Speaker Series

Speakers Series

Each year the historical society gathers eight history speakers to share their history knowledge with the community. Their hour long presentation is given on the third Monday evening of the month at 6:30 pm, usually including a power point slide show, related items on display, and sometimes a book signing.

2024

We are in nearly finished lining up our program for 2024 (April 15 and June 17 are still open). If you or anyone else has an interest in giving a presentation or knows someone else who might, please contact Dennis Buscher at (916) 479-2158 cell or thebluevictorian@frontiertnet.net. Thank you!

 

January 15

Dave Stuart – “Ishi’s First Word”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After working in California State Parks while attending a community college, David Stuart attended Fresno State and then graduate school at the University of Colorado, majoring in anthropology. Dave was the first Assistant State Archaeologist of Colorado and he was an archaeologist and park planner for the National Park Service—he worked on park master plans and other projects in Florida, Louisiana, New Mexico, Missouri, Washington, and other states. Returning to California in 1983, Dave managed three history museums and a variety of natural history programs for the City of Ventura.  He moved back to northern California in 1988 as Director of the Sacramento Science Center.  Dave later directed the Sacramento History Museum through 1996. Dave took a hiatus from the museum world to support the California community colleges—first as the chief operations officer of the Faculty Association, then as the VP of Operations for the new Foundation for California Community Colleges, the nonprofit auxiliary for the system of 114 colleges. In 2006, Dave was excited to return to his home county roots and lead the San Joaquin County Historical Society and Museum. He retired from that position in late 2017. Dave and his wife continue to reside in Sacramento, close to their two grown children and their three young grandchildren.

Dave has spoken to the Elk Grove Historical Society on thee previous occasions: “Earthmoving Equipment” (Feb 2019), “Native People of the Elk Grove Area” (Mar 2019) and ” The History of Motorcycle in the San Joaquin Valley 1900-1970″ (Jun 2023). He is always articulate, knowledgable, and shares interesting subject matter. His presentations are always will attended. This one should be no different.

Travelogue – Ishi’s First World

David Stuart will present a PowerPoint travelogue of his first trip to “Ishi’s First World.” About a year ago, October 2020, he camped near Black Rock and hiked into Mill Creek terraces within the Ishi Wilderness Area of the Lassen National Forest. The area was the homeland of the Yahi Yana Indigenous nation prior to their decades of hiding in nearby Deer Creek canyon to escape further Massacres by settlers militias.

 

February 19

Author Amy Gorder – “Ghosts of Autumn” and “Ghosts of Winter”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amy Gorder is a native of the California Central Valley, where ghosts of 1849 loom large. Growing up surrounded by historical landmarks and stories of fascinating characters sparked her love of history and California Gold Rush legends. As a mother, grandmother, and former 3rd and 4th-grade teacher, Amy learned that nothing captures a child’s attention faster than a ghost story with relatable, adventurous characters. Amy lives south of Sacramento with her husband, Chris, where she shares her fondness for spooky stories with their four adult children and ten grandchildren. Ghosts of Autumn was her 1st children’s book and will be followed by Ghosts of Winter, which is due to be released in late 2023.

Ghosts of Autumn

The book combines the history of the California Gold Rush with a thrilling mystery to delight and engage elementary and middle grade readers. The adventure begins when the city wants to turn a historic California Gold Rush site, The Elk Grove Hotel, into a golf course. Amelia and her friends sneak into the dilapidated building and discover an old poetry book that leads them to the unknown.

Gorder found it challenging to find books that captured the imaginations of 3rd and 4th graders when she worked as an educator. Now retired, she wrote Ghosts of Autumn with this under-served age group in mind. Gorder believes reading is fundamental to children’s self-esteem and serves as the foundation for their educational success.

“Third and fourth graders love adventures that are fun and exciting and spark the imagination. They enjoy a story that’s a little scary but not too intense that gives them a chance to read independently. The key to this age group is to keep them engaged. That’s what Ghosts of Autumn aims to do.”

Published by Emerald Books ISBN-13: 9781954779723, 118 pages – $12.99 Softback, $18.99 Hardback, $5.99 Kindle

March 18

Andrei Pischalnikoff: Aka “Major Blaze” or “Doctor R. Snick”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrei Pischalnikoff has been a storyteller using various media for many years.  With a previous background in helping people to accept technology changes (at a workplace of over 4,000 employees) and creating persuasive public media messages, he has enjoyed researching the historic marketing work of P.T. Barnum and the patent medicine industries of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Andrei has also dabbled in being a docent and living history performer.  Andrei visits the patent medicine, quackery collections and the archives at theSierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society  Andrei also spends time in the Amador County of California, listening to the historians and volunteers who create events celebrating the past. Andrei portrayed a Kickapoo Medicine Showman at the 49er Wagon Train Days in April 2023 and did a presentation at the Kennedy Mine of Jackson in May of 2023.

Andrei has a passion sharing his knowledge with a specialized focus on the audience’s interests.  Another passion is sharing advice on collecting artifacts, telling audiences “I am going to share with you, what I wish I could have told myself years ago when I started collecting”.

