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History Committee

The History Committee is small but mighty!

A group of history buffs intent on maintaining and expanding our collection of historical information about Los Alamos. From genealogy of our residents, past and present, to collecting photographs and memorabilia - this group is dedicated to preserving our

roots and heritage.

Meeting Minutes

2023

 

Los Alamos Valley Mens’ Club

History Committee

November 7, 2023 @6:30 PM

 

Members in Attendance:

Mike Farris                                          Steve Soderquist                               Laura Dolan Barbro

Brad Vidro                                           Heather Soderquist                         Larry Barbro       Mary Caldera

General Discussions:

New member

  • Mary Caldera was welcomed as a new member to the History Committee

Mission Statement

  • Brad has forwarded our Mission Statement to Kristy.

Photo Project (Los Alamos Valley Mens’ Club Historic Sites)

  • Larry provided the cost information from his supplier. For a quantity of 50, 6x8 inch, they would be $18 each. If we purchase 100 it would be only a little less per unit.

  • They would be framed in black or cherry

  • Mike provided proposed guidelines:

    • Images may be cropped or enhanced. A border may be added, top and bottom/left and right in order to make the picture fit the tile.

    • At the supporter’s request, a caption may be added to the top of the picture and supporter’s name or a “in memory of” caption may be added to the bottom of the picture.

    • The final design of the picture will approved by the History Committee.

  • Supporter can provide their own photo.

  • The group discussed and agreed on a donation of $100/photo.

  • The concept is to install them both in landscape and portrait layouts just below the top trim board of the wooden seats along the walls utilizing two-sided tape that wouldn’t damage the wood trim.

  • Larry will get a sample made using the LAVMC building photo. Mike will send him the photo digitally.

  • Brad will put in writing the proposed program for the LAVMC Board with the History Committee creating one from a picture of the LAVMC building to provide an example for use in getting members to select a historical picture and purchase a photo plaque to be hung at the LAVMC.

Next meeting

  • The December meeting is canceled due to a conflict in the availability of the LAVMC building

 

Los Alamos Valley Men’s Club

History Committee

June 20, 2023 @6:30 PM

 

Members in Attendance:

Mike Farris                                          Steve Soderquist                               Laura Dolan Barbro

Brad Vidro                                           Heather Soderquist                         Larry Barbro

 

General Discussions:

Meeting Schedule

  • It was decided that the History Committee would have a standing meeting date of the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM starting in August due to the first Tuesday in July being a holiday.

Funding

  • The History Committee has been allocated $750 to use how the committee sees fit.

  • The Committee discussed possibly purchasing an Engraving Laser Printer with the money to create plaques. Brad Vidro will investigate the cost. (Should be less than $750 based on a quick Internet search)

Computer

  • Heather Soderquist has donated a laptop to the committee so we will not need to purchase a new one. Mike Farris hooked it up to the big tv at the meeting and all worked well.

  • Mike Farris will purchase MS Office Pro for $30 and install it on the computer. If he wants we can submit for reimbursement from our $750 allocation.

  • A general discussion led to the decision that the laptop will be kept by Mike Farris and to contact him for access and use of it by committee members.

Research projects

  • The status has not changed much from the last meeting as Heather is busy volunteering all over Los Alamos. The Los Alamos Cemetery on the findagrave.com website is still very incomplete. This is a project to scan and enter grave site information including pictures, obituaries and family histories. Heather Soderquist is working on digitizing the obituaries and combining with the markers to add to the findagrave.com site for Los Alamos Cemetery this project. She is using GPTChat to find information.  

Rotating Digital Photos

  • Laura Dolan Barbro brought and donated an electronic photo frame that will be used to run a series of historic photos at the Men’s club for visitors to view in the bar. Mike Farris took it home and will work on setting it up.

Annual Old Day books

  • Brad was able to obtain the collection of annual Old Days booklets that the Club has collected. He created a list of which ones are missing and will get that information into the next LAVMC newsletter. These should be placed in the display cases in the bar area.

