Hello from France (vicariously anyway)

is my second day digging into the Irving Wallace Papers and I was
delighted to find evidence of the writing process. Turns out, while
Wallace was on his way to Paris he stopped off at a little seaside town
in Biarritz to receive a letter from his Publishing house and likewise
dash one off to his editor in preparation for the final edits to The Almighty


write his editor, he used the stationary from Les prés d’Eugénie
“because it was the biggest I could find” and “because it’s chic.” I
have to agree. Très chic, Monsieur Wallace!



I have to begin by saying that it was indeed a long break away from the Willis S. Jones papers. Traveling back home during the winter holidays was indeed rejuvenating. Coming back to work, I began the first week by continuing my work on the metadata of the items I had scanned and photographed last year.
I am surprised to know there are still new subject terms and locations that seem to arise even after adding many terms from the previous folders. Some of the locations have been modified over the years and a simultaneous research had to be done on them in order to maintain accuracy. One of the items that caught my eye was the Nevada-California electric lines map. It was quite fascinating to see how the planning and construction was done to form an electric line from Churchill County in Nevada to the border of Southern California, ending near San Diego. The following materials that followed were proposals on the rates the electric corporation established along with a mini-book on the rules and regulations of the corporation.

New Spelling, Same Southern California

This map from 1931 centers around the Boulder Canyon Project in the southernmost tip of Nevada. However, looking at the bottom left corner there is an interesting view of early unincorporated Southern California, city names are still mostly relevant except perhaps spelling.
Examples that are easily identified are “Santa Anna” (now modern day Santa Ana, seat of Orange County) and “Tia Juana” in northern Baja California, Mexico.
NARA Series: Boulder Canyon Project Series, 1948-1966. Record Group 48: Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1826-2009. National Archives Identifier: 2292774

Fannie Charles Dillon

Fannie Charles Dillon
served as a mentor and a teacher to John Laurence Seymour. Both Californians and
musicians, the two shared a special bond. Seymour gave great credit to Dillon’s
composing and teaching. These accolades can be seen in a letter to the editor
Seymour sent to the Pacific Coast Musician
in 1947, just after Dillon’s death (letter below). Seymour kept numerous mementos
from Dillon, including a large collection of her sheet music, many of which she
signed and inscribed with notes to Seymour and his mother Rose (autographed
sheet music below). The black and white photograph below is of Seymour and
Dillon, taken only a few months before her death.  In the collection is also a film negative of
Dillon with Seymour’s Mother, Rose.

Dillon did not just
teach Seymour, she also taught at a number of institutions in Southern
California, including Pomona College. 
Dillon taught at Pomona College from 1910-1913, and she was also a
Pomona College Graduate. Today, her personal papers are kept in the UCLA
Special Collections under the title Fannie
Charles Dillon music manuscripts, 1881-1961
. That finding aid can be 
found in the Online Archive of California (OAC).

Fannie Dillon002.jpgFannie Dillon003.jpg

Fannie Dillon001.jpg

Fannie Dillon004.jpg

The Mysterious Case of John Rains

Today I had the opportunity to skim
through the San Antonio Water Company-
Local History, Inventory, and Appraisal
. I admit that this book is one of
the hidden gems I discovered while working on the CLIRWater Project. As I was
skimming through the pages, a name caught my eyes, “John Rains!” No family relations and not because it has been raining
for the past 5 days but due to the fact that John Rains was murdered rather mysteriously. According to The Press-Enterprise,
he came to California in 1847 as a sheep and cattle herder but married up and
became one of the wealthiest men in SoCal. Reportedly, “he convinced the girl
he was interested in to ignore the sheep poop on his boots and agree to the
marriage.” What a charmer?! Maybe this
story will brew into a real love story right in time for Valentine’s Day! I
will keep you posted as I read through the history.




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Signing off!

These first few weeks of this semester I am finishing up my time here at CLIR CCEPS. This experience has taught me so much and has shaped how I think about local history. The Inland Empire is such a unique place and has experienced more than a few waves of change. It has been so rewarding to not only learn more about the place that I have spent the last three and a half years, but it has also been rewarding to learn the skills required to preserve historical documents in the digital age. There is one thing I will not miss, however: the computers. I have been at war with each of the computers here at CLIR CCEPS and I have most definitely lost to them. Despite the technological frustrations, I have grown and learned so much here. I also would like to say thank you to Tanya for supporting me and teaching me so much. Thanks for reading!