CCHS Region 8 RVP Reports

RVP Annual Report Region 8 - June 2016

Sierra Gateway—Placer, Nevada, Sierra, Sutter, Yuba Counties

(The only Conference of California Historical Societies region with five or more counties)

From RVP Michael Otten – 10140 Snowy Owl Way, Auburn, CA 95603 (530) 888-7837 [email protected]


Heritage Trail 2016 

Attention all historical trail travelers:

Greetings from rugged and scenic Region 8, a fun place to live and visit all year. The region takes in the northwest portion of Lake Tahoe with three of its counties bordering Nevada on the east.

Region 8 covers nearly 4,700 square miles, nearly the size of Los Angeles County with its 10 regions. The Region’s population is about 640,000 or about 6.4 percent of LA County. It gets hot in the summer and sometimes has the dubious honor of being the coldest spot in the lower 48. It is wet too as part of the state’s vital watershed, providing hydroelectric power and wild water rafting and float trips.

This report will focus primarily on Placer County where I am a third generation resident. About 73 percent of the Region 8’s population is in Placer County.

Back in my days as serving as president of the Placer County Historical Society (founded circa 1910 and incorporated 1920) I had the pleasure and continuing privilege of serving on the Heritage Trail Steering Committee.

For the first eight years it was a big two-day early August event when 18 to 20 museums from Roseville to Tahoe would be open to the public free of charge with special things to do and see and special refreshments along with an opportunity to be entered into a drawing for each museum visited.

In an effort to expand the program, to help avoid family vacation and school conflicts, and make it easier on our numerous volunteers, we expanded the trail stops to 24 on the Placer County Tour of Museums.

There a special stop or stops nearly every weekend plus many extra events. It started the second Saturday in June. It to the first weekend in September. The final stop is Foresthill, a popular spot to see the rugged, world-famous 100-mile endurance events, the Western States Endurance run in June and the Tevis Cup Ride in July.

If you are like me, braking for museums and libraries, there is a special challenge with guaranteed prizes and a chance for fabulous picnic baskets filled to the brim with local goodies, if you have your trail card stamped 16 times with visits. It makes for a challenging, rewarding summer.

Like LeBron James who brought a promised first ever National Basketball Association championship to his beloved Cleveland Cavaliers June 19, you never know what you can do until you challenge yourself.

My bucket list this year is to visit at least 24 museums. As of this writing I have seven museums stamped on my card. I invite you to join in the fun.

For full details and to download your own Trail Calendar check


Trail tips include

  • ·       Calling (530) 889-6500 for information.
  • ·       Eating, drinking and smoking not permitted inside museums.
  • ·       Leaving pets at home.
  • ·       Bring camera or smartphone, subject to no flash photos in some areas.
  • ·       Be sure and pick up your trail card at the first museum you visit.
  • ·       Remember any museum visit by Sept. 4th counts during regular hours or appointment.


Museums on the Trail (as listed in calendar noted above):

Roseville Historical Society Carnegie Museum

557 Lincoln St., Roseville


Roseville Fire Museum

400 Lincoln St., Roseville


Bernhard Museum

291 Auburn Folsom Rd., Auburn


Benton Welty School Room

1225 Lincoln Way, Auburn


Gold Rush Museum

601 Lincoln Way, Auburn


Maidu Museum and Historic Site

1970 Johnson Ranch Dr., Roseville


Roseville Telephone Museum

106 Vernon St., Roseville


Roseville Public Library

225 Taylor St., Roseville


Placer County Museum (Historic Courthouse)

101 Maple St., Auburn


Gold Country Medical History Museum

219-100 Maple St., Auburn


Auburn Joss House Chinese Museum

200 Sacramento St., Auburn


Gatekeepers Museum

130 West Lake Blvd., Tahoe City


Watson Cabin

560 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City


The Museum of Sierra Ski History and the 1960 Winter Olympics

760 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City

Griffith Quarry Museum 

Corner of Taylor and Rock Springs Roads, Penryn


Rocklin History Museum

3895 Rocklin Rd., Rocklin


Colfax Area Heritage Museum

99 Railroad St., Colfax



Golden Drift Museum

32820 Main St., Dutch Flat


Donner Summit Historical Society Museum

21501 Donner Pass Rd., Norden


Lincoln Area Archives Museum

640 Fifth St., Lincoln


Fruitvale School

3425 Fruitvale Rd., Lincoln


Sierra College Natural History Museum

5000 Rocklin Rd., Rocklin


DeWitt History Museum

2985 Richardson Dr., Auburn


Forest Hill Divide Museum

24601 Harrison St., Foresthill


Other Trail Adventures:

