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January 23, 2007 > Historian honored

Historian honored

Initially, there may be a bit of confusion when people look for Sydney Drive off Peralta Blvd., but there is none from devotees of local history regarding a name change for the street that borders the historic Shinn House in Fremont. A new sign reads, "Robert Fisher Drive," a tribute to a man, who, while serving Fremont as a physician met many "old timers" and recognized the importance of preserving local history and artifacts. He recorded interviews, collected photos, papers and letters of many citizens, both prominent and not. The results of his labor of love can be seen at the Museum of Local History, the Bancroft Library in Berkeley and by visiting Washington West Hospital where a fascinating pictorial history lines the walls. These pictures can also be found in the book, Washington Township a Pictorial History.

Dr. Fisher was involved in many historical accomplishments and his personal mark can be found on a wide variety of important milestones of the area. He was involved in the incorporation of the five townships that defined the City of Fremont, headed the committee that inventoried historic resources of Fremont and served as chairman of the Historical Architectural Review Board. His help to restore and maintain the historic Shinn House led to the founding of Mission Peak Heritage Foundation (MPHF) which is responsible for restoration work of Higuera Adobe, Chadbourne Carriage House, Harvey House, Clark's Hall, Patterson House, Rix House and many other historic sites.

Although Dr. Fisher passed away in 2004, his legacy is undeniable and lives on through the efforts of a multitude of others who also care passionately about the history of the area. The Board of the Mission Peak Heritage Foundation petitioned the City of Fremont to change the name of the street bordering Shinn House and with the help of Vice Mayor Steve Cho, the name change was approved in July 2006. On Wednesday, December 13, 2006, Sydney Drive signs were replaced with those denoting Robert Fisher Drive.

At a gathering on Sunday, January 21 at Shinn House, members of MPHF and descendents celebrated the life and accomplishments of Dr. Robert Fisher. In attendance were Chris Fisher, Michael Fisher, Patrick and Roberta Fisher and Harley Fisher. MPHF members attending included Earline Walker, Gregg Seavey, Al and LaVonne Minard, Barbara Anderson, Judy Peterson, Michi and Gilbert Yee, Ann Power, Ed and Joan Serafino, Rod and Eva Ricciarelli and Gerry Mooney.

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