Archive for the ‘Local History’ Category

Visiting the pyramids

Visiting the pyramids

Patterson House

Patterson House

The Marks Center for Local and California History is pleased to host a special exhibit on loan from the Patterson House at Ardenwood Historic Farm.

The exhibit is open for viewing on the second floor of the Fremont Main Library through the end of October.

Presentation on Mon. Sept. 22 @ 7 p.m. Fukaya Room

Fremont Main Library

2400 Stevenson Blvd.

Fremont, CA


Clara Patterson

Clara Patterson

Clara was born in Alvarado in 1853. With her first husband, George Washington       Patterson, and their two sons, she managed one of the largest ranches in Alameda   County. Their home at Ardenwood can still be visited.

Clara at the Palace of Athens, Greece

Clara at the Palace of Athens, Greece

 In recent research, Patterson House   Manager Christie Dentry uncovered   the story of Clara’s trip to the Holy   Land in 1900 with her second   husband, Dr. Layson. Using her diaries, photographs and letters, Through the Lens of Clara Patterson provides a unique and intimate picture of world travel circa 1900.

Patterson House Manager Christie Dentry will give a presentation about Clara Patterson and the discoveries made about her travels at a special meeting of the Washington Township Historical Society on Monday, Sept.22 at 7 p.m. In the Fukaya Room at the Fremont Main Library.

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warmsprings_coverWarm Springs, Fremont is the latest offering in Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America  series. Local authors, Philip Holmes and Patricia Wipfli Schaffarczyk, are historians at the Museum of Local History in Fremont. Together they have assembled the best images from the collections to tell the story of the once-tiny village of Warm Springs and nearby Drawbridge. This pictorial history boasts more than 200 vintage images and provides readers with a unique opportunity to reconnect with the history that shaped their community.

Join us at the Fremont Main Library on Saturday April 6th between 10 and 2:00 to learn more about this unique segment of Fremont’s history, meet the authors, and get your signed copy of the book.

The Museum of Local History is also hosting an exhibit of photographs and epherma related to Warm Springs in the Maurice Marks display room on the second floor of the Fremont Main Library. The exhibit is available during the library’s open hours through the middle of April.

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Have you ever been wondering what life was like back to 200+ years ago?  In conjunction with the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail exhibition which is currently on display at the 2nd floor of the Fremont Main Library, National Park Service will present an interactive children’s program that includes storytelling and activities on the role of children in the Anza expedition.

  • Date: Tuesday, September 6, 2001
  • Time: 4 to 5 p.m.
  • Location: Fukaya Room B

Please come to join us for a journey that will take us back into the history!

The exhibition at the 2nd floor of the Local History area will run through September 15.

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Anza National Historic Trail Logo

On October 23, 1775, some 240 men, women and children left Tubac, Sonora to follow Juan Bautista de Anza in an effort to forge an overland route to the San Francisco bay and establish a settlement there. The journey was arduous. It took nearly five months to travel the 1,210 miles some on horseback, some on foot. These families became the first colonists of the San Francisco Bay Area.

The Fremont Main Library is hosting a special exhibit from the National Park Service about the Anza Expedition and the  Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.

The exhibit, located on the second floor of the library next to the Maurice Marks Center for Local and California History, commemorates the story of the 1775-1776 Spanish Expedition whose members, consisting of some 30 families, made the trek from Sonora to Alta California. They founded and established the Mission and Presidio of San Francisco, the Mission in Santa Clara and the Pueblo of San José. Most settled in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The exhibit also features the Galindo-Higuera Adobe, a local landmark along the trail with ties to the Anza Expedition. Artifacts, photographs and a slide-show courtesy of the Museum of Local History round out the display.

The Washington Township Historical Society was instrumental in bringing this special exhibit to Fremont. The exhibit opened on July 25th with a presentation by NPS Ranger Steven Ross and will be available to view through September 15.

Read more about it: The Anza Trail – Tri-City Voice July 22, 2011

Web de Anza – primary source documents and multimedia resources

and Books from the library collection several of these are housed next to the display and are available for check-out.

Stop by next time you visit the library!

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Exploring , it is what the curious mind does. It can be in nature, on a city street , in a book , on a computer. It is how we learn. All of our summer reading programs have the theme of exploring this year. Today I learned about a new program here in Fremont, The Wonderopolis Challenge. This event, sponsored by The National Center for Family Literacy ,encourages families to explore the wonders of Fremont. Complete 3 of the 6 challenges and your family will be eligible to win a trip to Washington , D. C.

Check it out and explore!

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Hot off the press!

We are pleased to announce a “Meet the Authors”  book launch on Saturday March 5 from 10 a.m. to noon in the Fukaya meeting room.

Centerville, Fremont is the third “Images of America” title on Fremont’s history written by Philip Holmes and Jill M. Singleton. The earlier volumes, Niles, Fremont, and Irvington, Fremont, have been extremely popular and we look forward to this newest addition.

