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    Archived pages: 164 . Archive date: 2014-08.

  • Title: ValleyHistory.org / Fresno Historical Society
    Descriptive info: .. Email Sign Up.. Buy Tickets.. Join.. Contact Us.. Archives.. Accessing the Archives.. Policies of the Archives.. Collections.. Manuscripts.. Mary Bartlett Manuscript.. Fresno Scraper.. Edward Smith Diary Excerpt.. Photographs.. Fresno Fire Department Collection.. Paul Hutchinson Collection of Fowler, California.. M.. Theo Kearney Collection.. A.. W.. Peters Collection of Fresno County.. Oral History.. Oral History Collections.. Agriculture.. Community Voices.. African Americans in the Central Valley.. Fresno County History.. Newspaper Clipping Files: Ben R.. Walker History Files.. Books and Other Published Materials.. Ephemera.. Vertical Files.. Featured Story from the Archives.. Research Services.. Research Links.. Preserving Your Family History.. Central California Resources.. Donating to the Collections.. Volunteers.. Visit.. Kearney Historic Site.. Profile of M.. Theo Kearney.. Kearney's Fruit Vale Estate.. The  ...   Calling.. Event Sponsors.. Event Photos.. Learn.. Kearney's Historic Site.. California's Great Central Valley.. Description of the Valley.. History Articles.. Our Voices.. Our Stories.. Our History: Oral History.. Recommended Reading.. Preservation.. In the News.. Links.. A Land Between Rivers.. For Teachers.. Shop.. Shop Online.. Support.. Membership.. Member Promotion.. Donate Online.. Donating to Collections.. Volunteer.. About Us.. Our Mission.. Our Beginnings.. The Collections.. Kearney Ranch Project.. FAQs.. Board of Trustees & Staff.. For the Media.. Hours and Directions.. Email Sign-Up/Newsletter.. Employment Opportunities.. FRESNO HISTORICAL SOCIETY.. 7160 West Kearney Boulevard.. Fresno, California 93706.. Ph (559) 441-0862.. Fx (559) 441-1372.. EVENTS.. VISIT.. CIVIL WAR REVISITED.. SHOP.. SUPPORT.. LET'S SAVE IT.. Copyright 2014.. Fresno Historical Society.. All Rights Reserved.. CMS.. development by.. Digital Attic..

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  • Title: ValleyHistory.org / Fresno Historical Society
    Descriptive info: It's a land in which we often impose our dreams.. This notion of vastness,.. this notion of unknown empty spaces in which you can project then all kinds of images, all kinds of dreams and aspirations onto the land.. ~ Alex Sargoza, A Land Between Rivers, 2006.. Newsletter Signup.. First Name.. Last Name.. Nickname.. E-mail.. Enter a password.. Confirm password.. Enter Code Below..

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  • Title: ValleyHistory.org / Contact Us - Contact Us
    Descriptive info: I sometimes picture my farm as a battlefield with troops of people struggling with nature in a hundred-year war.. Germans, Italians, Chinese and Japanese, Armenians, Filipinos, and Mexicans---their voices have sounded over this farm, their families have walked these rows.. ~ David Mas Masumoto, Epitaph for a Peach.. Home.. /.. Mailing Address and Location.. Fresno, CA 93706.. Phone Number 559.. 441.. 0862.. Fax Number 559.. 1372.. Email  ...   emailing a request).. PLEASE NOTE:.. The Fresno Historical Society Archives is temporarily closed from January 27 through May 5, 2014.. The Society is currently reviewing and revising the archive s policies and organizing its collections to better serve the community s needs.. We regret that we are unable to accept research requests during that time.. Web Sites.. http://www.. valleyhistory.. Last Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 07:09 AM..

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  • Title: ValleyHistory.org / Archives
    Descriptive info: Beyond the river stretches the interminable prairie, where the fields of harvested wheat lie wrapped in slumber;.. The light stealing upon the broad shadows, first touches the tops of the prairie wagons.. Then, making more and more progress, it shines.. and at last, in full glory of splendor, brings out the yellow of the cultivated fields and the course brown of the sandy soil.. ~ Picturesque America, 1872..

