February 1 program at Kaiser
‘The Spartan Style’
with the Pinole Valley HS
What’s it like to spend your entire high-school career in portable classrooms?
Without a gym? Or cafeteria? Or library?
What kinds of challenges does this pose for students, and how do the
methods they use to confront and overcome those challenges prepare
these students for the real world?
With the new Pinole Valley High School nearing completion and scheduled to open
in August, the PVHS Interact Club, a service organization sponsored by Pinole
Rotary, will share their high-school experiences when they present at the PHS
membership meeting Friday, February 1, from 6:30-8 p.m. at the Kaiser
Permanente Medical Office Building, 1301 Pinole Valley Road.
“Pinole Valley High School has been under construction for the last four years,”
says Interact Club President Anna Chang. “It currently houses more than 1,000 students
on a portable campus located on what was previously the school’s baseball field.
“The students here have had unique experiences, from bringing a canoe to row in the largest
puddle on campus to having ‘hall sweeps’ without halls.
“Despite obstacles students have faced, lacking resources such as a gym and auditorium,
they have had outstanding accomplishments in visual and performing arts, career preparation,
and more. Their determination has better prepared them for the challenges they’ll face
in the real world.”
PHS meetings are free for members and the public. Refreshments will be served.
Please join us for a walk down high-school memory lane — portable style!
2019 PHS meeting dates
The Pinole Historical Society will present quarterly programs on these dates in 2019. Members and guests
are welcome to attend from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in conference rooms 2A and 2B of the Kaiser Permanente Medical
Office Building, 1301 Pinole Valley Road.
• Friday, May 3: Update on the new Pinole Valley High School from
Lathrop Construction and WLC Architects.
• Friday, September 6: Program to be announced.
• Friday, November 1: Program to be announced.
Life of Bernardo Fernandez featured
in historical society presentation
Susan Fernandez, great-granddaughter of Bernardo Fernandez, one of the founders of Pinole,
presents “The Life and Times of Bernardo Fernandez” in a 2017 program for the Pinole Historical Society.
Listen to the program here.
George Vincent’s book about
Pinole’s early schools for sale
Pinole Historical Society co-founder and historian George Vincent’s long-awaited book,
“School Bells and Ink Wells: a History of the Early Schools of Pinole, 1865-1968,” is available for sale.
The 124-page book, featuring more than 150 photos, some never-before seen, chronicles the
history of the Fitzgerald Ranch School (1865-1886), Plaza School (1886-1906), and
Pinole-Hercules School #1 (1906-1966).
The book is filled with stories and amusing anecdotes, and anyone who went to school in Pinole
will treasure this fond memory of their early education. It brings to light the workings and
people that made the Pinole-Hercules Union School District the envy of surrounding townships.
Hill School alumni are fiercely loyal to their “green school” that stood atop Samuel Street in
Pinole until 1968. There is a shared pride of camaraderie understood only by those who bore the trials of
the daily uphill climb to the creaking stairs and dark halls haunted by the strict stares of lurking teachers.
CLICK HERE TO ORDER THE BOOK(S) ($30, including sales tax and postage).
Fill out the order form and mail it to George Vincent. He will mail the book to you.
‘Pinole Through Time’ on sale
via mail order, at farmers' market,
and at PHS meetings
The latest book by the acclaimed new America Through Time series published by Fonthill Media,
Pinole Through Time contains 192 old and new comparative photographs showing how Pinole
changed through the 19th and 20th centuries and into the 21st century.
There are detailed and extensive captions packed with historical information accompanying each photograph.
Pinole Through Time and all of our other history books about Contra Costa County cities
are on sale at the Pinole Farmers’ Market, via mail order, and at PHS quarterly meetings.
CLICK HERE TO ORDER YOUR BOOK(S)
and we will mail them to you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover charge cards
Historical videos on city’s website
These Pinole Historical Society programs may now be viewed on your computer via the city’s website.
To watch these programs on your computer, go to the
City of Pinole’s website. Scroll down to PINOLE HISTORY. You’ll find these and other programs about Pinole’s history.
• 2012 Veterans Day Memorial/Flag Retirement
• 2013 Veterans Day Memorial/Flag Retirement
• 2014 Veterans Day Memorial/Flag Retirement
• 2015 Veterans Day Memorial/Flag Retirement
• Japanese American Internment (2012)
• Old School bell dedication (2013)
• February 7, 2014, program: ‘Bars, Barbers and Characters of Early Pinole.’
• November 7, 2014, program: ‘Maritime Contra Costa County.’
