Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

December 6, 2005 > Meet five authors

Meet five authors

The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum is proud to host a book signing for Jill Singleton and Phil Holmes, authors of Irvington, Fremont (newest book in their series on the historic districts of Fremont) and "Niles, Fremont;" Henry Luna, author of "Niles Canyon Railways;" Jack Tillmany, author of "Theatres of San Francisco;" and David Kiehn, author of "Broncho Billy and the Essanay Film Company."

Henry Luna will spend time between 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. signing his book "Niles Canyon Railways." Read about the times when the melodic wail of the steam whistle first echoed off Niles Canyon walls in 1866, as the Western Pacific Railroad laid track into Niles as part of a planned route from San Jose to Sacramento. That was three years before the transcontinental route from Sacramento to Omaha was completed in May 1869. Four months after the driving of the Golden Spike that joined the eastern and western United States by rail, the connecting route from Sacramento to Oakland through Niles Canyon was finished-the very last leg of a rail route that truly joined the Atlantic to the Pacific waters for the first time. Henry also told the story of a dedicated group of people who formed the Pacific Locomotive Association keeping this wonderful history alive through the living museum Niles Canyon Railway.

Phil Holmes and Jill Singleton, local historians, will be signing their newest book, "Irvington, Fremont," for two hours beginning at noon. This book takes you back in time when Irvington was called Washington Corners and acres of wheat waved in the breezes. In the 1870s local landowners built the Washington College of Science and Industry and renamed its host town Irvington. The town boasted the largest, most advanced winery in the state by 1890, and was home of gracious estates, apricot orchards, baseball, and first-class, high-bred trotters. Cows from Swiss dairy farms populated its green fields by the 1920s, and experimental airplanes dotted its blue skies soon after.

Jack Tillmany, former owner of the Gateway Cinema in San Francisco and a revival programming pioneer, will spend an hour beginning at 6:30 p.m. signing his new book "Theatres of San Francisco." This volume explores the heyday of neighborhood theatres that once graced the streets of San Francisco with such names as the Clay, Noe, Metro, New Mission, Alexandria, Coronet, Fox, Uptown, Coliseum, Surf, El Rey, and Royal. Unfortunately, this era has passed into history despite the dedicated efforts of many neighborhood preservation groups and only a handful of the 100 plus of these theatres are left in San Francisco. However, they live on in the photographs featured in this book, which tells a detailed story of the golden age of theatre, both live and cinematic, and celebrates a time when San Franciscans thronged to the movies and vaudeville shows, dressed to the hilt, to see and be seen in majestic art deco palaces and almost every neighborhood boasted its own beloved theatre.

David Kiehn, historian for the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, will also be present to sign his book, "Broncho Billy and the Essanay Film Company," that tells the story of the intrepid band of film makers headed by Gilbert M. "Broncho Billy" Anderson. Anderson formed Essanay in 1907 when he partnered with George Spoor. By 1908, Anderson was riding the rails of the West looking for authentic locations to film action and western films. When he came to Niles, he looked no further.

Book Signing
Saturday, December 10
Starting at 11:30 a.m.
Niles Edison Theater
37395 Niles Blvd., Fremont
(510) 494-1411

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