Participating Authors

2018 Author Appearances

(Visit our list of this year's Exhibitors.)

Vanessa Garcia

In See You at the Seven: Stories from the Bay Area’s Last Original Mile House, 7 Mile House owner Vanessa Garcia reveals its humble beginnings, the notorious exploits of its early owners, and the heart and humanity of the people over the past 160 years. Joined by award-winning editor Regina Abuyuan, the book covers astounding ground through hours worth of interviews with old regulars, employees, and historians. She traces its roots from 1858, when it began as a toll gate, to being an illegal gambling den and later becoming a melting pot of blue-collar workers. Alongside the never-before discussed history and photographs of Bayshore and Brisbane, 7 Mile House’s old denizens share personal stories both touching and amusing. Vanessa Garcia started her career as a musician in the Philippines and later became a public relations specialist in the Bay Area. She took over the 7 Mile House in 2004 and transformed it into an award-winning family and dog-friendly restaurant, sports bar, and live music venue. Read more →

Tracy Salcedo

Imagine hiking through the graveyard of an old black diamond mine, wandering along the faultline that caused the 1906 earthquake, climbing through the hills near John Muir’s Bay Area fruit farm, or strolling the gardens of an empire builder’s mansion. Hiking Through History San Francisco Bay Area: 41 Hikes from Lands End to the Top of Mount Diablo includes more than forty descriptions to hikes that explore the history of the Bay Area, from Mount Saint Helena in the Wine Country to the quicksilver mines of New Almaden in San Jose. Tracy Salcedo has also written collections of essays exploring the histories of Yosemite National Park and Denali National Park and Preserve. Tracy Salcedo is also the author of Historic Yosemite National Park and Historic Denali National Park and Preserve, Hiking Lassen Volcanic National Park, Best Hikes Sacramento, Exploring California’s Missions and Presidios, and Best Easy Day Hikes guides to the Bay Area and Lake Tahoe. Her family history on her mother’s side goes back six generations in San Francisco. Read more →

Richard Schwartz

Richard Schwartz is the author of The Man Who Lit Lady Liberty, The Extraordinary Rise and Fall of Actor M. B. Curtis. Ground-breaking actor M. B. Curtis cut his teeth in the San Francisco wild theater scene in the 1870s. In 1880 he turned an idea for a play he developed for the Bohemian Club into a record-shattering play and was the first Jewish actor to be allowed to play a Jewish character onstage. He was a pioneer in the silent movies, a hotelier, a developer and accused of murdering a San Francisco police officer. Curtis is the only citizen to personally pay to light the Statue of Liberty when Congress refused to do so right after its dedication. Even Teddy Roosevelt was compared to his theatrical character, and Mark Twain requested Curtis produce a play of one of Twain’s books. Richard is also the author of Berkeley 1900, Daily Life at the Turn of the Century; Earthquake Exodus 1906, Berkeley Responds to the San Francisco Refugees; Eccentrics, Heroes and Cutthroats of Old Berkeley; and The Circle of Stones, An Investigation of the Circle of Stones of Stampede Valley, Sierra County, California. Richard Schwartz was born and raised in Philadelphia. He... Read more →

Richard Hurley

Richard Hurley holds degrees from Harvard and Berkeley and wrote for the Harvard Lampoon. He worked for the Oakland Museum, designing exhibits for the History Division and supervising artifact restoration. Richard recently guest-curated an exhibit on “California and the Civil War” for the Folsom History Museum. Richard’s book, California and the Civil War (The History Press, 2016),  traces the political and military history of the Golden State, revealing how bitterly divided the sate was in 1861. Featured are stories of men of honor like General Albert Sidney Johnston – a Southern sympathizer whose refusal to betray his officer’s oath spared California from partisan war – and San Francisco’s gifted orator, the Reverend Thomas Starr King, whom Abraham Lincoln dubbed “the man who saved California for the Union.” The show also depicts the exploits of daring Rebel partisans, determined to act for the Confederacy in California, and the California Volunteers, who held them in check. He is also author of Queen of the Northern Mines – a Novel of the Civil War in California. The tale is set in California’s Gold Country and was a finalist for the IBPA Ben Franklin Award for Historical Fiction. Read more →

