Former resident recalls early Japanese presence in Riverside-Pocket area

Lily, James and Emmie Kato are dressed up for an Independence Day gathering in this 1933 photograph. Photo courtesy of Emmie (Kato) Makishima

Lily, James and Emmie Kato are dressed up for an Independence Day gathering in this 1933 photograph. Photo courtesy of Emmie (Kato) Makishima

Editor’s Note: This is part three in a series regarding historic Asian districts of Sacramento.

When it comes to Japanese history of the Riverside-Pocket area, Emmie (Kato) Makishima is someone who has no trouble recalling first-hand details about that area.
After reading the first articles of this series, Emmie, 88, expressed a desire to share various details regarding her memories of that area.
Emmie, who presently resides in Rio Linda, spoke about the main concentration of early day Japanese of the Riverside-Pocket area.
“It was actually from Sutterville Road – Japanese lived across from the zoo and had farms over there – to all the way to the brickyard (which was located next to today’s Lake Greenhaven),” Emmie said. “And past the brickyard was mostly the Portuguese.”
In regard to the farming site of the family of Rose (Ishimoto) Takata, who was noted in the initial article of this series as having resided near today’s Cabrillo Civic Club #5 at 4605 Karbet Way, Emmie said, “There weren’t that many Japanese farming there, but further down south there were quite a few.”
Emmie added that she grew up on a ranch a short distance from the old brickyard.
“I lived on (the old Riverside Road), near the Portuguese’s Lisbon (area), as they called it,” Emmie said. “I lived near where the brickyard used to be (located), where (the development of) Greenhaven 70 (was later constructed) with all those homes. That was our farmland that we rented. And there were about a dozen Japanese families that rented from this one lady (Marion J. Donnellan). And with the war, we had to evacuate and the lady sold the land. So, somebody else bought it and they developed it into all these homes.
A 1908 surveyor’s map of the Pocket area, by Ashley and Campbell, shows three parcels of land in the area that were owned by Donnellan. The acreages of those parcels were listed as 317.9, 110.5 and 17.6.
Additionally, a 1962 city document refers to the “525.386-acre tract of land designated ‘Marion J. Donnellan.’”
During her interview with this publication, Emmie named the surnames of several Japanese families who resided near her former Riverside area home. Those names were Hikiji, Kimira, Oto, Suyama, Kobayashi, Muramoto, Miura, Morita, Tsugawa and Tanaka.
And in speaking about her parents, Emmie said, “My father was Yohei Kato. He came from Shizuoka, Japan. He went to Hawaii to work in the sugar cane fields on the big island (of Hawaii in) Naalehu. He got to know the man who was the supervisor and he had three sons. So, he hung around with them. And during the First (World) War, all of them were in the Army, but the war ended before they were sent overseas. So, they trained at Schofield Barracks (on the island of Oahu). So, he got to know the supervisor, because of his sons, and then they had a younger sister (named Satski). That’s who my father married. A few months after they got married, (Yohei) came to Sacramento (in 1919) and farmed with some of his buddies he was in the Army with in Hawaii. And this was in Sacramento where they call it Swanston Drive now. They had a big farmland there owned by the Swanstons, and so they farmed over there. About a year later, he called for my mother and she came. Soon after that, they moved down to Donellan’s ranch, where they rented this property. It was 30 acres that they farmed. And it was a rental.”
Emmie said that not counting her Naalehu-born brother, Kiyoshi, who died when he was about a month, she had three siblings, George, Lily and James.
In recalling her own family farm and other Japanese farms near her old Riverside home, Emmie said, “Everybody in our area were truck gardeners, (who grew) vegetables. Most of the farms were close to Riverside Road, either on the side of the river or the opposite. My father grew all kinds of vegetables. We grew, let’s see, corn, cabbage, cauliflower, radish. I don’t think we had anything that took too (much) time to bundle. Let’s see, we didn’t have tomatoes. We had watermelons. Most of these things we had to put on the wagon with the horse pulling the wagon. We brought (the filled wagon) to the tank house, where we washed the vegetables up by the house. The roads were not paved out in the field. It was dirt, so when it was raining and muddy, that’s why we had to use the horse and wagon. They would bring (the produce by truck) to the farmers’ market on 5th Street, near Broadway. And then he got orders from different grocery stores, too, like Arata Bros. And there was a Red & White market. So, (Sohei) would deliver (produce) to these grocery stores, and in exchange he might get some groceries or money.”
Through his service during the war, Yohei acquired his American citizenship.
Emmie recalled that following the bombing of Pearl Harbor, her father was approached by the FBI, who immediately departed after learning that he was an American citizen.
She added that although Yohei did not own his own land, he did own his own house and crops, which proved additionally important to him in 1942.
“When they were working (on that property) and they had to evacuate, (Yohei) was able to sell (his assets) to a group of Chinese people from San Francisco,” Emmie said. “So, all the crops and the house and the farm equipment, everything was sold to them. So, in that way he was lucky, because he didn’t lose everything.”
Following the war, Emmie resided in Minnesota, where she underwent training to become a registered nurse. She later passed the state board for that work in Washington.
Emmie moved to Sacramento in 1950, where she worked at Sutter Hospital at 2820 L St. and resided near Curtis Park.
She also spent some time residing in Fresno before returning to Sacramento, where she married Joe Makishima in 1957. Joe died at the age of 80 on July 22, 2003.
Joe and Emmie, who had three daughters, Kimi (Joanne), Keiko (Diane) and Sherri, moved to Rio Linda in 1959.
Emmie is presently active in her community, as she volunteers for the Rio Linda-Elverta Historical Society and the Friends of the Rio Linda Library.

Opinion: Crest Theatre faces unknown future after Oct. 31

The last of Sacramento’s great movie theaters to be built, The Crest, which opened Oct. 6, 1949 amid searchlights and movie stars in-person for the premiere of M-G-M’s “That Midnight Kiss”, faces an unknown future as the building’s owner is forcing the tenant/operator, CSLM, Inc. out of business with an impossible rent increase.

The Crest Theatre. Photo by Matias Bombal

The Crest Theatre. Photo by Matias Bombal

On that opening night in 1949, as may be seen in a Fox-Movietone newsreel of the event, Governor Earl Warren told the more than 5,000-person crowd assembled on K Street: “This is a great event tonight … We’re very proud of this new theater, and I’m sure the people of Sacramento will give it their patronage because it deserves it.” The Governor was right, and for many years to come the venerable theater, designed architecturally in a late 1940s “Skouras Style” was the zenith of excellence in movie presentation. The theater was built in 1949 with all new state-of-the-art electrical, plumbing, and HVAC.
It was constructed in the gutted shell, or outer four walls of the 1913 structure that had once housed the Hippodrome Theatre and initially, the short lived Empress Theatre, which closed after only one year. The Empress operators, Sullivan and Considine, Ponzi schemers, were run out of town leaving the investors holding the bag.
Fox-West Coast operated the entirely new Crest Theatre, “The Place to Go” from 1949, through some internal changes within their own company, including a rebranding as National General Theatres through mid 1979. Independent exhibitor Ron Morgan’s Morgan Cinemas gave it a short run in the early 1980s. By then the combined elements of urban sprawl and the increasing greed of the movie distributors made the operation of the Crest impossible for showing movies alone and it closed. Herb Liverette tried to turn it into a dinner theater in 1984, with grandiose plans for a remodel designed by noted Sacramento architect David Mogavero. The slogan “Our Quest, Save the Crest” fell on deaf ears.
During that time I was in my early teens, and fascinated by old theaters, I’d run all over the place while Liverette’s team tried to raise funds. I was trained as a volunteer relief projectionist by both Mario Menconi and Kenny Smith. Thus, at that early age I became familiar with the entire physical plant of the Crest Theatre and how all of its systems worked. When the dinner theater plans were canceled, Liverett moved on, and just as today, the Crest’s future was uncertain.

In 1986 the present era of the Crest’s life, and perhaps most significant, began when Linda McDonagh, operator of the Palms Playhouse in Davis, sought a larger venue for music concerts that needed a bigger space than she had in her rustic barn in Davis. Her attitude was “How about we clean it up as it is?” I approached her with the idea of showing classic films in the style of bygone days with short subjects on days the theater was not used for the live shows she wished to present. She got a friend to back her financially, Charlie Soderquist, and the initials of the two became the name of their new company: CSLM, Inc. CSLM then leased the building, taking operation on Oct. 1, 1986.
CSLM’s other partners, Andy Field, Gary Schoreder, and Bill Heberger then took most of October and the first half of November cleaning up the theater, and upgrading anything necessary to make it fully functional and compliant with the needs of any modern building. The theater re-opened with a gala black tie presentation of “Singin’ in the Rain” with the film’s star, Donald O’ Connor, in-person, Nov. 18, 1986. I was CSLM’s first employee and managed the theater for a short period, then stayed on to handle publicity, book movies, and emcee events until I was fired in 1991. In an era before DVDs, TCM, Netflix, and the smart phone, you could not really find classic movies any other way.
In October 1986, I brought a young lady into the group from United Artists’ Theatre on Arden Way. “Sid” or Laura Garcia, would become the shining light of the Crest to the present for CSLM. She has managed the theater for 25 of the 28 years CSLM has had the stewardship of this important cultural icon of the city. She took the torch and ran with it. In that time, hopes that were only dreams at the beginning were fully realized: first and foremost, the preservation of the building in as close to its original 1949 state as possible, the relighting of its magnificent miles of marquee neon in 1991, the restoration of the stage drapery, and the fact that the doors were open to one and all for all types of events for both patrons and event promoters.

The value of the CSLM, Inc.’s operation of the Crest and their contribution to the fabric of the Sacramento community and beyond is self-evident. Great live shows, wonderful movies, and special events have created cherished memories and captured the imagination of all who experienced them. The entertainment knowledge accrued in 28 years shows that CSLM knows its craft in this particular venue better than anyone in this market. This brings us to the present dilemma that they now face.

