All Weekend in the Ohlone and Indigenous Peoples Room
(Room 3–Melters and Refiners Room)

In the Ohlone and Indigenous Peoples Room we honor and promote life and cultural continuance through ceremony, storytelling, published work, exhibition of creative work, and presentations by native leaders of poetry and on topics such as curriculum reform, Indian Relocation, shellmounds, and the Alcatraz Occupation. Presentations on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.

Presenters and exhibitors: Corrina Gould, Indian People Organizing for Change (IPOC) and Spokesperson for the Confederated Villages of Lisjan/Ohlone (Chochenyo/Karkin Ohlone); Gregg Castro, Board member, Salinan T’rowt’raahl and NAPC Chair, Society for California Archaeology (t’rowt’raahl Salinan / rumsien Ohlone); Kanyon Sayers-Roods, Coyote Woman of Indian Canyon Nation, Spokesperson for the Association of Ramaytush Ohlone, CEO of Kanyon Konsulting LLC (Costanoan Ohlone Mutsun and Chumash); Mary Jean Robertson, KPOO Voices of the Native Nations radio show host; (Cherokee nation citizen, bird clan, Robertson clan); Kim Shuck, Poet Laureate of San Francisco; (Ani yun wiya–Cherokee and Goral–Polish/Tatra mountain folk); Tribal Youth Ambassadors of the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center, Santa Rosa.


Theater One (Room 16–Gold Ballroom)

11 A.M.: Her Side of the Story: Tales of California Pioneer Women

Organization: Society of California Pioneers Museum and Library

Speaker: John Hogan

A recently discovered ledger containing hundreds of unpublished, first-person reminiscences, written by and about women who arrived in California before 1853, is the subject of an exhibition and digitization project at The Society of California Pioneers Museum and Library. Historians, writers, and teachers are encouraged to attend this session to hear the inspiring story of The Association of Pioneer Women of California, who united to ensure that future generations would understand and acknowledge the role women played in our shared history.

11:45 A.M.: End of the Line: The Closure of the Barbary Coast
and the Birth of the Sex Workers’ Rights Movement

Speakers: Ivy Anderson and Devon Angus

The authors of Alice: Memoirs of a Barbary Coast Prostitute will talk about the anti-vice crusades of San Francisco’s post-earthquake Progressive Era and the resistance it faced from sex workers, journalists, and activists.

12:30 P.M.: Homefront and Labor: San Francisco During WWII

Organization: Labor Archives and Research Center, San Francisco State University

Speaker: Catherine Powell, LARC director

The Bay Area was transformed during WWII, from explosive population growth to changing racial demographics and the creation of a booming defense industry. This presentation explores these changes and the impact they had on the city’s workforce, calling into question workplace power structures and bringing new opportunities for women and people of color.

1:15 P.M.: Decolonizing California Indian History Through Tribal Youth Action and Activism

Organization: Tribal Youth Ambassadors of the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center

The Tribal Youth Ambassadors of the California Indian Museum and Cultural Center will present Google and Esri mapping resources developed to support curricular reform for California history education.  The presentation will feature a map of of state-sanctioned massacres waged against California Indians during the early 19th century. The data sets, sourced from Ben Madley’s book, An American Genocide, illustrate the extensive documentation of violence perpetuated upon California’s indigenous people.  TYA will provide Native perspectives classroom experiences, including historical bias, misinformation, stereotypes and historical trauma.

2:30 P.M.: Panel discussion: The Importance of Neighborhood Newspapers to San Francisco: Digital Archiving Saves Community History

Organization: Neighborhood Newspapers of San Francisco/Accion Latina

Speakers: Alexis Terrazas, Josué Rojas, LisaRuth Elliott, Rob Waters, and Peter Field

In this look at preserving community memory, hear how the longest-running Spanish/English bilingual newspaper in California—El Tecolote—leapt onto the screen, giving digital access to decades of community coverage, and learn how you can peek into your own neighborhood’s evolution through the Neighborhood Newspapers of San Francisco online collection, a growing collaborative effort currently featuring 10 newspapers going back to the 1960s and totaling over 1,600 issues.

