Anatomy of a Frontier Town: Maynard Dixon’s Fresno

Early Fresno

“Anatomy of a Frontier Town: Maynard Dixon’s Fresno” was researched and written in the 1995-96 school year by students from Bullard T.A.L.E.N.T. School, Bill Coate’s 5th-grade class (Fresno, California). Maynard Dixon, a renowned artist of the West, was born in Fresno California in 1875, just three years after its founding. Dixon left his hometown when […]

Frontiersman to Statesman

The Lippincott Project was researched and written in the summer of 1994 by students from Sisk Elementary School in Salida School District. 1846 has been called “the year of decision.” In that year, more than 2,500 individuals took to the Oregon/California Trail in covered wagons. Three years before the gold rush, these emigrants traveled along […]

John Willson Laird: His Life and Legacy

photo of John Willson Laird

“John Willson Laird: His Life and Legacy,” was written in the 1993-94 school year by students at Salida Middle School, Bill Coate’s sixth-grade class (Salida, California). “Uncle Johnny Laird” was born in 1806, in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. At the age of 40, he joined the westward migration of easterners traveling to California. Little did he […]

A Rebel in Sentiment

The Harry St. John Dixon Project

Harry St. John Dixon came home from the Civil War completely demoralized. Not only had the Confederacy lost the struggle, but the social fabric of his own hometown had also been rent asunder. Reconstruction had given African-Americans political equality, and Dixon simply could not accept it. He and his brother, Jimmy packed their bags and […]

From Nogales to Madera

Madera Method Wagon Train

Madera Method Wagon Train 1993-94 In 1993, the Madera Method added a new domension to its projects. In addition to performing research from primary sources, the students were taken on wagon trips to increase their historical empathy—to give them “seat knowledge” to compliment their “head knowledge.” The first Madera Method wagon train took place in […]

The Forgotten Field, the Forgotten People

The Borden Chinese Project

The Borden Chinese Project 1991-92 The Borden Chinese project was conducted in the 1991-92 school year by 6th-grade students in James Monroe School (Madera, California). Chinese immigrants came to Madera County during the California gold rush. Many stayed on to work on local ranches and on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Later they built their own […]

The Civil War Diary of Samuel James Corbett

portrait of Samuel James Corbett

The Civil War Diary Project 1991-1992 “The Civil War Diary of Samuel James Corbett” was researched in the 1991-92 school year by students from the following schools: James Monroe Elementary, Bill Coate’s 6th-grade class (Madera, California); Kent Middle School, Linda Storek’s 4/5th grade class (Kentfield, California). Samuel James Corbett loved a good fight, and so […]

The Captain

photo of Russel Perry Mace

The Mace Project 1990-91 The Mace Project was conducted in the 1990-91 school year by students from the following classes at Thomas Jefferson Junior High School, Madera California: Bill Atwood’s history classes; Bill Coate’s history classes; Robin Dompeling’s history classes; Terri Dompeling’s English classes. Russel Perry Mace began his life of adventure at the age […]

From Slavery to the Twentieth Century

Picture of two people

The McAlister Family 1989-1990 The McAlister Family Project was researched in the 1989-90 school year by students at Madera High School, Lorenzo Abeyta’s American Studies class. Ben McAlister’s father was a white plantation owner, and his mother was a black slave. When he was 25 years old, Ben met Miranda Gregory, a house slave on […]

The Stormy Days of 1836

picture of war

The Texas Revolution Project 1989-90 The Texas Revolution project was conducted in the 1989-90 school year by students from the following schools: Berenda Elementary, Raul Lozano’s 8th grade history class (Madera, California); McAllister Junior High School, Bill McCormick’s 7th grade history class (Bay City, Texas); Somerset Junior High School, Ken Schmidt’s 8th grade history class […]

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