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Museum Musings

From the Desk of the Museum Director

Do you ever stop to think what life was like 100 years ago? So much has happened in the world the last 100 years.

Almost every week, someone comes into the museum to; bring a photo; ask a question about the history of a home on Hazel Street; find out about a family that lived here long ago. Some memories can help another person solve the mystery of their family. Why did they come here? What did they do for a living? What hardships did they encounter?

One day a husband and wife happened to drop in to see the museum as they were driving through Gridley. They had stopped by the Gridley-Biggs Cemetery just to look around. It was around the lunch hour so there wasn’t anyone in the office there. It just so happened that they stumbled on family members who had lived in Gridley when it was first populated. They learned about people they never knew existed. As they drove south on Highway 99, they saw the sign that said museum with an arrow pointing down Hazel Street. They found us open and started to look around when I asked where they were from and if they had ever visited Gridley before. They said no but they believed their relatives were here and are buried in the cemetery. I asked the name of the family and they replied the “Borrowman”. I replied that yes the Borrowman’s had indeed lived in Gridley. We exchanged email addresses and they went on their way. Later in the week I came across a photo with identifying captions on the back and discovered that two Borrowman women had worked in the Hunt’s Cannery. This photo was taken around 1910. I contacted them and sent a copy of the photo. The wife wrote back and said that one was her Great-grandmother and that she had just recently learned about her and had never seen a picture of her. The other Borrowman woman was the wife of a son of the older woman.

We solved one mystery and probably stirred up many more for this family. If you have any information on early settlers let us know or maybe we can help solve your mysteries.


Museum Happenings

Again, things are happening at the Museum. Thursday, November 13 and Friday, November 14, some new floor covering will be laid in three of the upstairs rooms.  Following that, there will be minor repairs to the stairs and floor covering will be added to the hallway and stairs.  More information will come your way when new exhibits will be available for your viewing pleasure in those spaces.

The annual Christmas Light Parade in Historic Downtown Gridley will be held, Thursday, December 4, 2014.  Santa Claus will be available for photo opportunities following the parade at the Gridley Museum.  Bring your kiddos and don’t forget your camera.

If you are a history buff or know of one, the Museum has a great selection of books on the history of our area for sale.  Be sure to visit us this holiday season.