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Historical Society Feted, Celebrated For Service
Museum 1
Escalon Historical Society President Barb Willis, left, presents a commemorative pin to charter member Marvin Crews as his significant other, Annette Coppetti, center, looks on during the 25th anniversary celebration of the historical society on Saturday. - photo by Marg Jackson/The Times

Celebrating 25 years of preserving history, the Escalon Historical Society Museum opened its doors for a silver anniversary party on Saturday, May 3. Current society president Barb Willis welcomed the crowd that included several charter members, and attendees had time to look over a variety of displays that chronicled the start of the historical society in 1989 and included some significant milestones along the way. Those ranged from purchase of the historic caboose that now sits in the city’s main Street Park and the purchase of the old Bengston’s storefront for use as the society’s museum.

Willis praised those who “saw the need” for the society and a way to preserve history that otherwise would be lost. Original officers for the historical society back in 1989 were President Elsie Alfieri, Vice President Angelo Dugo, Treasurer Gene McCollum and Secretary Sheila Arellano.

“This is just fascinating,” Escalon resident Nancy Prater said as she looked over the displays and some historical books regarding California’s history. “My husband Wendell and I are museum members.”

Willis said invitations were sent out to as many charter members as they could find addresses for, and current members and guests were also invited to come share a buffet lunch and special anniversary cake while touring the museum and enjoying the displays.

Among the charter members attending Saturday were Vickie Mello, Marge Price, Ruth Sandall, June Lewis, Linda Gentry, Joan Faria, Irma Bailey, Marvin Crews, Marvin Schmidt and Amy Johnson.

Members of the Escalon High School Class of 1938 attended a reunion 26 years ago and determined at that time to form the historical society so the town’s past wouldn’t be lost.

“Thank you for your foresight then, your commitment over these past 25 years, and your presence here today so that we may show you our appreciation,” Willis told the charter members.