• PCTV Historic Walking Tour series
• Interview with Jack Meehan and Tom Cutino
• George Vincent’s 2010 walking tour of Historic Downtown Pinole
• George Vincent’s 2011 walking tour of Historic Downtown Pinole
• Interview with Ed LeFebvre
• Interview with Charlotte Shea
• Interview with Alex Clark
• Pinole Historical Society Book Signing Ceremony
• 2011 Veterans Day Memorial and Flag Retirement Ceremony
• 2010 Veterans Day Memorial and Flag Retirement Ceremony
• 2009 Veterans Day Memorial and Flag Retirement Ceremony
• 2008 Veterans Day Memorial and Flag Retirement Ceremony
• Growing up Pinole
Also, Clyde Maskal made a 13-minute slideshow of the 2012 Veterans Day Memorial and Flag Retirement
Ceremony from many of the photos he took at the event.
Click here to view Clyde’s slide show.
Pinole featured on KGO radio
KGO radio reporter Jennifer Jones Lee interviewed PHS Vice President Jeff Rubin to discover
the origin of the word “Pinole.” Listen to the segment here.
Wells Fargo Bank history mural
dedicated, open to the public
Wells Fargo Bank unveiled its mural of Pinole’s history on July 25, 2013, in a ceremony that featured descendants
of prominent Pinole residents in the mural in a video, talking about their families and their contributions
to the city’s history.
Mike and Michele LeFebvre, son and daughter of Lawrence “Big Red” LeFebvre, manager of the Pinole Merchants
baseball team, and Susan Fernandez, great-granddaughter of Bernardo Fernandez, one of the founders of Pinole,
were featured in the video produced by the bank’s communications department. All three attended the event.
The 12-foot by 4-foot mural was installed on the back wall of the bank at 1374 Fitzgerald Drive.
Pinole Historical Society President Marcia Kalapus and Vice President Jeff Rubin, along with Councilman
Roy Swearingen, Chamber of Commerce President Dina Rosales, and Wells Fargo Bank Regional President
Micky Randhawa, made brief remarks before the nearly six-minute video was shown to attendees.
Click here to view the Pinole Mural video on your computer.
The video is also being shown on Pinole Community TV, channel 28.
The mural includes images of a map of the El Rancho Pinole land grant, the Martinez Adobe, downtown Pinole
in the 1920s, Lawrence “Big Red” LeFebvre, who managed the Pinole Merchants baseball team,
the Pinole-Hercules School (the Old School), the Pinole Fire Department (and Chief Wallace “Pepper” Martin)
in the early 1950s, the 1904 class of the Plaza School (featuring teacher Frances Ellerhorst), the original
Santa Fe depot, Hercules Powder Works employees, Bernardo Fernandez, and the seal of the city of Pinole.
Wells Fargo Bank welcomes visitors to its Pinole branch to view the mural, which is accompanied by a legend
that explains the history of each image.
This mural is one of many in Wells Fargo’s Community Mural Program, which provides a unique
visual enhancement to the customer experience in the bank's branches. Designed to be a snapshot of
Turn-of-the[Last]-Century America, historic images are chosen that convey a sense of history,
tradition, stability, longevity, optimism, and progress.
A typical mural design combines Wells Fargo images and local images that reflect the history and
diversity of the community. An accompanying legend describes each historical image used
in the mural, and credits the source. The Pinole Historical Society provided Wells Fargo with
all of the local photos and images.
In return, Wells Fargo donated $500 to the Pinole Historical Society, for which we are very grateful.
Two library exhibits celebrate
Pinole’s interesting history
Through the generosity of the Pinole Library, the Pinole Historical society has two exhibits at the library,
each giving visitors different information on the history of our city.
Our exhibits include:
• Pinole . . . Then and Now features photos from the society’s archives of buildings
that existed at the turn of the 20th century, and recent photos of buildings on those sites today.
• The National Preservation Month exhibit features artifacts, photos, and memorabilia
from Pinole’s history.
Library hours are Monday (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.), Wednesday (2 to 8 p.m.), Friday (noon to 5 p.m.),
and Saturday (noon to 5 p.m.).
The PHS thanks supporter Tom Parsons, who was kind enough to make
Google Map of the Pinole Historic Walking Tour.
Check out Tom’s handiwork here.
at monthly PHS
The PHS Board of Directors meets on the second Wednesday of every month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the
Pinole Senior Center. At these meetings the board discusses policies and procedures, receives reports, and plans events
The public is welcome at these meetings and may speak on any item on the agenda. There is also a public-comment time
at the beginning of each meeting for people to speak on items not on the agenda.
is on the
See the new Pinole Police History page on the city’s website.
You will learn about Wild-West shootouts, cattle drives downtown, 1920s gangsters, World War II sabotage,
Fiesta Del Pinole riots, and other historical events you had no idea had occurred!
Learn about Pinole’s first lawmen, like saloon-owning Constable John Collins and rough-and-tumble Arthur McDonald,
who was killed during a shootout in 1929. See how the Pinole Police Department grew from one famous, ticket-writing
motorcycle cop to a professional, modern police force. Read about the three officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice
for this community when they took on violent criminals.
The new Pinole Police History page is full of
great, colorful stories and fun pictures! You will feel like you’re walking through time!