WELCOME TO THE FIRST ISSUE OF OUR NEW MONTHLY NEWSLETTER !
The Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library is, along with the Wine Library, the Petaluma History Room and the Sonoma County Archives, a special collection that is part of the Sonoma County Library System. The History & Genealogy Library is open six days a week and staffed by five knowledgeable professionals and a team of dedicated volunteers.
In our newsletters we will provide content written by staff members, monthly highlights at the library and information on new books, databases, and recently processed collections. We'll share library events as well as those hosted by our partner organizations. Up to date information on the Sonoma County Archives and links to interesting websites will be provided. We hope you enjoy this new way to keep you informed.
Do you have any questions or suggestions for future topics? Is there anything you would like us to write about? Email the editor Simone Kremkau: firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo (from left to right): Simone, Katherine, Joanna, Zayda and Kate
"Suffrage is the Theme!" by Katherine J. Rinehart
An impressive crowd turned out to hear Leasa Graves, assistant director of the National Women's History Alliance and project coordinator for the California 2020 Women's Suffrage Project, present Ripe for Picking: The Impact of the Sonoma County Suffrage Movement on March 20, 2019.
Leasa's passion for women's suffrage was palpable and several audience members have since paid a visit to the Sonoma County History & Genealogy Library seeking research assistance on the topic. These individuals will likely become part of a research team that already exists, and who, under the direction of H&G library staff and volunteers, are documenting those involved in the suffrage campaign as well as the places where suffrage activities occurred throughout the county. Our goal is to write biographical sketches that will be shared with the public using Wikipedia and other means. We also plan to map sites similar to the National Votes for Women Trail project. Some researchers are focused specifically on identifying the burials of Sonoma County suffragists and adding them to Find A Grave.
Plans for a speaker series that will kick off in November 2019 are in the works. Look for more details as they unfold here in the H&G newsletter! In the meantime, we would love to hear what you and any organization you are affiliated with have planned to commemorate this milestone of democracy. So far, ideas have ranged from suffrage themed exhibits, participation in the Rose Parade, cemetery tours and book clubs.
The image above shows Petaluma resident Abigail Ainsley Goodwin Haskell (1819-1884), president of the Sonoma County Woman Suffrage Association in 1869. Original: Glass plate courtesy of Ann Nisson, great-great-granddaughter.
"Women Veterans Then and Now: Stories of Service and Sacrifice"
by Joanna Kolosov
Despite the rain on Monday afternoon, March 25, more than 40 people turned out at Petaluma Regional Library to support a panel of women military veterans convened in honor of National Women’s History Month.
Mary Lou Loustalot, a WAVES during World War II, regaled us with stories of her singing platoon, who performed weekly on the radio. Emily Sousa, a Korean War-era veteran, said the discipline she learned in the Navy shaped her future career in banking. Kate O’Hare-Palmer, a surgical nurse in the Vietnam War, showed us pictures of her field hospital, noting she would never forget the smell as she stepped off the plane in nylons and heels nor the faces of the men ready to board the plane home. What has stayed with her — the deep bonds formed with fellow medical staff. Lisa Lim, a member of the military band of the 82nd Airborne, spoke of her grueling basic training experience, which resulted in her gaining U.S. citizenship, as well as her current graduate research focused on PTSD and homelessness. E-6 Petty Officer First Class Bethany LaRosa, currently stationed with the Coast Guard at Two Rock, described her 12 years of service thus far, including a two-year stint on a polar ice breaker and her recent efforts to teach and recruit.
Veterans in the audience echoed the extreme challenges faced by generations of women in the service, the ongoing need to support our veterans, and appreciation for those who paved the way.
Photo by Katherine J. Rinehart. Panelists (from left to right): Mary Lou Loustalot, Emily Sousa, Kate O'Hare-Palmer, Lisa Lim, Bethany LaRosa.
"Reaching New Audiences" by Zayda Delgado
As an archivist and a special collections librarian I work with material that has long-term historical and cultural value. I think about how to best arrange and describe our resources so that they can be found and used by our community and beyond! In the last few months we have increased efforts to introduce local history to a younger audience.
In November and December 2018 Joanna Kolosov and I presented to an Ethnic Studies class at Analy High School. Students in this class worked on a family history project, an assignment that used each students’ story and ancestry to learn about US immigration and assimilation.
Last month Katherine and I presented at Roseland Accelerated Middle School’s Career Day to talk about being a historian and archivist. We brought a reproduction of a 1920 map of Santa Rosa, an 1899 high school yearbook and an album of Sonoma Valley postcards. Students were able to safely handle these items and learn about the area they live in. We answered many questions on medieval/early printed books and the oldest book in our collections (it is from 1554!). I also worked with Bridget Hayes, the Digital Literacy Specialist at Central Library. She held a week-long digital video camp for 4th to 6th graders and I gave a presentation on plagiarism and copyright.
