The Native Voices of Madera County: An Oral History Project

For the 2023-2024 school year, students in Madera South High School’s historical literacy course plan to conduct oral history interviews with Madera County indigenous people. In their research thus far, students have found that most historical accounts of native peoples are written from non-native perspectives. The goal of this oral history project is for local […]

Madera’s Civil War Soldiers

Quant grave

Over 100 8th graders are on a mission to tell the story of the War Between the States, but they want to do it through the eyes of some of the soldiers who fought in those battles. That’s why they were in Arbor Vitae Cemetery on August 23. They were visiting the graves of some […]

Sunny Nishimoto’s Family

Sunny Nishimoto

The Madera Method historians, in Mrs. Shelton’s historical literacy course at Madera South High School, are seeking community submissions to aid in our current project on the Nishimoto family. As part of this project, we plan to conduct oral history interviews with family members as well as those in the community close to patriarch Sunny […]

The California Conquest

Map of the US-Mexico border before the Mexican American war

The 2021-2022 California Conquest research project, the first Madera Method project by Madera South High School students, was an ambitious undertaking spearheaded by eager third-year teacher Valerie Shelton and 14 seniors in her elective historical literacy course. Unsure of where to begin, Ms. Shelton met with Madera Method founder Bill Coate and perused the archive […]

Avenging the Blood of Emmett Till

The Emmett Till Project 2021-22 In August 2021, the 8th-grade classes in Eastin-Arcola and La Vina Schools began another Jim Crow project. It was a sequel to the Jim Crow project that had been completed the previous year in the same schools. Piqued by the earlier project, these students wanted to dig a little deeper. […]

Madera’s Journey from Jim Crow to Civil Rights

From Jim Crow to Civil Rights

The Journalistic Record Project 2020-21 Madera was founded and first populated by whites. The first recorded African-American resident of Madera was Dexter Hunt, a 31-year-old porter who worked for Captain Russel Perry Mace in his hotel. He arrived here in 1880. For the next 20 years, Madera continued to grow, from 217 residents in 1880 […]

Twenty-Seven Years a Free Man

The Journal of Gabriel Bibbard Moore Project 2019-2020 “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” – Amendment XV Here was a former slave living in the “free state” […]

Memories of the Rebel Clerk of Fresno County

The Rebel Clerk Project 2010 Harry St. John Dixon was elected County Clerk of Fresno County, California in 1869. As a lawyer, he became Fresno’s first city attorney and designed its first city seal. He was the father of Maynard Dixon, the famous artist of the West. In this book, Dixon lays out the pathos […]

Outlaws and Lawmen

early 1900s men on motorcycles

The Sheriffs Project 2018-19 In 2019-20, five 8th grade classes in four schools– Dixieland, Eastin-Arcola, Howard, and Lavina– researched the history of criminal activity in Madera County. Under the direction of their teachers, the students from all four schools collaborated on a project, which was named Outlaws and Lawmen: Crimes of the Century and The […]

Gillum Baley: Fresno County’s Frontier Judge

Portrait of Gillum Baley

“Gillum Baley: Fresno County’s Frontier Judge” was researched and written in the 1995-96 school year by students in Bill Coate’s 5th-grade class at Bullard T.A.L.E.N.T. School (Fresno, California). Gillum Baley was taken by the gold fever and joined the rush to California in 1849. After only minimal success at mining, Baley returned to his family […]

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