Phil and Jill have used the rich resources of the Museum of Local History to assemble the best images to relate the story of Centerville, once a tiny township and now a vital part of Fremont.

Meet the authors and get your personal autographed copy. Books will be $20 each including tax. This is roughly $5 off the bookstore price.

Save the date!

Saturday March 5, 10 a.m. in the Fukaya Room at the Fremont Main Library.

Additional appearances:

2 p.m., Saturday, February 19 at the Centerville Train Depot, Fremont Blvd near Peralta.

6 p.m.,  Monday, March 28 at the Museum of Local History, 160 Anza Street.

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Tour de Niles

You live in Fremont, maybe you work in Fremont.  You might go to school in Fremont.  But what do  you  know  about  Fremont? Recently,  some local Girl Scouts (  Coyote  hills and Chabot Service Units) put together an historic walking/biking tour of one small part of fremont — the Niles District . Learn about the historic nursery, the old film studio, or other tidbits of Niles hitory . Go here to read about the project, download the podcast or print out a brochure. The grab your bike or put on your sneakers and learn a little bit about the town where you live.

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Did You Know?

(Gladys Williamson tidying the City Limit sign. From the Gladys Williamson collection.)

Did you know that Alameda County Library has a flickr account? Well, we do! Among the different types of photos posted are: The Castro Valley ground-breaking, Local History photos, and some locally created Read posters. Why not stop by and check us out?

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Social Studies Fact Cards are a series of research resources designed for quick reference for students in grades 4 through 8. The topics covered are those California, United States, and World topics included in the social studies curriculum in California.  For the past years, printed Social Studies Fact Cards have been used extensively in our libraries to help students collect information about California missions, American Indians, explorers, presidents, states, countries, early civilizations, and other topics in social studies.

Do you know you can access them from home, too?  Just go to the the Alameda County Library’s website www.aclibrary.org and click on the “Kids” tab under the banner to go to Kid’s Place.  After you are in Kid’s Place, click on Homework Help and you will see “Social Studies Fact Cards On-line” under “Encyclopedias and other special on-line information sources”.  You will be asked to enter your library card number to access the database.

The Fact Cards database is very easy to use.  From the home page, click on the big category first and you will get a list of topics.  Just click on your topic and your are there.  Here is how the database looks:


 If you need further assistance, you can visit your local library.  The librarians there will be happy to help you.  Good luck with your projects/reports!


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“John C. Fremont Bust” unveiled at the Fremont Main Library

On Tuesday, September 8, the Fremont Main Library was pleased to accept the gift of a bust of John C. Fremont. This beautifully-executed work, sculpted by the late Rex E. Smith, was donated in his memory by his wife, Barbara Smith, and family.

Rex. E. Smith grew up in Manhattan, Kansas and graduated from high school in St. Joe. Missouri. He was a Marine on the aircraft carrier Enterprise when Pearl Harbor was attacked and during the first year of the war.

Rex met Barbara while attending the Naval pre-flight school at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, They spent their first few years of marriage living in the Cordonecis Housing Project in Albany. There Rex developed an interest in John C. Fremont when he met one of his neighbors – the great grandson of General Fremont also named John C. Fremont or “Jack”. Twenty years old at the time, Jack was continuing the family tradition of petitioning the federal government over a land claim. He said “Here I am living in the projects while I’m holding the deed to the Presidio of San Francisco.”

Rex was accomplished in painting, stained glass and wood carving, but had a special talent for clay sculpture. The Fremont bust was sculpted in the mid 60’s. To ensure its durability as a public art display the bust was recently bronzed – a process which surprisingly revealed several additional pieces of detail in the work including the artist’s signature.

John C. Fremont, the namesake of our city, was one of the most flamboyant and controversial figures of the mid-1800’s. He was called “The Pathfinder” for his role as trailblazer across the young continent. He first came to California in 1845 and was struck by the beauty and agricultural possibilities of the Mission San Jose area. He attempted to purchase property here, but his intermediary, Thomas Larkin, bought land in Mariposa instead.

Mayor Bob Wasserman accepted the bust on behalf of the city of Fremont and shared the story of the how the name “Fremont” was chosen. When plans for incorporation were under discussion there were a few suggestions for the new city’s name including “Fremont” and “Mission Valley”. Faced with the need to make a choice or miss the deadline for filing the incorporation paperwork, Wally Pond said “Fremont.”

Tuesday’s presentation coincided with the opening of Fremont Main Library’s new Local History display area which currently features an exhibit about John C. Fremont. Library Manager, Don Nunes also took this occasion to show plans for the new Maurice Marks Center for Local and California History which is currently under development.

The bust is situated on the second floor of the library by the Local History display area. You are invited to view the sculpture and enjoy the display on John C. Fremont.

– Janet

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