In 2011, Robert Emerick, a wastewater treatment engineer (sewage) with no theatrical experience, purchased for $2.8 million what he calls “Historic Crest Commercial Center” on his Facebook page. According to an Aug. 26 Sacramento Bee article by Cathie Anderson, Mr. Emerick further states that CSLM was paying well less than half market rent, at 40 cents per square foot.

I would offer that the square foot market value for a theater space should not be valued the same as office or industrial on the basis that the space within the square footage of these structures is utilized differently. With the glacier-like move of the forthcoming sports arena, no doubt square footage values will be on the rise, and clever investors are buying any property they can now, to cash in after the arena is a going concern.

Mr. Emerick is quoted in the same Bee article with statements that did not make sense to me, based on my own past experience with the building and the nature of the theatrical business. He says: “There’s plumbing in the theaters that’s 100 years old.” In actuality, the plumbing was entirely new in 1949, as city construction permit records indicate.
Emerick additionally says that “The Crest’s air-conditioning system must be replaced, at a cost of $100,000, because the state is banning the refrigerant it uses by 2020.” Although the latter part of that statement is correct, Mr. Emerick does not mention that extant air conditioning units that are in good operating order that use that coolant, R12, are grandfathered in past 2020 and are exempt from the ban. Thus, unless there is a major failure to the Crest HVAC system, this is a non-issue.

Sacramento Bee photo of The Crest Theatre's original opening night, October 6, 1949.  This image courtesy of Dolores Greenslate/Portuguese Historical Society Collection.

Sacramento Bee photo of The Crest Theatre's original opening night, October 6, 1949. This image courtesy of Dolores Greenslate/Portuguese Historical Society Collection.

The Bee article quotes Emerick, “if the Crest is ever to show movies again in its historic theater, it will need to upgrade the projection equipment at a cost of $100,000 to $150,000.” This is also not correct. In point of fact, the CSLM has been showing movies at the Crest both on film (rarely, but enough to keep the equipment maintained and in use) and Blu Ray DVD on an industrial digital projector (not DCP) for several years now. CSLM supports and hires union projectionists from Local 50 of the International Alliance of Theatrical and Stage Employees.
Emerick says that people want to see more movies at the Crest, as does he, and that a DCP digital projector is needed due to the movie industry change from 35mm film in theaters to DCP digital projectors. This statement, seemingly well intentioned, shows his lack of understanding of the way movie exhibition works.
Movie exhibition is the only business in which the manufacturer is constantly trying to put the retailer out of business. The distributor’s contractual obligation of showing new movies a minimum of 4 weeks which began in the late 1970s, spelled doom for the giant single screen theaters. This gave birth to the multiplex cinema with several auditoriums of various sizes. With several screens in one theater, the operator simply put the movie that has the best attendance in the biggest auditorium. Other movies that have been there two to four weeks are run in the smaller ones.
The show times are staggered so there is a constant flow of traffic at the candy counter; the only place any movie theater makes the money it needs to cover operating expenses, as most of the box-office revenue goes directly to the distributors. With the switch to digital DCP projection in the last five years in most chain theaters, the last of the independent movie theater operators have vanished nationwide for two principal reasons.
The first and most important: movie theater chains bid for first run releases in each market, and the buying or bidding power they offer the distributors (the movie studios) is far greater than a single independent may offer. As an example, if the Crest were to offer an advance of $5,000 for a four week run of a movie for its single screen and the distributor also receives an offer from Cinemark for $5,000 per each of their 332 theaters and 4, 456 screens ($5,000 multiplied by 332 theaters or more!), the reality is that the distributor will not take the Crest’s telephone call. First-run commercial or art films are thus unavailable to independent theaters, which are now becoming extinct in the current exhibition market.
The second reason is the theatrical DCP projector itself, unlike the 35mm film projectors of the past which provided more than 50 years of service if properly maintained, are very expensive, from $80,000 to $125,000 and only have the life of a computer hard drive, and will need to be replaced at that same amount in only a few years. Most independents can’t shoulder that financial burden, and if they can afford one, they still could not get the movies to show because of the impossibility competing with chain theaters to get product.
Those are the facts as I see them. Now, personal opinion:
Ultimately, Mr. Emerick owns the building, and will do with it as he pleases. He’s indicated that he wants to give showbiz a whirl with his fiancee Yulya Borroum booking the theater for live events, both with no theatrical experience, beginning in November. For the sake of the theater, I hope his idea works, but I don’t understand how it could. I’ve given examples earlier. I’ll add to this the fact that the Crest survives as a rental facility for promoters and film festival groups to put on events. The only events that Crest does in-house are the occasional movies that are shown when rentals don’t fill the calendar. Mr. Emerick may lose his shirt and the Crest if he thinks he may do a better job than his tenant with 28 years experience in the building.
There’s also the possibility that Mr. Emerick has invested in the property with the knowledge and hope that the sports arena will increase the value of his investment (indicated by his focused awareness of current square footage values) so that even if he gives it “the old college try” and it fails, he may cash in by selling it or converting the building to some other use. This has already begun with the restaurants in the basement level of the store fronts adjacent to the original theater building. This space was used to house the two additional movie theaters that CSLM used to operate, but had to close due to declined revenue and distributor politics.
If I were a landlord with a solid tenant with tenure that would provide consistent reliable income, I would not force them out for more money thinking more in the long term than short gain. Perhaps Mr. Emerick has other financial concerns that are forcing his hand. His reasons for raising the rent are dubious at best. He bought the building saying “he wanted to preserve a signature regional asset,” yet his actions seem just the opposite of his statement.
The sad result to me is the 28 years of CSLM, made up of people and families that depend on income made there that utilizes their singular talents honed specifically for the unique facility that the Crest is. Soon they will be out of work, their future uncertain. Manager Laura “Sid” Garcia-Heberger fell in love with CSLM partner Bill Heberger, married him and had children.
The many employees, too, will be out of work. Mr. Emerick, if true to his word of “wanting to preserve a signature regional asset,” must reconsider keeping his tenant in place at a rent that is reasonable for them to pay. The heart of any business are the people that run it, they connect to you personally in what they do and how they do it. Absent that, any building becomes a soulless monolith. Let’s not let the 28 years of effort by CSLM, Inc. at the Crest Theatre become lost in the swirling mist of time.
(On the web: Rare newsreel footage of the opening night of the Crest Theatre in Sacramento on Oct. 6, 1949 introduced by Matias Bombal, former Crest Theatre manager, and now movie critic at www.mabhollywood.com and Valley Community Newspapers, can be seen at http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EvZoUH3×2rI)

Japanese had early presence in Riverside-Pocket area

Rose (Ishimoto) Takata grew up in the historic Riverside area of Sacramento. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Rose (Ishimoto) Takata grew up in the historic Riverside area of Sacramento. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part one in a series regarding historic Asian districts of Sacramento.

Much has been written about the Portuguese people of the early years of the Riverside-Pocket area in this publication. But it should be recognized that Japanese also have a rich history in that area.
By the 1920s, the Riverside-Pocket area consisted of about two-thirds Portuguese people and about one-third Japanese people.
Certainly, one person who knows a considerable amount about that area’s early Japanese history is 91-year-old Riverside area native Shigeko “Rose” (Ishimoto) Takata.
During an interview with this publication last week, Takata recalled some of her early memories of that area.
“I still remember quite a bit of what went on when I was young,” said Takata, who was one of the six children of Sehei and Chiyo Ishimoto. “I went to school there (in the Riverside area) in the 1930s. I went to Sutter School (in a building that now houses Cabrillo Civic Club #5 at 4605 Karbet Way).”
In regard to some of the Japanese families of that area, Takata said, “One was named Kanaka, and mine was Ishimoto, of course, and we both had chickens and then we also grew vegetables. But it was mostly chicken. We were a chicken ranch. And there was (the) Kawai (family). They were just strictly (a vegetable farming family). I don’t know what kind of (vegetable) farming it was, but (it was vegetable) farming. (The Kanakas) and us, we were mainly chicken farmers. These three Japanese families lived on (the same) property (near Sutter School).
“There were other (Japanese families) right around the Sutter School there. A bunch of them had poultry farms. We kind of centered right around the school where I lived. There was one other (Japanese family) that was fairly far (away). Most of us residents had farms. You know where The Trap is? The Trap (which did not yet have that name) was there at the time we were there, too. It was owned by the Pimentels. That’s an old bar that’s been there for years and years and years. But anyway, around The Trap (at 6125 Riverside Blvd.), around that area, that Greenhaven area, there were a lot of farmers, truck farms. And then further up by (today’s) Pocket Road and so forth, around there were (several) Japanese farms. (The farms) went from Pocket Road to the river (levee).”
In response to the inquiry of when her family began residing in the Riverside area, Tanaka said, “I can’t say, but my oldest brother (Yoshio) was born in 1914, and they were already here (in the Riverside area). We lived by where the Sutter School was (located) on (the old) Riverside Road. I remember our rural route box number (at that time) was 123. We moved later just before the war (to) Sutterville Heights, which is near William Land Park, in that area.

This photograph from the 1941 C.K. McClatchy High School yearbook shows Rose Ishimoto, who would later become Rose Takata.

This photograph from the 1941 C.K. McClatchy High School yearbook shows Rose Ishimoto, who would later become Rose Takata.

