New Gustine Museum Exhibit Open
Gustine High School to Celebrate 100 Years
The Gustine High School Centennial Committee is continuing fund-raising and planning efforts for the 2013-14 celebration of the school’s 100th year. This summer features the GHS Centennial performance “A Redskin Review” which celebrates 100 years of history at Gustine High.
Next summer, in 2014, will be the big celebration and will not only feature class reunions but will be a celebration for all people to attend. This will be held on Saturday July 5th, 2014 during the Fourth of July weekend. So plan to spend the 4th, 5th and 6th of July 2014 in Gustine.
“A Redskin Review”
Tickets are available for the GHS Centennial performance “A Redskin Review” which celebrates 100 years of history at Gustine High. It will tell the story and highlight many of the events and organizations that have been important to GHS students over the years. Organizers say audiences will laugh and cry... as the many stories of GHS are brought to life by performers on the campus stage.
A Redskin Review will run for three shows opening Friday, July 5, 2013, with a 7pm curtain call. Additional shows are offered on Saturday, July 6 at 3pm and 7pm. These shows will be performed at the high school auditorium. You may select your seat when purchasing a ticket. Tickets are $17 for premier seating; $12 for front row; $8 for general admission; $6 for wheelchair. Purchase tickets online at http://www.ticketleap.com or call (209) 854-1102 or (209) 585-5246.
July 5th 2014 100 Year Celebration
Plans are underway for the biggest Gustine High School Class Reunion/Celebration ever. This is an event you, as an alumnus, and your family and friends won’t want to miss!
There will be dancing in the street to a live band, drinks at the Veteran’s Hall, food galore, exhibits in both the gym and the auditorium and memorabilia for purchase.
Legacy Courtyard Project
The GHS Legacy Courtyard is both a beautification project for Gustine High and a fund-raising project for the school’s upcoming centennial celebration. You are able to purchase a paver and have it engraved with your name or a family name or a loved one’s name that will then be used to pave the area on the front lawn of the High School. Plan on purchasing your paver. When pavers are purchased and engraved they will be an added to the flagpole area on the Gustine High School campus. The deadline to take part in this project is July 15, 2013.
There is not too much time left, so get started now. Your Magpie editor has purchased bricks for herself and family members. You can too. Prices for pavers and options for engraving are available for viewing online at http://www.polarengraving.com/GHSLegacyCourtyard or by calling Dee Aguirre, (209) 604-4625 or Cindy Jamero, (209) 658-2063. Orders and/or questions may also be mailed to: GHS Centennial Committee, PO Box 373, Gustine, CA 95322.
Gustine Museum Exhibit is open. On display are photos of original building and photos and articles of Elizabeth Bettencourt who spearheaded the movement to turn the former courthouse and jail into the Gustine Museum.
The Gustine Museum building is officially 100 years old. The museum was built by Davenport and Kruger in 1911. It served as a Merced County Justice Courthouse and Jail for many years. The Gustine Police Department occupied the building into the 1980's. Elizabeth Bettencourt convinced the city fathers to allow the former jail to be used as a museum. The community volunteers helped to ready the building for its reopening as the Gustine Museum on July 4th, 1990.
The Gustine Historical Society seeks
to uncover, preserve and disseminate knowledge about the history of Gustine
and the "West Side" of California. Gustine has a long and rich history
that mirrors the development of California's agriculture. Society members
collect artifacts, memorabilia, documents, books, maps, periodicals,
articles, photographs and items pertaining to Gustine and its surrounding
area. These artifacts are housed in the Wilbur and Irene Gomes Gustine
History Center and in creative exhibits in the Gustine Museum. They link
Gustine's past to the people who made it happen.
If you have materials that you would like to have preserved for future generations, the Gustine Historical Society will be happy to accept such items that fit within our goals. Please contact us.
become proficient at preserving photos and archival materials. If
you would like some advice on how to preserve your old family photographs
or documents, call 209-854-6455. Personnel will meet with you
at the history center to work with you to help preserve your family
treasures for the next generation.
Remember the Class Reunions and Gustine High School history celebrations July 5, 2014
1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Gustine Museum Open House "Old Fashioned Christmas" in Gustine
with a Book Signing
Remember the Class Reunions and Gustine High School history celebrations July 5, 2014
A West Side Pioneer
Alberta Kniebes October 5, 2006
Albert W. Kniebes was born October 12, 1870 on a ranch close to where Anderson Road is today. The road is not far out of Newman. Albert was born of the union of Matthew Kniebes and Fredrika Fink. They had three children: Albert, Jeanette and Walter. Matthew owned 600 acres of land. He died when Albert was five years old. Fredrika was left with three small children. Later she married Samuel Dalby, who owned a ranch south of the Kniebes ranch. From that union Sevillion Cook Dalby was born. Albert was very fond of his stepfather and always spoke highly of him. I guess the "Samuel" in Alvin Samuel Kniebes was in honor of Sam Dalby.