  • These all need to be scanned and saved on the computer.

  • There is a large gap from 1966-1977 with no books.

Mission Statement

  • Next meeting there will be a discussion on a Mission Statement for the History Committee.

  • Brad will secure the Mission Statement for the Los Alamos Valley Men’s Club and distribute.

Potential Project

  • Mike Farris discussed the possibility of the group working on creating a hard cover book about the Los Alamos Valley Men’s Club and Los Alamos. Suggested it be about 100 pages. This was done several years ago by the Santa Maria Elks Club and was well received.

 

Los Alamos Valley Men’s Club

History Committee

April 4, 2023 @6:30 PM

 

Members in Attendance:

Mike Farris                                          Steve Soderquist                               Laura Dolan Barbro

Brad Vidro                                           Heather Soderquist                         Larry Barbro

 

General Discussions:

Computer

  • The request for a computer is going to be brought to the next general membership meeting

Research projects

  • The Los Alamos Cemetery on the findagrave.com website is very incomplete. This is a project to scan and enter grave site information including pictures, obituaries, and family histories. Heather Soderquist is working on digitizing the obituaries and combining them with the markers to add to the findagrave.com site for Los Alamos Cemetery this project. She is using GPTChat to find information.  

 

Oral history of Los Alamos

  • Brad contacted Moana Dingman and she insists she has no knowledge of the oral history of local families Mike is trying to find.

Rotating Digital Photos

  • Mike created a thumb drive of 100 historical photographs and had it run during the last General Membership meeting. It was very well received. There was a request to put captions on the photos which Mike has added but needs to edit the size of the captions as they get cut off when shown on the large television.

  • Brad reported that Penny Moneghetti told his wife that she has a file of old photos she will loan to be scanned.

  • There was a discussion of creating an electronic photo frame that could run a series of historic photos at the Men’s Club for visitors to view in the bar. Laura said she has one she can donate.

Laura Hayden Book

  • Mike provided a copy of a 1955 book on the History of Los Alamos written by an Olga Reed student. It was donated to the LAVMC by the Santa Maria Historical Society. Mike indicated he also has it digitally and it will be put in the collection that will be on the new computer.  

Annual Old Day books

  • Brad needs to obtain the collection of annual Old Days booklets that the Club has collected to see what ones are missing. These should be placed in the display cases in the bar area.

  • Mike’s goal is to digitize all of these for electronic storage also.

 

Memorial Day Celebration

  • Laura talked about working on a event at the cemetery where students from Olga Reed School would provide a short description of each conflict/war that veterans were in and list all of the names of the gravesites that were in the cemetery. The teacher at the school said the kids were too busy at that time so it was recommended to try and recruit student volunteers to participate.

Los Alamos Valley Men’s Club - History Committee

 March 6, 2023 @6:30 PM

Members in Attendance:

Mike Farris, Steve Soderquist, Jim Gravitt, Brad Vidro, Heather Soderquist

 

General Discussions:

Computer

  • The Men’s Club does not have a computer, but the President has indicated there will be an item at the General Membership meeting in April meeting to discuss it.

  • Until then Google drive can be set up to save documents if necessary

 

Research projects

  • The Los Alamos Cemetery on the findagrave.com website is very incomplete. Although much of the individual histories such as obituaries and family histories are available for other cemeteries, it is horribly lacking for Los Alamos. The project is to fill in the gap.

  • Mike has digital photos of all the grave markers.

  • Obituaries: Mike has about 700 obituaries of people either buried in the Los Alamos Cemetery or who grew up in Los Alamos and had a family connection with the town. This needs more research. As well as be digitized, they are in a binder, but it needs to be (re)organized.

  • Heather volunteered to assist in digitizing the obituaries and combining them with the markers to add to the findagrave.com site for Los Alamos Cemetery.

 

Oral history of Los Alamos

  • Brad got a CD from Monna Dingman which was done by local kids, but it was one Mike already had. Brad will contact her again to if she has the Oral History of recorded stories by locals.