The 1900 U.S. Federal Census lists the then 20-year-old Japanese native Sehei Ishimoto as a farm laborer residing in the San Joaquin Township of Sacramento County with Japanese immigrants K. Toro (24-year-old head of household) and M. Toro (28-year-old brother of K. Toro). And the same census notes that Sehei immigrated to the United States in 1899.
The San Francisco Call, in its Wednesday, Aug. 20, 1913 edition, recognizes that Sehei and Chiyo were married during the previous day.
Included under a heading, which reads, “SAN FRANCISCO – The following marriage licenses were issued Wednesday (sic), August 19, 1913,” are the words: “ISHIMOTO-IWATSUBO – Sehei Ishimoto, 32, and Chiyo Iwatsubo, 20, both of Sacramento.”
The 1920 Census notes that Chiyo emigrated from Japan in 1913 and was then residing with her husband and three children on Riverside Road in the Riverside area of Sacramento County.
In recalling her school days, Takata said, “We were in the Sutter School District. There were people who lived beyond (today’s) The Trap (bar, at the present address of 6125 Riverside Blvd., and attended the Lisbon schools). (That) was another area that had Japanese.”
After departing from Sutter School each day, Takata would attend classes at a Japanese school.
In recalling that school, Takata said, “I did go to a Japanese school. Just about everybody did (attend that school). They had classes from first grade to eighth grade, and then on Saturdays they had what they called middle school. There must have been at least 100 kids (who attended the Japanese school). I would think, but I really have no idea. The classes were divided. There were two rooms. From Sutter School where we went, (the Japanese) school was, oh, I would say only about maybe four or five blocks (away). My teacher (at the Japanese school) was Matsumura. I think at one time I knew (her first name).”
Takata also recalled several of her classmates, including Ruth Imoto, Noboru Oto and her best friend, Yaeko Muramoto.
After school, Takata would complete chores on her family’s farm.
Takata later attended California Junior High School at 2991 Land Park Dr. and graduated from C.K. McClatchy High School in June 1941.
After being asked to summarize her life growing up during the Depression, Rose Takata said, “I tell people, we were poor, but we didn’t know it. I grew up in the 1930s. We always had food, we always had clothing, and we had a (Japanese) baseball team, you know, we had different things.”

Lance@valcomnews.com

The Rev. Dan Madigan recalls longtime devotion to local parishes

The Rev. Dan Madigan served as a pastor in parishes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento for nearly a half-century. Photo by Lance Armstrong

The Rev. Dan Madigan served as a pastor in parishes of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento for nearly a half-century. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part two of a two-part series about the Rev. Dan Madigan.

After nearly a half-century of serving the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sacramento, Dan Madigan, as noted in the previous article of this series was celebrated for his longtime devotion to the ministry, on Sunday, June 29. He officially retired the following day.
During his recent, exclusive interview with this publication, Madigan, 76, shared details about various experiences in his life.
Among those experiences, he noted, was serving as assistant pastor of the Sacred Heart Parish.
“I got promoted (from Our Lady of Lourdes Parish) – well, I feel it was a promotion over to Sacred Heart over at 39th and J (streets in East Sacramento),” Madigan said. “Governor (Ronald) Reagan was up the road there at that time, so it was totally, completely different (then at Our Lady of Lourdes). When I came from Ireland and went into Our Lady of Lourdes, I thought, ‘Well, that’s the United States.’ But (at) Sacred Heart, I didn’t feel as needed there, but the people are very nice there.”
In 1976, Madigan became the pastor of the Immaculate Conception Parish.
And in discussing his service with that parish, Madigan said, “Immaculate Conception came up as a pastor. I applied and got it, and I started the (Sacramento) Food Bank. These people came through very, very well. When I started the food bank, I started going out to other churches and making appeals, because we had to get some money to get going and get the thing off the ground. Those were wonderful years.”
In many ways, Madigan became synonymous with the St. Joseph Church of Clarksburg. And his longevity in that position alone certainly draws one’s attention.
Madigan, who began serving as St. Joseph’s pastor in 1989, explained that during his time as pastor of that parish, he gained a knowledge and appreciation for the history of the area.
“I knew very little about the background of this beautiful parish church, or even the Delta in which it sits,” Madigan said. “Neither did I know about the great number of Portuguese people who once lived on both sides of the Sacramento River, namely in the Pocket district, Freeport and also on the Yolo side of the river.
Additionally, Madigan spoke about the longtime Portuguese connection to St. Joseph Church.
“On learning the (the parish’s original, wooden) church was built by Portuguese immigrants, I immediately assumed all these folks came from Portugual,” Madigan said. “How wrong I was. Hearing about the Azores Islands, I decided to do some research. My quest led me down some beautiful pathways, discovering as I went, a people I have certainly fallen in love with. Their grit, their religious beliefs, their quiet and noble characters, coupled with their willingness to embrace the grueling work necessary to improve life for their families, made them my true heroes.”
The history of St. Joseph Church dates back to October 1892, when John Soto donated the Yolo County land for the sole purpose of building a Catholic church for the Portuguese farming community.
The baptismal book at St. Joseph Church reveals that between the years of 1893 to 1951, 591 Portuguese children were baptized at that church.
Madigan, continued his work as the director of the Sacramento Food Bank until December 2007.
He had opted to spend more time with the people of the growing St. Joseph Parish and to continuing to discover ways that he could help those in need.
Two years prior to leaving the food bank, Madigan established the St. Joseph’s Mobile Mall, which distributes household goods and clothing to many sites in south Sacramento.
And in 2012, Madigan founded the Mobile Food Locker ministry, which distributes food on a weekly basis to those in need at St. Anne Catholic Church at 7724 24th St., St. Paul Catholic Church at 8720 Florin Road, St. Anthony’s Catholic Church at 14012 Walnut Ave. in Walnut Grove and Bishop Gallegos Maternity Home at 6423 Lang Ave. in south Sacramento.
Those who know Madigan well know that his love of animals did not end with his dog, Brutis, who was referred to in the initial article of this series.
Madigan also grew up around donkeys and has had various other animals during his life, including his Great Danes, Seamus, Molly and Nellie.
Madigan said that he has retired to another residence in Clarksburg with the last survivor of those dogs, Nellie.
In explaining his decision to retire, Madigan said, “I’m certainly of the age – 76. Most priests retire at 70 and even some retire at 65. So, the next one would be 75, and I even went an extra year. I had contemplated maybe spending another couple of years (as St. Joseph’s pastor), but I am the youngest of the family in Ireland, so I have four brothers in Ireland and a sister and they’re all moving on in life. They’re 84 to 90 years of age. That’s definitely something I gave a lot of thought to, and I feel that they’re getting frail and so forth and I should be available to go back and see them. So, that was definitely a big factor.”
And after being asked how often he plans to return to Ireland, Madigan said, “When necessary.”
Madigan also said at the time of his interview for this series that he was planning to depart for a month-long trip to Ireland on July 16.
In addition to taking occasional trips to Ireland, Madigan has planned to utilize his retirement years to work on his writings.
Madigan, whose education includes earning a master’s degree in social work at Sacramento State University in 1976 and a doctorate’s degree in philosophy from the Union Institute & University of Cincinnati in 1979, is presently working on a book.
Despite his retirement, Madigan said that he will be available to assist any priest in need.
“I’ll always be willing to help out if some priest wants a little help here and there,” Madigan said. “It’s just that I’m not tied down to the commitment to work.”

Lance@valcomnews.com

Meet the candidates: Political forum at John F. Kennedy High School set for Monday, April 28

Candidates for Sacramento City Council District 7 and California Assembly District 9 have confirmed their presence at the political forum at John F. Kennedy High School, which is set for Monday, April 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the large, 465-seat, state-of-the-art theater. Moderated by Sacramento City College communications instructor Jared Anderson, and hosted by the Pocket News, Nextdoor Greenhaven, JFK High School, and Access Sacramento, the event is an informational, community building political forum. It is not a debate.

Students at Kennedy and City College have been invited to attend and ask questions – some instructors are offering students extra credit for attending, and volunteers from the League of Women Voters will have a table for voter registration. Candidates will be given two minutes to provide a biography before questions are asked. City council candidates will go first at 6:30 p.m. and assembly candidates will go second. We will also do a plug for Measure B.

If you have any questions you’d like me to save for the forum, email them to me at editor@valcomnews.com. What follows is some information on Measure B and biographies along with top issues our candidates will be addressing at the forum.

Vote YES on Measure B – For the Libraries

The following measure is approved for the June 3, 2014 ballot. Measure B—Pertaining to a Parcel Tax for Core Library Services:
“Should library services for all City residents including children, teens, adults and seniors, be preserved, including after-school reading programs, homework assistance, library operating hours, 24/7 online access, programs for seniors, and other services, by enacting a new $12 per year single-family residential parcel tax for 12 years, and specified amounts for other uses, adjusted for inflation, that the State cannot take, with independent financial audits to ensure funds are spent only on City of Sacramento libraries?” No argument against was submitted.

The following is taken from “www.bethereforlibraries.org: Measure B augments the existing city parcel tax by just one dollar per month and requires independent yearly audits to protect tax payers. Measure B requires that all funds be spent exclusively for local library services within the City of Sacramento.

Measure B is needed to:
Keep three new libraries operating, provide for the increased demand for online services, ensure that all libraries stay open evenings and weekends so people can actually use our libraries, maintain the library’s after-school homework and reading programs for our school children and story time for preschoolers, provide quality books, library materials, and free children’s programs, protect library operating hours and 24/7 online access to library resources, preserve library services for seniors and families who are trying to improve their lives, allow people who don’t have computers at home access to the internet, continue to make quality library materials, programs, and services available at all libraries.

City Council District 7 candidates

Julius Cherry
Julius Cherry retired from the Sacramento Fire Department at the rank of Fire Chief in 2007 after more than 30 years of service. Prior to becoming Chief, he held the ranks of firefighter, captain, battalion chief, assistant chief, and Deputy Chief of Support Services. Julius has also been a practicing attorney for 22 years, handling a variety of civil matters. He is the CEO of The Cherry Consulting Group, which provides advisory services to fire protection organizations.

Julius chairs the Community Advisory Board for Dignity Health (formerly Catholic Healthcare West). He is past chair and current board member of Goodwill Industries of Sacramento Valley and Northern California. In 2011, he chaired the Sacramento Redistricting Citizens Advisory Committee, charged with advising the city government on reshaping the eight council districts after the 2010 census. From 1994 to 2001, Julius served and chaired the Sacramento County Project Planning Commission, assisting the commission in making entitlement decisions. He is a past board member of the Sacramento County Fair Board as a governor appointee.

