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.
After a two-year break due to Covid, STCHS once again put on its unique "Wine Tasting Cruise" on Pine Mountain Lake on Saturday, May 21. Once again local wineries contributed their wines for a special tasting opportunity. Generous homeowners permitted us to visit their docks for wine and gourmet snacks from equally generous restaurants and volunteers. Volunteer bakers served up enormous quantities of delicious cookies at the Lake Lodge. Our sincere appreciation to every one of them.
Our thanks also to all those who volunteered during the event. The boat owners and captains who ferried guests around the lake deserve special mention. Others who served "backstage" - pouring wine, setting up tables, the thousand little things - were also important for the event's success.
We also express our gratitude to Pine Mountain Lake whose support and staff made it happen in their beautiful natural venue. And - while we're at it - we must thank Mother Nature for providing spectacular Yosemite Gateway weather - warm, sunny, and bright. And a bald eagle flying overhead.
We should also recognize all those attended and supported STCHS with their contributions. We did it for you, but couldn't have done without you!
The Museum would like to add an exhibit on the long mining history of southern Tuolumne County. In addition to vintage photos and personal stories, we want to include physical objects that can help bring our mining heritage to life.
We are asking all our friends to help locate artifacts that can be part of our exhibit. Maybe an item that has been hiding in the basement. Maybe that mystery gizmo that Grandfather left in the attic. Miners' pans, cooking utensils, a tobacco pouch - almost anything that can convey what it was like during the Gold Rush. But not too big - it has to fit in a display case!
Not long ago a visitor to the Museum brought by the artifact shown in the photo. While we're still investigating it, it may be a miner's lamp. It is an example of the kind of item that would make our mining history all the more real.
Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org or 209 962 0300) if you think you have something that might be a valuable addition to the exhibit. We'll respond as soon as we can. It can be just on loan; it doesn't necessarily have to be a permanent donation. We'll handle any paperwork to give your family appropriate recognition for your generosity.
On Friday, January 21, the Museum took some time to recognize the extraordinary contributions of Flo Jansen, one of our most dedicated docents and Museum stalwarts.
Flo became a docent early in 2003 and has been on our docent team ever since, making her by far our longest-acting docent. Not only has she given regular docent volunteer hours to our museum for the past 19 years, but she has also baked for bake sales and worked at many special events through all those years. When the Museum was seeking docents willing to work weekends after COVID restrictions allowed us to reopen this past fall, Flo was the first to step up. She has generously filled almost every Friday 10-2 shift since then.
In addition to recognizing Flo's outstanding service, the occasion was also a birthday party (a few days early). 91 years young and going strong!
Flo amazes everyone who meets her with her good cheer, ready smile, and energy - despite the uncertainties and stresses of the pandemic. An avid golfer, Flo is looking to be back out on the links as soon as she can. Good luck, Flo!
On Wednesday, April 20, over 100 Tenaya Elementary students visited the Museum and Tuolumne County (Groveland Branch) Library building. The excursion reflected the long-standing Museum commitment to promote education about local traditions among young people. Museum volunteer Kathy Brown dressed in period costume to help our history come alive for the children. With close coordination with Library staff, the students split into small groups to visit both the Museum and the library. The response from the kids was very enthusiastic, and we hope to get many of them to return with their parents soon. Thanks to Virginia Gustafson from Friends of the Groveland Library and Superintendent Mrs. Wynette Hilton for helping arrange this and to their dedicated teachers for safely walking the kids from the school to the Museum.
As the Museum re-opens, it is looking to add volunteers to greet and welcome visitors to the Museum. It's a wonderful opportunity to meet people from all over the country and the world. Docents serve at their own schedule with no obligation other than to enjoy themselves. Sign up on the "Docent" page of the website.
STCHS's local history book, Groveland Big Oak Flat, is on sale in the Museum or online. For only $3 shipping, you can send the best of Tuolumne history to yourself or someone you know. With 200+ vintage photos, it's the perfect glimpse into our area's colorful history. Buy online, or send your order form by e-mail.