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  • Title: ValleyHistory.org / Accessing the Archives - Accessing the Archives
    Descriptive info: Due to the Society's ongoing archives and collections reorganization, and our small staff, only a limited amount of focused research requests will be accepted.. Please email your research requests to.. It may take 3-4 weeks before we can get an answer back to your request.. Please visit our.. page for research fees and research payment requirements.. Further Research Suggestions:.. You may wish to contact the following repository.. They may be able to give you further suggestions on research sources:.. The Fresno County Public Library, Central Branch.. The San Joaquin Valley Heritage Genealogy Center (located on the 2nd floor).. Fresno County Public Library.. 2420 Mariposa Street.. Fresno, CA 93721-2285.. (559) 600-6230.. Website:.. fresnolibrary.. org/heritage/.. Email:.. org/heritage/email.. html.. Obituary Requests.. For obituaries from 1922 to the present, contact Reference Services of the Fresno County Library.. The reference department has microfilm copies of the.. Fresno Bee and.. may be able to do a look up.. It is customary to send a small donation to the Library (about $10.. 00) for this service.. The Fresno County Public Library.. Central Branch.. Reference Department.. Fresno, CA 93721.. 559-600-7323.. org/ref/refdep.. Email form:.. org/ref/webref.. ----------------------------.. The Fresno Historical Society Archives welcomes the use of its collections.. The mission of an Archives includes two equally important components.. In addition to providing access to primary source material for study and research, an Archives is a repository that is charged with the preservation of primary source materials of all kinds.. This part of the mission encompasses:.. Preservation:.. action taken to anticipate, prevent, stop or retard deterioration.. Conservation:.. the maintenance of each item in the collection in a usable condition..  ...   materials relevant to the researcher s needs.. Collections are stored in three locations and must be brought in to the reading room.. Fragile materials and unprocessed collections may not be available for research use.. Photocopying is subject to restrictions based on size and physical condition of the item.. All duplication of materials is performed by staff.. Each researcher is required to fill out a Research Registration Form.. Please sign the Researcher Guest Book each time you visit the Archives.. Reading Room Policies.. Currently the Historical Society has one reading room for all public research.. Please note that we can only accommodate two adults.. There are no children allowed in the reading room.. We have limited electrical outlets.. Please bring battery power and any other electronic equipment you may need for your computer.. Scanners, cameras, camera phones and video cameras are not allowed.. To protect the collections, no pens, food or drink are allowed in the reading room.. If your appointment will extend into the afternoon session, please ask staff about lunch options before arriving for your appointment.. You will be asked to place briefcases, backpacks, coats, and any other outside gear in a designated area.. Staff will provide you with a pencil and pad of paper.. You may use a laptop computer with proper precautions.. Collections Policies.. Our collections do not circulate and no materials may leave the Archives.. Please read and observe the.. By signing the Researcher Registration form, you agree to observe these rules, which have been established to safeguard our collections.. Photography and scanning are not allowed.. Last Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 07:48 AM..

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  • Title: ValleyHistory.org / Policies of the Archives - Policies of the Archives
    Descriptive info: The ground surface is so nearly level that you have no sense of contour.. It is not a former lake, although in large part it is a former swamp.. Geology characteristically repeats itself around the world and down through time, but---with the possible exceptions of the Chilean Longitudinal Valley and the Dalbandin Trough in Pakistan---the Great Central Valley of California has no counterpart on this planet.. ~ John McPhee, Assembling California.. Original broadside, M.. Theo Kearney Collection.. Kearney Mansion Museum.. Fresno, CA.. Please note research fees and research payment requirements below.. ----------.. General Guidelines for Handling Archival Materials.. The primary resources of the Archives collections are rare and unique, and often fragile and at risk for damage.. Guidelines for the use of archival materials have been drafted with the physical safety of the collection in mind.. We depend upon our researchers to help us maintain the collection by following the Archives guidelines for handling materials.. General.. The Collection is non-circulating; all records must be used in the reading area.. Make sure your hands are clean when working on a collection.. Food and drink (including lozenges, all types of chewing gum and bottled water) are not allowed in the reading area.. Work only with pencil, a pad of paper and eraser will be provided for you.. No ink pens or felt-tip pens.. Avoid leaning on materials or stacking materials on each other, especially in an open position.. Material should be used on a table; do not put any material on the floor or on your lap.. Archives staff is responsible for all  ...   removing from container to prevent contents from falling out.. Do not place full folders on end.. Align sheets within folders so that ends are not protruding beyond the protection of the folder.. If a mistake in arrangement is discovered or if you have a question, please notify the archivist/staff.. Do not re-arrange the material.. Do not lean on, write on, fold, trace, fasten or unfasten the documents.. If a fastener needs to be removed to read a document, please ask the staff to remove the fastener.. Bound Volumes.. Use only paper for bookmarks archivist will provide you with archival bookmarks.. Be aware of the condition of the books you are handling.. Never force open a book with a tight binding.. Do not stack opened books or place them face down.. Please turn pages carefully at their outer edges only.. Avoid touching the surface of pages.. (Flipping through pages quickly or licking your fingers to aid in turning pages can damage the paper.. ).. Cotton gloves (supplied by archivist) must be worn when examining all pictorial materials.. If a mistake in arrangement is discovered or if you have a question, please notify the staff.. Touch only edges of image; never the image itself.. Do not hold a print, drawing or photograph, even when mounted, by one hand only; always support it at its edges with both hands.. Do not bend images.. Limit movement and shifting of images within folders or containers.. Avoid stacking folders.. Staff must assist in the handling of fragile pictorial material.. Last Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 07:21 AM..

