG Bridge Construction.bmp

Speaking of historic images from the State Library, seen here is a photo of a workman high up alongside the cables during the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, and another of classic aircraft flying over the bridge, likewise during its construction. I have also included a photo from my own collection taken by Debra Wilensky of San Francisco, early in the morning of May 24, 1987, showing people crowding onto the bridge during its 50th anniversary celebration. I was standing close by as the photo was taken and, believe me, we did not advance a whole lot further than this.GG Bridge 50.jpg

April 30, 2012
Congratulations to the California History Day Finalists

DS HISTORY JUDGING.JPGNational History Day is a year-long competition in the area of historical research, writing and analysis (sort of history's equivalent of a science fair for primary and secondary school students around the country). Contestants who qualified at the regional level went on to compete at this past weekend's state gathering in Riverside where winners were chosen for the national competition coming up in Maryland June 10-14.

This year's NHD theme is Revolution, Reaction, Reform in History. Students chose a related event from local, state, national or world history and presented their research in one of six formats: 2-D display, documentary video, exhibit, paper, performance or website.

Valarie Okamoto, a student at Spring View Middle School in Rocklin, earned co-champion honors in the Junior Individual Exhibit category. Her entry was entitled There's No Crying in Baseball: The History of the All‐American Girls Professional Baseball League. Andrew Kambe, also of Spring View Middle School, was runner-up in that same category for his exhibit, The Berlin Wall: A Wall Dividing a Country. Both students were coached by Spring View teacher Lynne Meiers.

Congratulations to all the students from the region who participated in California History Day!

PHOTO CREDIT: Tien Pham and Lisa Mayorga, 10th graders at Florin High School, listen to judges' questions, appraisal and commentary about their exhibit, Medical Miracles and the Heart, during Sacramento History Day. 1999 Sacramento Bee photograph by Dick Schmidt.

April 27, 2012
Folsom group seeks to transform home into a museum

Chan House rendering.jpgHistoric redevelopment is flourishing in Folsom. Recently the city celebrated the opening of an amphitheater and public plaza that comprise the centerpiece of the ambitious Historic Folsom Station project.

But Folsom Station isn't the only historical effort currently underway. The Folsom Historical Society and the Heritage Preservation League of Folsom have been working to save from demolition a 1910 home that's one of last vestiges of the town's Chinese heritage.

Chan House (917 Sutter St.) was once home to Oak Chan, considered the first mayor of Folsom's Chinatown, the second largest Chinese community in California in the 1880s. The Chan family lived in the residence until 1971. Now preservationists want to restore the house and transform it into a museum to display local Chinese artifacts and commemorate the role Asian immigrants played in the development of the region and state.

The partnership aims to raise $300,000 to purchase and convert the property. You can help by making a donation to the Heritage Preservation League, Chan House Fund, c/o the Folsom Historical Society, 823 Sutter St., Folsom CA 95630.

For more information, call (916) 985-2707 or email: Candy Miller, folsomcandy@sbcglobal.net, Barbara Leary, barbaraleary@comcast.net or Jeff Ferreira-Pro, ferreirapro@earthlink.net.

IMAGE CREDIT: Artist rendering of the proposed Howard Sr. and Mabel Chan House Museum. Courtesy Folsom Historical Society

April 25, 2012
I Street Bridge anniversary honored in photo exhibit

I Street Bridge 1949 - Frank  Christy Collection 1998-722-241.jpgBuilt in 1911 and opened to traffic in 1912, the I Street Bridge will be honored in a new photo exhibit at the Sacramento History Museum.

According to a 2011 Bee article, the current structure is the fifth bridge at that location. Not as glamorous as the Tower Bridge, the steel truss I Street Bridge was solidly built and has marveled engineers by carrying trains every day for almost a century.

What: Sacramento's I Street Bridge -- Photo Display
Where: Sacramento History Museum, 101 I Street in Old Sacramento
When: April 28 thru Dec. 31. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: $6 for adults; $4 for youth ages 6-17; free for children five and under
For more info: 916-808-7059 or website.

News release
2011 Bee story about the I St. Bridge

PHOTO CREDIT: I Street Bridge in 1949. Frank Christy Collection. Courtesy Center for Sacramento History

April 12, 2012
"I Feel the Earth Move"

2011-2455.jpgOur planet has experienced a series of rather large earthquakes over the last couple of days, so you might want to visit the California History Room at the State Library. Its featured book display for April is titled "I Feel the Earth Move" and appropriately highlights the San Francisco earthquake and fire of April 1906. Among the volumes on display are several works of fiction, a collection of reminiscences, several mass-produced photo and text descriptions (some rather sensationalized) issued in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, and William Bronson's The Earth Shook, The Sky Burned of 1959, which in my humble opinion is still the best overall work on the subject. In addition, the National Board of Fire Underwriters' report is on display along with a 1913 work on the post-disaster relief efforts.  

2011-2445.jpg 

Come on down to 900 N Street in Sacramento, take the elevator or stairs to the second floor, and read up on what is arguably the pivotal event in San Francisco's history. And while doing so an important fact may become clear: about 90% of the damage to the city that fateful April was done by the fire, not the earthquake.
April 12, 2012
Woodland Museum Day
Fordson Track 1.JPG

Woodland Museum Day offers a rare opportunity to sample a lot of the town's historic legacy when eleven unique venues are open this Saturday:

* The Christian Church Museum, 509 College St.
* The Gibson House Yolo County Historical Museum, 512 Gibson Road.
* The Hays Antique Truck Museum and the Heidrick Ag History Center both at 1962 Hays Lane
* Reiff's Gas Station on Jefferson Street.
* The Historic Woodland Railroad Dept at the corner of Lincoln Avenue and Sixth Street.
* The Spring Lake School House at the Yolo County Fair Grounds.
* The Spring Lake/Woodland Fire Museum at the Yolo County Fair Grounds.
* The Woodland Fire Museum, 532 Court St.
* The Woodland Museum of Biblical Archeology, 240 West St.
* The Woodland Opera House, 320 Second St.

Maps and brochures will be available at each location. And knowledgeable docents will be on hand to explain the exhibits.

What: Woodland Museum Day
Where: Woodland museums
When: April 14, 10 to 4 p.m.
Cost: some venues free; some have donation boxes; half price at Hayes and Hedrick.
For more info: BJ Ford, 304-7521, or event brochure

PHOTO CREDIT: Fordson Track Hadfield-Cahl Tracks 1923. Courtesy Heidrick Ag History Center

April 10, 2012
More crate label art at the Railroad Museum

Pick Me California Dream.jpgThe California Railroad Museum has added more than 100 additional items to its popular produce label exhibit.

Museum visitors will not only see striking commercial art from 1880-1950, they'll learn how rail transport was critical to the success of the state's burgeoning food industry. In addition, guests will have the chance to design their own art labels. (Bring your camera.)

What: "Pick Me! Fruit Crate Art & the California Dream" Exhibit
Where: California State Railroad Museum, corner of 2nd and I Sts. in Old Sacramento
When: April 10 through Oct. 31, 2013. Open daily 10 to 5 p.m.
Cost: $9 adults; $4 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under
For more info: 916-445-6645 or website

News Release

PHOTO CREDIT: Fruit label on display at the California State Railroad Museum exhibit "Pick Me! Fruit Crate Art & the California Dream" that opened last year. Courtesy California State Railroad Museum

April 5, 2012
Holocaust exhibit visits Sacramento

Poland Auschwitz.jpgA traveling exhibit of rare Holocaust photographs is currently on display at the State Capitol. The Courage to Remember offers deep insight into one of history's worst episodes using 200 exclusive images found no where else. Over 2 million people in 73 locations have viewed the exhibition which is sponsored by The Foundation for California and the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

A special ceremony, featuring "elected officials, Holocaust survivors, special guest speakers, representatives from the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and other community supporters of Holocaust education" will be held next Tuesday at the Capitol to commemorate the exhibit.