Richard Di Giacomo

Richard Di Giacomo graduated from SJSU with a B.A. in Ancient and Medieval history, a B.A. in Social Science and an M.A. in American History. He has taught in private and public schools for more than 25 years. He is the author of several books, including Historical Gems of the San Francisco Bay Area and Ohlone Teacher’s Resource.  The San Francisco Bay Area is loaded with fascinating and unique historical sites that represent a broad range of historical events and eras. A resident of the Bay Area or a tourist in town for a few days can see a wide range of historical sites all within a day’s drive of San Francisco. This book may also be useful for a teacher or parent who is looking for an educational field trip which ties in with the child’s curriculum in a history, literature, or science class. Others may find it interesting to learn more about the Native Americans or pioneer settlers in a local community. So, whether you are just curious about what is inside that old historical house in your neighborhood, want to know how a specific historical event played out in your area, or are just looking for an interesting day... Read more →

Nick and Betty Veronico

Depression-Era Sculpture of the Bay Area (Arcadia Publishing, 2017) Book Synopsis: The Great Depression was a terrible blow for the Bay Area’s thriving art community. A few private art projects kept a small number of sculptors working, but for the majority, prospects of finding new commissions were grim. By the mid-1930s, Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal program had gathered steam, and assistance was provided to the nation’s art community. Salvation came from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), which employed thousands of artists to produce sculpture for public venues. The Bay Area art community subsequently benefitted from the need to fill the then-forthcoming Golden Gate International Exposition (GGIE) with sculpture of all shapes and sizes. As bad as the Depression was, its legacy more than 80 years on is one of beauty. The Bay Area is dotted with sculpture from this era, the majority of it on public display. Depression-Era Sculpture of the Bay Area is a visual tour of this artistic bounty. Nicholas A. Veronico and Betty S. Veronico have extensively researched art produced by the various programs of the WPA. Nicholas is an award-winning author and historian, having written or coauthored more than 40 books on local history, military, and transportation subjects, including Arcadia Publishing’s Depression-Era... Read more →

Monika Trobits

Monika Trobits is the author of Antebellum and Civil War San Francisco: A Western Theatre for Northern & Southern Politics (Arcadia Publishing, 2014) and an upcoming second book that explores the San Francisco Bay Area through the rise, fall and renaissance of coffee. San Francisco in the mid-19th century, an instant city, geographically isolated in the West, yet fated to be the gateway for a worldwide migration in search of golden dreams. Argonauts rushed west from the Northern and Southern states, seemingly leaving behind the political and economic slavery-related tensions of the era only to find that it had all traveled west with them. Thousands made the arduous journey to San Francisco, a boomtown, fraught with daily dramas, political rivalries and heated battles over pending statehood. Monika Trobits has been studying San Francisco history since the mid-1980s, evolving into a local historian, a long-time walking tour docent/guide and a published writer of non-fiction works about the city. Read more →

Lee Bruno

The waterfront is where it all began for San Francisco. It’s where untold numbers of adventurers and fortune-hunters first stepped foot upon the land that embodied possibility. It’s where ships from around the world, carrying sea-faring gold seekers, maritime traders, free-spirited mavericks, and hopeful immigrants, came to anchor. And it’s where the unconventional, opportunistic, and indefatigable embarked. Misfits, Merchants & Mayhem: Tales from San Francisco’s Historic Waterfront, 1849–1934 shares the stories of exceptional newcomers and outliers, whose intrepid spirits helped to transform a small port into one of the most beautiful, unpredictable, and beloved cities in the world. Lee Bruno explores nearly a century of waterfront history, ranging from the Gold Rush to the Jazz Age, telling the tales of the enterprising entrepreneurs, reckless financiers, tireless reformers, visionary architects and city planners, and bohemian artists, musicians, and poets who all heeded the call of promise. With more than 100 historical images, Misfits, Merchants & Mayhem celebrates the famous (and infamous) characters whose charismatic personalities and perseverance created the institutions, businesses, and cultural fabric of San Francisco. Lee Bruno has been digging into San Francisco’s rich history ever since discovering his great grandfather Reuben Hale’s inspiring letters and speeches. Lee, who... Read more →