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  • Title: ValleyHistory.org / Collections
    Descriptive info: 1.. Over 250 manuscripts are housed in the Historical Society s Archives.. Since 1919, the founding year of the Historical Society, the Society has collected the personal papers of individuals, families, businesses and organizations from Fresno.. Read More.. 2.. DAVID JENNINGS Between 1860 and 1910 the black population in California grew slowly from 4,086 to 21,645 and remained about 1 percent of the total population throughout the era.. There was a small presence of African Americans in some Central.. 3.. PHOTOGRAPHY COLLECTIONS The photographs, over 30,000 images, housed in the Fresno Historical Society Archives reflect Fresno County and regional history from the earliest times to the present.. The photographs show the growth and development of.. 4.. The mission of the Oral History collection is to  ...   Ben R.. Walker a Fresno historian, newspaperman, professor, and founding president of the Historical Society.. Information in the files dates from.. 6.. The Archives extensive collection of published materials includes books, pamphlets, periodicals, newspaper clipping files, sheet music, maps and atlases related to Fresno County and Central California regional history.. The materials also include.. 7.. Ephemera are paper documents produced for a short, transitory life -- an item produced for a specific purpose and normally intended for disposal.. The definition of ephemera comes to us from the Greek epi (about) and hermeris.. 8.. A valuable source of research materials often not readily available elsewhere is the sizeable collection in the Archives vertical files.. This collection contains newspaper clippings, brochures, pamphlets, anniversary publications of churches and..

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  • Title: ValleyHistory.org / Collections - Manuscripts
    Descriptive info: Since 1919, the founding year of the Historical Society, the Society has collected the personal papers of individuals, families, businesses and organizations from Fresno County and the region.. Manuscripts are by their very nature unique to a repository.. These primary sources provide eye-witness records or accounts into the diversity of personal, civic, cultural, social, and business life in Fresno County and Central California.. Manuscript collections are hand-written, or printed materials created or collected by an individual, family, business, or organization and given as an entity to the Fresno Historical Society.. The manuscript collections document the history of Central California from 1848 to the present, although the bulk of the collection dates from the 1880s through the 1920s.. There is also a growing body of donated collections documenting the time period from the 1960s through the 1990s.. The Society s Archives hold the papers of politicians, clergymen, inventors, business leaders, and individuals who contributed to the development of our region.. The collections form an invaluable resource of primary materials for research on the political, social and cultural, business and civic history of our Valley.. Categories of manuscript collections include:.. Personal Papers:.. Consist of letters, diaries, certificates, legal and/or financial records, memoirs, newspaper clippings, genealogical information, lectures, notebooks, typescripts and manuscripts, photographs (albums), scrapbooks, etc.. of an individual or a family.. Business Records:.. Created by local businesses, these records reflect the interaction and inter-association of various segments of the community.. Correspondence, minutes of meetings, administrative papers, financial records, in-house publications, photographs and other records document many important aspects of a company s origins, growth, and development.. Organizational Records:.. May contain By-Laws, minutes, membership lists, programs, scrapbooks, photographs and other printed materials relating to the history, projects and events of an organization.. Collections:.. An artificial accumulation of documents brought together on the basis of some common characteristic such as the M.. Theo Kearney Collection or the Fresno Fire Department Collection.. Selective Listing of Manuscript Collections:.. Mss 137: Unpublished reminiscences, including photographs,.. by Mary Elizabeth Bartlett (1914- ).. Her grandparents Charles H.. and Marfreda Danks made their home on a five-acre farm (1906) along Kearney Boulevard near Chandler Airport in Fresno.. With detailed, often humorous, descriptions, Mary writes about her childhood experiences on the family farm, life in the country and the her memories of Kearney Avenue.. View an excerpt.. Edgar J.. Bullard Letters, 1900.. Mss 104: Contain 41 letters from Bullard (1871-1925) to his fiancé Florence Streeter, May - November, 1900.. His letters describe the couple s wedding plans, Bullard s experiences in Fresno County and his campaign for the Fresno County Board of Supervisors, District 