3:30 P.M.: Personal Histories: Find Your Family, Tell Their Stories 

Organizations: California Genealogical Society and Ghost Tour San Francisco

Speakers: Elina Ansary, Ghost Tour San Francisco; Vicky Kolakowski, California Genealogical Society

History is fundamentally about people, and genealogists help people connect to their ancestors’ place in history. The popularity of DNA testing has brought many more people into the genealogy world, as these tests bring together relatives both known and previously unknown. The California Genealogical Society helps people connect to their diverse family heritage, and has many resources. Learn how to start your own journey into your family’s past, but expect some surprises along the way!

Ghost Tour is a multimedia art project that charts networks of collective memory attached to San Francisco neighborhoods, and translates them into painting installations and zines. The artist behind Ghost Tour, Elina Ansary, will discuss collective memory as a tool for looking at history and preserving culture and community, and close with a reading of some of the material produced by the project so far.

Vicky Kolakowski began doing family history research in high school, but did not become serious about genealogy until after her election as a state court judge in 2010, when her mother expressed frustration that so many relatives were passing without leaving behind information about the previous generations, and particularly her immigrant ancestors – seven of Vicky’s eight great-grandparents were immigrants, and the other was a child of immigrants. Vicky has been on the board of the California Genealogical Society since 2016, and has been president since 2018.

Elina Ansary is an artist who was born and raised in Bernal Heights. For the past year, she has been collecting and producing material for Ghost Tour, which debuted as part of Litquake in October 2018. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.

Theater Two (Room 17—Mint Ballroom)

11 A.M.: A Trip Down Market Street

Organization: Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum

Speaker: David Kiehn

The historian for the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum will discuss the Miles Brothers film studio, the importance of some of their movies to the region and United States, and how filming “pay-per-view” boxing matches caused A Trip Down Market Street, A Trip Down Mount Tamalpais, and recently found post-1906 quake footage to be filmed.

11:45 A.M.: The WPA City Model: Its Return to the Public and the Take Part Project

Organization: Public Knowledge/SFMOMA

Speakers: Stella Lochman, SFMOMA; Gray Brechin, Living New Deal

The Works Progress Administration employed 300 people to construct an enormous wooden relief model of San Francisco which offers a 3-D freeze-frame of what the city looked like just before World War II. Dutch artists Bik Van der Pol brought the model back from deep storage to encourage a civic conversation about the city’s past, present, and future. Gray Brechin will talk about discovering the model and the need for a city museum to give it a permanent home, and Stella Lochman will talk about her starring role in resurrecting it.

12:30 P.M.: Historic Signs in San Francisco, from Ghost Signs to Neon

Speakers: Randall Ann Homan and Al Barna, SF Neon; Kasey Smith, Ghost Signs of SF

Learn about historic signs in San Francisco from slides, video, and interactive presentations. Through slides and video, SF Neon will highlight key San Francisco neon as well as provide tips to preserve and save it. Kasey Smith will discuss her 8-year project of researching and documenting San Francisco’s ghost signs.

1:15 P.M.: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles: San Francisco Transportation Histories

Speakers: Dennis Evanosky, Alameda Museum; Evelyn Rose, Glen Park Neighborhoods History Project; Michael Phipps and Don Holmgren, San Francisco Cable Car Museum

Dennis Evanosky will describe the weeks and months leading up to the Transcontinental Railroad’s arrival on September 6, 1869.

Michael Phipps and Don Holmgren will use vintage photographs to illustrate a historical and photographic account of an era before the Great Earthquake and Fire, when cable cars shuttled passengers out to the cemeteries clustered around what was then the western limits of the City. They provided an important service to citizens of San Francisco who could visit their deceased relatives at one of the many cemeteries. Additionally, this was the gateway to many of the City’s attractions such as Golden Gate Park and Ocean Beach, which hitherto had limited access for most San Franciscans.