Laura Smith Borrman

A good, stiff drink. A tender, tangy crumb. A creamy, mushroom-studded noodle dish that tastes like mom’s cooking. Beefy comfort food that is really just that: a pile of perfectly seasoned ground beef (with a secret, simple ingredient, egg). And a quintessential ice cream sandwich that speaks of childhood and adult cravings and amusement park summers. These are the legacy foods and drinks of San Francisco – the martini, sourdough bread, chicken tetrazzini, Joe’s special, the It’s-It, and so many more – with hotly disputed origin stories and beautiful modern expressions by revered chefs and barkeeps across the city and beyond. Iconic San Francisco Dishes, Drinks and Desserts features bartenders, chefs, culinary historians, and fans speaking about the city’s famous contributions to the food and booze scene. Stories and recipes await you. California native Laura Smith Borrman is a writer, editor, story gatherer, lover of food and drink, and author of Discovering Vintage San Francisco: a guide to the city’s timeless eateries, bars, shops & more (2015) and Wine Country Chef’s Table (2012). She has worked in pastry kitchens, culinary travel, public radio, research, and the corporate world. She’s a mother of two, and lives with her husband and children... Read more →

Laura A. Ackley

San Francisco’s Jewel City: The Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 is a multiple award-winning account of the city’s greatest World’s Fair. Even as it recovered from the 1906 earthquake, San Francisco hosted the Exposition, becoming a center of beauty and progress. On the city’s northern waterfront, courtyards, formal gardens, and eleven Beaux-Arts palaces made up a miniature city resplendent in Mediterranean hues.  Each palace hosted a thrilling array of exhibits and events that showed off the young century’s achievements and possibilities. Over it all, the forty-three-story Tower of Jewels sparkled with 100,000 cut glass jewels. This lavishly illustrated volume is as much a triumph as the fair itself. San Francisco’s Jewel City takes readers on an in-depth tour of the PPIE, revealing the dramas of constructing the fair and the displays of culture and industry that awaited within the exposition walls. Along the way, we meet famous (and infamous) visitors, such as Theodore Roosevelt, Helen Keller, Thomas Edison, and Buffalo Bill Cody. Historian Laura A. Ackley’s compelling text is unparalleled in its breadth of scope and richness of detail, providing social and political context for the fair and offering insight into its legacy today. Laura Ackley, author of San Francisco’s Jewel... Read more →

Kristine Poggioli and Carolyn Eidson

SF’s 49 Mile Scenic Drive was created for the 1939 Golden Gate Expo—and it’s been a big hit ever since. The iconic blue and orange seagull route markers direct visitors and locals on a big loop trail around the best of SF. Kristine Poggioli: native, copywriter, U. C. Berkeley History Major. Carolyn Eidson: filmmaker, comedian, SF Scooter Girl, passionate Weight Watcher Leader. Kristine and Carolyn are the first people known to have walked the entire SF 49 Mile Scenic Drive – not in one day (sheesh!) – over one year. They did it by breaking the route into 17 three mile walks. They had so much fun and saw so many new things they turned the adventure into a guide book. Walking San Francisco’s 49 Mile Drive is full of helpful maps, points of interest, and tons of SF history. They will share their adventure and the most-likely-true history they discovered on their journey. Read more →

