Hometown History

Preserving History and Community Spirit: The Mineral King Preservation Society

by Molly Eide Marquez

Nestled within the majestic Sequoia National Park lies Mineral King, a valley brimming with natural beauty and rich historical significance. At the heart of efforts to preserve this hidden gem stands the Mineral King Preservation Society (MKPS), a nonprofit organization dedicated to safeguarding its unique heritage. Founded in 1986 amidst concerns over potential development, the society has since become a committed guardian of Mineral King's cultural and environmental legacy.

Pretty as Poison: The Life, Crimes & Accomplices of California’s First Black Widow Part 2

by Sarah Peterson-Camacho
Albert N. McVicar was most definitely dead.
With his 6’4”, 185-lb. frame doubled up like a pretzel inside the four-foot Saratoga steamer trunk, his “corpse was found curled up with wounds on his head,” writes true crime author J’aime Rubio. “His nose had been completely fractured…Blood that poured from his head and nose settled at the bottom corner of the trunk…”

Until Death Do Us Part: A Love Story of the Supernatural

by Sarah Peterson-Camacho
But from the moment William Chester Spence married Lulu Holden Klamroth Dodd in Oakland, California, on Wednesday, July 29, 1925, it was a match made for the hereafter. The widowed carpenter, 47, and the twice-divorced medium, 52, shared a passion for the paranormal, and by the time of their marriage, they had seen enough of life to know that the Other Side was never very far away.

The Haunted Palace: Wayward Spirits of a Bad-Luck Bordello

by Sarah Peterson-Camacho
Forty-eight hours before he was murdered, Percy Williams was living large on the last night of September, 1890.
The favorite son of a former Attorney General of California, Williams was all of 26 years old, wealthy, married, with an infant already in the ground, since the previous February—but here he was at the Palace, Stockton’s premier bordello, cozying up to madam Dora Russell on El Dorado Street…only several blocks from the mansion where his young wife Bessie slept alone in their cold marital bed.

Slain on Lovers Lane: The Century-Old Double Murder of Jazz-Age Lovebirds, Part 2

by Sarah Peterson-Camacho

Cradling the rose quartz pendulum in the palm of my hand, I gingerly picked my way across the dusty, uneven terrain of Sanger’s Bethel Cemetery, my darting eyes peeled for gopher holes. It was a beautiful day for a séance in a deserted country graveyard: a breezy, cloudless summer afternoon, unseasonably cool for the middle of a Central California July. And yet my palm was sweaty, sticking to the pendulum, and I felt oddly self-conscious.