What: The Courage to Remember: The Holocaust 1933-1945
Where: California State Capitol Museum, 10th and L Sts., Sacramento
When: March 30 thru April 13, daily 9 to 5 p.m. Special ceremony April 10, 4:30 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: (562) 961-5595 or email

PHOTO CREDIT: Visitors walk through the entrance gate of the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp in Oswiecim, southern Poland. 2005 Associated Press photograph by Herbert Knosowski

March 30, 2012
California and the Civil War exhibit

Nevada City Civil War.JPGAlthough there weren't major battles in California, the state did play a role in the American Civil War, supplying gold and volunteer soldiers to the Union side. But early on Californians were very divided in their loyalties and the state almost sided with the South in 1861.

The story of the struggle between northern and southern sympathizers is told in a new exhibit opening today at the Folsom History Museum. Displays include images of soldiers and politicians, plus period weapons and clothing.

California and the Civil War was designed by Richard Hurley and TJ Meekins, co-authors of Queen of the Nevada Mines, a historical novel set in Nevada City during the conflict. The two writers were interviewed about their research in a recent segment of the KXJZ radio program Insight.

What: California and the Civil War
Where: Folsom History Museum, 823 Sutter St., Folsom
When: March 30 thru May 13, Tuesday thru Sunday, 11 to 4 p.m.
Cost: $4 for adults, $2 for youth, children under 12 free.
For more info: 916-985-2707 or web site.

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Nevada City ACWA (American Civil War Association) Civil War Re-enactment at Pioneer Park in Nevada City 1pm. Photograph by Penny Meyer

March 28, 2012
Nathaniel S. Colley history unveiled

In October 2010, the Center for Sacramento History (CSH) received the Nathaniel S. and Jerlean J. Colley Papers. On March 22, 2012, CSH staff unveiled a finding aid to these important records, as well as an accompanying online web exhibit, and short film.

As Center for Sacramento History Interpretive Specialist Heather Downey writes, "Nathaniel Colley, affectionately known by friends and colleagues as 'Nat,' devoted himself to the improvement of his community. As one of Sacramento's earliest African American lawyers, Colley spent 50 years helping to shape the course of social reform across Sacramento, California, and the nation.

A brilliant trial attorney, Nathaniel managed a successful Sacramento law firm, paving the way for groundbreaking anti-discrimination lawsuits and arguing in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. Together with his wife, Jerlean, Nathaniel raised five children and led numerous civic organizations. His legacy lives on in this collection, comprised of awards and accolades, photographs, and the insightful speeches, letters, and articles for which Nathaniel Colley was renowned."

 

The Colley collection documents the legal and civic activities of Nathaniel Colley, and is primarily comprised of speeches, statements, editorials, and publications. The finding aid provides a complete description of the collection, and is available through the Center for Sacramento History's website, as is the online exhibit, "The Time is Now: The Civic Life of Sacramento's Nathaniel Colley." The short film, seen above, is also accessible through the Center for Sacramento History's Youtube page.

March 16, 2012
Illuminated Manuscripts at the State Library

1005.JPGIlluminated manuscripts are hand-written manuscripts whose texts are embellished with elaborate decoration. The purest definition of this term involves illustration done in gold or silver, but it has expanded to include other handwritten texts accompanied by decorative design. This is a primarily Western tradition (although similar styles existed in the Far Eastern and Islamic worlds and are usually referred to by different names) and dates back to late Antiquity, when illuminated manuscripts were responsible for preserving much Greek and Roman literature that might otherwise have been lost. The majority of the surviving illuminated manuscripts date from the middle ages and are primarily religious in nature. This tradition lasted into the Renaissance as well.    

 

During the mid 19th century, artists became interested in imitating the illuminated manuscripts of the Middle Ages. Now on display in a new exhibit-Illumination and Color Printing During the Victorian Era-in the State Library's first floor gallery are several rare examples from this Gothic Revival era in which artists decorated manuscripts with gold, silver, and other bright colors produced from semi-precious stones. With the introduction of chromolithography or printing in color, publishers could produce in quantity spectacular reproductions of this attractive form of page decoration made to look like the page leaves created by the monks and scribes of the 10th - 14th centuries.  In addition, Illumination and Color Printing During the Victorian Era includes books ranging from a late Middle Ages Horae or Book of Hours to the spectacular Arion Press 2000 Millennium Bible with original illuminated initials created by noted calligrapher Thomas Ingmire of San Francisco, as well as examples of books actually bound in papier mâché and made to look like carved wooden bindings from the Middle Ages. Illumination and Color Printing During the Victorian Era will be on exhibit until April 30.

1006.JPG 

In conjunction with this exhibit, this month's A Night at the California State Library program will feature "Illuminated Manuscripts" with internationally known antiquarian bookseller John Windle. Windle specializes in illuminated manuscripts, early and fine printings, and illustrated books. He will be discussing the history and making of illuminated manuscripts, and the State Library's History Librarian Emeritus, Gary F. Kurutz, will present rare pieces from the California State Library's collection and the stories behind them. A Night at the California State Library will take place Wednesday, March 21. The doors open at 5PM, and the presentation begins at 6PM. The State Library is located at 900 N Street in Sacramento. If you wish to attend, please RSVP to Rebecca Ann Fontaine at rfontaine@library.ca.gov or 916-653-9942. Light refreshments are generously sponsored by the California State Library Foundation.1007.JPG
March 9, 2012
What's cooking?

1004.JPGOnce again a new month has arrived, and the theme for the March book display in the California History Section at the State Library is "What's cooking? -- California cookbooks."

The California Section staff has selected a variety of cookbooks which explore the tremendous diversity of cooking styles in California, reflecting the state's extraordinary mix of ethnic cultures, its often innovative cooking styles, and the history of changes in its cuisine (among the books on display is one of my own favorites, Recipes from the Russians of San Francisco, featuring many of the scrumptious delights that came from my great-grandmother's kitchen when I was a youngster).

1002.JPGThe books are displayed on the shelves across from the lockers in Room 200 at 900 N Street, and come from both the California Section's circulating and non-circulating collections--so drop on by weekdays between 9:30 and 4:00 and have a look!

March 5, 2012
New photo exhibit celebrates steam railroading

Thumbnail image for Steam rail book.jpgThis Saturday the California State Railroad Museum will debut a new exhibit based on the illustrated book Steam: An Enduring Legacy, the Railroad Photographs of Joel Jensen. Fifty dramatic black-and-white images selected from the volume celebrate the era of steam locomotives, which ended around 1960.

In addition to the exhibit, Joel Jensen will appear at the Museum this Sunday for two special presentations and book signings.

What: Steam: An Enduring Legacy, the Railroad Photographs of Joel Jensen - Exhibit & Presentation/Book Signing Opportunity
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park
When: Exhibit - March 9 thru July 29, 2012. Presentation/Book Signing - March 11, 2012 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Museum hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Cost: $9 adults, $4 youths ages 6-17, free for children ages 5 and under (regular Museum admission)
For more info: 916-445-6645 or visit the California State Railroad Museum.

News Release

March 2, 2012
See 'Cars of the Stars' at Auto Museum exhibit

JamesDean.bmpThe black Mercury coupe James Dean drove in Rebel Without a Cause and Erik Estrada 's motorcycle from CHiPs and other famous vehicles from film and television are part of the new California Automobile Museum exhibition "Cars of the Stars."

The exhibit runs through March 31, The "Rebel" car, on loan from Reno's National Auto Museum, has been at the Sacramento museum since the fall.

The museum at 2200 Front Street is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (last admission 5 p.m.) every day. Admission is $8 adults, $7 seniors 65 and older, $4 students. Children 4 and younger are free.

For information, call (916) 442-6802 or visit the museum site.

-- Carla Meyer

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy California Automobile Museum

February 22, 2012
"The Envelope, Please...."

006.JPGWant to read about movies, movie stars, and the Academy Awards? Each month the California History Section at the State Library displays books on a specific theme in its reading room, and the February theme is: "The envelope please...". In honor of the Academy Awards which will be held on February 26th, California Section staff have selected an assortment of books from the Section's extensive holdings on movies, movie stars, and the Academy Awards. The books are on display in Room 200 at 900 N Street on the shelves across from the lockers and are from our circulating collection--so come have a look before the end of the month, and the theme changes again!005.JPG

February 11, 2012
Mobile WWI exhibit to visit Napa, Stockton
WWI exhibit.jpg

With the recent death of the last known World War I veteran, direct memory of "The Great War" has passed away.