John Robinson

John V. Robinson is an award-winning writer and photojournalist who has published eight books with a focus on the historic bridges of the San Francisco Bay Area. He specializes in photographing heavy construction work with a focus on bridge construction and the men and women who do the work. Robinson visits construction sites and does detailed photo essays of the iron workers, pile drivers, carpenters, laborers, and crane operators who do this demanding and dangerous work. He frequently collects oral histories of the workers. He is the author of several books, including Spanning the Strait: Building the Alfred Zampa Memorial Bridge; Bay Area Iron Master Al Zampa: A Life Building Bridges; and his most recent work, The Carquinez Bridge 1927-2007. Opened in 1927, the bridge across the Carquinez Strait was the first highway bridge in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was also the longest highway bridge in the United States. Robinson documents the life and death of this marvelous bridge. His next book, The Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge Troll, will be published by Fonthill Media in March 2018.     Read more →

Joanna L. Dyl

Joanna L. Dyl is a native Californian who earned her BA from Stanford University and her PhD in History from Princeton University. She is currently teaching environmental studies at Pomona College and living only a few miles from the San Andreas Fault. Seismic City is her first book. Seismic City: An Environmental History of San Francisco’s 1906 Earthquake demonstrates how the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the city’s subsequent rebuilding reflected the dynamic interplay of natural and human influences that have shaped San Francisco. The disaster in all its elements ― earthquake, fires, and recovery ― profoundly disrupted the urban order and challenged the city’s perceived permanence. From a proposal to expel Chinatown from the city center to a vision of San Francisco paved with concrete in the name of sanitation, the process of reconstruction involved reenvisioning the places of both people and nature as diverse urban residents contested the form of the rebuilt city.   Read more →

Ivy Anderson and Devon Angus

Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute compiles, for the first time, the memoirs of “Alice Smith,” a sex worker who shared her story with the San Francisco Bulletin in 1913. A selection of letters to the editor from other working class women and prostitutes are included in this richly illustrated volume. Her story inspired the first sex worker protest in San Francisco history. Editors Ivy Anderson and Devon Angus tackle the ways in which Progressive Era politics, changing gender roles, suffrage, labor, and a modernizing media shaped Alice’s world, connecting her story to current feminist and sex worker struggles. Ivy Anderson and Devon Angus are artists, writers, and activists based in San Francisco. They are concerned with examining the rich and shifting landscapes of Bay Area history, culture, politics, and ecology. Anderson and Angus have spent the last year presenting their research in various universities, bookstores, community centers, museums, high schools, and historical societies across the country. Their most recent tour through the Pacific Northwest will culminate in this appearance at History Days. Read more →

Harvey Schwartz

Harvey Schwartz is curator of the Oral History Collection at the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) library in San Francisco. He is the author of Building the Golden Gate Bridge: A Workers’ Oral History,  Solidarity STories: An Oral History of the ILWU, and The March Inland: Origins of the ILWU Warehouse Division, 1934-1938.  Building the Golden Gate Bridge: A Workers’ Oral History tells the stories of workers who constructed an American icon during the Great Depression of the 1930s. Here are the voices of ironworkers, cable spinners, engineers, electricians, and laborers who who created San Francisco’s world famous structure. Even the nurses who cared for the injured tell their strories. The recollections here range from descriptions of daily life on the job to accounts of tragic accidents. After you read this book, you will view the City’s great bridge with renewed amazement.   Read more →

Frank Dunnigan

Frank Dunnigan was born during the baby boom years of the 1950s to a family that first settled in San Francisco in 1860. He graduated from St. Ignatius College Prep and the University of San Francisco. He is a recent retiree after working in downtown San Francisco for several decades. He is the author of San Francisco’s St. Cecilia Parish: A History; Growing Up in San Francisco’s Western Neighborhoods:Boomer Memories From Kezar Stadium to Zim’s Hamburgers; and Growing Up in San Francisco: More Boomer Memories from Playland to Candlestick Park (The History Press, 2016). Newcomers and visitors can still enjoy iconic San Francisco with activities like riding a cable car or taking in the view from Twin Peaks. But San Franciscans reminisce about seafood dinners at A. Sabella’s on Fisherman’s Wharf, the enormous Christmas tree at Union Square’s City of Paris department store, plus the arcade games, cotton and carnival-type rides at Playland-at-the-Beach. In the second volume of unforgettable stories, local author and historian Frank Dunnigan recalls the many details that made life special in the City by the Bay for generations. Read more →