2, observations on irrigation, and oil drilling in Bakersfield (Tulare County).. Floyd L.. R.. Burks, MD Papers, 1887-1974.. Mss 12: Part of a Fresno City pioneer family, photographs document.. Dr.. Floyd Lancelott Rowell Burks (1883-1975) family life as a child and student at Fresno High School, plus class pictures of Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1908).. He was the first Fresno County-born surgeon.. Included are letters written to his mother while serving in France during World War I, financial records, medical records, photographs, and newspaper clippings.. Also, travel observations from around the world to.. The Fresno Bee.. newspaper.. Philander Cody Papers, 1859, 1862-1883.. Mss 13: Consist primarily of correspondence (1862-1865) written by Philander Cody (1840-1924) to his wife, Cora, while he served in the 12th Wisconsin Company during the Civil War.. The letters (transcripts available) include descriptions of daily military life, comrades and commanders, and Cody s involvement in the Vicksburg campaign.. Other material includes: correspondence (1908, 1923) of family members relating to family reunions, illnesses and vacations; newspaper clippings; legal records; photographs; and family genealogical records documenting the Cody family and his farm life in Parlier, California.. Fresno Fire Department Collection, 1889-1975.. Mss 14: One of the first concerns of the citizens of the City of Fresno was the ever-present danger of fire.. From the town s founding in 1872 until 1877, the city was nearly burned to the ground several times.. In 1877, the first Fresno Volunteer Fire Department (FVFD) was organized.. In 1886, one year after Fresno s incorporation, the city leaders took over responsibility and hired a professional staff, purchased proper equipment and built the city s first permanent station which doubled as City Hall.. These materials (donated from various firemen volunteers, employees and the City Fire Department) comprise a rich collection that documents their service to the City of Fresno.. Included are certificates, newspaper clippings, financial and legal records, printed materials and photographs documenting the Fresno Volunteer Fire Department and Fresno Fire Department.. View selected photographs.. Reo Gillette Papers, 1924-1935.. Mss 128: A graphic artist known for his movie posters, Reo Gillette (1898-1965) was hired by Fox  ...   the Armenian Assembly (1975-1983), scrapbooks (1955-1983), and photographs.. James Porteous Papers, 1880-1922.. Mss 04: The prolific inventor and manufacturer who made the word fresno known around the world, James Porteous played a significant role in the early development of Central California agriculture.. Includes correspondence, financial records, legal records, patents, printed material, and photographs relating to James Porteous (1848-1912), his family and his business the Fresno Agricultural Works (FAW).. His business papers consist of correspondence; over 25 patents of agricultural inventions which include the patents for the.. (Porteous and other inventors scrapers), and patent rights (1882-1920); the company stationary, calendars, catalogs (circa 1904 and 1906); photographs; and a salesman s catalog with photographs of equipment from FAW.. Poulsen Family Papers, 1898-1985 (bulk 1942-1946).. Mss 123: Consist primarily of correspondence, printed material, military records including training materials, ephemera, and photographs of Richard James Poulsen (1921-1946) and relates to Poulsen s training as a B-29 Army Air Corps bomber pilot in World War II.. Attached to the 877th Squadron, he flew 20 missions against the enemy in the Western Pacific and was shot down and killed on his 21st mission.. Other family records include those of Elton Poulsen relating to his service in the U.. S.. Army during World War I.. Chester Rowell, MD Papers, 1877-1914 (bulk 1882-1914).. Mss 05: Consist of correspondence (1883-1909), financial and legal records, medical records, prescription books, printed materials, and photographs.. The material primarily relates to Dr.. Rowell s (1844-1912) political interest concerning Japan and the Far East, various political appointments and background information on political figures.. Photographs include images of the Rowell family, Fresno Republican newspaper and the Rowell Residence.. Delerain E.. Smith Diaries, 1912-1928.. Mss 120: The 21-volume pocket diaries contain brief daily entries written by Delerain Smith (1850-1929).. He relates information concerning the Fresno County Fair, community events, daily temperature and weather, births and deaths of family members, domestic tasks and magazine subscription sales.. Smith was employed as a magazine subscription salesman.. Edward Smith Diary, A Journal of Scenes and Incidents on a Journey from Missouri to California in 1848.. Mss 18: Smith and his family came overland from Springfield, Illinois to California in 1848.. He kept a diary (21 pages) of the journey beginning in Independence, Missouri on April 