As comedian Stephen Wright said, “Whenever I think of the past, it brings back so many memories.” Such was the case with the Escalon-Farmington Community Garden Club’s recent private tour of the Escalon museum. Led by Historical Society members Evelyn Swass and Dorothy Miller on Thursday, Sept. 19, many of the touring guests pointed to a plug-in phone switchboard that had a lot of the garden club members claiming first-hand knowledge. Other fascinating old ‘technology’ at the museum included a wall-mounted crank telephone, tube televisions, early dictaphones, a stereograph slide viewer, an 1845 ship’s compass, a WWII field phone, and an early phonograph with volume control that was achieved by opening or closing the cabinet doors.
The group enjoyed marveling at thousands of examples of what life was like in Escalon in days past, highlighting Escalon’s rich history in the areas of agriculture, dairy, and rail transportation. Recently, the Escalon Historical Museum had Escalon High School students flipping through old documents and photographs to flesh out their research for the school’s upcoming 100th anniversary this year. In addition, the Escalon Historical Society is celebrating its 30th anniversary with an open house at the Escalon Museum on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., with light refreshments. A commemorative letter opener will be available for sale to mark the occasion.
The Escalon museum is a hot spot for local elementary school students on field trips; however, everyone of any age is encouraged to visit the museum. In fact, the original Escalon garden club’s scrapbook is housed at the museum and may be seen upon request. Swass said that in the past, the original garden club decorated the Escalon library for the Christmas holidays, held a flower show at a local church, and held an annual ‘Swap and Shop Auction’ over the years.
The Escalon museum is at 1630 Main St.; hours are Wednesdays, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; or by request, by calling (209) 838-8070. There is no charge for admission.
Reminisce Day is the first Wednesday of the month, and everyone is invited to share their stories and meet new friends. Which is what garden club members did in a very charming ‘Blast from the Past’ setting in September.
This article was written by Escalon-Farmington Community Garden Club Co-President Adeline Rosemire.