Edmund S. Wong

Ed Wong is the author of Growing Up in San Francisco Chinatown: Boomer Memories From Noodle Rolls to Apple Pie Chinese-American Baby Boomers who grew up within the 29 square blocks of San Francisco's Chinatown lived in two worlds. Elders implored the younger generation to retain ties with old China even as the youth felt the pull of a future sheathed in red, white and blue. The family owned shops, favorite siu-yeh (snack) joints, and the gai-chongs where mothers labored as low-wage seamstresses contrasted with the allure of Disney, sporty cars, and baseball. It was a childhood immersed in two vibrant cultures and languages, shaped by both. The book is a testament to the legacy of Chinatown's inhabitants and the neighborhood's heart and soul from its golden age. Read more →

Denise Sullivan

A fourth-generation San Franciscan, editor Denise Sullivan writes on music, arts and culture, and her hometown. She is also the author of five books, including Keep on Pushing: Black Power Music From Blues to Hip Hop. She is also the SF Lives columnist at the San Francisco Examiner. Her latest book, Your Golden Sun Still Shines: San Francisco Personal Histories and Small Fictions (Manic D Press), offers up current tales from the fabled City that Knows How viewed through a timeless lens of opposition, resilience, and redemption. Demonstrating that grace and resilience under pressure are as much a measure of a city’s legacy as they are a determination of its future, Your Golden Sun Still Shines sparks hope and illustrates San Francisco’s continuance as home and beacon to the literary vanguard, situated at the edge of the world. Read more →

Daniel Bacon

In Frisco, his meticulously researched and beautifully written novel, Daniel Bacon draws the reader into the 1930s, when San Francisco was both a gritty port and a sophisticated city. The story centers on Nick Benson and Clarisa McMahan, a young couple who find themselves on opposite sides of a waterfront strike. Nick is the assistant to Harry Bridges, the strike leader, while Clarisa works for Roger Farnsworth, a shipping executive who wages a relentless campaign to win her affection. Based on historic events, Bacon delivers a passionate tale of betrayal and redemption, at a time when the city was affectionately known as Frisco. Daniel Bacon is the creator of the Barbary Coast Trail, San Francisco’s official historical walk. He is the author of Walking San Francisco on the Barbary Coast Trail and Frisco, a novel set in the 1930s. He grew up in the Bay Area and graduated from San Francisco State University.     Read more →

Charles A. Fracchia

Palimpsest: A Man’s Life in San Francisco Frank Molinari is an Italian-American, a devout Roman Catholic, a married man with children from a previous marriage, and a successful investment advisor living in San Francisco. As he faces the changes of getting older the breakdown of the body, the increasing closeness of death, and a very different world from that in which he was raised his irritation with many of the changes that have transpired in his world is seen through the kaleidoscope of his conversations with friends and of the memories he has about his friendships and lovers. Charles Fracchia’s Palimpsest is a welcome addition to the scarcity of fiction that examines what seems to an older person to be the golden years of his youth. Charles A. Fracchia is a native San Franciscan. He received a BA in history from the University of San Francisco, an MA in history from San Francisco State University, an MLS from the University of California in Berkeley, and an MA in theology from the Graduate Theological Union at Berkeley. Fracchia spent 20 years in the investment banking and investment advisory business and 35 years as an academic, teaching at San Francisco State University,... Read more →

