The Southern Tuolumne County Historical Society (STCHS) is a volunteer community organization dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the colorful history of the area “south of the Tuolumne River.” Groveland and Big Oak Flat were 1850s Gold Rush towns which later thrived as a gateway to Yosemite National Park. The centerpiece of STCHS is the Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum in Groveland welcoming visitors from all over the world, and all year long. STCHS also advances its goals by building preservation projects, community education, and the History Resource Center.
On Saturday, Jan. 23, a group of STCHS Board volunteers cleaned and tidied up the furniture, walls, curtains, and windows of the Gamble - Wells Fargo building in Big Oak Flat. President Harriet Codegilia (pictured left) and Kathy Brown donned their masks and dusted, vacuumed, and generally made the place sparkle. Hundreds of spiders and dustbunnies lost their homes!
BOARD member Joe Hopkins, a professional landscaper prior to coming to Groveland, applied his expertise to pruning the bushes around the porch. It is estimated that the rose bushes could date from the early days of the building - about 100 years. With Joe's care, we expect them to last another 100 years!
Due to recent worsening in state Covid incidence and by order of the State of California, all museums, including our Groveland Museum, are closed to the public until further notice. We're sorry for the closure and hope to re-open safely as soon as possible.
On Jan. 9, we posted a request for assistance in identifying a "mystery artifact" (pictured above), one of many items from the Reid family donated by Jo Hayden.
Within just a few hours we had the answer. Mystery solved! Mike McEvoy and Calisbad Hobbes both identified the item as a "sailmaker's palm." It is used to repair sails when pushing a needle and thread through the thick material of a sail. It is analogous to a "thimble" that helps push a needle through ordinary fabric. The sailor's thumb goes through the hole in the leather while the metal piece rests against the palm. The metal piece is able to apply needed force against the needle. The leather straps help hold the item in the hand.
Many thanks to our sailing experts, Mike and Calisbad!