Patterson House Now Marked as a Historical Site
July 8th found nearly 80 people at the Patterson House Museum as the Native Daughters of the Golden West marked the house as a California historical site. The ceremony proceeded and the granite marker was carried to the pedestal by Bob Domenigoni, representing early pioneers, Pete Patterson, representing the family, and Ed Kinney, who with his wife Mary, donated the house to the historical society. After the ceremony refreshments were served by the Daughters of the Golden West and tours of the museum took place. At the dedication the museum also received some new artifacts to add to our growing collection. Pete Patterson donated some of Clarence Pattersons blacksmithing and hand made mechanic tools. Also donated was a copy of Angie Pattersons 1919 diary. We would like to thank all of those who attended and the Native Daughters of the Golden West.
Plans are underway to place a time capsule into the marker and then place the granite marker securely in place. Among the artifacts we will add are the news stories connected with the event. If anyone has any other suggestions what to place in the capsule please let us know.
1889 Diary Stirs Interest
As we have reported in past issues an 1889 diary was located in Oregon in a thrift store. We have recently learned it was not found in an old suit as previously believed. The diary was donated by Linda Holk to the San Jacinto Museum. Mary Whitney transcribed the diary and the Hemet News ran an article about the diary. This started a flurry of activity to try to find out who wrote the document about his life in Winchester for most of 1889. We contacted the Arizona archivists to see what information they might have since he went there to teach in a school in Cerbat, Az. The information they graciously sent us sadly provided no clues. We dug into some early San Jacinto Register newspapers that we had copied from microfilm at the Hemet Public Library for any clues. From the Register we found three references that we could link to the diary and thus came up with a name we feel is correct, John L. Childs. Copies of the diary are available from the historical society. We also plan to publish portions of the diary in the newsletter as space permits. We would like to thank all of those involved in this quest to find more information.
We are participating in the development of a county wide historical tourism plan. Plans are to try to set up a plan that will draw people to the area. Locally the museums of the San Jacinto Valley are developing a brochure to feature all our museums. This brochure should be out in the next few weeks and be distributed to local museums, chambers, and RV parks. After this is done we plan to try to develop a map of areas with significant sites that people may visit. Also our society is trying to develop a photo/slide presentation on some of these sites we can take to groups to show what the San Jacinto Valley has to offer historically. By our next issue we will have brochures available and mail them to all members.
Garbani Homestead Becomes National Historical Site
On December 22nd last year the Rocco Garbani homestead was placed on the National Register of Historical Places. The homestead is located on the west recreation area of the Diamond Valley Lake located in the Domenigoni Valley. At last word Metropolitan Water District was planning to use the site as an interpretive center. Hopefully this site will reflect our rich historical agricultural past when the recreation area finally opens.
Winter is coming and we have to paint the windows and casings before the rains come. Now the problem. What color shall we paint them. Those of you who can remember what color they were years ago can help us. If you know what color Tilla had on them please contact the society.
New Support Group Formed
Have a family member in jail or prison. Need help and support. Yellow Ribbons Friends, a newly formed support group can help you. They meet every Monday at 6:30 P.M. at the Winchester United Methodist Church. If you want more information feel free to call Bonnie St. Jean at (909) 926-1768
New Pre-school Opening
The Hemet Unified School District is opening a pre- school with the opening of the new school year. The school is located on the northeast corner of the new enlarged Winchester-Domenigoni Park. The historical society along with other groups in the area are petitioning the District to name the new school after long time Winchester resident Tom E Gatling who passed away a few years ago. The District will be meeting on Oct. 17th at 6:30 P.M. to decide on our request. If they decide to name the facility for Tom we may have a duel dedication as the new enlarged Winchester-Domenigoni Park will be re-dedicated on November 10th at 6:00 P.M. Plans are underway to have a "FREE" BBQ in conjunction with the park dedication. Just in case you wondered the park was named for Amy Winchester who lent her name to our town and Angelo Domenigoni, the grandson of the founder of Domenigoni Valley.]
Museum Closed October 14th and 15th
Unless we can find a docent (museum sitter) for this weekend the museum will be closed as the curator will be attending his 40th high school class re-union. If you would like to volunteer to be a docent please contact the society.
Rummage Sale Planned
Mark your calendars!!!!! October 7th will see our next museum rummage sale. If you would like to donate any goods, volunteer to work, or just buy some of our "quality" rummage make sure to keep this day open.
This sale is one of our ways to raise funds to continue operations and restoration of the Patterson House. The Museum will be open for tours. The hours for the sale are from 8:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.
Winchester Fire Station News
The new fire engine is due to arrive Sept. 5th and be ready to roll. This engine is the type used in a populated area. Also the squad that is owned by the volunteer firefighters now sports the name "Winchester."
At the community welcoming BBQ sponsored by the Winchester Homeowners Association a couple of donations were presented by the Woman's Club and the Chamber of Commerce. We are informed that new patio furniture is in place and that the pump and hoses for the new Jaws of Life for the engine have been purchased. The group still needs to buy the spreaders, jaws and rams for it to be used. Price tag about $10,000.
The volunteer company are always looking for new volunteers. If you would like to join, stop by any Wed. night at 7:00 P.M. to see what you can do. Many full time firefighters started out as a volunteer.
On another note in regards to the safety of all it is nice to see that the county has completed paving Columbia south of Simpson so that the fire engines need no longer go past the school during school hours.
Gary Wanczuk, A Rawson Descendant Passes Away
We are saddened to report the passing of Gary Wanczuk on Aug. 23rd. Mr. Wanczuk was often seen at meetings that dealt with the Diamond Valley Lake and also attended the yearly Pioneer Picnic. We often spoke to him about life on the Rawson Ranch south of Winchester. He had retired recently and had said he was working on a family history. He was also working with the county on the endangered species issue facing the area. Our condolences go to his family and many friends.
A Life's Journey
At the dedication of the Patterson House in July a short speech about the life of Tilla Patterson was given. The speech was impromptu so we will give it here as best as can be remembered.
Take a journey with us back to the late 1800's. Born in November of 1870 in Ashland, Oregon. Next you move with your parents and other children to Yountville, Ca. In Northern California. At the age of 12 your father comes to the Winchester area and finds an area he feels is right for him. He brings his family south and as you pass through Los Angeles your mother gathers the seeds for growing the pepper trees that grace your future home for all your adult life. You ride across the lands and as you enter Pleasant Valley you note that there is not a tree in sight. What a shock this must have been.
As a teenager she is sent to San Jacinto by her father to learn the telegraph key. When the station opens in Winchester you become, at the tender age of 20, the station agent. You will serve for 39 years, the longest for anyone on the line between Perris and San Jacinto. When your station closes you are offered another post but you choose to stay in your home. You also serve as a Western Union telegrapher. You serve as a Wells Fargo Agent from at least 1892 to 1918, the longest serving female agent in California. You also help form the Winchester Woman's Club and serve as an officer for many years. Your station is home of the club meetings for many years. You also serve as a county librarian with the station being a library when books are sent by rail to you. In the late 1920's you marry, running off to Arizona to wed Frank Hudson. After retirement you tend your homestead. Losing your sight you still manage with help from people in the community to keep up the family home. On July 18, 1967 Tilla passed away at the age of 96.