Evelyn Rose will tell the story of Daniel John Maloney, who was brave enough to make that first high-altitude flight in a fixed wing, heavier-than-air craft. He began his Victorian extreme sport career in 1899 as an aeronaut at the pleasuring grounds known as Glen Park and the Mission Zoo. and later became the test pilot for aviation pioneer Professor John J. Montgomery of Santa Clara College, the first to soar a fixed-wing craft 20 years before the Wright Brothers, and whose achievements have largely been erased from aviation history through gaslighting efforts by no less than the Wright Brothers and their supporters.

2:30 P.M.: 125th Anniversary of the Midwinter Fair

Organization: Western Neighborhoods Project

Speakers: Woody LaBounty and David Gallagher

In an attempt to jumpstart the local economy during a depression, boost San Francisco’s reputation, and take advantage of the popularity of the Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Michael de Young conceived of the California International Midwinter Exposition, better known as the Midwinter Fair. From January to July 1894, Golden Gate Park hosted daily parades and nightly electric light shows amid Moorish palaces, German beer gardens, mock volcanoes, and Eskimo villages. The “fabulous fair” reflected the imperialist desires, mercantile ideals, societal anxieties, and racist philosophies of the time, and left legacies to the park and surrounding neighborhoods that survive today.

3:15 P.M.: Short Histories of the Gold Rush

Speakers: Claudine Chalmers, French Mutual Benevolent Society; Gregory Crouch, author of The Bonanza King; Pati Traktman, United Irish Cultural Center

The Gold Rush changed the land of California when people of all backgrounds came here to build new lives and start businesses. Join us for short histories told from authors and historical organizations and learn something new about that complicated and historic time.

Claudine Chalmers will use visuals from French and Californian archives to illustrate key moments in the history of the French Mutual Benevolent Society, created in 1851, which opened and managed the French Hospital, California’s earliest private hospital, and founded the first HMO in the USA. Free reproductions of the visuals will be made available to the audience.

Author Gregory Crouch will discuss the legendary Comstock Lode and mining magnate John Mackay, rags-to-riches hero of his book The Bonanza King and one of the most celebrated men in 19th-century San Francisco. In the Comstock Lode’s deep, rich, and outrageously dangerous mines beneath Virginia City, Nevada, Mackay worked his way up from nothing, battling the pernicious “Bank Ring” of San Francisco capitalists who’d monopolized the lode, and struck the Big Bonanza, a stupendously valuable body of gold and silver ore buried 1,500 feet below the center of the town. In the 1860s and 1870s, the Comstock Lode’s extraordinary wealth exercised a power over San Francisco similar to the modern tech industry, transforming the city into the innovative financial powerhouse it still is today, driving wild stock market frenzies, and launching Mackay’s wife, whose beginnings were every bit as humble as his own, on a meteoric social career among the finest European aristocrats.

Pati Traktman is a private firm law librarian and UICC library volunteer who enjoys applying those research skills to exploring topics concerning all things Irish. She is a member of the research group Irish Marvels Past and Present, which is associated with the United Irish Cultural Center. She became interested in Irish 49ers after finding someone in her own family tree who emigrated from County Louth to Siskiyou County by way of New York. Though this individual missed the heyday of the Rush, his offspring were miners in the area.

Author Room and Bookstore
(13—Coiner’s Office/Press Room)

Meet the Authors

11 A.M.-1 P.M.

Laura Smith Borrman—Iconic San Francisco Dishes, Drinks, and Desserts. Speaking at 11 A.M.

Anne Evers Hitz—San Francisco’s Ferry Building and Emporium Department Store. Speaking at 11:30 A.M.

Dennis Evanosky—San Francisco Then and Now. Speaking at noon.

Amelia Sue Marshall—East Bay Hills: A Brief History

Denise Sullivan—Your Golden Sun Still Shines: San Francisco Personal Histories and Small Fictions. Speaking at 12:30 P.M.

1-3 P.M.

Gregory Crouch—The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle Over the Greatest Riches in the American West. Speaking at 3 P.M.

Dr. Amy DeFalco Lippert—Consuming Identities: Visual Culture in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco. Speaking at 2:30 P.M.

Monika Trobits—Bay Area Coffee: A Stimulating History and Antebellum and Civil War San Francisco: A Western Theatre for Northern & Southern Politics. Speaking at 1:30 P.M.

