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Barry Schrader


I currently have columns running in 3 newspapers;

  • Tri-Valley Herald : Looking Back
  • Valley Times : Do You Remember?
  • The Independent : Do You Remember?

The Articles appear in the Herald and Independent on Thursdays,
and the Times on Sundays.

They will also be found on this page each week as well.


If you've missed any please follow the links on the dates to catch up.

Archive Page

Looking for pioneer family descendants

By Barry Schrader.................................April 7, 2005

If your ancestors came to the Tri-Valley before 1910, Dick Finn wants to know about it.

As part of the Heritage Families History Project, the Tri-Valley History Council has begun collecting data on pioneer families. Finn says they have information on more than 290 families, which includes some 8,100 individuals, so far and he sees this as a great benefit to future genealogical researchers, museums, libraries and historians.

As a start they are assembling binders with the descendants' charts for each pioneer family. Added to that will be a history of the family, hopefully provided by a family member or a local historian. Also being sought are photos and other documents such as marriage certificates. This will all be compiled on computer disks and made available to the public at Tri-Valley libraries and museums.

The History Council was organized as a network of all the local historical groups-their intent is to encourage, promote and assist the study and research of local history, organize training and development classes and seminars, support school history projects, and maintain a calendar of each historical group's activities.

In you want to participate in the Heritage Families History Project contact Finn, the project leader, at (925) 447-9652 or via email at rwfinn@wecare.net. Volunteers are also needed to help collect and compile the data.
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There are certain local events and traditions that are nostalgic, seeing old friends and enjoying a good time. One of those came to mind when I received an email from Nancy Faraudo of Livermore telling about the Livermore-Amador Symphony. Her note follows:
"An area to be reminisced about is the Livermore-Amador Symphony Orchestra. It has been performing here in the valley for about 40 years, and we have loved watching and listening to it most of these years. In its early days, it was under the auspices of the Livermore Adult Education, but now they are on their own. The musicians that have grown up with and/or stayed with this group are to be commended. Their wealth of talent has grown over the years, giving the community so much.

"The most interesting thing that I've observed is watching the community grow old before my eyes. My husband Don and I usually sit in the same area of the sanctuary of the Presbyterian Church (where most of their performances are held), as do others, so we have 40 years worth of visions of the same folks, like flipping a cartoon drawing and watching it change. What other event brings so many people regularly together, year after year after year. There are physicists, farmers, professionals, storekeepers, teachers, folks from all denominations of churches, students, local politicians, doctors and lawyers. Being a people watcher, I can say I have watched the aging of Livermore. Sadly, some of these folks are beginning to leave us. It's not just the buildings or the streets getting older, but the people who have lived here for so long, and have been the life-blood of the city.

"From 5,000 population in 1953 to 75,000 or more now, this Livermore-Amador Symphony has provided music and a gathering place to the backbone of the city. We see the druggist from downtown. We see artists who exhibit in the local art shows. We see former mayors and councilmen. We see a doctor from the early days of Valley Memorial Hospital. We see many LLNL and Sandia friends. We see winemakers. Teachers are here from grammar, middle and high schools. These same folks have contributed to the support of the Symphony over the years. We have a conductor from Stanford University who brings premium soloists to our city from the greater San Francisco area."

Nancy puts it so well. I hope others will share their favorite traditions or gatherings that make this place so special. Send them to me and I will try to use them in future columns.

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History mystery question for this week: What Livermore couple has played a combined total of 80 years in the local symphony? Hint: they missed one year while living in England.

The columnist can be reached via email at :


or by snailmail at:

Barry Schrader
PO Box 446
Livermore, CA. 94551

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