29 and ending on November 11, after he and his family arrived in San Francisco.. Smith writes nearly every day during the six-month journey.. The entries describe distances traveled, campsites, encounters with Indians, enduring severe thunderstorms and hailstorms, and crossing rivers and streams.. Entries of note include descriptions of famous landmarks (Chimney Rock and Courthouse Rock) and meeting the celebrated mountain man and scout, Joseph Walker.. During the journey, Joseph Chiles, the wagon train s captain, blazed a new trail known as the Carson Trail.. The second half of the diary also contains Monterey County land surveys, 1851 1853, made by Smith after his arrival in California, a list of goods bought for the overland journey, a record of miles covered during the journey, and drawings of different brands used by acquaintances of Smith.. According to overland route statistics, the party on the Smith wagon train was among only 400 emigrants who journeyed to the West in 1848 (with the 49er Gold Fever in the following year that number skyrocketed to 25,000).. The Smith diary is significant because it is among a very small number of overland trail accounts prior to the Gold Rush.. Frank Eugene Tully Papers, 1881-1966.. Mss 08: Contain correspondence, reminiscences, notes, news clippings, and photographs related to the Tully Family, the Sierra Nevada, and Fresno and San Benito Counties.. In 1903, Frank Eugene Tully (1875-1973) became one of the original group of 60 men appointed to the position of forest ranger for the U.. Forest Service.. Tully was placed in charge of grazing for the Sierra National Forest (1905), and received permission to enter Yosemite National Park to remove sheep from the area.. He served as a park ranger until 1938, and his reminiscences document this period.. L.. Winchell Papers, 1881-1931.. Mss 03: Lilbourne Alsip Winchell (1855-1939) was one of Fresno County s local historians and founders of the Fresno County Historical Society.. His papers include correspondence, printed material, research notes, notebooks and photographs.. His literary productions contain the 46-chapter typewritten manuscript to his book the.. History of Fresno County and the San Joaquin Valley.. ; also included are the diaries of Jedediah S.. Smith and Harrison G.. Rogers with annotation by Winchell; and D.. B.. James Reminiscences of Early Days in Southern Mines (written in 1903).. Most of his research and notes relate to Fresno County and the Sierra Nevada; however some notes on other counties are included.. Last Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 06:40 AM..

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  • Title: ValleyHistory.org / Mary Bartlett Manuscript - Mary Bartlett Manuscript
    Descriptive info: This photo from Mary Bartlett s diary shows her grandparents, Mr.. and Mrs.. Charles H.. Danks, surrounded by the bounty of the HARVEST on their Kearney Avenue Ranch, circa 1908.. Fresno Historical Society Archives.. EXCERPT KEARNEY AVENUE.. This unpublished reminiscense is presented unedited.. Mary Bartlett's spelling and word usage is unchanged.. My grandfather, Charles H.. Danks, came to Fresno in 1903 when his health dictated that he forsake the rigors of the middle western climate and the demands of his work as superintendent of a steel mill in Picqua, Ohio.. In 1906 he purchased 5 acres of land on the north side of Kearney Avenue, midway between Teilman and West Avenues, paying Mr.. F.. Chandler the sum of $250 for the property.. How he happened to hit upon this particular area I am not sure.. Although he was born and bred in the big city complexes of Cincinatti and Chicago, he probably yearned for land of his own on which he could have a share in this new and highly publicized Garden of Eden that was California.. Since he was anything but a status seeker, I doubt the he was lured to Kearney Avenue by the promise that he would be living in an elegant and fashionable residence area; if this was his reason, he was certainly doomed to disappointment, for after a brief spurt of popularity the Avenue languished over the years as the city of Fresno grew east instead of west and resisted the social barrier of the railroad tracks of the Southern Pacific.. Likewise, if grandfather counted on his residential vineyard supporting him in his declining years, he was also in for a surprise, for he and all the rest of us were destined to support it for as many years as it remained in the family about 35 in all.. Providentially, my grandfather was always completely satisfied with his purchase and was stubbornly proud of his land and the house and buildings he put upon it and of the growing things with which his acres abounded.. It did not concern him that the land actually decreased in value as the years went by, for he had no intention of selling it.. Between 1914 and 1937 the assessed valuation of the land shrank from $1,000 to $500 on the same five acre plot, even though its vines and tree continued to produce fruit in such magnificent