The Adventure Continues… Richmond

This week I’m taking a break from the Golden Parks to take a look at another series that Huell produced: California Communities. In this episode he visits Ford Point in Richmond, and the former Ford factory in particular. This amazing and enormous building has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1988. Once abandoned and on the […]

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Retired and rusty

I’m not sure exactly what this machine was used for; it was part of the outdoor collection at the Angels Camp Museum. There was no sign (and no one nearby to ask), and by the time I had finished shooting these pictures, I just had to get away and go find some shade on this very warm day.

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Corner drugstore

I can’t help feeling fascinated by the display of old medicine bottles at the Angels Camp Museum. I’ve been under the weather lately and might have even been tempted to try one or two of these nostrums, but most of them? No thank you!

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Digging in the dirt

In yesterday’s post Huell visited the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve. I recently came across these images shot by my mom during the spring of 1982. She was visiting the area with her anthropology class to observe the work of archeology students. I admit I feel respect for archeologists because I would never have the patience to stick with such […]

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The Adventure Continues… Black Diamond Mines

In California you just never know where you might stumble upon some historic site, and the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in Contra Costa County is a great example of that. This 500-acre park has transformed from an mining hub in the 1800s to a ranching area and finally to a beautiful nature spot full of both native and imported trees, multi-use trails, and views of nearby Mount Diablo. I had never heard of this park until today, but now I’ve added it to my list of places to visit in the future. Huell travels to the Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve in the East Bay. It was once a thriving coal and sand mining area, and is now a great place to bike and hike while taking in the beautiful landscape filled with blue oaks, manzanitas and carpets of springtime flowers. Huell stops by the Underground Mining Museum and also hikes to the remains of the mines. (Click on the linked image below to see the video.)

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Sunday buggy ride

Last week I returned to the Angels Camp Museum for the first time since my first visit in 2018. This is one of those places that, although fairly small, has so many historic items to look at that it’s impossible to take everything in during a single visit. The only real downside of this charming museum, for me, is the […]

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Observing Juneteenth

Today, I wanted to find a way to observe the newest US federal holiday — but somehow shouting “Happy Juneteenth!” just doesn’t feel appropriate. Instead, I took the long overdue action of educating myself about the history of this historic day. I have to admit I was a little confused about its origin and meaning. I assumed it commemorated the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation — but a bit of research online showed me how wrong I was! Certainly part of the blame for this gap in my knowledge lies with my high school history curriculum, which completely passed over this “minor” detail in covering the American Civil War and Reconstruction. But of course, I’ve been out of high school a very long time. So, for anyone else who hasn’t been paying attention until this year, here’s what I now understand: The Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all slaves held in the confederate states, took effect on January 1, 1863. But it wasn’t until Congress passed the 13th Amendment in April 1864 that emancipation was made national policy. This amendment was signed by Lincoln in February 1865 and ratified in December of that same year. Not surprisingly, even after the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect it wasn’t immediately implemented throughout the American South. Union soldiers spread the news of the new law as they moved deeper into Confederate territory. It wasn’t until two years after it took effect, in mid June 1865, […]

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