Sunday, August 28, 2011

Davis Autobiographies as Davis History Resources (07)


Members of the large cohort of Davisites who are growing older have begun to write autobiographies. Most recently, we have Joan Callaway’s It’s An Ill Wind, Indeed. Somewhat earlier, there was Howdy Howard’s, Saved By Bedbugs!

These authors likely do not conceive their books as “Davis history,” nor do Davis history buffs ordinarily see them as works of Davis history.

Even so, I think there are at least two angles from which such autobiographies are important resources in writing Davis history, especially as regards perceiving deeper structures and larger patterns in that history.

Monday, August 22, 2011

New Exhibit at the Hattie Weber Museum (06), by Mary Lee Thomson


Photo courtesy Shilling Robotics. Their equipment
helped locate & explore the Titanic & was used in the
mapping of the bottom of Lake Tahoe.
On Saturday, August 27th, the volunteers at the Hattie Weber Museum of Davis will open a new exhibit: 
Davis Industry: Windmills to Robotics, Phase II
The exhibit will feature Davis industries, large and high tech to small and artistic, from Armco Steel to Z-world.  
An opening reception will be held at the Museum from 2 to 4 pm and will include wine tasting from local wineries.  All are invited & admission is free.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Tragic Story of the Dresbach Tank House: Better Demolition Than Degradation? (05)


1. Excerpt from Eastman B-4705, 1946
Some people seem pleased that the Dresbach Tank House has moved to a commercial establishment on a county road near Davis.  I am not.

To me, this move is another sad episode in a long series of degrading events. And that series adds up to a tragic, degradation story.

The Dresbach Tank House story reminds me of the King Kong story.  A creature minding its own business is captured, enslaved, and paraded in chains on a stage for the amusement of ticket-buying audiences.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Davis Welcoming Arch Lives! (04)

I recently received a request from an historian of Northern California, Mike Lynch, for images of, and information on, the Davis Arch. He is preparing a publication on welcoming arches on Route 99, of which there appear to have been many, and wants to include the Davis Arch.

Davis history buffs will be interested to know that Mr. Lynch’s publications include California State Park Rangers (Arcadia, 2009) and Auburn Images: The Mel Locher Memorial Photo Collection (2004). He is a 35-year veteran of California State Parks as a field ranger, supervising ranger, and superintendent. The California Law Enforcement Historical Society named him Police Historian of the Year in 2006.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Yolo County Archives Needs Your Help (03)


Yolo County is required by law to retain certain records, which is why it has a unit called an “archives.” However, and like good packrats everywhere, many years ago interesting items not required by law also began to accumulate at the archives. Some were county records whose retention dates had expired. Others were items citizens donated and officials accepted.

Monday, August 1, 2011

2nd Street 600s History (02)


An exhibit by me titled The 2nd St. 600s Over 15 Decades is currently on display at the Hattie Weber Museum of Davis (5th & C streets). 

Using varied photographs, the display strives to show major moments in that block's transformation from only four homes into a complex retail mecca.