quality and quantity to make us all thoroughly sick of the sight of it.. And certainly no one was disposed to buy any of it in those Depression days.. Grandfather, back in 1906, was so entranced with the remarkable fertility of his land that he planted everything he had ever heard of and a few things he had not.. Everything grew apace, nurtured by the rich black loam and irrigated with water that lay so close below the surface that turning a few spadefuls of earth uncovered its presence.. Judging by the proud photographs of his Harvest , my grandfather Danks was intent on rivalling in his own homely way the horticultural efforts of M.. Theodore Kearney, his distinguished neighbor.. Peacocks and swans he had not, but everything that would take root was there on that little five acre plot.. He started with pumpkins, watermelon, squash, corn, and tomatoes and by the time the young vineyard was at the bearing stage he also had several varieties of peaches, apricots, plums, oranges, lemons, tangerines, kumquats, loquats, quince, crabapples, almonds, pmegrantes, walnuts, cherries, artichokes and his great pride and joy.. a whole row of olive trees which in no time at all were more fruitful than the ancient branches of Tuscany.. My grandfather was a serious man, not given to practical jokes, but he never got over the joy of offering some newcomer from the Eastern states a ripe uncured olive  ...   a Boulevard in its early days, or even as late as the thirties when I last lived there, for Boulevard was considered rather an upstage word, reserved for the Swells.. All of Fresno was rather slow in overcoming a sturdy pioneer aversion to the term.. Huntington Boulevard and later Van Ness were finally accepted, but Kearney never quite made it.. Kearney was a beautiful Avenue, then as now, and perhaps even more beautiful when neglect and public disregard for safety allowed its great Eucalyptus branches to bend and meet over the center of the avenue proper and permitted the shabby fronds of the stout palm trees to accumulate in dusty undisturbed layers year after year.. The pink and white oleanders that separated the avenue from the quiet side roads that paralleled it on either side were interspersed with untidy clumps of Pampas Grass whose feathery plumes always fascinated me as a small girl, possibly because I was sternly warned never to go near the Pampas bushes because tramps slept in them.. In 1906 the trees must have been already sizable as they were in 1911 when a commemorative postcard was published in what seems to have been a joint effort of the Southern Pacific and Sunset Magazine to lure new residents to California.. with Kearney Avenue a prime point of interest.. My mother could remember it when its only traffic included the riding horses, surreys and buggies of the few residents or occasional visitors.. For a brief period of time life was made more exciting by the spectacle of M.. Theodore Kearney himself riding by on his way to town esconsed in a handsome open brougham drawn by a spirited pair of matched bays.. My own first recollections of the Avenue in about 1920 hold no such romantic episodes as the passage of open broughams or clattering horsemen and women.. Newcomers to Fresno, even those lured by the Southern Pacific s postcard depiction the glories of the tree lined avenue, took one look at the geography of the town which by now had placed Kearney Avenue squarely on the wrong side of the tracks.. and promptly bought land north or east of town instead.. Few houses were built, and among them I remember only a couple of square two story buildings, buff colored and white, belonging to the Sheidts and Teilmans respectively, and the cluster of farm buildings that made up the Bidegary ranch.. All of these seemed enormous, but of course it was only my small girl s memory that made them so and they have long since vanished, forever safe from being diminished by a later look.. In 1920 almost no one wanted to build a house on a five acre bit of fertile land less than two miles from the center of town.. in the wrong direction.. The side road was also used as a detour during infrequent sessions of pruning the Eucalyptus trees.. This operation was accomplished by Fresno County authorities in a grand manner with all the pruing done at once and no great attempt made to clear away the sea of branches until all the cutting was done.. I always begged to be allowed to play in the forest of cut branches but was invariably forbidden, either because of the ever present threat of those mythical tramps or the great likelihood of my breaking an arm or leg falling through the brittle branches.. I hung around close to the heels of my father and grandfather when they went out to retrieve a few choice logs for the fireplace, however, and I can still smell the pungent scent of the leaves that were bruised in falling, and remember the smooth touch of tree limbs after they had shed their brown dry curls of bark.. Last Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 06:58 AM..

