Sunday, September 30, 2012

Another Academic Treatment of Davis: Davis-Reared Gordon Douglas Asks Why Covell Village Failed and Target Succeeded (77)


'99 DHS Yearbook Photo

I guess it is inevitable that in a town with thousands of academics at least a few of them will practice their trade on the town itself. And this extends to the children of these academics who become academics.

Adding once again to the growing body of scholarly treatments of aspects of Davis, we now have a contribution by Davis-reared son-of-a-professor Gordon Douglas, a 1999 Davis High grad who earned a BA at USC (International Relations, ’03) and an MA at each of LSE (Global Media, ’04), USC (Global Communication, ‘05), and Chicago (Sociology, ’08).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Scarcity of Dynastic Families in Davis (76)


One image (and perhaps stereotype) of community functioning asserts that a town’s pioneer families develop economic and social advantages that are passed down through generations of their children. These descendants come to dominate their communities as “family dynasties.”  

I do not know the degree to which this image accurately describes American communities. But I am struck by how little it seems to apply to Davis.

In the second part of her book Davisville ‘68, Larkey provides lists of pioneer families. Phyllis Haig once told me that considerable effort was put into identifying and profiling all the earliest families both in the town and in the surrounding countryside. Those lists are reproduced here.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

Davis History Timeline (75)


The history of a community--or of most any human social organization--is an amorphous and sprawling thing. Getting hold of it can be like, as is said, wrestling with a marshmallow.

Such features prompt the use of crystalizing devices, of stratagems that forge clarity through imposing simplicity.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

History Promotion Conference in Woodland Oct. 18-20 (74)


The California Council for the Promotion of History will hold its annual conference in Woodland, October 18-20. Particulars are on the web at:





Sunday, September 9, 2012

Major Shapers of Davis: Early Draft (73)


When I read the ordinary lists of prominent and important people in the history of Davis, I am struck that a number of indiividuals I think have been important in shaping the physical and social landscape of the place are commonly not included.

For example, I do not recall seeing housing developers such as Stanley Davis or land developers such as C. Bruce Mace or Frank Ramos on such lists.  

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Preservation and Heritage Values in Woodland and Davis (72)


As part of the current discussion of a joint water project with Woodland, we hear it alleged that Davis and Woodland have different “values.” This story from the Daily Democrat of August 28, 2012 might be construed as an example of how values of at least one kind do indeed differ. It is difficult to imagine anything like what is described in this story taking place in Davis. As David Wilkinson put it some years ago, Davis is, instead, “futuristic.”