Thursday, January 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday Indeed

As I mentioned in my last blog post, one of the historical, yet genealogy rich collections  in the California History and Family Research Room are what we call the “1938 School Board Books”. 

In 1938, a volunteer Committee from the Madera County Office of Education worked with Teachers from each school in Madera County to compile “The History of Madera County”.  Each school made a book that contained not only the school’s history, but the history of the area where the school was located, founding pioneer and family information, etc..Each book has a front and back cover made of wood particle board including a symbol of the school made out of metal which is attached to the front cover.  Each of these books is unique and the majority of them are a family researcher’s gold mine.  While I would love to showcase each individual book and their contents, I hope that through the examples in this post you will understand how special these books are and come by the Library to view them in person.

Dixieland School

In addition to providing the history of the school faculty, this book provides a rich narrative on the colonization of the District by the Fairmead Cooperative Land Company.  What makes this book unique is that it includes information on the settlers, a large majority of them, who were of Mennonite Faith. 


Arcola School

The Arcola School Board Book is the largest of all the Board Books.  T.O. Cavin was one of the founding farmers in the area and included in this book is a handwritten document, written by his wife, on the history of the school and the Alabama Colony settlers that lived in the area.  This book is unique in that it provides information on the Arcola 4-H Club!


Green School

This school is one of the many schools that were located in the foothills that surround Madera County.  This book contains history unique to this region, especially regarding the gold mines and the miners that came to California in 1849.


Fresno Flats

Fresno Flats, now known as Oakhurst, was another area located up in the foothills that was inhabited by early gold miners.  This book is both descriptive and colorful in its narrative, as you will see by the example provided below.

For a list of all the schools that have a book in this collection, as well as other school resources in the California Room, please click on the tab above titled "Resources for Genealogy".

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