With the cooperation of beautiful weather we hosted our annual Opening Day on April 1. The event was chaired by Mary Black with the assistance of members and nonmembers and featured the dedication of the new Kathy Leighton Resource Center. The center was built by ECCHS volunteers known as “The Breakers” with help of many local businesses. The center was dedicated to Kathy Leighton in honor of the many, many hours Kathy has spent in collecting, sorting cataloging and identifying the myriad of documents and photographs that have been donated to ECCHS over the years.
During the dedication several certificates were presented to Kathy by Brentwood Mayer Bob Taylor, Oakley Mayor Sue Higgins, County Supervisor Diane Burgis, representatives of Assemblyman Jim Frazier and Congressman Jerry McNerney, President Gene Metz of the John Marsh Trust and Priscilla Couden Of Contra Costa Historical Society.
The Delta Quilters put on a wonderful but small quilt show that presented some beautiful quilts and a quilting demo. The Brentwood Community Band provided music and Boy Scout Troop No. 514 presented and raised the flag during the opening ceremony. We would like to thank all of those that participated and help make this years opening day a success.
Some of the fun and games during our Opening Day celebration.
Thousands of documents, photographs, books, maps, binders, genealogical histories, newspapers and other memorabilia that members of ECCHS has collected over the last 46 years to preserve our local history are moving to the new Resource Center that will be dedicated during Opening Day on April 1st.
Historian Kathy Leighton and her dedicated Monday night crew (which includes Maggie Northcut, Roseanne Yanes, Que Sala, Steve Verduzco,and Doreen Forlow) have been sorting, boxing, cataloging, and readying all of the memorabilia that has been housed in a small trailer since 1999.
Fifteen years in planning and fundraising efforts have made this building possible, but it would not have taken physical form without the dedicated group of ‘Breakers’ who undertook the task of much of the construction, saving $50,000 in labor costs. This dedicated group include Construction Superintendent Kathy Bushman (who “beat the bushes” for the lowest bids on material and outside labor), the Construction Manager Norm Ruddick who supervised volunteers including Clyde Allen, John Bushman, Bob Byer, Dave Donaldson, Chuck Hunter, Tim Karlberg, Mar Knittel, Dennis Nunn, Loren Robinson, Joe Senn, Tom Snyder, Bruce Watkins and others.
Memories of life in a one-room schoolhouse are preserved on video to provide a firsthand glimpse into the past. Ten longtime community members who attended one-room schoolhouses in Far East County shared stories of friendship, learning, and strict discipline of the teacher.