A veteran of the United States Air Force, Julius attended night school to earn a Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law and a bachelor of science in public administration from California State University, Sacramento. Julius is married with three daughters, one son, and four grandchildren.


Rick Jennings
Why I’m running for City Council? I love this district and this city, where I’ve lived and raised my family since 1986. I believe I have the skills, experience and drive to make this district and city the best they can be.

Running for this office is a natural progression of what I’ve done over the last 28 years in this community. In 1996, I was recruited by then-Mayor Joe Serna to run for the Sacramento Unified School Board and to restore the community’s trust in the school district. I was proud to serve our kids for 12 years, focusing on rebuilding our neighborhood schools and improving student achievement.

I have also been the Executive Director of the Center for Fathers and Families, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening families and building communities in Sacramento, for nearly 20 years. The Center currently serves over 1,700 young people daily in before and after school programs and 400 adults with parenting classes and other comprehensive services.

Through the years I have volunteered as a coach for youth sports, served on various boards and commissions and been involved with many neighborhood groups. From the relationships I’ve developed, I am proud to be endorsed by neighborhood leaders like Supervisor Jimmie Yee, May O. Lee, Kathi Windheim, Shane Singh, Lee Dumas, Willie Caston, Didion Elementary School Principal Norm Policar, and the Sacramento Police Officers Association.

It is my commitment to this community and its continued prosperity that has always been my impetus to be involved and I can think of no better manifestation of my experience than to serve on the City Council.

My Priorities in Office: A Strong Economy & Strong Neighborhoods

The City needs to improve its service delivery. From 2007 to 2012, the City cut staff, reduced services, and laid off Police Officers to deal with continued budget deficits. This has hurt our neighborhoods.

As our economy recovers and more resources are available, we must restore city services to their pre-2007 levels and ensure that revenues generated from Downtown revitalization are returned for neighborhood services.

Specifically I will:
Promote public safety by fully staffing police, increasing neighborhood patrols, and supporting and re-establishing initiatives like Cops and Clergy and the Gang Task Force;
Expand neighborhood watch programs and make sure every neighborhood has the support it needs to keep our streets safe;
Encourage small business expansion and job creation by creating local business incubators and ensuring that Delta Shores is built responsibly with jobs for our community and opportunities for small businesses;
Partner with schools and libraries to expand community programs through grants, partnerships and private sector fundraising to provide new opportunities for youth and seniors.


Abe Snobar
I have been a longtime resident of Sacramento and spent all of my formative years being raised in, and by, District 7. As a youth I attended Sam Brannan Middle School in the Pocket Area and later graduated from Valley High School in the Valley Hi area. From Valley High, I went on to earn my bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from California State University, Sacramento. In short, I truly am a “Sacramentan.”

I spent my early professional career as a Special Education teacher and a high school and college football coach. As an employee of the Elk Grove Unified School District for 14 years, I was involved with the district’s success in raising the API scores from the mid-500s to 744, where they sit currently. My passion for teaching is paralleled with my passion for leading. Today, I am part of the Delta Ducks Minor League football team as an assistant coach, a voice in the Entertainment Sports Complex, and I am a member of the Sacramento Metro Chamber as a small business entrepreneur.

My passion for leading, listening, and learning comes second only to raising my two lovely daughters, Sophie and Ella. Vote for Abe.

CA Assembly District 9 candidates

Jim Cooper
Jim Cooper has served his community for more than 29 years – as a highly decorated law enforcement officer, a mayor, a city councilmember, and volunteer working with at-risk youth.

Cooper is currently a captain in the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, where he commands the Court Security Division. As a former commander of the Sacramento Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force, focusing on apprehension of child predators and identity thieves, he oversaw dramatic increases in prosecution and arrests of child predators.

His law enforcement career includes nine years working undercover to fight gang violence and drug trafficking. He has earned numerous awards, including the Bronze Star Bravery for heroic actions during the 1991 “Good Guys” hostage crisis. He also served two years as the Sheriff’s Department’s spokesperson.

Cooper is a lifetime member of the California Narcotics Officers Association and is well-regarded for his youth drug prevention teaching curriculum, to teach students about the dangers of narcotics and educate parents about the warning signs of drug use. He has also taught Criminal Justice at local community colleges and universities.

Cooper has spent the past 13 years serving the people of Elk Grove, as the city’s first mayor, with a total of two terms as mayor and four terms on the city council.

As the city’s first mayor, Cooper helped establish the governing values of fiscal responsibility, transparency, accessibility and regional partnership that the city still tries to live by. The fiscal foundation laid by his administration as mayor was critical to achieving 10 consecutive balanced budgets, building a healthy reserve, and avoiding the police layoffs that have plagued neighboring communities.

Cooper also worked to make Elk Grove one of the region’s greenest cities, and has prioritized balancing growth and preserving the community’s quality of life by tackling issues like traffic, housing, and job creation.

At the same time, he was critical in setting up the city’s first gang/narcotics unit and a local 9-11 Communications Center, and put more police officers on the street.

Cooper has had a lifelong passion for community service and young people, and has served on the boards of the Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers & Big Sisters, WIND Youth Services, and the Sacramento Children’s Receiving Home.

Cooper grew up in Sacramento, is a graduate of the West Point Leadership Academy and FBI National Academy and earned a Master’s degree in Organizational Leadership from St. Mary’s College.


Darrell Fong
Darrell Fong was born and raised in Sacramento, California and has lived in the Pocket Greenhaven area for nearly 30 years. Darrell attended C.K. McClatchy High School, Sacramento City College, and Sacramento State University.

Darrell was elected to the Sacramento City Council, representing the 7th District, in 2010. Darrell has been a vocal advocate on finding a comprehensive statewide water policy and opposing the delta tunnels, creating jobs through economic development, and keeping neighborhoods safe in the City of Sacramento. Darrell started a community discussion to begin connecting the Sacramento River Parkway to the 119-mile American River Parkway. A strong supporter of working families, Darrell has provided representation to previously underserved communities in the district, providing after-school sports programs for kids.

Darrell, retired in 2009 from the Sacramento Police Department. Where he worked his way up the ranks, retiring as a captain. Darrell held various positions in the police department including, gang detective, patrol sergeant, narcotics and vice sergeant, Internal Affairs sergeant, lieutenant, Watch Commander, Metro Executive Lieutenant, Special Ops lieutenant (K-9, SWAT, EOD). As captain, Darrell served as Captain of the Special Investigations Detail, which includes the gang and narcotics units.

Darrell’s focus on alternative policing methods with kids began while he was supervising the School Resources Officers that provide security for the Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD) and Natomas School District. He noticed that if kids were given alternatives options and positive direction, they performed better in school and stayed out of trouble. Darrell was the first officer from the Sacramento Police Department to attend and graduate from the Los Angeles Police Department West Point Leadership Program. Darrell has been recognized with resolutions from the California State Senate and Assembly for his work on investigating and suppressing Asian gangs in Sacramento.

A firm believer in community engagement leading to positive outcomes, Darrell has worked to organize monthly community food truck events, which have engaged thousands of constituents. An advocate for Sacramento’s food culture, he worked with members of the Sacramento food community to proclaim Sacramento America’s Farm to Fork Capital.

In addition to his distinguished service to the community as a Council Member and police captain, Darrell has spent innumerable personal house supporting organizations including the Council of Asian Pacific Islanders Together for Advocacy and Leadership (CAPITAL), My Sister’s House Domestic Violence Shelter, Sacramento District Attorney Citizen Academy, and the Organization of Chinese Americans.

Darrell is married to his wife Joy, who works for the State of California, and has three children that have attended local schools. Darrell’s twin brother, Derrick, is a prominent local restaurateur.
As a candidate for Assembly, I committed myself to expand college opportunity by stopping tuition increases. I committed myself to protecting the Delta and the water supplies farmers in our region need. I remain clear on my commitment to closing tax loopholes that result in misery for those who rely on public services and harsh cuts to the public servants who provide those services.


Tim Gorsulowsky
Tim Gorsulowsky was raised in Shreveport, Louisiana where he learned, and continues to live with, the highest level of moral character. While in Louisiana, Tim graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business from East Texas Baptist University with continuing education in the MBA program.

In 1987, after graduating from college, Tim moved to California to assist his brother with organizing a new dermatology surgical practice. While in California, the opportunity arose to open a security services company in San Jose. This company started in 1994 ultimately expanded into a 165-employee operation with more than $4 million in annual revenue.

Tim’s philosophy offered in the business sector was to always treat the employees with high regard, while continually giving the client personal attention to detail. It was unusual to maintain an employee and contract base for an extended five to 10 years, but Tim’s philosophy and business technique proved this longevity could actually be accomplished.

Tim moved to the City of Saratoga, California in 1997 until transitioning to the beautiful City of Elk Grove in 2012.

If entrusted with your vote, Tim will provide a sincere effort to address all issues and concerns, regardless of political party, within the district.

He said, “political party agendas are not my concerns, but the issues and needs of the people I represent are my number one priority. It is my duty to handle these matters with a fair and honest approach, and work diligently for the betterment of all citizens within California.”

Tim’s primary goal is to exceed your expectations during the term by increasing the current socio-economic status in California. This will be accomplished by offering a five- and 10-year tax incentive plans to major companies that will successfully promote new business in California. The reduced business tax revenue will be offset by the revenue received from employment taxes.

Education is a major concern in District 9 that must be addressed by the Legislature. Promoting the longevity of our educators will be accomplished with improving the level of compensation. The plan will require a third party auditing of California school district budgets that will focus on reducing unnecessary expenses, then apportion the funds as a designated increase to our educators.

Many Californians have noticed the increase in DMV fee structure over the last few years. The programs offered by DMV should continue to be automated. This process will be promoted under Tim’s plan for the purpose of reducing the fees charged to residents.