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  • Title: ValleyHistory.org / Fresno Scraper - Fresno Scraper
    Descriptive info: BACKGROUND.. For centuries, the soil of the earth has been moved by mankind for agriculture and construction.. In some underdeveloped countries, it is still moved in baskets, carried on the head, or hung from a pole slung across the shoulders.. The earliest use of draft animals to pull the Slip/Scoop, (Figure 1) is attributed to Flemish Husbandry.. The single handle was later replaced by two handles for better lateral control of scraping, sliding and dumping the load into a pile.. In the middle of the 1800's the Buckboard was developed in the Western United States.. Essentially, it was a board which was hot-se drawn in an upright position to scrape and push the soil from a high spot into the low spots, smoothing and leveling the ground.. The Buckboard was provided with a tailboard upon which the driver stood until ready to dump the soil.. Slip/Scoops and Buckboards were often used in combination to smooth and level piles of earth dumped by the Slip/Scoops.. This was particularly.. true.. in the earliest agricultural development of the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys of California.. EVOLUTION.. The history of the Fresno Scraper starts with James Porteous, born in Scotland in 1848.. His father, William Porteous, was a wheelwright and blacksmith who built and repaired carriages, wagons and farm equipment.. After learning his basic skills, James Porteous headed.. for.. Santa Barbara, California, in the company of friends.. In 1877, he came to Fresno, (Photo 1) and established a wagon shop in the downtown area.. He prospered, manufacturing buggies and heavy wagons.. Working with Fresno farmers, Porteous recognized the valley's dependence on irrigation.. This necessitated more efficient means of constructing canals, ditches,.. borders,.. furrows, stock ponds, etc.. In his efforts to better current methods used, James Porteous became an inventor, an entrepreneur and a manufacturer.. Porteous'.. first invention was to improve the Buckboard by overcoming major problems: (a) the tail board, rigidly secured to the Buckboard, would swing up into the air to dump the load, and (b) the pushing of the load against soil required considerable power.. Porteous' answer to these problems was his first Buck Scraper, U.. Patent 261,759 issued July 25, 1882.. (Figure 2).. In this first invention, the tailboard is hinged to the Buck.. Scraper.. When the.. lever.. is moved to the rear, the soil pushed by the board is carried on the rear runners.. When the lever is moved.. forward,.. the load is dumped so the front runners act as a gauge to grade the soil to a fixed depth.. The disadvantages were (a) much of the pushed soil fell off while tilting the board to the horizontal, and (b) the depth of grading was fixed.. Porteous' second invention was his Dirt Scraper, U.. Patent 275,075 issued April 3, 1883, (Figure 3).. PORTEOUS' SECOND PATENT.. This second Porteous patent relates to "means for limiting the rotation of the scraper bowl to dump the load to a controlled depth" when the handle is pushed up.. The cross bar may be adjusted forward or back on the bowl side plates to  ...   of curved runners was invented by Frank Dusy and Abijah McCall, also of Selma, California, U.. Patent 320,055 issued June 16, 1885, (Figure 6).. DUSY AND MCCALL PATENT Dusy and McCall used chains to control and adjust the dump by selecting the desired link to connect to hooks on each end of the draft axle.. The circular arc runners to gauge the dump depth, while good in principle, were ineffective due to being so narrow as to slice through the soft, sandy soils.. James Porteous bought the rights to the Deidrick patent by assignment dated January 31, 1889, and the Dusy and McCall patent assignment, dated February 7, 1896.. Using some of the features of these patents along with his own ideas, Porteous perfected the scraper which became known as the "Fresno Scraper" (Figure 7), and commonly known as a "Fresno.. ".. The three modes of operation of the Fresno Scraper are illustrated here.. During the scraping mode, (a) the operator raises the handle slightly to engage the cutting edge and scrape a load of soil into the bowl.. In the (b) mode, the operator depresses the handle slightly to raise the cutting edge above the ground, thus allowing the bowl to slide on its bottom.. In the (c) mode, the operator raises the handle so that the cutting edge engages the ground causing the bowl to rotate forward until the cross bar contacts the draft rods.. This discharges the load and grades it to the desired thickness.. The cross bar position is adjusted by loosening the single wing nuts on the "J" bolts and then tightening the "J" bolts locked in the selected notch on the runner support.. After returning empty to the cut, the operator pulls on the rope to return the scraper to the scraping position.. "Fresnos" were sold throughout the West and when their reputation for efficiency, reliability and ease of operation was established, they were shipped to practically every state as well as South America, India, The Orient, South Africa, Australia and Europe.. The "Fresno" played a vital role in the construction of the Panama Canal.. HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE.. The Fresno Scraper transformed the backbreaking labor of land leveling, ditch digging and road and railroad building.. It helped to change the way that earth could be scraped, moved, dumped and leveled.. The "Fresno" and its variants made possible the early-day irrigation canals, ditches, and level fields in the Central Valley of California, as well as the construction of dams, roads and railroad right-of-ways.. It indeed was the forerunner and provided the basis for the development of the modem day earth-moving scraper.. Present day scrapers are built to scrape up to 30 cubic yards and to carry such loads at speeds up to 30 mph.. The advent of the tractor in the 1910-20's, displaced the horses and mules, and provided mechanical and hydraulic control means to aid the operator.. Laser beam controlled scrapers have also reduced surveying and operator skill requirements for land leveling for agricultural and construction.. Last Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 07:40 AM..

