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March 28, 2006 > Historical bits and pieces donated by the Roderick family

Historical bits and pieces donated by the Roderick family

Jacki Phillips donated a number of items to the Museum of Local History which were saved by Florence Beardsley. Among the donated items are photographs of Carl Christensen, Irma and Bob Wright and members of the Community Presbyterian Church. There are also several postcards of Palmdale and Mission San Jose. Some of the postcards are marked "Irvington Station" which reminds us that Irvington was the railroad station for Mission San Jose.

One of the postcards is labeled "Largest Pepper Tree in California, at Centerville." It was printed in Germany for J. S. Bell, Centerville. This tree is one of the few famous trees that have survived the recent decades of growth and development.

The collection includes several memorial cards that were issued by local mortuaries in memory of local people. They help provide a lasting tribute to loved ones.

There are several commencement programs for Washington Union High School. They provide the names of the graduates and details of the programs. Most of the programs were held in the high school gymnasium, but in l922 it was held in the Parish Hall. The 1921 program was in the Town Hall. That was before the gymnasium was built. The programs provide useful information; for instance, the l933 program notes that Dr. Daniel Crosby, the honored guest, was a member of the class of 1893 when there were only two graduates.

A partial copy of "The Hatchet," the school paper, gives a list of the graduates from 1896 to 1934. The list is especially helpful since it gives the names of the person the graduate married and a note about where the person worked.

This collection includes several programs of the Country Club of Washington Township with the names of club members. The programs and year books contain useful information about officers, committees, programs, finances and projects. The 1946 literature provided information about the Fiftieth Anniversary celebrations of the Country Club.

Manuel Edward, "Ed," Roderick was born in Forbestown, Yuba County, about 1874. He came to Irvington circa 1891 where he operated the Palm Saloon. Ed married Lena Rasmussen. Their children were Florence, who married George Beardsley, Evelyn, who married Bernie Joseph and Irene who never married. Evelyn is the mother of Jacki Phillips who donated the items saved by Florence. She was a graduate of San Jose Normal School and taught at Irvington Elementary School. Ed was a member of U.P.E.C., the I.D.E.S., the Native Sons of the Golden West and the Fraternal Order of Eagles. He died at Irvington in March 1914 at age 40. Funeral services were held at the church in Mission San Jose with interment in the Odd Fellows cemetery at Irvington.

George and Florence Beardsley had an orchard near the present corner of Fremont Boulevard and Mowry Avenue. George also delivered gasoline for Standard Oil.
Museum workers sometimes get overwhelmed with an abundance of newspaper clippings. The people saving the clippings are not usually aware of the difficulties in preserving clippings for museum use. The dates and related facts are often missing. However, some of the clippings in this collection are very helpful. We will just refer to a few of the most interesting and useful.

There are several clippings about the Irvington Community Church. Those about building projects and burning the mortgage are especially interesting and helpful. There are several clippings about Dr. Judge Haley Durham. Researchers will be interested in these articles because Dr. Durham was such an important part of life in Irvington for many years.

Another clipping from the News Register dated October 7, 1968 shows a photo of Ludwig Betchart "moving his big dozer into position to pick up a load of old tires." Ludwig was clearing the site of the former Tire Outlet to make way for the construction of Mezzetti Volkswagen's new automobile business.

Another photo shows Mrs. Robert McIvor watching Mrs. George Beardsley and Mrs. Paul Shetler preparing gift items for the Irvington United Presbyterian Church festival. The festival featured food booths, a snack bar, luncheon, a carnival and a miniature flea market.

The 1898 Special Edition of the Washington Press shows a photo of "The Palm." Ed advertised in the paper as proprietor. An 1898 ad noted that there was "a first class Barber Shop in connection." Ed was still advertising as proprietor in 1913, the year before he died. After he died Lena changed the saloon into an ice cream parlor. Elsie Costa recalled that Lena sold the property to her parents, Joseph and May Costa.

Jacki Phillips, a granddaughter of Ed and Lena Roderick, donated a picture of the Roderick Saloon dated 1907. Her grandmother, Lena, is standing in the background. It appears to be the same photograph as the one shown in the 1898 Special Edition.

The Museum of Local History at 190 Anza Street is open from 10:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. on Mondays and Wednesdays. Donations of historical items are accepted on a limited basis because of space restrictions. Money and volunteers are always needed. The phone number is 623-7907.

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