August 14, 15, 9:30 am

Roller Pass Hike (Donner Summit Historical Society)

21501 Donner Pass Rd., Norden


September 3rd& 4th

State and National Gold Panning championships as part of annual Heritage Festival

Forest Hill Divide Museum

24601 Harrison St., Foresthill


. Museum Calendar of Summer Events Outside of Heritage Trail

January – November:  Night Out at the Museum - Maidu Museum and Historic Site - Every third Saturday enjoy an evening of cultural events at the Maidu Museum & Historic Site. Museum doors open at 6:30pm. Programs start at 7pm. Light refreshments will be available. FREE event. (6:30 pm – 8:30 pm)


April – October:  Campfires - Maidu Museum and Historic SiteEvery third Friday sit under the stars at our outdoor amphitheater to enjoy native stories around the campfire. Program starts at 7:30pm. $5 per person, $16 family of four, under 2 FREE. For more information, call 916-774-5934. (7:00 pm – 8:30 pm)


June – August:  Archery Camps and Classes - Maidu Museum and Historic Site - Pre-registration is required. Register by phone (916) 772-PLAY. For more information, call 916-774-5934.


June 10 – Sept 5:  Exhibit: Lake of the Sky Images: The Photographs of Harold A. Parker – At the Gatekeeper’s Museum.


June 18:  Exhibit Opening Reception: Telling Stories: Through the Eyes of the Indigenous Printmaker - Maidu Museum and Historic SiteExhibit Show runs from June 18 – September 7. Information: 916-774-5934. (6:30 pm – 8:30 pm)


June 26: Digitization Day - This one-day event invites community members and visitors to bring in their historical Lake Tahoe photographs and images for free professional-quality scanning, with the option to donate a digital copy for inclusion in the NLTHS's database. Contribute to the shared visual history of Lake Tahoe. At the Gatekeeper's Museum (10am – 4pm)

June 27-July 1: Nuts About Nature Camp - Maidu Museum and Historic Site - Pre-registration required. Register or by phone (916) 772-PLAY. Information: 916-774-5934 (9am – Noon).


June 28: Lecture: Unique 19th Century Tahoe Glass - A look at some unique glass objects used by both residents and industry in the Tahoe Basin in the latter half of the 19th century. Free and open to the public at Gatekeeper’s Museum (4pm)


June 30:  Watson Cabin opens for the summer


July 6: Mark McLaughlin Lecture and Book Signing - An illustrated presentation about McLaughlin's newest book, “SNOWBOUND! Legendary Winters of the Tahoe Sierra”. SNOWBOUND! profiles the Top 10 biggest winters since 1879. Free and open to the public at the Gatekeeper’s Museum (5pm)


July 10: Gathering at the Gatekeeper’s - Celebrating the Gatekeeper’s Museum 35th Anniversary.

(4pm – 8pm) $ Call 530-583-1762 for information.


July 12:  History Hike Summit Canyon - We’ll hike down the old Dutch Flat/Donner Lake wagon road and discuss the early transportation history of the Donner Summit area. Meet at Gatekeeper’s Museum parking lot at 9am. 9:15am sharp departure. Recommended: lunch, water, camera, sunscreen, good hiking shoes. $ Call 530-583-1762 for more information.


July 16: Exhibit Opening Reception: We Were Then, We Are Now - Maidu Museum and Historic SiteExhibit show runs July 16 – September 30. Information: 916-774-5934. (6:30 pm – 8:30 pm)


July 21: Lecture and Book Signing with Gary Noy - Sierra Nevada Native and author of Sierra Stories: Tales of Dreamers, Schemers, and Bigots, Gary Noy will discuss his upcoming book: Gold Rush Stories about the wining and dining during the California Gold Rush. Gatekeeper’s Museum. Free and open to the public (4pm)


July 25-29: Ancient Art Rocks! Camp - Maidu Museum and Historic Site - Pre-registration is required. Register: or (916) 772-PLAY. Information: 916-774-5934. (9am – Noon)


August 5: Historic Bus Tour with Mark McLaughlin - The 2016 Historic Bus Tour includes a visit to Truckee’s historic town jail; the Donner Memorial State Park tour includes an interpretive walk and visit to the new Visitors Center; Last, travel historic Donner Pass Road along Donner Lake, up to Rainbow Bridge and the transcontinental railroad tunnels. Tour includes easy walking. Recommended: comfortable walking shoes, hat, sunscreen, water and camera. Picnic lunch is included.  $ Call 530-583-1762 for information.