Fortunately there's a traveling exhibit coming to Northern California to help educate the public about this pivotal chapter in world history.

This week the 18-wheel big-rig WWI Museum visits downtown Napa and the University of the Pacific as part of its 75-city "Honoring Our History" tour. Visitors to the exhibit will get a direct experience of the war via artifacts (weapons, tools, equipment and uniforms), multimedia displays and a walk-through simulated trench environment.

What: Honoring Our History Traveling World War I Exhibition
Where: Veterans Park, Downtown Napa and University of the Pacific, 3601 Pacific Ave., Stockton.
When: Feb. 15 (Napa) and Feb. 17 (Stockton), 9 - 5 p.m.
Cost: free, donations appreciated.
For more info: website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: WWI Machine Gun and Trench Experience, part of the Honor Our History traveling exhibition. Courtesy National WWI Museum

February 9, 2012
Online hydraulic mining exhibit

hydraulic.JPGBefore a federal court ended the practice in 1884, hydraulic gold mining in the Mother Lode exacted a terrible environmental cost on the downstream rivers and farmland.

To help visitors better understand this era in mining history, the Gold Country Museum in Auburn rebuilt its exhibit on hydraulic extraction (the use of water jets to sweep away whole hillsides to get at the ore).

If you're unable to see the exhibit in person, check out the online version on the Placer County Museums' blog. Six diorama-like displays explain in detail the technique and its impact.

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo of powerful hydraulic hoses being used in gold mining operations.

February 7, 2012
Tuskegee Airman take flight at the California Museum

MatthewsPilot1944.JPGA new California Museum exhibit on the Tuskegee Airmen coincides nicely with the recent release of Red Tails, the George Lucas film depicting the famed World War II fighter group.

The Tuskegee Airmen not only fought heroically in Europe, they also overcame prejudice and discrimination in the Army Air Forces. Their success helped prepare the way for desegregation of the U.S. military in 1948.

Developed by the California African American Museum in partnership with The California Museum, the exhibit showcases aircraft and military memorabilia, original letters, journals and other personal mementos.

What: Tuskegee Airmen: Journey to Flight
Where: California Museum
When: Today thru Aug. 5, 2012. Museum hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 - 5 p.m.; Sun.: 12:00 - 5 p.m.
Cost: Adults $8.50; college students & seniors $7 with valid ID; youth 6-17: $6; children 5 & under free.
For more info: see website

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Robert A. (Bob) Matthews, former Tuskegee Airman of World War II (1944 photo) and UC Davis geology instructor. Matthews died in 2006. Courtesy Friends of the Davis Library

January 30, 2012
14th Annual Sacramento Museum Day

California Gallery.JPGMuseum Day is your once-a-year opportunity to sample the region's wealth of art, history, science and wildlife exhibits for free or half-price.

The event features 28 facilities, including the Sacramento History Museum, California State Railroad Museum, Aerospace Museum of California, the California Museum, State Capitol Museum, State Indian Museum, State Military Museum and Sutter's Fort.

Special this year: free ice cream will be provided by Umpqua Bank (while supplies last) at three locations as follows: 10 a.m. at Fairytale Town, noon at the California State Railroad Museum and 2 p.m. at the Aerospace Museum of California.

Please note that shuttle buses will not operate this time.

What: Sacramento Museum Day 2012
Where: 28 museums located throughout the Sacramento region (complete list and map)
When: Feb. 4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (last guests are admitted at 4 p.m.)
Cost: free at 26 museums; half-priced at Sacramento Zoo & Fairytale Town (Sacramento Zoo is $5.50 for adults, $3.50 for children ages 2-11 and free for children under two; Fairytale Town is $2.25 for everyone and free for children under two years of age).
For more info: 916-808-7777 or website

News Release

PHOTO CREDIT: The California Gallery at the Crocker Art Museum. 2010 Sacramento Bee photograph by Randall Benton

January 24, 2012
Volunteers sought for railroad museums
RAILROAD MUSEUM DOCENT.JPG

The California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento and its sister facility Railtown1897 State Historic Park in Jamestown have put out a call for new volunteers to help with their educational activities.

The Railroad Museum seeks adults over 18 who can serve as docents, help with steam train operations, track restoration, clerical work and other types of essential jobs. Volunteers commit to 84 hours of work annually, but hours are flexible. You don't have to be an expert in rail history. Most folks learn by doing.

The Museum's volunteer orientation will be held on Feb. 25, but you must fill out an application and be interviewed prior to the meeting. Applications are being accepted through Feb. 6. Call Volunteer Training Coordinator Theresa Gonsolis at (916) 324-7593 or see the CSRM website for more information.

Railtown, home of the "movie star" locomotive, is currently recruiting Car Hosts, Ticket Agents, Tour Guides, Public Greeters, and Fire Patrol Operators (entry level engine crew). Interested people should attend the Volunteer Open House on Feb. 4 and submit an application by Feb. 6. For more information call 209-984-4408 or visit the web site.

News releases

PHOTO CREDIT: California State Railroad Museum docent Jack Seigal talks about the completion of the transcontinental railroad during a tour. 2001 Sacramento Bee photograph by Randy Pench

January 17, 2012
Catholic sisters exhibit to open at the California Museum

sisters.JPGConcluding its two-year tour in Sacramento, Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America recounts the important social and cultural contributions of a small group of dedicated women. For 300 years Catholic sisters built and maintained schools, colleges, hospitals and orphanages. They ought for social justice and were early advocates of health and child care. Their remarkable stories are documented by a variety of artifacts -- some never displayed before.

The local exhibit is supplemented by a special display depicting the history of those sisters who arrived in San Francisco in 1851 and served this state in its early years.

What: Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters In America
Where: California Museum, 1020 O St., Sacramento
When: Jan. 24 thru June 3. Museum hours: Mon-Sat, 10 - 5 p.m.; Sun, 12 - 5 p.m.
Cost: Adults $8.50, seniors and college students $7, youth 6 to 17 $6, children under 6 free.
For more info: 916-653-7524 or web site

Exhibit brochure

PHOTO CREDIT: Women & Spirit exhibit. Courtesy Leadership Conference of Women Religious

December 26, 2011
Art Museum celebrates Kwanzaa

Kwanzaa.JPGThe Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum will honor African American heritage during special Kwanzaa activities this Saturday.

Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan African holiday founded by CSU Long Beach Professor Maulana Karenga in 1966. It's observed every year between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1 to celebrate African history, culture and values.

The Sojourner Truth Museum is dedicated to presenting Asian, African, Hispanic and Native American visual and performing arts to people of all ages in the Sacramento region.

What: Kwanzaa Celebration at the Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum
Where: Sojourner Truth Multicultural Art Museum, 2251 Florin Rd., Sacramento
When: Dec. 21, 4 to 7 p.m.
Cost: free, donations welcome
For more info: 916-320-9573 or website

PHOTO CREDIT: Joyce Bahati applauds a performance during a Kwanzaa celebration at the Center for Spiritual Awareness in West Sacramento. 2007 Sacramento Bee photograph by Lezlie Sterling

December 16, 2011
Ishi's cape featured in Travel Channel program

IshiFurCape_RGB.jpgA California Museum artifact associated with Ishi, the Yahi Indian "discovered" in 1911, will be the subject of the Dec. 20 segment of Mysteries at the Museum on the Travel Channel.

Anthropologist Dr. P. Christiaan Klieger will explain how the fur cape was found and how it shed light on the discredited claim that Ishi was "the last wild Indian in North America."

The cable show runs this Tuesday at 9 to 10 p.m. on Comcast in Sacramento (check local listings for times and channels elsewhere).

The cape is on display in the California Museum's ongoing exhibit, "California Indians: Making A Difference."

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Rare Yahi cape on display in the California Museum's permanent exhibit, "California Indians: Making A Difference." Courtesy California Museum of History

December 2, 2011
Annual gingerbread house contest in Old Sacramento

Gingerbread Holiday.jpgFeeling creative this holiday season? Decorate a gingerbread house and enter it in the Old Sacramento Schoolhouse annual gingerbread house contest.

