The Sesquicentennial of the Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, 10 May 1869

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Contemplated for decades, planned starting in the early 1850s, and built during and after the Civil War, the transcontinental railroad, a symbol of connecting the breadth of America from east to west, was completed on this day in 1869 with the symbolic driving of a golden spike at Promontory, Utah, some... Continue Reading →

Sharing History on Double Duty at the Homestead and in Chino Hills

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Baseball Hall of Famer and Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks once reportedly said, "It's a beautiful day—let's play two."  On those rare occasions like today, I could easily adapt the great infielder's quote and exclaim, "It's a beautiful day—let's give two talks." The first presentation was at the Homestead for customers... Continue Reading →

Through the Viewfinder: The Los Angeles County Court House, ca. 1872

by Paul R. Spitzzeri Among the Homestead's collection of rare 1870s stereoscopic photographs of greater Los Angeles, the most represented of the early photographers at work in the city is Henry T. Payne. Part of this is because Payne purchased the Sunbeam Gallery of William M. Godfrey and then reissued Godfrey's views under his own... Continue Reading →

Alcatraz Island and the Workman and Temple Families, Part Two

by Paul R. Spitzzeri If President Millard Fillmore's executive order of December 1850 stipulating that Alcatraz Island, along with other California parcels, was government property was truly the last word about the legal status of the island, this post would have been limited to yesterday's part one. But, over five years later, a newspaper article... Continue Reading →

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