May 2019
Celebrate Historic Preservation Month


Wilson Island Historic District Walking Tour 
and Centennial Celebration

In celebration of National Historic Preservation Month, the Fresno Historical Society and the Wilson Island Neighborhood Group are co-sponsoring the Wilson Island Historic District Walking Tour
and Centennial Celebration. The free event is Saturday, May 18 in the Royce Auditorium, Fresno High School ( 1839 N Echo Avenue) from 9:30 am to 11:00 am. The event will begin with a presentation from local dignitaries followed by brief lectures on the architecture and history of the homes and a self-guided tour of the historic neighborhood.

The 6-block neighborhood is part of the Wilson's North Fresno Tract, subdivided by the landowner, Rosanna C. Wilson in 1908. Homes date from 1910 to 1974 and represent some of the finest examples of Period Revival and Prairie architecture in Fresno. The 16 homes on the walking tour include some of the earliest properties and reflect the diversity of styles present in the neighborhood.

Free walking tour maps will be provided. So please join us and the Wilson Island Neighborhood Group for a delightful Saturday morning stroll while enjoying this wonderful historic neighborhood.
Save the Date
History Happy Hour 
with Evo Bluestein

Join us for History Happy Hour on Friday, July 12 at Kearney Mansion to hear folk musician Evo Bluestein share music, photographs and anecdotes from his new book Road to Sweet's Mill: The West Coast Folk Music Revival in the 1960s & 70s. Sip wine and snack on appetizers while Evo weaves together the highly entertaining story of Sweet's Mill, a former logging camp located in the foothills east of Fresno, that became the magnet for many key folk and old-time music figures beginning in the early 1960s. Tickets on sale soon at valleyhistory.org!

From the Archives

REACHABLE Grant partnership with 
Fresno State prepares to wrap up its second year

Reimagine Educating: American Civics and History Academies for Better Learning and Engagement (REACHABLE) offers intensive learning experiences to 50 teachers and 100 high school students from the Fresno area each year. Partnering with Fresno State's College of Social Sciences on REACHABLE are UC Davis' California History-Social Science Project and the Fresno Historical Society.

The Society's contribution to the five-year grant project includes presentations by Archivist Katy Hogue and sharing of primary historical resources. Ms. Hogue will discuss the role of regional archives in the preservation of history, and describe the use of the Society's archival collections as primary sources at a half-day seminar in June. She will also mentor the student participants in the production of a historical essay. In addition, the Society will provide the teachers with both a physical binder and digital access of local history resources for use in the development of classroom curriculum.

Since last November, Ms. Hogue and a team of volunteers have gathered primary materials relating to this year's topic; World War II and Early Twentieth Century Immigration. Home front activities will be illustrated with records of the the Central California War Industries and the civilian Aircraft Warning Service. Individual collections such as that of Marion Bigelow, shown in the center above at the Katura Club she established in the Russell Islands as a Red Cross volunteer, will help students to understand the participation of women in the war effort. The Society's 1978 Ethnic Oral History Collection will provide a narrative of the lives of early twentieth-century immigrants as they moved into California and the San Joaquin Valley.

Many thanks to David Rodriguez of the Pinedale History Project for sharing materials relating to the Pinedale Assembly Center and Camp Pinedale. 

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Love Fresno County history?

Become a member of the
Fresno Historical Society!

The Society extends a warm invitation to our friends and neighbors, scholars and history buffs to join our growing membership dedicated to the history of Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley. 

Benefits include: 
  • Annual admission to Kearney Mansion Museum, including a special invitation to our members' Christmas reception
  • Subscriptions to our journal, Fresno Past & Present, and online newsletter, The Grapevine 
  • Discounted admission to most Society events
  • Time Travelers reciprocal benefits at nearly 300 historical museums nationwide
  • 20 percent discount on all purchases in the Kearney Mansion Museum Store 
Click HERE for more information on our great membership packages. 


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