Entries will be accepted at the Schoolhouse on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3. Winners will be announced on Dec. 10. Houses will be exhibited at the Museum through Dec. 21. After that they'll be given to local children's homes and hospitals.

What: Gingerbread Holiday
Where: Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum, 1200 Front St.
When: Entries accepted Dec. 2 & 3, 1 to 4 p.m. Houses on display thru Dec. 21.
For more info: 916-483-8818 or web site

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy Old Sacramento Schoolhouse Museum

November 29, 2011
Bank of America reprises museum freebies

CrockerArt.JPGBank of America and Merrill Lynch continue the Museums on Us program which provides their customers with free admission to more than 150 cultural institutions in 87 cities across the nation. Two local attractions are featured: the California Museum and the Crocker Art Museum.

Participants must present a photo ID and a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit/debit card. The program excludes fundraisers, special exhibitions, and ticketed shows and is not intended to be combined with other offers.

What: Bank of America's Museums on Us
Where: California Museum (1020 O St.) and Crocker Art Museum (216 O St.)
When: Dec. 3 & 4, regular museum hours
Cost: free with valid photo identification and a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card.
For more info: http://museums.bankofamerica.com

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: "Standing Man" a ceramic piece by Viola Frey on display at the "new" Crocker Art Museum. 2010 Sacramento Bee photograph by Manny Crisostomo

November 21, 2011
Small trains are a holiday attraction at the Railroad Museum

ToyTrainHoliday.JPGThe California State Railroad Museum launches the holiday season with special attractions this weekend.

Visitors of ages will delight in interpretive handcar ride, scale model and toy train layouts throughout the museum (including a Polar Express version), a scavenger hunt and a toy-train movie. Mrs. Santa Claus will be on hand to greet the kids and ell stories.

While you're visiting Old Sac, go see Santa at the nearby Eagle Theatre  from 2:30-8:30 p.m., Fri., Sat. and Sun. And check out the Old Sacramento Theatre of Lights show at 6:15 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., Thurs. through Sun. (See a video of the 2009 show.)

What: Small Train Holiday!
Where: California State Railroad Museum
When: Nov. 25 & 26, 10 to 5 p.m.
Cost: $9 for adults; $4 youths ages 6-17 and free for children five and under
For more info: Call 916-445-6645 or go to californiastaterailroadmuseum

News Release

PHOTO CREDIT: As part of the Railroad Museum's "Train Time for Santa" event in 2003, modular (portable) toy train and scale model train layouts were on display throughout the Museum.

November 18, 2011
West Sacramento veterans honored in new exhibit

WestSacMuseum.JPGA new exhibit honors World War II veterans from East Yolo County (West Sacramento, Broderick and Bryte).

Sponsored by the West Sacramento Historical Society, this collection brings together photographs, memorabilia and other information on the men and women who served in the armed forces during that conflict. There's a photo gallery of the exhibits on the Society's web site.

What: Veterans of West Sacramento
Where: History Gallery, West Sacramento Community Center, 1075 West Capitol Ave.
When: Nov. 12 through June 2012. Center hours Mon-Thurs: 8 to 7:30 p.m., Fri: 8 to 5 p.m. Sat: 9 to 2 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: 916-374-1849 or web site

PHOTO CREDIT: Guests look at the historical gallery during a preview party for the new West Sacramento Community Center in West Sacramento, which opened in October 2010. The Center features an art gallery, history gallery, childcare center, black box theatre, senior lounge, cafe and classrooms. 2009 Sacramento Bee photograph by Andy Alfaro

November 2, 2011
Amtrak celebrates 40th birthday in Old Sacramento

Amtrak.jpgAs part of its national tour, Amtrak's historical Exhibit Train comes to Old Sacramento this weekend to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the passenger rail system.

Visitors to the Exhibit Train will see displays of all types of Amtrak memorabilia: photos, vintage advertising, old menus and dinnerware, period uniforms and more. In addition kids will enjoy the special children's activities at the nearby "Chuggington Depot."

Just on Saturday, there will be two showings Amtrak's 40th Anniversary Film inside the California State Railroad Museum.

What: Amtrak 40th Anniversary Exhibit Train & Special Activities
Where: Old Sacramento State Historic Park (outside at the foot of I Street just beyond the Sacramento History Museum)
When: November 5-6. Exhibit train tours both days offered 10 to 4 p.m. Amtrak 40th Anniversary Film showings Saturday only at 11 and 3 p.m.
Cost: Free for public tours of the Exhibit Train and the "Chuggington Depot" activities. Regular admission fees apply for film showings inside the Railroad Museum ($9 adults; $4 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under).
For more info: 916-445-6645 or www.californiastaterailroadmuseum.org and www.amtrak40th.com

News Release

PHOTO CREDIT: Undated Amtrak photograph of one of its trains moving through the western portion of the country. AP Photo

November 1, 2011
Corvettes on display at CAM car show

vette.jpgCar buffs of all ages can delight in six generations of Chevrolet Corvettes this Saturday at the "Vettes for Vets" car show sponsored by the California Automobile Museum and the Just for Corvettes car club. The event will benefit Northern California veteran's groups via sales of raffle tickets, vendors, veteran displays and music.

An exhibit of Corvettes will continue at the museum all through November.

What: Vettes for Vets Car Show
Where: California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front St., Sacramento
When: Nov. 5, 10 to 3 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: email and web site

Event flyer

PHOTO CREDIT: Bill Millard pops the hood on his 1954 Corvette during the California Auto Museum's Big Event on the Road. 2009 Sacramento Bee photograph by Cathy Locke

November 1, 2011
Holocaust exhibit at Sacramento State

The Courage to Remember, a free exhibition at Sacramento State's Anthropology Museum in Mendocino Hall, is set to come down in just a few days. Now through this Friday, November 4, visitors can view nearly 200 images on 40 posters which chart the course of the Holocaust.

According to a Sacramento State website, the display offers "new insights into the Holocaust and unfolds through four major themes: Nazi Germany, Moving Toward the "Final Solution", Annihilation in Nazi-occupied Europe, and Liberation."FeatNewsAuschwitz.jpg

The exhibit is quite powerful and gives its viewers the opportunity to reflect upon a dark time in history and the chance to consider its legacy.

The Courage to Remember is on exhibit until November 4. Sacramento State's Anthropology Museum is open from 10am-5pm, Tuesday through Friday and is located in Mendocino Hall on the CSUS campus. 

PHOTO CREDIT: Courtesy the CSUS website.

October 31, 2011
Toy versus model trains at the Railroad Museum

Diversions.jpgWhat's the difference between a toy train and a model train? Both are miniature versions of the real thing. But model railroads are realistic and built to scale, whereas toys are made to delight a child and are less concerned with realism.

Plasticville.jpgYou can see the contrast in a new exhibit debuting Thursday at the California State Railroad Museum. "Common Diversions" will showcase toy and model trains, including a  "Plasticville" railroad town and a selection of brass model cars and locomotives.

What: "Common Diversions: Toy Trains and Scale Model Railroads" Exhibit
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento
When: Nov. 3 through Sept. 14, 2012. Open daily 10 to 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
Cost: $9 adults; $4 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under
For more info: 916-445-6645 or www.californiastaterailroadmuseum.org

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Brass model trains (top) and Plasticville toy train town. Courtesy California State Railroad Museum

October 27, 2011
Delta pear crate label art at Central Library

DeltaPearCrateLabel.gifOn Tuesday, November 1 (6 p.m. - 8 p.m.), Jim Dahlberg, a former resident of the Delta since 1943 and founder of the annual Courtland Pear Fair, will visit the Central Library (828 I Street) to present a history of Sacramento Delta pear crate labels. 

Many colorful stories about the pear growers and packers that once thrived in the Delta region are all but forgotten except in the memories of a few long time Delta residents--and the vividly colored crate labels left behind for today's collectors. In this special program, Mr. Dahlberg will present his extensive Delta pear crate label collection along with the fascinating histories of many of the Delta pear growers and packers.