The closest town at that time was Hills Ferry. A Mr. Hill ferried people across the river. So therefore the name Hills Ferry. It was a thriving community. Large ferry boats ran up and down the San Joaquin River carrying cargo and people to Stockton. Hills Ferry was much like the old gold mining towns of the Gold Rush era, only there wasn't any gold. Simon Newman & Kahns had stores there. It even had a hotel and going to the other extreme, a cemetery. It did have a Masonic Hall. From what I've heard, Hills Ferry wasn't always quiet. It had its share of saloons and therefore brawls and shootings like the old mining towns. I cannot find any thing about a church. The first Catholic Church I have found was built in 1907, long after Hills Ferry was deserted.
In 1854 a schoolhouse was built in the Orestimba and that is where Albert went to school. Sometimes the creek overflowed and it was impossible to get through. They traveled by horseback as it was quite a long way to go. In 1876 a congregation of Presbyterians organized by the Reverend Eli Latta started meeting in this school. A few years ago the old Orestimba School was moved into Newman. It is located north of the Newman library. It looks like a new school and is being used as a Pre-School.
When Albert grew up he went to Heald's Business College in Stockton. He lived at the St. Leo Hotel. A few years later he went to San Francisco and got a job as grip man on the cable cars. He lived with a family called Herleman close to where he worked. Between going to college and working in San Francisco he purchased 320 acres of land. It was at the corner of Orchard and Snyder roads in Gustine.
In 1899 Albert married Emily Ann Brough. They lived on the Mullen Ranch west of Newman, later known as the Nicolaysen Ranch. In 1901 Harold was born. He died at the age of three. Harold had a stick and was playing with his dog. The dog was jumping for the stick, but bit Harold's nose instead. There was no penicillin in those days, so when infection set in, nothing could be done. No dogs were allowed on the ranch for a long time. Eva was born on March 31, 1905. The family moved to Gustine in 1906 right after the big earthquake in San Francisco, April 21, 1906. Alvin Samuel Kniebes, my husband, was born December 21, 1908.
Albert was a dry land farmer all of his farming days. He died in March of 1948.
One day Albert walked into the plumbing shop. Mr. Cardoza said, "You know Mr. Maddux don't you?" Albert said, "Well I know he bought the Brown Place." Mr. Maddux said, "I've known you for forty years." Albert said, "How did you know me?"
Mr. Maddux said, "You were a Grip Man on the cable car and I worked in the car barn." Albert with the light dawning said, "You were that man with the little girl that was always hanging around you."
Mr. Maddux said, "Yes, and I married her!"
Alvin "Sam" Kniebes knew his grandfather and had the highest respect for him. Sam Dalby was a Mason and so "Sam" became one. It was Sam Dalby who spear headed a committee of Masons that worked to put Hills Ferry into a cemetery district. Many graves were moved from the old Hills Ferry Cemetery to the new Hills Ferry Cemetery. In 1936 when I, came to Newman, the cemetery was a mass of weeds higher than the fence. Oh Yes! There was a fence, a very dilapidated fence!
The railroad came in 1889. Simon and Sigmond Newman founded the town of Newman. Sig was in the background so most people didn't know Simon had a brother. The Simon Newman Store was build and is still standing today. It was a wonderful store. Their logo was "Everything Under the Sun." How true that was! Kahns moved in bringing their building with them and it was placed next to Simon Newman's store. "Sam" said he thought they sold shoes. Many of the buildings were brought in from Hills Ferry and it became a ghost town. Some of the old buildings are still in Newman today. The Masonic Hall was moved in and was used for several years before it was demolished.
There wasn't much in Gustine in those days. The roads were nothing but dirt. Albert Kniebes built the road from the home place on Kniebes Road to what is now known as Highway 140 and south to Carnation Road. A large wagon was used to haul in gravel. The wagon had two slats on the bottom held together by a device, which could open and close. They would open them at the road and dump the gravel and spread it out. Then close the slats and go for another load. It must have taken several loads before the road was finished. There were no other roads then, just dirt and a small path here and there.
There was just a very old house on the 17 acres Albert and Emily purchased. In 1919 the big house was built by Mr. Roy Kruger, known as one of the best builders Gustine ever had. He also built the Sam Kniebes home at 503 West Avenue where Sam's wife Alberta still resides today.