As the History and Genealogy Library continues to develop services and programs, we'll be working to introduce and promote the use of our resources to K-12 educators and students and to raise awareness of the depth and breadth of our rich materials documenting the history and culture of Sonoma County, its people and communities. If you have any questions, please contact Zayda Delgado, email@example.com.
Photos by Rosalie Abbott.
National Library Week April 7 - 13, 2019
"Library Fun Facts" by Katherine J. Rinehart
National Library Week presents a perfect opportunity to share some library fun facts.
Did you know that on May 11, 1916 the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors voted to establish a county library system? Sadly, no funds were allocated and it wasn't until 1945 that county residents would see the free circulation of books to rural districts as part of the Sonoma County Free Public Library. It was a close vote, with Supervisor James Lyttle making a motion in favor, which was supported by Supervisors Nin Guidotti and Lloyd Cullen. Supervisors George Kennedy and Joseph D. Cox voted against the motion.
Frances G. Murphy (1907-1991) was appointed head librarian of the first Sonoma County Free Public Library in July 1945. Her salary was $225 per month. Miss Margaret Conners, assistant librarian at the Santa Rosa Library, was named as Miss Murphy's assistant earning $175 a month.
Miss Murphy was born to Ralph and Mabel (Thomas) Murphy on October 20, 1907. A graduate of Sonoma High School, Frances received bachelor and postgraduate library science degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. Before taking on the role as the first Sonoma County librarian in 1945, Frances worked in Plumas County and later as assistant library director in Sacramento County. In 1965 she was instrumental in consolidating the county library with the Santa Rosa Public Library and served as the assistant director of the Santa Rosa-Sonoma County Public Library until her retirement in 1974. The Forum Room at the Santa Rosa Central Library is named in her honor.
"Robyn Kasper: Camp Windsor (DVD)" by Simone Kremkau
Many people may not know that a small piece of world history played out right here in Sonoma County - west of downtown Windsor.
Using archival footage, historic photos and an interview with the president of the Windsor Historical Society, Steve Lehmann, Kasper's approach to delineating the history of the camp is both thoughtful and captivating. Originally established for migrant labor, Camp Windsor operated between 1944 and 1946. Only a few American soldiers supervised 250 German POWs who helped local farmers and ranchers whose sons had gone to fight in WWII pruning crops and maintaining their orchards and vineyards. The spirit in the camp was described as easy-going and friendly; photographs show smiling men making music and wearing costumes in their downtime. There was an escape, but apparently the two prisoners, sailors, only wished to see the Pacific Ocean.
In March 2015 Robyn Kasper received the Sonoma County Historical Society’s Jack Taylor Media Award for her film. Come in and watch the 27-minute-long documentary at the Annex or on YouTube.
Visit the Windsor Historical Society’s Museum located in the historic “Hembree House”, now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, at 9225 Foxwood Drive, Windsor, California 95492, (707) 838-4563, firstname.lastname@example.org, and see the exhibit that tells the story of German Prisoners of War. It is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, except for major holidays from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm and by appointment.
"Photo Album - Clara Keithly Tarwater" by Simone Kremkau
The album was donated to the History & Genealogy Library in 2016. Clara was the daughter of Nancy Finley (1854-1953) and Calvin Keithly (1848-1876), a teacher at Potter School in the town of Bodega. Clara was born December 17, 1876, only a few months after her father had died following complications from measles. Clara married Martin Tarwater on September 21, 1905, and was the first teacher in the Joy School District near Occidental. The couple had six children. Martin Tarwater’s father is buried in Alaska, where he had been in the company of Jack London during the gold rush of 1898. He was the real life inspiration for the character of John Tarwater in Jack London's short story "Like Argus of the Ancient Times".
Thanks to Clara's legible handwritten captions, our volunteer Donna Williamson was able to identify most of the photos. We now know that the album showcases both Finley and Keithly family members: Obadiah Keithly, Clara's paternal grandfather; Andrew Jackson Finley, her maternal grand uncle; Nettie Finley, her husband Albert Head, and numerous other relatives and friends.
This digital memorial raises questions about the largest slave trades in history and offers access to the documentation available to answer them.
European colonizers turned to Africa for enslaved laborers to build cities and extract the resources of the Americas. They forced millions of mostly unnamed Africans across the Atlantic to the Americas, and from one part of the Americas to another.
Analyze the slave trade and view interactive maps, timelines, and animations to see the dispersal in action.
Find Archives near you and around the world: ArchiveGrid includes over 5 million records describing archival materials, bringing together information about historical documents, personal papers and family histories. With over 1,000 different archival institutions represented, ArchiveGrid helps researchers looking for primary source materials in archives, libraries, museums and historical societies.
Find even more descriptions of primary sources held in US Archives here.
Sonoma County Museum
"No Rooms of Their Own":
Women Writers of California
Book Talk and Signing April 4, 2019, 7 PM - 8:30 PM