What: A History of Delta Pear Crate Labels
When: November 1, 2011, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Where: Central Library, West Meeting Room (828 I Street)
Cost: Free
For more info: www.saclibrary.org or (916) 264-2976

October 18, 2011
Chief Justice to speak on Filipino heritage

Cantil.jpgIn celebration of Filipino History Month, the Sacramento/Delta Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society will host a brunch featuring Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye. She will speak about growing up as a Filipina in Sacramento, as well as the historical significance of Magellan Hall, home of American Legion Post 604 founded by Filipino veterans of WWII.

There will also be historical displays and artwork by Justin Delacuesta, James Lane and Ernest Maningding.

What: Continental brunch with Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye
Where: American Legion Veteran's Post 604 (The Historic Magellan Hall), 8831 Gerber Rd., Sacramento
When: Oct. 22, 10 to 1 p.m.
Cost: $15 per person
For more info: email Frances, fte9000@gmail.com; Linda, lindarevilla@aol.com; or Pam, pamelamultimedia@aol.com

Event flyer

October 18, 2011
Clunie Community Center to celebrate 75 years

McKinley Exterior.jpgThe Friends of the McKinley Library and the McKinley East Sacramento Neighborhood Association (MENA) have organized a celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Florence Turton Clunie Memorial Community Center (601 Alhambra Blvd.) to take place from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, October 23rd.  The program includes a juried exhibit and auction of plein air art by regional artists, talks on the history of the center and the community, and historical photographs, plans and more tracing the history of the McKinley Library. Refreshments will be provided, and all ages are welcome.

The Clunie Community Center was named for Florence Turton Clunie, wife of pioneer and state congressman Thomas J. Clunie, and a notable Sacramento businesswoman in her own right.  Upon her death in 1934, Mrs. Clunie donated $150,000 for the building of a community center and pool in McKinley Park, and the City of Sacramento pitched in an additional $20,000 to establish the McKinley Library at the north end of the new building. Both opened to the public in late 1936.

What: Clunie Community Center 75th anniversary celebration
Where: Clunie Community Center, McKinley Park, 601 Alhambra Blvd.
When: October 23, 1-4 p.m.
Cost: Free
For more info: http://www.valcomnews.com/?p=6051

PHOTO CREDIT: Front exterior of the Florence T. Clunie Memorial Clubhouse, Sacramento, Calif., ca. 1951. From the Sacramento Public Library Archives.

September 30, 2011
Reminder: Sacramento Archives Crawl is tomorrow
grasshopper.JPG

The first ever Sacramento Archives Crawl will give the general public a unique opportunity to view some very rare and interesting items during tomorrow's open house at four of the city's largest historical collections. People who visit the facilities will be treated to historic treasures from 21 Northern California institutions, as well as "behind-the-scenes" tours of archival storage and work areas.

I was privileged to attend a "media preview" of the Crawl at the Center for Sacramento History. Among the fascinating artifacts we were shown: papers of Nathaniel S. Colley, Sacramento's nationally known civil rights attorney; memorabilia documenting the 100th anniversary of the California's women's suffrage; a photographic exhibit from Sirlin Photography Studios featuring portraits of Sacramento leaders Pete Wilson, Willie Brown and Heather Fargo.

Puente boots.JPGFrom the collections vault: an eight-inch long grasshopper dating back more than 150 years; items from the Eleanor McClatchy collection including 19th century theater posters, rare books, publishing materials and a Gold Rush-era map of the region; police evidence and prosecution displays from the Dorothea Puente murder case.

Sacramento Archives Crawl is the kickoff event for the region's observance of American Archives Month. Libraries, museums, special collections all around the state will celebrate with a variety of events.

What: Explore History: Sacramento Archives Crawl
When: October 1, 2011, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Where: California State Archives (1020 'O' Street), California State Library (900 'N' Street), Center for Sacramento History (551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd.) and Sacramento Room, Central Library (828 'I' Street)
Cost: Free
For more info: sacarchivescrawl.blogspot.com

PHOTO CREDITS: An eight-inch long grasshopper dating back more than 150 years which originated in the Isthmus of Panama. Rubber boots and digging tools belonging to convicted mass murderer Dorothea Puente. 2011 Sacramento Bee photographs by Lezlie Sterling.

September 28, 2011
A blogger's history lesson in Old Sacramento

mural.jpgSacramento Connect partner Jeremy Branham of the Budget Travel Adventures blog says his appreciation of history has grown since he began traveling. Every new place offers some insight into the past. That's especially true for his recent visit to Old Sacramento which is a virtual portal back to the Gold Rush and the Old West.

While strolling under Interstate 5 to get to K Street Mall, Branham was surprised to find a large mural chock-full of information on Sacramento history and the people who shaped the shaped the city.

This Historical Timeline of Sacramento was produced in 1999 by the Center for Sacramento History (then known as the Sacramento Archives and Museum Collection Center) in collaboration with the Sacramento Downtown Development Group. According to Patricia Johnson, CSH Senior Archivist, the Center convened "a committee of men, women, local historians, and prominent members of the community representing a variety of ethnic groups to determine the individuals depicted on the wall." Mural portraits were then drawn by local artist Bob Miller.

The exhibit is intended to stand on its own, says Johnson, but people are encouraged to visit the Sacramento History Museum to further their knowledge.

PHOTO CREDIT: A portion of the Sacramento History Timeline mural underneath Interstate 5. See Budget Travel Adventures for more mural photos. Courtesy of Jeremy Branham

September 27, 2011
Free museum admission for Bank of America card holders this weekend

Two Sacramento museums will have free admission for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders on Oct. 1 and 2.

The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts and the Crocker Art Museum are the two participating local museums and are open to participants during their regular weekend hours.

Bank of America and Merrill Lynch are continuing with the 14th season of Museums on Us, a program that provides their cardholders with admission to more than 150 cultural institutions in 87 cities across the country for the full first weekend each month through Dec. 2011.

The program requires its participants to present valid photo identification and a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card and is good for one admission fee. The program excludes events like fundraisers, special exhibitions, and ticketed shows and is not intended to be combined with other offers.

For more information, visit http://museums.bankofamerica.com.

-- Whitney Mountain

September 27, 2011
Celebrate California women's suffrage at the State Capitol, Auburn Courthouse
Thumbnail image for We Won the Vote 1911 -Sacramento Bee.jpg

Prior to passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote in 1920, California granted the same right to the state's women in the special election on Oct. 10, 2011. To celebrate that achievement, the State Capitol Museum will host a special exhibit celebrating 100 years of California suffrage.

Visitors to the Museum can gain a better understanding of the social and political struggle through interactive displays, historical photographs, period campaign materials, clothing worn during the campaign and oral histories.

What: We Won the Vote! 100 Years of Equal Suffrage in California exhibition
Where: California State Capitol Museum Rm. 105
When: Oct. 1 through Sept. 30, 2012. Museum hours 9 to 5 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: call 916-324-0333 or visit www.capitolmuseum.ca.gov

News release

The Placer County Museums will also commemorate California women's suffrage this Saturday with a reenactment program on the Courthouse grounds in Auburn. There will be pro-suffrage speeches by Jennifer Montgomery, District 5 Supervisor, and Bridgette Powers, Auburn City Council member. Plus an anti-suffrage oration (be prepared to boo).

What: Rally for Women's Suffrage
Where: Historic Courthouse, 101 Maple St., Auburn
When: Oct. 1, 10 to 1 p.m.
Cost: free
For more info: 530-889-6500

IMAGE CREDIT: Sacramento Bee editorial cartoon.

September 26, 2011
First Annual Sacramento Archives Crawl coming October 1

California history buffs and archives enthusiasts alike can celebrate the first day of National Archives Month this Saturday, October 1, by participating in the first annual Sacramento Archives Crawl. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., twenty-two archives and special collections libraries from the Sacramento area and beyond will be celebrating National Archives Month by exhibiting rarely-seen historic treasures from their collections at four host locations in the downtown area (the California State Library, California State Archives, Center for Sacramento History and Sacramento Room at the Central Library).