Carol A. Jensen

Carol A. Jensen is the author of Contra Costa Maritime History (Arcadia Publishing, 2014).  San Francisco’s “opposite shore” is showcased for its maritime role in securing the City’s financial preeminence.  Located minutes from San Francisco by ferry or automobile, Contra Costa County provided deep water ports for shipping agricultural, mineral, and manufactured goods around the world.  Pacific commodity traders made use of these ports to ship products, ensuring California’s unique global economic role. Immense wealth was created from goods shipped from maritime Contra Costa County, securing a vibrant economy from the Gaslight era to the days of Haight-Ashbury. In these pages, Carol A. Jensen presents the vibrant history of maritime Contra Costa County.  Herein we experience in vintage photographs this region’s impact on significant California events.  Wines to challenge French viticultural supremacy were shipped, grains destined to make Guinness beer great set sail, and soldiers embarked for the World War II Pacific Theatre from these piers. Maritime Contra Costa provides a fresh perspective on the intertwined histories of San Francisco and its “other coast.” Carol has been fascinated with local history since the early 1960s.  A native of eastern Contra Costa County, Carol is a history graduate of UC Santa... Read more →

Barbara Wilcox

Barbara Wilcox is a journalist whose book, World War I Army Training by San Francisco Bay (Arcadia Publishing, 2016), is based on her Stanford thesis research. She learned of Camp Fremont from US Geological Survey scientists who were testing magnetometers over “Stanford’s World War I tunnels.” San Francisco civic leaders brought a 30,000-man Army training camp to the Peninsula in 1917-18. Through tales of soldiers and civilians, VIPs and regular folks, men and women, the book explores Camp Fremont as a mirror of social tension and its influence on change and development in the Bay Area and the West. Read more →

Anne Evers Hitz

History buff and freelance writer Anne Evers Hitz is the author of San Francisco’s Ferry Building (2017) and Emporium Department Store (2014) (Arcadia Publishing). She is working on a book about San Francisco’s lost department stores, to be published in 2019. She is also a guide with City Guides. Anne Evers Hitz, a fifth-generation San Franciscan, gathered together images to tell the Ferry Building story. For many years, visitors traveled to San Francisco via ferry, and the Ferry Building stood ready to welcome them. In the 1920s, the Ferry Building was the world’s second busiest transit terminal (after Charing Cross, London); more than 50,000 people passed through the building daily. By the late ‘30s, commuting by car made ferryboats obsolete. In the ‘50s, the Embarcadero Freeway blocked the building; once that came down, the restored Ferry Building reopened in 2003 and is once again a beacon of civic pride. Read more →

Amelia Sue Marshall

Amelia Sue Marshall is a writer who lives in Oakland, on Peralta Creek. She is the author of East Bay Hills: A Brief History (Arcadia Publishing, 2017). She is an alumna of the University of California at Berkeley (electrical engineering and computer science). Her interests include local equestrian history, cultural heritage preservation, and Hawaiian music. Explore the unique redwood forest region of the hills between Oakland, Moraga, Castro Valley, and Hayward. Begining with the indigenous people, we cover little-known lore about those who have lived in an near the redwoods: Californio rancheros, Yankee bullwhackers, Harvard-educated lawyers, horse people, park rangers, and naturalists. Like the mist rising from San Francisco Bay encircles the towering redwoods, the little-known legends of the East Bay Hills enrich a glorious history. Follow the trails of Saclan and Jalquin-Yrgin people over the hills and through the valleys. Ride with the mounted rangers through the Flood of ’62. Break into a sealed railroad tunnel with a pack of junior high school boys. Learn how university professors, civil servants and wealthy businessmen planned for years to create a chain of parks twenty miles along the hilltops. Author Amelia Sue Marshall explores the heritage of these storied parklands with the... Read more →

Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan

Local neon historians/consultants Al Barna and Randall Ann Homan are the authors/photographers of San Francisco Neon: Survivors and Lost Icons (Giant Orange Press, 2014). Since the book’s publication, Al and Randall have continued historic research on individual signs/small businesses and developed walking tours throughout the city, and continue to do historical research and promote awareness for San Francisco’s unique collection of historic neon signs via neon talks, video screenings, and photo exhibits. Neon events are customized to connect with audiences on many levels: science, art, popular culture, design, typography, city history, and the growing national movement to preserve landmark neon signs. Read more →