The History Hour: The Society's 93rd Annual Meeting and Program


The History Hour: The Society’s 93rd Annual Meeting and Program


Joel Pickford and “Soul Calling: A Photographic Journey Through the Hmong Diaspora”



The Fresno Historical Society presents The History Hour: The Society’s 93rd Annual Meeting and Program featuring Joel Pickford and “Soul Calling: A Photographic Journey Through the Hmong Diaspora” at the Fresno Art Museum, Thursday, March 21, 2013. Wine and appetizers begin at 6:30 p.m. with the program to follow at 7:00 p.m. A members-only meeting takes place at 6:00 p.m. Tickets are $20 for members/students and $25 for non-members and can be purchased online at or by calling 559-441-0862. Space is limited.


Join Joel Pickford as he takes an intimate look into the world of the Hmong. Through a partnership with the Fresno Historical Society, this five-year documentary project used digital photography to document the saga of several thousand new Hmong refugees as they arrived in the San Joaquin Valley from camps in Thailand. His exquisite photographs and compelling stories culminated in the first photographic book on the Hmong culture ever published. In addition to Pickford’s presentation in the Fresno Art Museum’s Bonner Auditorium, several of his photographs will be on display followed by a book signing.


 A unique feature to this year’s event will be the display of two significant primary sources of pioneer history housed in the Fresno Historical Society Archives. The first is a recent donation and remarkable piece of Fresno history—an 1884 guest register from the Grand Central Hotel. At the corner of Fulton and Van Ness, Fulton G. Berry’s plush hostelry was known as the finest hotel between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The guest list reads like a “Who’s Who” of early regional history, including Frank Dusy, Gustav Eisen, Thomas Fowler, Minnie Austin and Lucy Hatch, William Chapman and M. Theo Kearney!

 Also on exhibit will be a store ledger from the Fresno River trading post of two famous pioneers, Major James D. Savage and Dr. Lewis Leach. This fragile document records detailed merchandise purchases made by gold miners and Indians from the nearby Fresno River Indian Reservation from 1851 to 1855.


Founded in 1919, the Fresno Historical Society has built significant archival and artifact collections documenting the Central San Joaquin Valley’s history from the mid-1800s through the 20th century. The Society’s mission is to collect, preserve, interpret and hold in public trust the records and artifacts that document the history of all the people of Fresno County and the Central Valley region of California. The Society recently celebrated the 50th anniversary of administering Kearney Mansion Museum and provides a broad range of services and programs such as the annual Civil War Revisited, Time Travelers, Kearney Mansion Museum tours, Christmas at Kearney, archives research services and regional history workshops for teachers. Membership in the Fresno Historical Society is open to everyone.

Visit for tickets or call the Fresno Historical Society at (559) 441-0862. Follow us on Facebook/Twitter @FresnoHistory. Sponsorships available. Thank you to our major sponsors Boos & Associates, Fresno State Henry Madden Library and the Fresno Art Museum.

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