Happy Summer! Andrew and I had a great time when we attended the Annual Open House of the Motor Transport Museum (MTM) in April, at its main facility at the old Feldspar Mill in Campo. (See photo, above, of me with one of the 18 antique and collectible cars that also showed-up for the event. Photo courtesy of Andrew Halmay.)
There’s a fantastic collection of motor vehicles, especially trucks, at this museum. One of these Saturdays why not take a drive on old Highway 94, out to Campo to see what they have? When was the last time you saw an old milk truck? Well, they have several milk trucks – and just about every other large vehicle that you can recall. The museum facility is located at 31949 Highway 94 in Campo 92006, at the former Feldspar Mill. It’s open to the public every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free (donations are accepted). Wednesdays and Fridays are their work days, so members are working on their projects; however visitors are welcome to come in, if the gate is open. Their website is: www.motortransportmuseum.org.
Also, if you’re in Campo on the weekend, there are two other museums to visit. Stop by the historic, San Diego County Gaskill Brothers’ Stone Store Museum, managed by the Mt. Empire Historical Society, and located at 31130 Highway 94, Campo 92006. Built in 1885, the store is at the junction of Forrest Gate Rd. and Highway 94. Stepping inside the cool stone store (that’s “cool” in both meanings!) is like stepping back in time. Set-up with authentic 1880s-1890s items, that such a store might have been selling, it’s a true eye-opener, especially for young folks who have never experienced such a place. It’s open Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (and during the week by appointment only). For details, see the museum website at: www.cssmus.org
While in Campo don’t miss the extensive campus of the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum (PSRM), located on Highway 94, at Forrest Gate Rd., Campo 92006. They not only have real, full-size trains on display, but also offer train rides on the weekends. This fascinating railroad museum is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (and select holidays). Next to the PSRM restored depot there’s a playground, restrooms, and a shaded area with picnic tables. Soft drinks are available for purchase in the gift shop, inside the depot. For train ride times, prices, and other museum information, see their website: www.psrm.org
It would be better to arrive in Campo in the cool of the morning, especially during the hot days of summer. Take a picnic lunch with you! . . .
Another Congress of History member in this area is the CAREM Museum in Tecate. Corredor Histórico CAREM is a Mexican non-profit association based in Tecate, Baja California. CAREM’s mission is to identify, protect, preserve, restore, and present to the public the historical and cultural heritage of Baja California, Mexico. Their wonderful museum is open weekends. For over 14 years, CAREM has built partnerships with a variety of people and organizations of the Tecate area, and the larger bi-national region, to work toward its mission. CAREM is offering an educational, seven-day/seven night Baja Missions Tour in September. For more information about this tour, or to register, contact Zella Ibanez at: firstname.lastname@example.org (English okay), or call her at her U.S. cell number: (619) 957-8922, or see the museum’s website at: http://www.carem.org. Register NOW, as these popular tours fill-up rapidly! . . .
Comings & Goings in Historyland
A big Congress of History welcome to Catalina Preskill, the new executive director of the Gaslamp Quarter Historical Foundation, in downtown San Diego. Stop by to say “Hi!” to her at the foundation’s 1850 William Heath Davis House Museum, located in the museum’s Pocket Park at the corner of 4th and Island Avenues. In the park you can also hear the first “talking statues” in the United States! Bum the Dog and Greyfriars Bobby are now “speaking” for the very first time!
After years of silence, these two bronze statues of famous dogs have “come to life.” Visitors to the Gaslamp Museum and Park will be able to step back into history and listen to these amazing dogs tell their own stories.
Thanks to the magic of technology, all you need is a smart phone to awaken the sleeping dogs. With a swipe of your phone over a sign at the base of their statue with a QR code or NFC tag, you will be connected with Bum, San Diego’s official town dog of 125 years ago, or with Greyfriars Bobby, the beloved SkyeTerrier from Edinburgh, Scotland. Your phone will ring, and the monologues begin! Details about this “Brother Dogs” public art project can be found at: gaslampfoundation.org/bum-the-dog/
A fond farewell to Wendy Barker, long-time executive director of the Escondido History Center, who is moving on to new challenges. She’s made an important contribution to local history by shepherding this organization into modernizing, while keeping true to their mission, and building a wonderful reputation for the historical group, both in their local community and beyond. . . .
Another fond farewell, this time to Cheryl Hinton, of the Barona Cultural Center & Museum. She’s leaving Barona after 16 years! Cheryl was there from the beginning, when she worked on the planning of a new museum for Kumeyaay Culture & History that opened in 2000, at 1095 Barona Rd., Lakeside 92040. She was the director for many years, but worked to encourage others in the Kumeyaay community to take over positions of responsibility in the museum and research facility. Her success in that regard is obvious, as she may now pass the torch of leadership to others. ”Time for something new,” she says. “I will be teaching at Grossmont College and consulting.” These two gals will certainly be missed, by me and many others! We wish them all the best in the future. . .
San Diego Antique Bottle & Collectibles Club’s Annual Bottle Show
Congratulations to the San Diego Antique Bottle and Collectibles Club (SDAB&CC) on their 50th Anniversary! They are now the oldest bottle club, in continuous operation, in the whole nation! That’s quite an accomplishment!
Saturday, June 13 saw them hold their Annual Bottle Show. I was fortunate to attend as the guest of Carol Seer, a long-time Congress of History member. Carol’s my friend, and she’s active in three of our CoH organizational member clubs: this bottle/collectibles club, the San Diego County Archaeology Society, and the Spring Valley Historical Society (where she’s their newsletter editor – something that she and I have in common).
The two of us “manned” a table at the entrance to the show, to encourage SDAB&CC membership, for those non-members in attendance. I was happy to greet so many Congress of History members there! In addition to the great number of sales tables, with fascinating goodies (not only bottles, but tons of collectibles), there were interesting exhibits that competed for awards. Mike Bryant’s display on 1915 & 1935 San Diego Exposition souvenirs won the “People’s Choice Award,” that was voted-on by the attendees of the show. And, his exhibits won the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors’ “Most Educational Award.” Good going, Mike! Jim Livingston’s display on the ghost town of Bodie won the “Best of Show Award” as chosen by a panel of bottle experts. It was really interesting, as it showed many historical items, as well as Bodie bottles. Congratulations to these two guys, and to the club for a great show, as always! I had lots of fun and learned a lot, too!
Then, the Friday night after the show, I attended their regular, monthly meeting to give them a short talk about the Congress of History, and our March, two-day History Conference. The club meets on the third Friday evening of every month (except July, Aug. & Dec.) at the S.D. Co. Office of Education, Linda Vista Rd. For details about this club see their website: www.sdbottleclub.org
Well, looks like I’ve run out of time and room. Until the next Adelante, in Sept., have fun out there, and take care. . . . Helen Halmay, Editor