Work has begun on a planned 120-page illustrated History of Barron Park, for which research has been under way since 1978. The book, which will be written by BPA Historian Doug Graham and professionally published by our Newsletter Editor Nancy Hamilton, will include about 50 pages of historic photographs and maps. It will be organized around approximately 100 short topics, and will cover the history of Barron Park from prehistoric times through 1996.
Historic photographs will cover the agricultural era of the 1920s and 1930s, the Barron Mansion of the 1890s, the growth of suburban housing after 1945, the El Camino strip, the Barron Park Volunteer Fire Department, our landscape before any development, the old railroad, and much, much more.
Topics will include the Ohlone Indian village on Matadero Creek, the old California Military Academy, the water companies, the BPA, annexation and school closures, zoning battles, the creation of Bol Park, storms and floods, flood control projects, ground water pollution and the remediation project. Readers will be introduced to mid-nineteenth century pioneers such as Jose Pena, Chief Ynigo and Juana Briones and later-comers such as Elisha Crosby, Sarah Wallis, Edward Barron, Driscoll and Reiter, and Colonel Sebastian Jones. Prominent residents of more recent times, such as Cornelis Bol and David Packard will be covered in cameo biosketches. Many details taken from oral histories of our "old-timers" will illuminate the changing ways of life of people in our neighborhood since the 1920s.
Maps will trace our earthquake fault (did you know Barron Park has its' own fault?), will explain previous locations of our creeks, where the "lake" (of Laguna Avenue) was, will show where crops were grown and where the orchards were during our agricultural era, and will detail the postwar spread of subdivisions.
There should be a little something for everyone in this planned potpourri of the past. Read the newsletter for progress reports. Our hope is to publish late in 1996. Wish us luck, loads of free time and the goodwill of our spouses and children.
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