Awards of Merit 2014-2015

CCHS Proudly Honored Great Work in California's Historical Community

Scholastic Award: Dorothy J. Ross*

From the 1950s until the 1980s, Dorothy Ross was a prominent member of the San Marino Historical Society.  Her passion to research and preserve San Marino's history led Mrs. Ross to become fascinated with the life of Michael White, a prominent figure in California's transition from mission society to Statehood.  After years of research, she completed The Story of Michael White - A California Rebel Pioneer in 1976.  Her original manuscript remained archived until her passing in November of 2012, where it was finally discovered by the Friends of the Michael White Adobe.  The end result is a highly readable, historically accurate and visually appealing biography of Michael White.

Individual Award: Dorothy and Jack Lindsay

Dorothy and Jack Lindsay have been an integral part of the Butte County Historical Society for more than twenty years.  They have served for many years and have held many positions on the board and are still very active in the society.  During the renovation of the Museum, Dorothy and Jack spent countless hours cleaning, painting and refurbishing, despite the fact that they were both working full time jobs.  They continue to be involved in many aspects of the Butte County Historical Society, which would not be the same without them!

Individual Award: Doris Theriault

Doris Theriault provided an outstanding contribution to the development, presentation and dissemination of historical information about the San Pedrans who established the San Pedro community.  Her "Windows Into the Past" consists of 2D and 3D memorabilia highlighting San Pedro's many ethnic groups and cultural landmarks in 103 downtown windows at 54 locations.  The displays are easily accessible and provide visitors with representative portrayals of San Pedro's rich and colorful history.

Individual Award: Melanie D. Barton

 Melanie Barton served for 9 years as the Placer County Historical Society Museum Administrator.  She has rallied a team of staff and volunteers to operate six museums as well as brought the Gold Rush County's rich trove of historical artifacts and collection of records, maps and newspapers under one roof into the Archives and Research Center and Collections Management Facility.  Melanie's leadership has made a major impact on the development and success of historic preservation in Placer County and the larger field.  We are all grateful for her dedication and contributions to the field. 

Commercial Award: Chris Mieuli

The California Historian represents the Conference not only to its members, but to its entire subscription list including historical organizations, genealogical societies, university libraries, city and county libraries and historians in California and beyond.  As designer of this publication, Chris possess a unique and unrivaled skill in his ability to draw this audience in to read it when other publications arriving in a busy mailbox may be put aside for later.  Its presentation is in some way, is ahead of its time!

Commercial Award: Mormon Battalion Historic Site

Established in 2009, the Mormon Battalion Historic Site is a newly restored facility with modern interactive displays, hands on activities and entertaining presentations that are enjoyed by visitors of all ages.  Patrons relive the trials and accomplishments of the Mormon Battalion through the journals of this often forgotten military unit that was a major contributor to California history and the expansion of the western United States.  This site was built in the hopes that their story will inspire all who visit and serve as a reminder of all those who have sacrificed much in order that we might benefit!

Waddingham/Doctor Award: Beverly Lane

Beverly Lane has been an active supporter of the San Ramon Valley Historical Society for over 30 years and she is acknowledged as the areas top historian.  During the emergence of the Museum of the San Ramon Valley, she was always deeply involved and currently serves as the Curator.  She thoroughly enjoys sharing history stories with every group in the area and has become a prolific author of many books and articles about local history. 

Governmental Award: Thomas LaBonge

Thomas LaBonge is a great booster of Los Angeles and a strong proponent of preserving Los Angeles history.  He has been instrumental in helping the City Archives maintain its budget and staffing.  He has also been involved in many initiatives to preserve City facilities and programs of historical and cultural value to Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles City Historical Society can always count on Tom for support of the organization!

Rockwell D. Hunt Young Historians Award: Bakersfield High School CEO Academy Archives Class

In the last year the students in the Bakersfield High School Archives have helped research and find three families in order to return lost Purple Heart Medals.  When presented with this task, the students and their teacher took on the task with inspiring tenaciousness. 

Special Awards Announced at the Awards Luncheon:

Regional Vice President of the Year Award: Sharon Hartley

President's Award: John Shea and Christine Esser

Dr. R. Coke Wood Award: Guy Ball





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Conference of California Historical Societies
Bringing together California's historical community to share California's heritage, learn from one another and strengthen our communities.