Manuel Martin
My name is Manuel Martin and I am running for the 9th State Assembly district because I want Californians to prosper. For too long we have been voting for the same politicians to go to Sacramento. Year after year the people of California feel as though nothing changes. The truth is the difference between California’s 8 percent unemployment rate and North Dakota’s 2.6 percent unemployment rate is not Washington DC, it’s Sacramento.

I decided to run for office because I’m tired of the same old politicians who get elected just to make friends and cozy up to the lobbyists. While the politicians are in Sacramento networking and dining with special interest lobbyists, it’s the people who suffer. The people of the 9th district deserve a hard working representative.

That’s why I pledge to my constituents, when elected I will have monthly town hall meetings to meet as many people as possible. It’s time we elect representatives who actually want to meet the people and find out what the people need. Your representative should be meeting you, not the lobbyists.

Each Assembly representative receives an annual allowance worth about $30,000 on top of their annual salary. Since I live locally, I don’t need the allowance. I am going to use it to help students achieve a quality education by using my allowance for college scholarships. Education is very sacred to me, and I want to help as many kids prosper as possible. Education is the cornerstone of the American way of life; I will fight to preserve equal opportunity to a quality education for all students. That’s why I am offended by SCA-5, a bill presented by the Democrats in the State Senate which would have allowed California universities to deny students admittance based of the color of their skin. My friends, we should never judge someone according to the color of their skin, yet Democrat Senators wanted to legalize discrimination. It’s horrendous to think we have elected representatives who are living in the Jim Crow era and legislating racial discrimination.

I decided to run for office to preserve the American dream that my family immigrated to the United States for. I am a first generation American whose family came here from the Azores Islands. Like many first generation Americans, English was not my first language I was raised speaking Portuguese. I grew up on my grandfather’s dairy farm and started working at the age of 12. I started a jelly company when I was 19 and was in about 15 stores with my product. I shut down the company to go back to school. I earned an A.S. degree in Business Management from Delta College. I was going to further my education with a degree in economics when I got hired by Hewlett Packard.

“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer,” as John F. Kennedy once said. I’m here to be your representative not your politician. Feel free to call me 572-9241, or email manuelmartin2014@gmail.com. www.manuelforassembly.com


Diana Rodriguez-Suruki
Diana Rodriguez-Suruki has a long record of proven leadership at all levels of government. She has served as a manager for both county and state government. In 2008 she was overwhelmingly elected to serve as a Trustee for the Sacramento City Unified School District with over 66% of the vote.

Diana has been a leading advocate against harmful school closures. She has fought for transparency, accountability and proper spending of the school district’s $480 million budget. While serving as president of the school board, she uncovered wasteful spending and worked to redirect those funds into the classroom. She has advocated for the best teachers in our classrooms and closing the achievement gap.

Diana also has a long record of community service including serving in the following capacities:

• Distinguished member of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson’s Transition Advisory Team
• Past Board Member and Secretary for the nationwide Parent/Teacher Home Visit Program
• Chair, Sacramento 2010 US Census Latino Complete Count Committee
• Delegate Assembly Member, California School Boards Association (CSBA)

Diana has also participated in the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, President Obama’s White House Hispanic Policy Summit, and as a guest commentator on National Public Radio. She is a long-time public servant with a combined 15 years of work experience in the public sector. She has worked in all branches of local government – school, city, county and state.

In her experience, Diana has adopted spending priorities and managed county budgets. She has provided oversight and direction for various projects including multi-million dollar health care service contracts and computerized system upgrades. She has analyzed and built state department budgets and has experience identifying potential budget misappropriations. She has also analyzed and researched collective bargaining agreements that ensure public workers are fairly compensated and taxpayers’ money is spent responsibly.

Diana completed the National Economic Policy Institute from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and has a degree in finance from DeVry University. She lives in Sacramento and has three daughters – Ezra, Taja, and Alana. She enjoys cheering for her two youngest daughters at their weekend swim meets where they compete for the Parkway Dolphins swim team.

Three main issues she’ll be focusing on:
1) Strengthening Public Education
2) Improving government efficiency and accountability
3) Cracking down on the influence of big money and special interest groups in politics

New Brookfield School site is a place of much history

Pimentel’s Ingleside Café – now known as The Trap – is shown in this c. 1912 photograph. Part of the original Pimentel family home is shown on the left hand side of the photograph. The people standing in front of the bar and grocery business building are, left to right: Anna Savoie, Ernest Garcia (child), Joe Prady, Mamie Koch (child) and Ernest “Alvin” Savoie. Photo courtesy of PHCS

Pimentel’s Ingleside Café – now known as The Trap – is shown in this c. 1912 photograph. Part of the original Pimentel family home is shown on the left hand side of the photograph. The people standing in front of the bar and grocery business building are, left to right: Anna Savoie, Ernest Garcia (child), Joe Prady, Mamie Koch (child) and Ernest “Alvin” Savoie. Photo courtesy of PHCS

As the dust continues to take flight on the 5-acre, future Brookfield School site behind The Trap bar at Riverside Boulevard and 43rd Avenue, the topic of history is also in the air.
For instance, until Friday, March 21, the 90-year-old concrete stairs and foundation of a building could be seen a few hundred feet north of the bar.
Many Riverside-Pocket area residents recall when a house was once located on that foundation.
Although many people might imagine that the house was demolished, it was actually moved in two sections in 2004 by the Fisher Bros. House Moving Co. of Manteca, Calif.
According to the Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society, the structure was transported to a lot somewhere on T Street in Sacramento.
A request by this publication for additional details regarding that move from the Manteca company were not yet fulfilled upon the deadline for this article.
The house was built in 1924 for Tony Pimentel, then-owner of the bar, which would later become known as The Trap.
Tony resided in that home with his wife, Margaret “Maggie” (Valine) Pimentel, who he married on Jan. 21, 1916, and their children, Lloyd, Kathryn and Geraldine.
All three of the Pimentel children attended Sutter School on Riverside Boulevard, about a half-mile south of Sutterville Road. The old schoolhouse still stands at 4605 Karbet Way and is presently home to Cabrillo Civic Club No. 5.
Although many people today would identify the 5-acre site that includes The Trap as being located in the Pocket, the site is actually part of the historic Riverside area.
The northern boundary of the Pocket is located at the sharp “S” turn of Riverside Boulevard at 43rd Avenue.
The Pocket lies on the south side of the boulevard, while the Riverside area (which includes the 5-acre site where The Trap sits) is located on the north side of the boulevard.
Incidentally, historic school districts in those areas used the same boundaries.
Schoolchildren residing in the Pocket area attended schools of the Lisbon School District. Those schools were the Upper Lisbon School and the Lower Lisbon School.
The aforementioned Sutter School was attended by children of the Riverside area, thus coinciding with the previous trivia that the Pimentel children attended that school.
The left hand side of a c. 1912 photograph accompanying this article shows a portion of the Pimentels’ original house on the property, which has become the future site of Brookfield School.
Although the house had a rural, county address during its early years, it would later acquire the address of 6115 Riverside Blvd.
Tony and Maggie resided in their Riverside Boulevard home until about 1960, when they moved into a 1935 Tudor-style house at 2622 14th St. in Land Park.
After Tony died at the age of 74 on Aug. 26, 1968, Maggie continued to live in the 14th Street house, which still stands about two blocks south of Broadway.
Maggie continued to reside in Sacramento until her death at the age of 97 on Sept. 3, 1991.
As for the Pimentels’ former Riverside Boulevard home, Tony and Maggie sold the house to Don E. Garwood (1907-1980) and his wife, Edith E. (Noland) Garwood (1914-1996), in 1968. The Garwoods were the original proprietors of The Pocket Club at 5043 Freeport Blvd.
The more dominant structure shown on the right hand side of the aforementioned c. 1912 photograph is the building that would become The Trap, and was then known as Ingleside Inn.
Despite its misleading name, the business was not a place designated for offering overnight accommodations for guests.
Eventually, the name of the business was changed to Pimentel’s Ingleside Café and was unofficially known by many locals as Pimentel’s Saloon.
Tony and Maggie Pimentel are shown in their wedding photograph on Jan. 21, 1916. Photo courtesy of PHCS

Tony and Maggie Pimentel are shown in their wedding photograph on Jan. 21, 1916. Photo courtesy of PHCS