Rotating Digital Photos

  • There was a discussion of creating an electronic photo gallery that could run a series of historic photos at the Men’s club for visitors to view. There are apps that can be utilized to create and modify galleries.

  • Mike was going to see if he could create one on a thumb drive to show on the large tv at the next Membership meeting to try and encourage attendees to donate or loan to be scanned old photos of Los Alamos

Newsletter

  • It was suggested that we get something in the membership newsletter to solicit historical items for donation or loan to the Men’s Club

  • Also, to encourage additional members to the History Committee

Annual Old Day books

  • Still need a list of annual Old Days booklets that the Club has collected to see what ones are missing.

  • Mike’s goal is to digitize all of these for electronic storage.

Los Alamos Valley Men’s Club January 30, 2023 @6:30 PM 

Members in Attendance: Mike Farris, Steve Soderquist, Brad Vidro and Heather Soderquist

 General Discussions:

Annual Old Day books Need a list of annual Old Days booklets that the Club has collected to see what ones are missing. Sheila Glaser has books to donate.

Computer

Does the Club have one for information storage?Mike can provide Microsoft Office Pro for it if needed for a small cost. The Club needs a librarian to track books in the collection on the computer. Index of books available to review could be put on the website.

Photos

Billy King provided two photos that have been scanned. One is of the Los Alamos baseball team with his dad and Charlie Gonzales in the photo. Need to get Charlie to identify the players in the photo. An electronic photo frame that could run a series of historic photos at the Men’s club for visitors to view.

Building History

Mike is trying to complete a history of all businesses that have been in each individual building on Bell Street. He needs assistance with research.

Plaque project

On hold. Ideas include plaques on individual buildings with historic photographs. Possible series of plaques at the club building.

Research projects by Mike Farris

Los Alamos Graves: There are about 600 grave markers from the Los Alamos Cemetery. The project is to identify as many of the people as possible. I have worked with the Friends of the Los Alamos Cemetery to identify which grave markers belong to veterans. So far, there are 119. I have about four more names who may have been veterans but need more research. There may be others but that needs some additional research. The Los Alamos Cemetery on the findagrave.com website is very incomplete. Although much of the individual histories such as obituaries and family histories are available for other cemeteries, it is horribly lacking for Los Alamos. The project is to fill in the gap.

Obituaries:

I have about 700 obituaries of people either buried in the Los Alamos Cemetery or who grew up in Los Alamos and had a family connection with the town. This needs more research. As well as be digitized, they are in a binder, but it needs to be (re)organized.

Lot History:

I am trying to identify every building that has been on every lot in town, businesses, and homes, including names and dates. I have almost finished going through " Tour of the Los Alamos Historic District" by Jim Norris. Some other books to go through include all of the Old Days books and another book by Jim Norris.

People History:

I started this by taking the names from the cemetery. There are also city directories, census, voting records, newspaper articles, etc., to be researched. This will include where people lived and worked and family relationships. I am trying to get pictures of as many people (past and present) as possible. It needs a lot of research.

Local Family Trees

I am trying to do starter family trees for the older local families. I have made a small start on 10 families in an Excel spreadsheet.

Baseball:

I have downloaded over 100 articles on Los Alamos baseball from the Santa Maria Times. There are still a lot more to be downloaded. This is a project that someone else could pick up as baseball is not really something that I am interested in.

Old Days History Book

 This is a pending project that I have not started yet. It still requires a lot of research. Planned chapters, subject to change, include Men's Club, History of Old Days, Grand Marshalls, Parade, Car Show, Los Alamos Style Barbeque, Events (rodeo, horse race, foot race, baseball games, etc.). Recreating the Al Rodriguez book (scanned but not assembled) and the Los Alamos School recipe book (not started). By the way, the Los Alamos Seniors published a recipe book a number of years ago. I believe that they have sold out but maybe they have a digitized copy, or someone would lend us one to scan and put into our library. Brad Vidro has a copy of this.

Los Alamos Then-and-Now

A computer program featuring pictures and the history of various businesses primarily.

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