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  • Title: ValleyHistory.org / Edward Smith Diary Excerpt - Edward Smith Diary Excerpt
    Descriptive info: Cover and page from Edward Smith diary, 1848.. Size: 8 x13 Fresno Historical Society Archives.. Preface to Smith s 1848 Diary Excerpts.. In 1848, Edward Smith s wagon train was traveling overland to California, with Joseph Ballinger Chiles as their guide.. On August 29, 1848, the party met a group of Mormons traveling east to Salt Lake City.. This group included members of the Mormon Battalion, a body of over 500 men who had been recruited into the U.. Army to fight in the Mexican War.. In order to avoid the rigors of the Truckee Trail, the Mormon party, which consisted of forty-five men and one woman, pioneered a new wagon trail to the Carson River.. Meeting Chiles, they told him of this alternate route.. Having been on the Carson River with the earlier Bidwell-Bartleson party in 1841, Chiles decided to turn southwest at the Humboldt Sink and blaze a wagon trail over the Forty Mile Desert to the Carson River.. He reached the river about where the Mormon group had left it for the Truckee River, a place during the Gold Rush known as Rag Town.. This final link across the Forty Mile Desert completed the opening of the important Carson Trail to the gold fields.. In the following excerpt from Edward Smith s diary, the wagon train has just crossed the dreaded Forty Mile Desert.. Smith writes of the hardships in losing many cattle and oxen near Mary s Sink (the Humboldt Sink), troubles with Indians, shortages with water, and striking the new Road to California.. The exact transcription shows Smith s spelling, word usage and style, and lack of punctuation.. [Transcribed by Ruth Lang, Assistant Archivist, 2008].. September 14.. t.. hur 14 about one am oclock Mr Moore came in with two Small kegs of water and about 10 Mr Hollenbecks boy arrived with 2 more kegs of water about 3 PM Jerome came with 2 more and at Sun set the Cattle came at 9 PM we started once more on our wearisome Journey which I shall call the forlorn hope our cattle travel well through the Sand in many Places one foot deep all the way 6 inches I arrived in camp at daylight two waggons were left in camp 2 more along the Road the cattle come in Slowly we are still hunting for our cattle three oxen have been shot at this camp by Indians  ...   we Passed through a canion there were two Indian fish dams distance about ten miles.. September 20.. wed 20 to day in about four miles we crossed the River and struck the Mormon trail or new Road to California in the afternoon we traveled about ten miles over a Sandy Plain and encamped again on the River Capt Chiles filly got in the mire and the Indians drove Francisco and Dick from here to night Mr Williams ox was shot while watering.. September 21.. thurs 21 this morning Mr Slater Coryell Nelson and Francisco went back to get the filly the Indians had killed her and carried her nearly all away they followed on the trail overtook and killed one Indian Brot the Bow and Arrows in camp we traveled about two miles and encamped for the day.. September 22.. frid 22 we traveled about 14 miles and encamped at the Place called by the Cottonwood Valley.. Learn more.. about the overland journey to California and the California Trail from the following sources.. Hill, William E.. The California Trail yesterday today: a pictorial journey along the California Trail,.. 1986.. Holliday, J.. The world rushed in: the California gold rush experience,.. 2002.. Howard, Thomas Frederick.. Sierra crossing: first roads to California.. , 2000, c1998.. May, Richard M.. A sketch of a migrating family to California in 1848,.. 1991.. (Traveled with the Smith wagon train).. Unruh, John D.. The Plains Across: The Overland Emigrants and the Trans-Mississippi West, 1840 - 1860,.. 1979.. Trails of Hope: Overland Diaries and Letters, 1846-1869.. A collection of the original writings of 49 voyagers on the Mormon, California, Oregon, and Montana trails who wrote while traveling on the trail.. The National Parks Service California Trail Web Site.. Included are downloadable Auto Tour Route Interpretive Guides.. These are state-by- state guides that provide an overview of the California Trail history through each state and driving directions to suggested points of interest.. The Oregon-California Trails Association.. The mission of this organization is to protect the Historic Emigrant Trails legacy by promoting research, education and preservation activities.. They maintain a database with essential information from all known documents written by emigrants during their overland journey west.. Teachers should view the Learning Center which includes Classroom Resources, People Places, Trail Facts Virtual Trail for lesson plans and primary sources (eyewitness accounts of the overland trails).. Last Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 - 06:00 AM..

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