In addition to the building’s use as a bar, which was located on the larger, north side of the structure during its early years, groceries were displayed in the building’s smaller, southern section.
There were two entrances to the building, so that women and children did not have to walk through the bar.
Originally, the bar and grocery store in the building was owned by a single, Italian man.
Estimated by some people to have been built in the 1860s but at least before 1885, the building, like most other early historic sites of the area, was associated with the Portuguese.
The bar and grocery business became a Portuguese-owned place in 1912.
It was then that Tony’s mother, Anna Leonora Garcia Pimentel, who was then a widow for the second time, bought the bar and liquor license, so Tony could have a business of his own.
Since Tony was 19 years old at that time, and thus too young to legally work in a bar, he established a partnership with his non-Portuguese brother-in-law, Ernest “Alvin” Savoie, who was married to Tony’s half-sister, Ana “Annie” Garcia.
Tony supervised the grocery area in the building, while Alvin worked as the bartender.
Two years later, when he was of legal age to work in the bar, Tony became the business’ bartender.
During that era, the bar had an area with tables and chairs for relaxing or playing cards.
Because of the high concentration of Portuguese who were residing in the area at that time, the bar was mainly a place of socialization for Portuguese men of the area.
When the old bar and grocery store building was relocated to its present location, it was placed in an easterly to westerly position, as opposed to its former northerly to southerly position.
It was also at that point in the structure’s history that the smaller grocery area became the bar, and groceries were no longer sold in the building.
As for the greater sized area of the structure, it began to be used as an even larger sitting area, and occasionally on Saturday nights, it was used for dancing the Portuguese chamarrita with two musicians playing their string instruments.
Sometime after the bar building was moved, it was altered when a bedding space and kitchenette was added to the structure.
Eventually, Alvin became ill, at which time Tony purchased his interest in the bar. Alvin died at the age of 67 on Aug. 15, 1954.
Tony and Maggie later purchased an additional 15 acres adjacent to the bar and their home, and Tony began farming on that site.
As Tony’s interest in farming increased, he hired two of the Barsanti brothers, who lived in the Riverside area, to run the bar. And in 1930, Tony sold the bar.
In speaking about the operation of the bar during the years of Prohibition, Pocket historian Dolores (Silva) Greenslate said that This house, shown in its original location on Riverside Boulevard in March 1998, was constructed for the Pimentel family in 1924. Photo courtesy of PHCSProhibition had little affect on the bar.
“(The bar) was way out here in the Riverside-Pocket area with all the farmers and no inspectors came around here,” Greenslate said. “They had bigger fish to catch, plus this was just a beer and wine bar. (Inspectors) were more concerned about people bootlegging whiskey and things like that.”
Since Tony’s ownership of the bar, which was eventually known as the Ingleside Club, the business has changed proprietors several times.
One of those owners was Eileen Strange, who renamed the bar, The Trap.
As the story goes, in 1964, Strange decided to rename the bar after she had invited her friends to visit “the trap” that she acquired.
Strange, who was a former West Sacramento resident, lived at 4221 South Land Park Dr. during her proprietorship of The Trap.
The last owners of the bar, while it was operating under the name Ingleside Club, were Manuel and Ernie Simas, who were relatives from an old Pocket Portuguese family.
Manuel Simas, who resided at 7594 Pocket Road, and Ernie Simas, who lived at 7572 Pocket Road, purchased the bar in about 1959 from the bar’s previous owner, Jerry Andrews, who made his home in the upper level of the bar building.
In about 1967, Martin L. and Iona Kroeker, who were residents of the nearby town of Freeport, became the new proprietors of The Trap.
Other later owners of the bar were Glen Kelly (1968-69), Don M. Redmond and Donald Hart (1970-72), Jack L. Pugh (1973-77), West Yeargin (1978-79) and Mousa Tayyeb (1980-83).
Many longtime patrons of The Trap fondly remember Kathi Acquah, who owned the bar from about 1984 until her death in about 2005.
A later owner of The Trap, Rich Crudo (1947-2010), was the father of the establishment’s present owners, Jen (Crudo) Kelly, Veronica Crudo, Matt Crudo and Melissa (Crudo) Jimenez.
As presented in the last edition of this publication, Veronica Crudo expressed her concern regarding the future existence of The Trap in relation to its proximity to the soon-to-be-constructed school.
Although people directly associated with the bar and the school have stated that they intend for both places to coexist, of course, only time will tell if The Trap, which is one of the few pioneer structures in the area, will become a longtime neighbor of the school.
And whether future generations will have the opportunity to view the possibly 150-plus-year-old bar, one thing remains indisputable: it is obvious that the new Brookfield School site is a place of much history.

Lance@valcomnews.com

‘A Sacramento Burlesque’: Sacramento County Historical Society honored achievements related to local history with awards and dance performance

A new generation nostalgic for the revival of the burlesque emerged with a live performance in front of former dignitaries and regional historians at the Sacramento County Historical Society’s 2014 awards dinner and fundraiser held at the Dante Club on Tuesday, March 25.

From the preservation of historic buildings, to the documentation of history in the written word, to live reenactments, the annual event recognizes Sacramentans who have worked tirelessly to keep history alive. In attendance were history makers, including former mayors Anne Rudin and R. Burnett Miller, as well as former burlesque dancer Patty Russell.

Awarded this year, in the category of education, was the Sacramento History Museum Gold Rush program; for preservation, local business owner Chris Pendarvis for restoring the former Primo’s Swiss Club to its historical glory with its reincarnation as Arthur Henry’s Supper Club and Ruby Room; for publications, Valley Community Newspapers’ writer Lance Armstrong for his ongoing history series; and the special achievement award went to Thom Lewis, president of the West Sacramento Historical Society for demonstrating his passion of history of West Sacramento by co-authoring two books, published by Arcadia Press, titled West Sacramento and the Port of Sacramento, as well as curating the Museum and Visitor Center, the first museum in West Sacramento, which was established on Feb. 20, 2005.

The Bodacious Bombshells Burlesque Revue ended the annual dinner, titled “A Sacramento Burlesque”, with dance styles seen in Sacramento in the 1920s, 1940s and 1960s. Bombshells performer Bella Blue Eyes provided the first performance, set to 1920s jazz rhythms. Performer Chapelle interpreted the 1940s and 1950s, featuring big-band jazz music of the sort heard in West End jazz clubs, and Sugar Cheeks provided the third performance to the music of the 1960s.

Through out the night, members of the Bodacious Bombshells visited with Russell (stage name Patty O’Farrell), former professional burlesque dancer, who complimented Chappelle’s performance of staying true to the art form with her focus on “the tease.”

“She told me that I did wonderfully, that she loved my glove work and that I had captured the essence of classic burlesque. Coming from a legend it made my night. She shared with me a little about her history and current goals. We didn’t get to talk as much as I would have liked. We are going to have lunch once I’m back in town and free,” Chapelle said.

Batty Brulée, the marketing director for the Bombacious Bombshells, said she has loved burlesque since she was a young child, and is excited about her upcoming debut at ‘We’re All Bad Here—An Alice in Wonderland Burlesque Adventure’ on Saturday, April 12 at 8:30 p.m. at the Colonial Theatre. “I have loved burlesque since I was 5 years old. The (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) cartoons – the ones with the wolf and the dog and the girl. I wanted to be that girl and now I am,” she said.

Miller said when he was younger, he frequented a local parlor at 4th and K streets. In a short interview with this publication, he recalled his time spent there: “It ran for a long time. I went in the army, and when I came out, it was, to my amazement, still going. I had a good friend whose father owned it. I always wished I could own a burlesque parlor.” Miller said he was never terribly active with the historical society. “I had a lot of friends who were very active. They dragged me. I just come to the events.”

A member of the Sacramento County Historical Society since “forever,” Rudin was the first woman to be directly elected as mayor by Sacramento voters, a position she held from 1983 to 1992. “I figured (the Sacramento County Historical Society) was something I should be a part of, since I was a big part of history. I didn’t think I had that colorful of a life, but now that I’ve been through so much, I’ve been writing down my experiences for myself and my family (in the form of essays.) I never kept a diary. That’s something I regretted–that I didn’t write down things that happened to me from day to day, especially after I was in office. Now that I am distanced from it, I have begun thinking about it and I am now writing essays to myself, for myself, about things that have happened to me, people I’ve met – the things that made me enjoy my work on the city council and as mayor.”

Upon introducing the honorees, Sacramento County Historical Society president Greg Voelm, said: “Because history is our story, we’ve been telling it for 60 years here in Sacramento, and now, two to three generations of people have carried on the tradition. That’s how our kids know. People will defend what they love but they can’t love something they don’t know. So tonight we’re going to thank some of the people that have carried on the tradition to tell people the exciting story of the city that brought you the Gold Rush.”

The first award of the night for the category, education, went to the Sacramento History Museum Gold Rush program, which engages fourth grade students from the greater Sacramento area. Accepting on behalf of the program were volunteers Becci Hanna, Debbie Sockolov, and Kathy Brunetti.

Sockolov said she believes one’s love of history is an innate trait. “I think it’s something you’re born with.” From Sacramento, with a degree in history from Sacramento State University, Sockolov said it was a no-brainer to volunteer with the program. “I just like giving back to the kids. I want the kids to experience going back in history and to look at the Sacramento River and imagine what it was like, whether there were goats coming down or walk around the buildings. Most of us make it very fun, so even if they don’t like history, it’s a very interactive. They get to pan for gold. But you can tell your little history nerds immediately in a group of kids. Within 30 seconds, you can tell which are enthralled and that was me. I was the history nerd.”

On the flip-side, Hanna said she didn’t know she cared about history until she actually went to the opening of the Sacramento History Museum. “Having lived here all my life, I thought, well, this is wonderful. So I got involved. I went to the opening and then I got involved many years later doing Gold Rush Days because a fellow I knew needed people to come. So I started with volunteerism and I got to liking it a lot. And then I realized I really like history. I like it now because you don’t just have to remember dates. You get to interpret. You get to talk about the people, make them real.”

Like Hanna, Brunetti’s love for local history is a relatively new endeavor. A former Agriculture Program Supervisor for the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, Brunetti said she tells the children today why she volunteers. “I had a student ask me, how much do you get paid to do this? You do it as a volunteer because you couldn’t get paid to have so much fun. I am a little bit of a ham and I like acting out in front of the kids.”

William Burg, past president of the Sacramento County Historical Society and current president of the Old City Association, said last year there was pretty amazing progress in the city of Sacramento. There was the third floor of the Governor’s Mansion, the renovation of the library at the courts building, but the selection for the excellence in preservation award was for a little more of a “mundane” project. “It’s a relatively typical business building on a relatively typical business street that has been crying for attention for a long time,” Burg said.

Once a dilapidated, abandoned building in Oak Park on Broadway, Pendarvis took the former Primo’s Swiss Club and restored it to its historical glory. Arthur Henry’s Supper Club and Ruby Room, 3406 Broadway, with a full bar, a lounge with nightly music, and upscale restaurant. “(Pendarvis) restored the upstairs apartments, which represents a change in the weather in that neighborhood. Instead of an abandoned, decaying building with a vacant lot next to it, it’s a thriving local business with residents with opportunities nearby for investment in the community. And we’re seeing new buildings going up across the street, which is called the Broadway Triangle project. This is just the sort of idea the Sacramento Old City Association wants to represent is the grand buildings of Sacramento coming back together and being open to the public. It’s fantastic and it’s a wonderful accomplishment…Also they serve a pretty good steak.”

Lana Palhaumas, a West Sacramento resident and member of the Sacramento County Historical Society, said she nominated Lewis for the special achievement award because she “felt it was time to show some appreciation” for his exhibits in the history gallery, located in the West Sacramento Community Center, 1075 West Capitol Ave. “(Lewis) has a real skill and appreciation for California history and local history and he works with the Yolo County Historical Society at the Gibson House in Woodland. He featured our journey series with the first families of East Yolo. The exhibits focused on early Portuguese and Hispanic communities of West Sacramento,” Palhaumas said.