Richard A. Walker—Pictures of a Gone City: Tech and the Dark Side of Prosperity in the San Francisco Bay Area. Speaking at 3:30 P.M.

Vault 4 — Actions Past Theater

Actions Past specializes in creating an immersive learning experience to bring the past to life, by portraying historical characters from early San Francisco history. These living-history reenactors, in accurate period costuming, mingle with visitors at the Old Mint, offering gaming experiences, performances and impromptu theater. Actions Past players will also be offering these special presentations in Vault Four.

11:30 A.M.: Faro at Cora House

Join Charles and Belle Cora at San Francisco’s most elegant parlor house to test your luck and skill in the fast action, easy-to-learn game of Faro. Note: The Faro game will be ongoing throughout the day whenever there is no special presentation, so stop in for a game at your leisure! All ages welcome!

12:30 P.M.: A Moment with Mark Twain
Presenter: Jaxson Brashier

Relish the wit and wisdom of this San Francisco favorite in this first-person portrayal of Samuel Clemens.

1:30 P.M.: Poetry Reading by Miss Ina Coolbrith

Enjoy a reading from the poet, writer, and librarian who was to become the first poet laureate of any American state.

2 P.M.: Sutro’s Oceanside Empire

Learn about Adolph Sutro’s numerous enterprises: Sutro Heights, the Cliff House, the Sutro Railroad, the amusements on Merrie Way, Sutro Baths and Oceanside Terrace, and many more!

3 P.M.: A Moment with Mark Twain
Presenter: Jaxson Brashier

Relish the wit and wisdom of this San Francisco favorite in this first-person portrayal of Samuel Clemens.

All Weekend in the Vaults

1906 Earthquake “Ghost Shacks”
V1—Carpenters’ Shop 
Organization: Bernal History Project

These models re-create the exact dimensions of 1906 refugee cottages, thousands of which were built in San Francisco after the quake and fire. With visual materials and the ghost shack itself, you are invited to imagine you survived the disaster and now have to live in such a tiny home!

Twenty Years of Films
V2—Melting Room/Vault
Organization: San Francisco Black Film Festival

Archival timeline collage of newspaper articles, old programs, and flyers from two decades of festivals, plus a rolling schedule of film trailers and clips.

V3—Store Keeper Room

Actions Past Theater
V4—Store Room
Organization: Actions Past

Actions Past specializes in creating an immersive learning experience to bring the past to life by portraying historical characters from early San Francisco history. These living-history re-enactors, in accurate period costuming, mingle with visitors at the Old Mint, offering gaming experiences, performances and impromptu theater.

Cable Cars, the Cliff House, and Lost Neon Landscapes
V5—Vault
Organizations: November Fire and SF Neon

A rotating schedule of clips from historical documentaries San Francisco Cable Cars and The Cliff House, plus neon-focused footage from the Prelinger Archive, including clips of home movies and short films that reveal San Francisco’s lost neon landscape from Market Street to Playland.

Commemorative Coin Minting
V6—Blacksmith Vault
Organization: Museum of Craft and Design

Make and “mint” your own coin with a variety of materials and spice up your design with additional fun embellishments. Suitable for all ages.

Gems from the California Revealed Collection
V7—Vault
Organization: California Revealed

A recurring 20-minute compilation of digitized video and film segments highlighting immigrant communities throughout California.

Rock-Poster Art in San Francisco
V8—Coal Store/Vault
Organization: The Rock Poster Society

Since 1965, San Francisco has been a center for concert posters, particularly those advertising rock concerts. This exhibition, jointly curated by members of the Rock Poster Society, will feature selected offset lithographs from the 1960s as well as contemporary concert screen prints. This year’s exhibit includes a number of posters advertising concerts that featured light shows by Bill Ham.

75 Years of Transit History: Views from the SFMTA Photo Archive 1903-1978
V9—Vault
Organization: SFMTA Photo Archives

The SFMTA Photo Archive recently completed a ten-year project to preserve and scan thousands of original images taken by San Francisco transit photographers. Come learn about the project and see our favorite photographs.