He collects various patent medicine artifacts, strange devices that claimed to cure serious diseases and a variety of ephemera related to quackery and deception.  His interests extend to hoaxes, oddities and strange items of the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

The Major Blaze Medicine Show

Major Blaze will reveal quackery, dangerous medicines and devices from the Victorian Era to the early 20th Century – Learn about patent medicines and the hidden ingredients, learn about strange and dangerous medicines, learn about strange devices, some which did absolutely nothing, learn how to identify counterfeit medicines bottles, and more.

For more information and fun, check out his website: https://www.majorblaze.com/home

 

April 15 – STILL OPEN

May 13

Dave Lema

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David is the Chairman of the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation which was established to honor Linda after her passing in 2015. The objective of the Foundation is to research, record, and present the personal stories and family histories of the greater area of Elk Grove. To date, over 300 audio casts which tell these stories have been produced and published on the Foundation web site.

Memorial Day Veteran Recognition Audio Cast

In recognition of Memorial Day 2024, the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation will present a collage of additional stories about Elk Grove area servicemembers who were lost in war during the last century. These stories, while tragic, are every bit part of Elk Grove history. Each story was extensively researched by combing military records, archival records, newspaper accounts, and, where possible, through direct conversations with family members, who shared letters, photos, diaries, and personal memories. The stories are from WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War Era, and the Persian Gulf Wars. After the presentation, these stories will also be posted on our web site: www.lmmlfoundation.org.

 

June 17 – STILL OPEN

 

July – Summer break, No speaker

August – Summer break, No speaker

 

September 16

Dave Lema

 

David is the Chairman of the Linda Mae Mahon Lema Foundation which was established to honor Linda after her passing in 2015. The objective of the Foundation is to research, record, and present the personal stories and family histories of the greater area of Elk Grove. To date, over 300 audio casts which tell these stories have been produced and published on the Foundation web site.

The Edgington/Sprinstead Story – Installment II

The Foundation will present the stories of two Elk Grove area pioneer families: The Edgingtons and the Springsteds. The stories of these families trace their travels and history beginning in Europe, to the American Colonies between 1652 and 1721, their involvement in numerous historic events and moments in early North America, through their generational migration west, eventually crossing the plains in the 1860s and 1870s to settle in Elk Grove.

Each story was extensively researched by combing through public and archival records, newspaper accounts, and reviewing personal letters, photographs, diaries, and personal mementos. Like the stories of more recent arrivals to Elk Grove, what is revealed is the richness of history and culture brought to Elk Grove by these early settlers, whose stories reflect over 300 years of the American Experience.

October 21

Andrei Pischalnikoff: Aka “Major Blaze” or “Doctor R. Snick”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Andrei Pischalnikoff has been a storyteller using various media for many years.  With a previous background in helping people to accept technology changes (at a workplace of over 4,000 employees) and creating persuasive public media messages, he has enjoyed researching the historic marketing work of P.T. Barnum and the patent medicine industries of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Andrei has also dabbled in being a docent and living history performer.  Andrei visits the patent medicine, quackery collections and the archives at theSierra Sacramento Valley Medical Society  Andrei also spends time in the Amador County of California, listening to the historians and volunteers who create events celebrating the past. Andrei portrayed a Kickapoo Medicine Showman at the 49er Wagon Train Days in April 2023 and did a presentation at the Kennedy Mine of Jackson in May of 2023.

Andrei has a passion sharing his knowledge with a specialized focus on the audience’s interests.  Another passion is sharing advice on collecting artifacts, telling audiences “I am going to share with you, what I wish I could have told myself years ago when I started collecting”.

He collects various patent medicine artifacts, strange devices that claimed to cure serious diseases and a variety of ephemera related to quackery and deception.  His interests extend to hoaxes, oddities and strange items of the Victorian and Edwardian eras.

The Dr. R. Snick Poisons and Cures Show

Learn about several of the poisons used in the past and how “cures” were sold, making incredible amounts of money for the purveyors, from hundreds of years ago to the 18th century and the early 20th century. Topics include; Famous poisons of the past, commonly used poisons, historic cures and poison detectors, and the dangers cures had.

For more information and fun, check out his website: https://www.majorblaze.com/home

 

November – Holiday break, No speaker

December – Holiday break, No speaker

Basic Information to Know

Please understand these history presentations are for you to learn about the rich history of our community. It’s an hour of amazing people sharing what they know, usually with a power point presentation, often several artifacts on display, and sometimes a book signing. Please considering coming and seeing for yourself.

There are no presentations in the following months;                                                                                                                 July & August for summer break and November & December for holiday break. Sorry!

They are always on the third Monday evenings of the month, at 6:30 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm) at our usual place, the Presbyterian Church at 8153 Elk Grove Boulevard. Turn north on to Big Horn and it’s behind the Chevron Station, Suite 50.

Always FREE, open to the public, and we provide refreshments.