Participants will pick up an Archives Crawl passport at their first location and then "crawl" among the others throughout the afternoon. At each location, visitors will be invited to view archival collections on display and take behind-the-scenes tours. Representatives from other archives and special collections libraries will also be on hand to discuss their archival collections - historic photographs, rare books, historic artifacts - and answer questions about how to connect with local history resources. Those who have their passports stamped by at least three of the host locations will receive a set of four limited-edition collectible coasters with images from Sacramento's former Buffalo Brewing Company.

What: Explore History: Sacramento Archives Crawl
When: October 1, 2011, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Where: California State Archives (1020 'O' Street), California State Library (900 'N' Street), Center for Sacramento History (551 Sequoia Pacific Blvd.) and Sacramento Room, Central Library (828 'I' Street)
Cost: Free
For more info: sacarchivescrawl.blogspot.com

September 1, 2011
Rail Museum debuts sketches of California train depots

San Carl SP LoRes.jpgIn the 1970s when artist Walter J. Wedlock realized that California's historic railroad stations were being demolished, he rushed to preserve them in a series of on-the-spot ink sketches. His 52 drawings depict a variety of architectural styles used in depots built mostly between 1880 and 1939.

San Juan Cap SF LoRes.jpgWedlock donated the collection to the California State Railroad Museum which today unveils 26 of the sketches in a new exhibit. Now the public can see how the artist captured the unique character of structures so central to their communities in years gone by.


What: Wedlock's Gift: California Railroad Depot Images In Ink
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park
When: First set of 26 sketches, Sept. 1 thru Feb. 2012. Second set of 26 sketches, Aug. thru Dec. 2012.
Cost: $9 adults; $4 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under
For More: 916-445-6645 or visit www.californiastaterailroadmuseum.org

News Release

IMAGE CREDITS: Walter J. Wedlock ink sketches of depots at San Carlos (top) and San Juan Capistrano. Courtesy California State Railroad Museum.

August 22, 2011
Award-winning photos at the Railroad Museum

Kranjec.jpgOn Friday the California State Railroad Museum will unveil a new international exhibit of award-winning photos from the Center for Railroad Photography & Art in Madison, Wisc.

The theme of the 2011 Creative Photography Award contest was "A Story in Three Photographs," which asked artists to submit a trio of images evoking a rail-related event, place or time period. First prize went to Misko Kranjec of Slovenia who hauntingly depicted a fueling station in winter.

This special exhibit will be available for viewing at the Railroad Museum through June of next year.

What: Special Exhibition of 2011 Award-Winning Photographs
Where: California State Railroad Museum, Old Sacramento State Historic Park
When: Aug. 26 thru June 2012.
Cost: $9 adults; $4 youths ages 6-17; free for children ages 5 and under
For More: 916-445-6645 or www.csrmf.org or www.railphoto-art.org

News Release

PHOTO CREDIT: Slovenian Railways refueling facility by first place winner Miško Kranjec, Ljubljana, Slovenia. Courtesy Center for Railroad Photography & Art

August 20, 2011
History displays abound at the Central Library

YearbooksDisplay.JPGNow that the popular American Sabor: Latinos in Popular Music exhibit has moved on to the San Francisco Public Library, a number of local history displays are going up at the Central Library (828 I Street). 

Beginning September 1, the library will be showcasing early images of the Sacramento and American Rivers in the lobby to coincide with the launch of the library's 2011 Big Read/One Book series on Mark Twain's Tom Sawyer.  Also exhibited in the lobby is a display highlighting resources for genealogical research in anticipation of Family History Day (October 15, 2011).

Visit the second floor of the Central Library to view a display on "Yearbooks through the Years" located on the Library Galleria balcony just outside the Sacramento Room.  Inside the Sacramento Room are two new exhibits that feature historical publications by local schools, including Sacramento High School's The X-Ray, and The Blotter, a Sacramento Junior College newsletter.

All displays at the Central Library are available for viewing during the library's open hours.

August 17, 2011
Sacramento's historic underground wins preservation award

underground2.JPGThe Sacramento Preservation Commission and Preservation Office, in conjunction with the Sacramento Old City Association, has won a California Preservation Foundation award for its development of the city's underground resources, i.e. the network of raised streets and hollow sidewalks constructed in the 1860s and 70s as an early means of flood control.

The CPF Preservation Design Award recognizes the important work done to survey, map and analyze the subterranean spaces, not only in Old Sacramento, but in the downtown area as well. The interest generated by that effort led to the popular underground tours conducted by the Historic Old Sacramento Foundation and the California State Parks.

CPF will formally honor the Sacramento "Hollow Sidewalks" project at the 28th Annual Preservation Design Awards event on Oct. 1 at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Hammond, Museum Director Sacramento History & Railroad Sector, Heather Downey, and Marcia Eymann, History Manager Center for Sacramento History in the basement of the B. F. Hasting Building. 2010 Sacramento photograph by Paul Kitagaki Jr.

August 15, 2011
Gold fever strikes Sutter's Fort

Militia.JPGIn its next "Hands on History" program, Sutter's Fort docents will explain the far-reaching impact the discovery of gold in 1848 had on California and the nation as a whole.

Visitors can try their luck at panning for gold, listen to speeches, argue in mock debates, bowl in a pioneer bowling alley, hear miner's stories, and experience the gold rush economy with its inflated prices and limited supplies.

What: Hands on History: Gold Fever!
Where: Sutter's Fort State Historic Park, 2701 L Street, Midtown, Sacramento
When: Aug. 20. Fort hours: 10 to 5 p.m. Cannon firing demonstrations: 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m.
Cost: Special event pricing: $6.00 per adult (18 and older), $4.00 per youth (ages 6-17), free for children 5 and under.
For More: Call 916-445-4422 or visit www.parks.ca.gov/suttersfort

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Sutter's Fort Militia. Courtesy Sutter's Fort State Historic Park

August 11, 2011
Sacramento's Rock and Radio Museum reopens

This weekend's Second Saturday festivities will include something exciting for local music/history buffs.

After a two year hiatus, the Sacramento Rock and Radio Museum will reopen its doors, allowing the public to once again view an impressive collection of posters and ephemeral materials dedicated to the history of music and rock and roll in Sacramento.Sea of Bees by Laura Edmisten.jpg

The museum's curator is well-known radio personality, Dennis Newhall, and many of the items on display come from collections he gathered while working at the now defunct, but still infamous, KZAP radio station.

Posters from Sacramento's 1930s radio days are part of the display, as are contemporary posters from the area's punk rock scene. Big names like the Rolling Stones and the Doors appear in the collection, as do the names of smaller local acts, like those depicted in the work of Sacramento screen print artist Laura Edmisten.

Currently, the Rock and Radio Museum is open once a month in conjunction with the Second Saturday Art Walk. Additional hours are available by appointment.

For more information visit: http://www.sacrockmuseum.org/

Sacramento's Rock and Radio Museum is now located at 907 20th Street. The grand re-opening takes place this Saturday evening, August 13.

IMAGE CREDIT: Sea of Bees Gig Poster, Courtesy Laura Edmisten.

August 5, 2011
New Exhibit at State Library

008.JPGA new exhibit is now in place in the first floor rotunda at the California State Library at 900 N Street. It highlights the old Library and Courts I Building at 914 Capitol Mall, which is now in the process of renovation and will probably be reo002.JPGccupied early in 2013. The exhibit features building plans, architectural drawings, photographs, and such unique items as muralist Maynard Dixon's palette. In fact, specific attention is given to Dixon's mural Pageant of Tradition in LCI's Gillis Hall, as well as the sculpture in the old circulation room. Also of interest are the plans and photographs of the pre-1928 State Library when it was located in the circular area at the rear of the State Capitol.

This new exhibit can be viewed by the public during the State Library's regular hours, 9:30AM to 4PM Monday through Friday. 004.JPG

August 5, 2011
Admission bargains at Sacramento museums

crocker.JPGTwo Sacramento museums will have free admission for Bank of America and Merrill Lynch cardholders on Aug. 6 and 7.

The California Museum and the Crocker Art Museum are the two participating local museums and are open to participants during their regular weekend hours.

Bank of America and Merrill Lynch are continuing with the 14th season of Museums on Us, a program that provides their cardholders with admission to more than 150 cultural institutions in 87 cities across the country for the full first weekend each month through Dec. 2011.

