Have you heard the story of the Borax 20-Mule Team traveling from Death Valley to Merced? This is one of Merced’s best forgotten stories. It is “forgotten” because it has not been documented in written history up until now.
Now we know the Tuolumne Hotel with the stone inscription of “1873” was not erected in 1873 because the original structure was destroyed by the disastrous fire of 1877. So what caused the May 17, 1877, fire that wiped out nearly all of the south side of Main Street between M and Canal streets?
A century ago on New Year’s Day, it snowed in Merced County. The snowstorm was greeted with a great deal of enthusiasm as residents around the county indulged on this rare occasion in snowman building and snowball fights. So would this be the sign of an eventful year?
When William Bedesen drew up the plan for El Nido’s schoolhouse and when Henry Miller agreed to open Cottonwood Switch (Gustine) for a new settlement, little did they envision that their creations would not only remain in existence but continue to thrive a century later.
In 2009, the Courthouse Museum acquired a photo which is believed to be one of the earliest aerial views of modern-day Merced. Now, take a minute and study the photo and familiarize yourself with some of the landmarks. What will be your clue or clues in identifying when this photo was taken?
“Thriving Los Banos,” “Atwater, the Home of Merced Sweets,” “Le Grand, the Garden Spot” and “Planada, the City Beautiful” were just a few of the catchy phrases describing Merced communities at the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.
A recent article in the Sacramento Bee draws parallels between Assembly member Adam Gray, who chairs the Governmental Organization committee, to James D. Garibaldi, who, after serving two terms in the Assembly representing Merced in the 1930s, went on to become one of the most powerful lobbyists at the State Capitol. Described as the best and top negotiator, Garibaldi represented the interest of various clients from horse tracks to California Highway patrolmen in Sacramento for nearly five decades.
The Merced Sun-Star turned 90 on Friday. Although it traces its roots to 1869, the first issue of the modern day Sun-Star was printed on May 1, 1925, after the Merced Evening Sun merged with the Merced Morning Star. The union of these two papers not only reduced the number of newspapers in the city, but also ended a half-century old-rivalry among several papers.
When the Panama-Pacific International Exposition closed its doors on Dec. 4, 1915, more than 18 million people had visited the 10-month-long world’s fair in San Francisco and many of these visitors viewed the Merced County display in the California State Building. In order to pay for the exhibit, the Merced County Board of Supervisors in 1911 became the first in the state to levy a special tax and appoint a local Exposition Committee to handle the money raised from the levy. Did Merced County’s investment at the PPIE pay off?