As it has been discussed at length, The Sacramento County Historical Society members share a love of history in a variety of ways – bringing it to life and making it happen. They welcome your participation. To get involved, visit http://www.sachistoricalsociety.org/

Brookfield School project underway behind The Trap bar

This artist’s rendering shows how the future Brookfield School is scheduled to appear. The school site is located at Riverside Boulevard and 43rd Avenue. Photo courtesy of Brookfield School

This artist’s rendering shows how the future Brookfield School is scheduled to appear. The school site is located at Riverside Boulevard and 43rd Avenue. Photo courtesy of Brookfield School

For many years, a 5-acre piece of property has lied vacant behind The Trap, a historic bar at 6125 Riverside Blvd. But that status is about to change.
Work crews arrived on Thursday, March 20 to begin the preliminary work for the construction of the first school-owned facility of Brookfield School, a local, private institution, which was founded in 1962 and has been leasing classrooms of the Congregation B’nai Israel at 3600 Riverside Blvd. in Land Park for several decades.
Many Riverside-Pocket area residents recall a large, wooden sign that once stood a short distance from the bar on the south side of the property.
The sign featured the words, “Brookfield School, pre-K-8th grade, opening fall 2013.”
But as the months passed by and there was no evidence that the school project would even begin by the fall of 2013, the sign was removed from the site.
In speaking about the project’s delay, Dr. Jo Gonsalves, principal of Brookfield School, said, “It was a financing delay. It was typical things that happen when you’re trying to pull together a big project. There were some finance glitches and finally things have been worked out and are moving forward.”
And after that long delay in preparing the property for the construction of the new location of the Brookfield School, work crews finally arrived.
The project is being performed by DesCor Builders, a $40 million general contractor and construction company based in Rancho Cordova. The company was named after its founders, Brad Des Jardin and Neal Cordeiro.
Among the notable projects completed by DesCor are the Natomas Gateway Corporate Center, the College Square Shopping Center, the historic Folsom streetscapes revitalization project, the Coca-Cola Bottling Co.’s 102,000-square-foot warehouse expansion and the IHOP Arden Center’s 3,310-square-foot tenant improvement.
Last week, Dwayne Taylor, project superintendent for the Brookfield School project, shared details about the status of the project, which he said was planned about two years ago.
“The plan is to have (the project) completed by the start of the school year,” Taylor said. “Ideally, the owners want it done by Sept.1, but there are always delays and there are always issues, and that’s what we’re arm wrestling with now. We’re just cleaning up (the site). We haven’t done any grading or anything.”
During the recent work to prepare the property for the construction of the school, a significant number of trees were saved.
A temporary fence, which was installed on March 21, currently surrounds the project area.
Taylor explained that important details of the project are not yet in place.
“The project directory hasn’t even been issued yet,” Taylor said. “I think there have only been three or four subs actually contracted for the job. Although the drawings have been submitted to the building department and we’re awaiting permits, there have been changes up until the 11th hour. So, we don’t even know what we’re dealing with until we get all the final documents.”
The new school structures will be built in two phases.
The first phase will feature seven individual classroom buildings with multiple classrooms in each building.
Phase two will consist of a preschool and a main building structure.
In speaking about Brookfield School, which has about 150 students, Gonsalves said, “We are a K through 8th (grade) school. We will be opening a preschool as part of an addition feeder to our school. It is essentially an accelerated (learning), private school. It’s a nondenominational, independent school. We’re not affiliated with any church.”
The school’s mission statement reads: “Brookfield provides a challenging academic foundation grounded in a rigorous basic curriculum with the objective of developing independent, young people of courage, integrity and compassion.”
With an enthusiastic tone to her voice, Gonsalves said, “(Relocating the school) is a big change for us. I think it will be very positive. It will be very nice to have a very modern, energy conscious facility with a nice playing field for our students and a blacktop area, and better security and so forth. I think it will be a real plus for our school and for the kids.
“This is a stellar program. We have the best teachers, the best students, the best parents, and the thing that we lacked was a facility that would really match the program and the people that it served. It’s very exciting to have a first-rate facility.”
Pocket resident Veronica Crudo, a former school teacher in Modesto and a former training specialist for the Sacramento City Unified School District, became a partial owner of The Trap with her three siblings following the death of their father in 2010.
Tractors are shown on the property behind The Trap on March 20. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Tractors are shown on the property behind The Trap on March 20. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Early last week, Crudo shared her feelings about the efforts to establish a school next to the landmark bar, which dates back to the 19th century, when the Riverside-Pocket area was rich with Portuguese-owned and operated farmlands.
“I’m a little bit worried what’s going to happen later on down the line,” Crudo said. “I’m afraid that restrictions will be put on us at some point, because I think everybody can agree that a bar and a school cannot mix. It’s an odd combination. (The Trap has) always been a bar of some sort. I’d like to hold onto that, too. I like the idea that (the school does not) find us threatening, because this is not a threatening place at all. But there has to be that worry (about losing the bar due to its vicinity to the future school site). It’s silly not to worry about it. I spoke those words to the owner (of Brookfield School) yesterday (March 24) and he said he maintains that he has no intentions of closing our business down. And I said, ‘I hear what you’re saying, but I have to keep that in the back of my mind.’”
Crudo explained that she was disappointed with the lack of communication that she experienced in regard to the project’s recent developments.
“I thought the school was a no-go,” Crudo said. “I was told by the owner that it was (a no-go), and he had what he called a last attempt, Hail Mary, and it went through for him. So, he told us two weeks ago, Sunday (March 9). So, when the sign went down and the rest of the Pocket thought the school was a no-go, so did we. I specifically asked the owner of Brookfield, when we met, what was going up and I wanted to share the community’s concern, because, of course, I’m here at the bar every day and people are asking (questions about the site) and I don’t have answers. And I asked him what was happening with the school. He told us at that time that (the school project) was not happening, but he was planning on developing the land. We were happy about that because, of course, we want it developed, too, and apartment or businesses would be good right alongside the bar, I think. But I was happy to hear that a school was not going through. On Sunday, the 16th (of March) at a meeting with our siblings and a lawyer, he said, in fact, the school was going to go through. Then on Monday, (March 17), the surveyors were out here. I was here Monday morning and I saw them marking spots, and I saw (workers) out here on Tuesday.”
Crudo added that she and many people in the Pocket were never notified about a recent community meeting, which detailed the school project.
In commenting about the school’s proximity to The Trap, Taylor said, “There’s no intention of getting rid of the bar, and that’s probably the underlying blessing in the whole thing is because it’s a private school. If (the school) was public, there can’t be a drinking establishment within 1,000 feet. Then you get into historical landmark and grandfathering in and all these definitions of the actual ordinance. Whether there’s an ordinance or a code, all that plays into it, and you just don’t know until you know. The city officials could step up and say, ‘You know what? It’s fine,’ or they may say, ‘It’s time for it to go.’ We have no control over that, not because we’re building a school or a city park or a jungle gym or a gymnasium or another bar next to it. If the city says they’ve got to go, then they’ve got to go.”
Taylor added that he regularly speaks to Crudo in an attempt to accommodate The Trap the best he can during the school project.
Despite having her concerns with the soon-to-be-built school, in terms of being able to continue the operations of The Trap in the future, Crudo intends to establish quality relations with the school at its future Pocket area site.
“I can’t predict what kind of neighbors we will be, but everyone’s intention is to get along,” Crudo said.
Gonsalves speaks with a greater deal of confidence that the Brookfield School and The Trap will be able to coexist.
“We expect to be good neighbors and we hope and anticipate that they will (be good neighbors), as well,” Gonsalves said. “The way the school is configured, we have a fairly significant barrier between the little bar and where the children will actually be. There’s parking (and) there’s quite a lot of non-classroom, non-student populated space that serves as a pretty big buffer between us and the little bar. We’ve been very careful in designing the school with (the bar) in mind. Once the school is actually completed, I think it will make sense.”

Lance@valcomnews.com

Congratulations to our very own: Lance Armstrong

The Sacramento County Historical Society will recognize Valley Community Newspapers’s very own historical writer, Lance Armstrong, at its annual dinner, to be held Tuesday, March 25 at 6 p.m. at the Dante Club, 2330 Fair Oaks Blvd.

Lance Armstrong was born at Sutter Memorial Hospital in Sacramento and has had a lifelong interest in the rich history of his native city and region.

At a very young age, Lance excelled in English courses and writing proficiency and creativity, and as a teenager, he was awarded a special medal for his excellence in creative writing by the San Juan Unified School District.

It was also during his teenage years that he created his own single-page newspaper, which he distributed to friends in various states. And because of this fact, occasionally Lance has humorously told people that by the time he was 16 years old, he was the editor of a national newspaper.

Lance’s early interest in history led to his many years of researching local histories and preserving historical documents, photographs and other historical items from throughout Sacramento County and other areas of the Golden State in his vast personal collection, which is recognized as the Lance Armstrong Collection.

After graduating from California State University, Sacramento with degrees in journalism and music, Lance began his professional writing career, which includes his work for local newspapers such as the East Sacramento News, Land Park News, Arden-Carmichael News, Pocket News, Elk Grove Citizen, The Sacramento Union, Capitol Weekly, Sacramento Downtown News, Sacramento Midtown News, Old Sacramento News, Natomas Journal, The Folsom Telegraph and the Sacramento News and Review.

Lance, who is presently employed by Valley Community Newspapers in Sacramento, has used his knowledge, researching abilities and personal archives in the process of producing local history articles for each of these publications.

These informative and entertaining articles provide a valuable resource for the present and future understanding of the area’s rich history.

The majority of Lance’s local history articles include oral history quotations from his interviews with people from various levels of society.