The next Museums on Us weekends will be Sept. 3-4 and Oct. 1-2.

The program requires its participants to present valid photo identification and a Bank of America/Merrill Lynch credit or debit card and is good for one admission fee. The program excludes events like fundraisers, special exhibitions, and ticketed shows and is not intended to be combined with other offers.

For more information, visit http://museums.bankofamerica.com.

-- Whitney Mountain

PHOTO CREDIT: Janice Driesbach, acting director of the Crocker Art Museum, discusses "Sunday Morning in the Mines," painted by Charles Christian Nahl in 1872. 1998 Sacramento Bee photograph by Chris Crewell.

August 3, 2011
Aerospace Museum offers Open Cockpit Evening

aerospace.JPGKids of all ages will get the chance to sit behind the controls of several vintage aircraft at the Aerospace Museum during its Open Cockpit Evening this Friday.

Guests will also have the opportunity to examine close-up the many airplanes on display, including the U.S. Navy Blue Angels' fighter, the A-10 Thunderbolt and the F-14 Tomcat of "Top Gun" fame.

What: Open Cockpit Evening
Where: Aerospace Museum of California, 3200 Freedom Park Drive, McClellan.
When: Aug. 5, 4 - 8 p.m.
Cost: $5 general admission. Free for children five and under.
For more info: (916) 643-3192 or http://www.aerospaceca.org.

Event flyer

PHOTO CREDIT: A restored Grumman HU-16B Albatross rescue airplane on display at the Aerospace Museum of California. 2008 Sacramento Bee photograph by Autumn Cruz

August 2, 2011
Heritage Trail showcases Placer County museums

TELE MUSEUM.JPGEighteen Placer County museums from Roseville to Tahoe City will strut their stuff during this weekend's 2011 Heritage Trail tour.

The museums are grouped in three "clusters," each close to Interstate 80: Five Valley Museums in South Placer; six Auburn Museums; and seven Mountain Museums in the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe.

Admission will be free at all museums and each will offer special activities that will appeal to visitors of all ages. Many will offer food and beverages.

See the Heritage Trail blog for the latest information on bus tours, raffles, food, souvenirs and activities.

What: The Heritage Trail: Placer County Museums Tour
Where: You can start at any of the 18 participating museums.
When: Aug. 6 & 7, 10 to 4 p.m.
Cost: Free admission at all museums. Bus tours, $10.
For more info: Heritage Trail Blog and Trail Guide Brochure. Call (530) 889-6500 to reserve a seat on the bus tours.

PHOTO CREDIT: Roseville Telephone Museum, one of 18 Placer County museums featured in the 2011 Heritage Trail. 2007 Sacramento Bee photograph by Michael A. Jones

July 22, 2011
California's Golden Fairs

It's that time of year again- time for summer fun at the California State Fair! This year's festivities include another round of great exhibits and California's Golden Fairs, on display in Expo Center #4, is certainly worth checking out.

According to the Fair website, the retrospective Horton1961.jpgexhibition celebrates 200 years of North American fair history and places special emphasis on the history of fairs here in California. The exhibit features a wide array of ephemeral materials like banners and buttons, and includes a large collection of photographs from county fairs throughout the state.

California's Golden Fairs runs through the remainder of the California State Fair, which officially ends on Sunday, July 31.

PHOTO CREDIT: Center for Sacramento History, Sacramento Bee Collection, Don Horton, Photographer, 1961.

July 8, 2011
Auto Museum celebrates the American muscle car

Thumbnail image for muscle.jpgEnding this weekend: American Muscle, the California Automobile Museum's celebration of those "overweight, mid-sized cars with big engines" that tore up the roads in the 1960s. These roaring monsters vanished during the economy-conscious 1970s, but you can relive their colorful history at the CAM exhibit.

Vehicles on display include the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro SS350, the 1973 Dodge Charger and the 1965 Pontiac GTO.

What: American Muscle
Where: California Automobile Museum, 2200 Front St. in Old Sacramento
When: Exhibit ends July 10. Museum is open 10:00-6:00 p.m.
Cost: Adults $8, seniors $7, students (with current ID) $4, members & children (ages 0-5) free
For more info: (916) 442-6802 or the CAM web site.

July 5, 2011
New childrens program, admission deal at California Museum

A new family program aimed at helping kids explore California history in a fun, activity-driven setting launches today at The California Museum in Sacramento.

The learning series titled "Poppies, Butterflies & Bears! Oh My!" is held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday through July 28, according to a museum news release. The program is free with museum admission and for members.

The program, appropriate for children ages 3 to 12 years old, features crafts and scavenger hunts based on various themes, such as panning for gold, grizzly bears and deep sea fishing. For a complete list of themes and crafts, follow the link below.

The museum also is offering an admission special through July 31. Simply "Like" the California Museum on its Facebook page, where details on how to get the two tickets for $10 special are listed. Click here to go the museum's Facebook page.

The special is an effort to help kick off the museum's newest exhibit, "Riding Concrete: Skateboarding in California," the release states.

Here is a list of themes and activities for the new family program:

Today (July 5): Eureka! Pan for Gold - discover gold and trade nuggets for goods from the Museum's general store.

Thursday (July 7): Symbols of the Stone Age - kids will create their own Chipped Stone Bear.

July 12: Decked Out, CA Style - decorate a mini skateboard deck with state symbols. Inspired by the new exhibit "Riding Concrete: Skateboarding in California."

July 14: Deep Sea Fishing - meet the Garibaldi fish, the state's salt water fish, and decorate one to take home.

July 19: Wonderful, Whacky Weaving - children will learn about the Native art of basketry and weave with paper strips.

July 21: Historical Hats - discover the connection between history and fashion. Children also will design their own top hat or sunbonnet.

July 26: Back to the Bear - children will learn why the grizzly bear is on the state flag and design their own.

July 28: Minerva, Ships and Stars! Oh My! - learn about the state's many symbols. Children can create their own California seal.

The California Museum is located at 1020 O St., Sacramento. For more information about the museum, click here.

-- Niesha Lofing

July 2, 2011
Skateboarding exhibit on display at California Museum

RIDING CONCRETE: Skateboarding in California, an exhibit curated by Z-Boy Nathan Pratt, will be on display at the California Museum starting July 2, 2011.  Over 200 unique items contributed by The Sidewalk Shop, Skatelab, the Z-Boy Archive and other collectors illustrate the history of the sport of skateboarding, a California creation. Highlights include a number of firsts: the first boards sold by Val Surf in 1962, the first pro model skateboard (produced by Makaha), and the first board featuring urethane wheels. RIDING CONCRETE will be on display through March 25, 2012.

What: RIDING CONCRETE: Skateboarding in California exhibit
Where: California Museum, 1020 O Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
When: July 2, 2011, through March 25, 2012
Cost: $8.50 for Adults, $7.00 for Seniors and College Students, $6.00 for Youth (Ages 6-13), and Free for Ages 5 and Under
For more info: http://www.californiamuseum.org/ or (916) 653-7524

June 30, 2011
Exhibits highlight trains used in movies, television

Sierra Petticoat Junction.JPGThe California State Railroad Museum has extended its popular "Rails and Reels" exhibit which explores the important role trains have played in the making of Hollywood movies and television series. The displays feature many railroad-related artifacts, such as train models used in crash scenes of the 1939 epic Union Pacific, station signs used in High Noon and a costume from the 1979 TV movie Orphan Train. Visitors will also find sheet music, movie posters, lobby cards, original film scripts, and promotional items from films going back to the early 1900s.

And speaking of train "movie stars," the vintage steam locomotives of Railtown 1897 State Historic Park will be running all three days of the July 4th weekend. Excursion rides take passengers on a six-mile, 40-minute trip through California's Gold Country where many scenes from Hollywood movies were filmed. Visitors to Railtown can also take tours of the historic working Roundhouse where the old locomotives and cars are repaired.

