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May 13, 2009 > Shinn Park event has it all

Shinn Park event has it all

By Suzanne Ortt

Ready for a bit of time travel? Visit the 8th Annual Shinn Park Arts and Historic Crafts Fair on Sunday, May 17, and temporarily return to the 19th century.

Historic crafts reflect the olden days. Displays, with some demonstrations, include Native American art, decorated tiles, wood carving, pottery, quilts, chair caning, and bobbin lace. For a challenge, visitors have a chance to identify a curious object from history.

Tours of the renowned Shinn House continue the feelings of time past, as does the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum showing of silent films in the Archive Room.

While admission is free, tours are $5 for adults, $2.50 for ages 5-12, and children under 5 free. Hot dogs, popcorn, sodas, and water are available for purchase.

If you're more of an "out with the old, in with the new" type of person, you won't be disappointed. Move on to the contemporary scene with oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings, sculpture, photography, printmaking, tole painting, and jewelry. All original creations are by local artists and artisans. These works are for sale with prices ranging from $10 to over $200. The majority are under $100.

The musical genres continue the modern mood and focus on sight and sound. Cadillac Jack Band, formed nine years ago, plays classic rock, pop, blues and R&B. Music for Minors II will play intermittently, beginning at noon. Energetic square dancers and a spirited troupe of belly dancers will grace the day, as well.

Visitors can also stroll through the exquisite gardens, maintained by Friends of Heirloom Flowers.

The historic Shinn House, a picturesque two-story dwelling, was home to James and Lucy Shinn, who settled in Alameda County before the railroad town of Niles existed. President Andrew Johnson personally deeded them 150 acres in 1867. The pioneer family's home was constructed shortly thereafter.

Their three offspring - Charles, Millicent and Joseph - went divergent directions. Charles excelled in conservation, becoming director of Yosemite. Millicent's field was child psychology.

Joseph remained in Niles, managing the family pear orchards and gravel pits and becoming concerned with local water rights and other water issues. His wife, Florence Mayhew Shinn, helped establish health clinics that became the basis for Washington Hospital. In 1962, she gave Shinn House, the farm buildings, and 4.5 acres of gardens on to the city of Fremont for a historical park. The farmhouse and grounds opened to the public in 1976.

Proceeds benefit historic preservation and restorations by Mission Peak Heritage Foundation. The event is sponsored by them, Fremont Cultural Arts Council, Fremont Art Association, Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, Young Life and Dale Hardware.

Arts and Historic Crafts Fair
Sunday May 17
10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Shinn Park
1251 Peralta Blvd., Fremont
(510) 552-4839

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