His local history articles have been positively recognized by various newspapers and organizations.

For instance, in a review of local newspapers in the Jan. 8, 2009 edition of the Sacramento News and Review, one of that publication’s writers, Cosmo Garvin, wrote: “Lance Armstrong’s writing on Sacramento history is always interesting.”

In 2006, the Elk Grove Historical Society presented Lance with an honorary lifetime membership for his continuous articles and other efforts in preserving the 150-year history of the Sacramento County city of Elk Grove.

Lance, who is also a member of the Sacramento County Historical Society, received another honorary lifetime membership six years later from the Portuguese Historical and Cultural Society (PHCS) for “his work in documenting the lives and contributions of the many Portuguese and Portuguese descended persons who were instrumental in developing the Riverside-Pocket area of Sacramento.”

In commenting about the latter honor, PHCS President Mary Ann Marshall said, “We are very appreciative of the many Portuguese-related articles that (Lance) has written for the Pocket News and we are pleased with the opportunity we have to archive them for future generations to have access to them. Lance did a wonderful job in making these stories come to life.”

In another honor, Lance received national recognition from the Grand Lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, in 2011, for his article, “Elks Lodge No. 6 has extensive history in Sacramento.”

The article, which was first published in the January 7, 2010 edition of the Pocket News, was selected as the country’s best newspaper article written about the Elks that year.

In addition to his hundreds of local history newspaper articles, Lance is the author of Echoes of Yesterday: Elk Grove – the first book in his Echoes of Yesterday history book series.

In 2007, Echoes of Yesterday: Elk Grove was recognized as the nation’s top regional history book for that year by the American Authors Association.

Lance is presently nearing the completion of several comprehensive history books about Sacramento from the times of Captain John Augustus Sutter to present.

His other endeavors include his regular contributions as a professional newspaper photographer and volunteering as a judge at the annual Camellia Society of Sacramento Camellia Show Photography Contest. He is also a public speaker, a musician and an avid music memorabilia collector with an emphasis on collecting concert posters and LP records, ranging in genres from rock and blues to jazz and country.

St. Joseph’s Cemetery: A place of memories

St. Joseph’s Cemetery is located at 2615 21st St. Photo by Lance Armstrong

St. Joseph’s Cemetery is located at 2615 21st St. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Editor’s Note: This is part six in a series regarding Sacramento area cemeteries.

The 149-year-old St. Joseph’s Cemetery on 21st Street, just south of Broadway, is one of the city’s oldest existing cemeteries.
Regarding that cemetery and an earlier established Catholic cemetery, on Sept. 8, 1864, The Sacramento Union published the following words: “Several years ago, a tract of land was purchased on the Lower Stockton Road, four miles from the city, by the St. Rose Church for burial purposes, which was afterward known as St. Rose Cemetery. On account of the distance from the city, it was finally determined to abandon that locality as a cemetery and purchase a new one, more conveniently situated. A week or two ago, a tract of land was purchased, and yesterday the first interment in it took place. It is located south of Poverty Ridge and embraces about twenty acres. The ground was formerly known as Russell’s ranch, but was recently purchased of L. Stanford and others. No name has yet been adopted for the new cemetery.”
The first interment at St. Rose Cemetery was that of former Sacramento County Hospital steward Martin Kennedy, who was buried on November 18, 1860. The cemetery grounds were consecrated on May 12, 1861.
As part of the establishment of the new Catholic cemetery, which would become known as St. Joseph’s Cemetery, arrangements were made for the remains of those who were buried at St. Rose Cemetery to be transferred and reinterred at the newly acquired site.
A reference to the Catholic cemetery on today’s 21st Street appeared in an article in the April 21, 1893 edition of The Union.
It was noted in the article that the rails for a 21st Street branch of the electric railroad, which would extend south to St. Joseph’s, were in transit by ship and that the branch would be constructed as soon as the rails arrived.
Another 19th century article provides evidence that vandalism and thievery are far from new topics when it comes to cemeteries.
On Nov. 22, 1898, The Union ran an article, entitled “Graveyard raids.”
It was noted in that article that the headboard from the gravesite of the Silva children, who burned to death three years earlier, had been stolen during the night of Nov. 20, 1898 and then discarded in Capitol Park, where it was later discovered.
Also mentioned in the article were occurrences of the thievery of flowers from multiple Sacramento cemeteries.
Among the gravestones at the cemetery are those of priests and nuns, Civil War veterans and athletes.
One of the great tragedies on the Sacramento River involved the steamer Washoe.
While the Washoe was traveling about 35 miles below Sacramento on Sept. 5, 1864, about half of its 175 passengers were killed as a result of a boiler explosion on this vessel, and about half of the survivors were severely injured.
Among those who were killed by the explosion were Irishmen James O’Hara and John Cluney.
Two days following the Washoe explosion, O’Hara and Cluney became the first people to be buried at today’s St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
In another local tragedy, an automobile carrying four men was struck by a train on Feb. 1, 1925.
The collision proved fatal for the car’s passengers, Marian Sabich, 41, his cousin Mate Sabich, 29, John Puljiz, 41, and Marijan Bitanga, 28.

Lisa (Vierra) Turrentine places flowers at the grave of her great-grandmother, Maria Silveira Fuzila, at St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Photo by Lance Armstrong

Lisa (Vierra) Turrentine places flowers at the grave of her great-grandmother, Maria Silveira Fuzila, at St. Joseph’s Cemetery. Photo by Lance Armstrong

The resting places of these men, who were all local railroad workers, are located side by side at St. Joseph’s and include nearly identical gravestones.
Another person to be interred at St. Joseph’s was Antone Rodrigues Perry, who was born as Antone Rodrigues Pereira in Faial in the Azores islands on March 26, 1831.
In the early 1850s, Perry became one of the earliest, if not the earliest of the Portuguese to settle in today’s Pocket area.
Perry farmed in the upper Pocket area and during his early days as a farmer, he operated a freight produce business, in which he delivered fruits and vegetables to miners in mining communities northeast of Sacramento.
At the age of 34, Antone married Maria Gloria Silva and together, they eventually had 10 children.
In 1868 and 1869, Maria’s godfather, Manuel Da Rosa, and Antone purchased about a 44-acre parcel, which included the site of today’s Lewis Park at 6570 Park Riviera Way in the Pocket area.
Antone passed away on May 2, 1917, and in honoring him, as well as Maria, who died on Jan. 30, 1909, and five deceased infants and children of their family, during the late 1990s, several of his descendents worked on a project to have new markers placed at the Perry plot in the old section of the cemetery. The markers were installed on Dec. 9, 1999.
Sacramento native Lisa (Vierra) Turrentine, who has her own Portuguese heritage, is quite familiar with St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
In continuing the former work of her mother, Billie (McKinney) Vierra (1923-2006), Turrentine delivers flowers to the gravesites of her deceased ancestors at St. Joseph’s, St. Mary’s and East Lawn Memorial Park about nine days per year.
“My grandmother [Uva (White) McKinney] went to pay homage to her ancestors and relatives at East Lawn, because they contributed so much to our family. I know she took flowers there. Following in her footsteps, my mother would take flowers to East Lawn, as well as St. Joseph’s. I started going with my mother to the cemeteries after my father (John Vierra) passed away in 2002. I go to visit all of the different gravesites, because I just don’t think that those people should be forgotten. My daughter (Katie Roberts) occasionally goes to the cemeteries with me and I hope that she will (one day) take the torch and carry on the tradition.”
Turrentine, who graduated from Burbank High School in 1973, said that her cemetery visits eventually led her to the discovery of her great-grandmother’s gravesite at St. Joseph’s.
“When I was taking flowers to my grandmother’s (Maria Silveira Vierra) grave, there was a large tombstone next to her (gravesite) that had the name Maria Silveira Fuzila on it. I asked my uncle about it and he had never heard the name, Fuzila, before. The more I looked at it, the more curious I became. I always had an interest in my family history. I suspected that it could have been an aunt of my grandmother’s. I knew that her parents had both died when she was very young and she was raised by one of her aunts. So, I finally went downtown to the recorder’s office and requested a death certificate for Maria Silveira Fuzila. They asked me if it was a relative and I told them that I didn’t know and it could possibly be my great-grandmother. The clerk pulled up the death certificate and when she handed it to me and I saw the names on the death certificate, I knew that it was my great-grandmother. And I just literally got chills.”
Turrentine added that the confusion with the name on the tombstone was she knew of her great-grandmother solely as Mary Perry. Maria Silveira Fuzila was the daughter of Jose “Joseph” Pereira Beirao, who immigrated from Sao Jorge in the Azores islands to the United States in about 1854 and commonly used the Anglicized surname Perry.
With her initial success in discovering the burial site of her great-grandmother, Turrentine continues to expand her genealogical research and has also discovered that her aforementioned great-grandfather is buried in an unmarked grave next to her great-grandmother.
In regard to the latter years leading up to the opening of St. Mary’s Cemetery, The Sacramento Bee reported on Oct. 5, 1917, that during the previous night, the Curtis Oaks Improvement Club had made a decision to request that the city commission close St. Joseph’s Cemetery.
The article noted that Alfred J. Argall, the club’s president and a resident of 2208 2nd Ave., near the cemetery, would name a committee to appear before the city commission to present its opinions that the Catholic Cemetery Association should find other grounds for burials somewhere out in the country, and that further burials at St. Joseph’s should be discontinued.
Additionally, the article noted that the poor condition of a section of the old Freeport Boulevard, including the cemetery’s frontage area, was “retarding the development of the West Curtis Oaks and Curtis Oaks communities.”
The article mentioned that that section of the road, which was a main artery into the city, had been declared as one of Sacramento’s worst streets.
About 11 years would pass before a new Catholic cemetery site “out in the country” would be acquired and developed. That cemetery – St. Mary’s Cemetery – had its first burial in 1929.
St. Joseph’s Cemetery, which still has occasional burials, presents many opportunities for people to learn about Sacramento’s past. The cemetery is open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Lance@valcomnews.com