What: Lights, Camera, Action! "Rails and Reels: Hollywood, Trains And the Making of Motion Pictures"
Where: California State Railroad Museum, corner of Second and Streets in Old Sacramento.
When: 10 to 5 p.m. Exhibit runs through Feb. 14, 2012.
Cost: $9 adults; $4 youths ages 6-17; children ages 5 and under are free.
For more info: 916-323-9280 or www.csrmf.org

What: Steam-Powered Excursion Train Rides Over 4th of July Weekend
Where: Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Jamestown (Tuolumne County).
When: July 2-4.
Saturday & Sunday - trains depart hourly from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Monday only -- trains depart hourly from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Cost: General: $13 adults, $6 youths ages 6-17, free for children 5 and under.
For more info: 209-984-3953 or visit www.railtown1897.org

News Release

PHOTO CREDIT: Railtown's Sierra No. 3 locomotive dressed in red petticoat for the Petticoat Junction TV series. Courtesy of the California State Railroad Museum

June 23, 2011
Gold Rush buildings in miniature at the airport

miniatures.jpgIf you fly this summer, you may be pleasantly surprised to see an exhibit of miniature buildings from California's Gold Rush era at the airport.

This display of 28 hand-made replicas by Tony Quattrociocchi is sponsored by the Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission through its Art in Public Places program.

The airport exhibit includes models of Sutter's Fort, Fort Ross, Fourth Ward Schoolhouse, and the riverboat Young America. You can see photos accompanying the Sacramento Press story posted last week.

What: California Gold Rush Buildings Recreated in Miniature by Artist Tony Quattrociocchi
Where: Sacramento International Airport - Terminal B
When: June 20 - Sept. 3, 2011
Cost: free
For more info: Sacramento Metropolitan Arts Commission

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: Sutter's Mill. Courtesy Tony Quattrociocchi.

June 17, 2011
100 years of women's suffrage in California

We Won the Vote 1911 -Sacramento Bee.jpgPrior to passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave American women the right to vote in 1920, California granted the same right to the state's women in the special election on Oct. 10, 2011. To celebrate that achievement, the Sacramento History Museum yesterday unveiled a new exhibit celebrating 100 years of California suffrage.

Visitors to the Museum can gain a better understanding of the social and political struggle through interactive displays, historical photographs, period campaign materials, clothing worn during the campaign and oral histories.

The exhibition will move to the State Capitol Museum on Oct. 1 and remain there through Sept. 30, 2012.

What: We Won the Vote! 100 Years of Equal Suffrage in California exhibition
Where: Sacramento History Museum, 101 I Street in Old Sacramento
When: June 16 thru Sept. 16. Museum open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Cost: Museum admission $5 for adults; $3 for youths ages 6-17 and free for children five and under
More info: 916-808-7059 or www.historicoldsac.org

News Release

IMAGE CREDIT: Sacramento Bee editorial cartoon.

June 16, 2011
Suttertown News founder Tim Holt to speak at Time Tested Books

Before there was the News and Review, Midtown Monthly, or Sacramento Press, local readers flipped through pages of a neighborhood publication called Suttertown News. Founded by Tim Holt in 1977, the small paper, which ran until 1994, focused on issues of community, activism, politics, and the city's arts and cultural scene.

Blog1995-026-0362.jpgThis Sunday, Holt makes a return to Sacramento as guest speaker for the Sacramento Living Library. He'll chat about his time in our community, the Suttertown publication, and his current life as a writer in Dunsmuir, California.

In addition to Holt's talk, guests can view a small exhibition of images from the Center for Sacramento History's Suttertown News Collection. The display will run through the night of Holt's talk and is currently on window display at Time Tested Books.

The Sacramento Living Library takes place on the third Sunday of every month at Time Tested Books. Doors open at 6:30 pm and talks begin at 7pm. Time Tested is located at 1114 21st Street, Sacramento. The event is free and all are invited.

PHOTO CREDIT: Suttertown News Staff, c. 1986, Center for Sacramento History, Suttertown News Collection, 1995/026/0362

June 14, 2011
Exhibit documents Californians' experience during WWI

Capitol Museum.jpgToday begins a new year-long exhibit at the State Capitol Museum which documents -- through letters and artifacts -- Californians' experience of World War I, both here and abroad.

The display features correspondence from Edward Bates to his family in which he vividly describes conditions on the front lines in France.

What: "Californians Over There! California's Role in the First World War"
Where: California State Capitol Museum, Attorney General's Exhibit Room, First Floor of the Capitol, 10th & L Streets, Sacramento
When:
June 14, 2011 through June 1, 2012
Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Cost: Free
For More: Call 916-324-0333 or visit www.capitolmuseum.ca.gov

News release

PHOTO CREDIT: California soldiers boarded cross-country trains to New York City where they embarked on ships destined for Europe and fighting at the Western Front. Photo courtesy of the California State Capitol Museum

June 3, 2011
Juneteenth at the California State Library

It cannot be denied that African-Americans have played an important role in California's history even before the Gold Rush, in fact, preceding the American conquest. Many are familiar with the fact that William A. Leidesdorff, John A. Sutter's business associate and fellow landowner, was of mixed African and Danish ancestry, but fewer know that Pio Pico, the last Mexican governor of California, also claimed African blood. In recognition of this heritage, the California State Library has for the last several years displayed a Juneteenth exhibit of choice California African-American items from its collection, celebrating the date in 1865 when America's last slave was freed.

08a-DAG Miner Montage.jpgThis year, the library has added something new to its Juneteenth commemoration in the shape of a daily calendar for the month of June, visible on the home page of its website. Each page highlights notable California African-American personalities, achievements, and events, from the state's first printing of Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation to skilled mountain scout James P. Beckwourth to the stunning, stylized art of Sargent Johnson. Included are many of California's notable Black political figures, among them Byron Rumford and Willie Brown. Also seen is heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson training in San Francisco for his bout with Al Kaufmann.

And everyone is welcome to stop by the library's rotunda at 900 N Street in Sacramento between 9:30 and 4 Monday through Friday, check out this year's Juneteenth exhibit, and marvel at the variety of items from the library's rich collection, ranging from nineteenth-century African-American school pioneer Jeremiah Burke Sanderson to the twentieth-century's Black Panther Party.ca2370 Edit.jpg

18-ca2373.jpg

May 25, 2011
Gold Country trains running all Memorial weekend

RailtownDepot28.JPGThis Memorial Day the steam-powered locomotives of Railtown 1897 SHP will be running all weekend taking visitors on trips through California's scenic Gold Country. The six-mile, 40-minute excursions depart hourly starting at 10 a.m.

Come for the train ride; stay for a tour of the historic Roundhouse.

What: Steam-Powered Excursion Train Rides Over Memorial Day Weekend
Where: Railtown 1897 State Historic Park, Jamestown
When: May 28, 29 & 30, 2011
Cost: General: $13 adults, $6 youths ages 6-17, free for children 5 and under
For More: 209-984-3953 or visit www.railtown1897.org

News Release

PHOTO CREDIT: Sierra Railway locomotive No. 28, a vintage 1920s engine, pulls the Railtown excursion train. Courtesy of the California State Railroad Museum

May 19, 2011
American Sabor exhibit to debut at Central Library

sabor_preview_use.jpgThe Smithson Institution's highly anticipated new traveling exhibition, American Sabor: Latinos in U.S. Popular Music, will debut at the Sacramento Public Library next week. The Central Library (828 I Street) was chosen as the inaugural location for the 2,500 ft. exhibit, which is currently going up and will be on display during the library's open hours from May 26, 2011, through August 7, 2011.

American Sabor highlights the musical contributions of U.S. Latinos and explores the profound influence of Latino artists and musical traditions from the 1940s to the present. Visitors will be treated to panel displays, guided listening stations, and even a fully operational juke box.  The exhibition is also complemented by an interactive website, www.americansabor.org/, which includes historical photographs, lessons plans, video oral histories, playlists, and expanded exhibition content. 

The American Sabor experience was created by the Experience Music Project (EMP), and organized for travel through the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES).  Funding for its national tour and related programs is provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. From Sacramento the exhibition will travel to twelve other cities throughout the country and will be on display through 2015.

To learn more about the American Sabor exhibition, visit http://americansabor.org/exhibition or www.saclibrary.org.