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September 14, 2004 > Local Historical Societies will host State Gathering - Public Invited

Local Historical Societies will host State Gathering - Public Invited

Learn about the early days of the Washington Township History

by Al Minard

Come and learn about "Preservation through Secondary Usage" in Fremont at the fall Symposium of The Conference of California Historical Societies, a state-wide organization devoted to supporting local historical societies. The Fremont/Newark Hilton will serve as headquarters, 39900 Balentine Dr. Newark, Phone: (510) 490-8390 and the location for evening dinners and educational classes.

Friday Workshops include a session at 3:00 - 3:40 p.m. focusing on Historical Preservation, City Ordinances and Mills Act Contracts. The following session, at 3:45-4:20 p.m. will feature film historian David Kiehn speaking on Essanay and the Silent Film Industry in Niles. The final workshop will be a program on Historic Tokens, especially tokens from the Bay Area and California.

Friday dinner will feature a happy hour from 6-7 p.m. with wine tasting from Westover Wineries, followed by dinner with Andrew Galvan speaking on the Archeological History of Fremont and Andrew MacRae, who currently does Old Time Radio Programs at a local Coffee House, presenting the history of Fremont as an Old Time Radio show.

Saturday will feature a bus tour of 48 historic sites in the city of Fremont covering all five historic districts. The tour will include the Hiram Davis House in the Irvington District and the Blasdell-Mackintosh home near Mission San Jose, which are private homes not open to the public. We will stop for lunch in Niles at the Niles Hall and view a Silent film that was made in the Niles area about 90 years ago. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the history of Fremont.

The Saturday dinner will feature Historic Re-Enactors presenting the story of Drawbridge, the Ghost Town in the Bay. The community of Drawbridge came into being when the South Pacific Coast Railroad installed a rail line from Alameda to San Jose across part of the bay. The Railroad put in two drawbridges to allow access to two navigable waterways that the railroad blocked. A community known as Drawbridge soon sprang up on the island which boasted of good duck hunting, good fishing... and "there are no police that can get here in any reasonable time." Drawbridge became quite an interesting place and our Re-Enactors will tell this story.

The Conference sponsors are the following historical groups: The Fremont Museum of Local History, Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, Mission Peak Heritage Foundation, Patterson House Foundation and the Washington Township Historical Society. Costs for the dinners are $35 each, the bus tour is $25, and Registration is $35 which is waived if attending only one event. For more information call Al Minard (510) 656-3936 or Email Al at: Send checks to Joan Serafino at 36529 Olive St., Newark, CA 94560. For more information look under "Events" at the Conference of California Historical Societies website:

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