August 11: 43rd Annual Home Tour - Join us for our annual tour of unique and historic Tahoe homes. This year features houses in Squaw Valley. $ Call 530-583-1762 for information.


August 15: History Hike Fallen Leaf Lake - Hike includes the north and east shores of the Lake, discussion of some of the unique personalities who spent time living there, and a visit to the Anita Baldwin estate ruins. Meet Gatekeeper’s Museum parking lot at 9am. 9:15am sharp departure. Recommended: bag lunch, water, camera, sunscreen, good hiking shoes. $ Call 530-583-1762 for information.




One of the great historic images of Placer County you can download if you turn in a Get-Up-and-Go card with 16 stamps!


RVP Report for Region 8 - May 2015

Sierra Gateway—Placer, Nevada, Sierra, Sutter, Yuba Counties

From RVP Michael Otten – 10140 Snowy Owl Way, Auburn, CA 95603 (530) 888-7837 [email protected]




One of several plaques placed in Placer and Nevada Counties in May 1969 to commemorate the first Transcontinental Railroad by the California Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation with the Conference of California Historical Societies and the Placer and Nevada County Historical Societies.


History seems to be on the move at breakneck speed in terms of new museums, markers, historical groups and technology in Region 8 and nearby regions, especially along the historic Highway 49 corridor.

            A small group gathered May 13, 2015, near this plaque at the site of an old restored Auburn railroad depot and a giant concrete sculpture called the “Chinese Coolie” to recognize the arrival of the first Central Pacific Trains in Auburn 150 years earlier.

The site is Placer County’s newest museum, the Gold Rush Museum, which will combine both the May 1848 discovery of gold in a nearby ravine by Frenchman Claude Chana, and the arrival of the railroad less than a generation later. The original Placer County mining museum was opened Jan. 24, 1848, the centennial of James Marshall’s gold discovery in nearby Coloma. That museum’s contents is being moved from the Gold Country Fairgrounds to the new location.

            On May 9, 2015, the Nevada County Historical Society dedicated its new Searls Historical Library at 161 Nevada City Highway, in the spacious old California National Guard Armory built in 1951 at a cost of $113,535. It was acquired by the NCHS in May 2014 for $210,000.

            The same day there was a rededication of the Marshall Monument in Coloma, commemorating the 125th anniversary of the original dedication of the monument by Placerville Parlor #9 of the Native Sons of the Golden West.   The rededication was cosponsored by Auburn Parlor #59, Placerville Parlor #9, Georgetown Parlor #91.the Native Daughters of the Golden West, Marguerite Parlor #12, in Placerville, and Sutters Mill Parlor #336 in Coloma.

            And also on May 9, 2015, Locke, only Chinese town in America, celebrated its centennial. The town, complete with its aged wooden buildings, is now a State Historic Park. Because of the great interest in the role the Chinese played in California, a film crew from China will arrive next week in Auburn for a movie to be shown in China.

The new Donner Memorial State Park Visitor Center Grand Opening Celebration and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony will be on Saturday, June 6, 2015. However, it may be quite a while before the historic Pioneer Monuments that is crumbling is restored because of costs.


Placer County is busy preparing for its annual Heritage Trail weekend Aug. 15-16 that involves a fun-filled adventure of trying to fit in as many as 20 museums from Roseville to Lake Tahoe in two days. For information check


Placer County is also looking to open a new museum at the site of the former World War DeWitt Army Hospital that later became a state mental hospital, possibly saving the original hangar circa 1930 at the Auburn Airport and turning it into an aviation museum and adding a second firehouse museum.


At the Airport May 16, National Aviation Hall of Fame member and World War II triple ace Col. Bud Anderson was honored for his service and dedication at the unveiling of a life-size bronze statue of him with his P51-D Mustang plane. Anderson, credited with shooting down 16 planes later in Washington D.C. was among the fighter aces honored with a Congressional Gold Medal.

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