The Winters Museum
We thank everyone for the support during this year's Big Day of Giving.
Our Current Exhibit
Biking in the streets of Monticello
There was a thriving agricultural town on the western side of the Sacramento Valley… that is until 1957.
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Winters Museum in the News
Grand Opening Event
Our Last Exhibit
The Lost Japanese Community of Winters
Apricot School Students c.1930.
The Lost Japanese Community
The Winters Museum features the story of Japanese community in its new exhibit entitled "The Lost Japanese Community of Winters." The exhibit is open now!
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This photo is included. Here is the caption that goes with it: The Apricot School District was formed in 1881 and was located 3 miles west of town, on the southeast corner of what is now State Highway 128 and County Road 87. A new Apricot School was built in 1904 a little west of the old school. The school was so named because the apricot was the most valuable orchard crop in that region. Due to declining enrollment in the rural areas and because of its proximity to the town, the Apricot School closed in 1945. This picture is c. 1930 and includes many Japanese and Spanish immigrant children.
FRONT ROW: John Young (WHS 1935, became Woodland lawyer); Arthur Ish (WHS Class of 1938); Frank Kawamoto (family returned to Japan in 1935); Bert Coman; Dick Rubio; Billie Ish; Pedro Rubio; Frank Rubio.
SECOND ROW: unknown boy; unknown boy; Bobby Kohara; Fred Kawamoto (family returned to Japan in 1935); Henry Nishioka; unknown Japanese girl (maybe Sumilo Horibe?); Grace Asai; unknown girl.
THIRD ROW: unknown girl; unknown girl; unknown girl; Saki Yamamoto (WHS Class of 1940); unknown girl; Susie Asai (WHS Class of 1938); Ben Shimomura (WHS Class of 1939); May (Nobuko) Asai (taller girl leaning in; WHS Class of 1935; Harry Kohama.
FOURTH ROW: unknown Japanese girl (related to Dote family and lived on McGarr ranch); Dorothy Martin; unknown girl; Margaret Ish (WHS Class of 1940); unknown girl; unknown girl; unknown girl; unknown girl; unknown girl; Jane Youn (WHS Class of 1939); Anna C. Gregory (teacher); Isomura (Yura’s sister; family returned to Japan.)
Turlock Assembly Center 1942
Columnist Gerald Taylor writes in the 09/15/2021 Winters Express: "'The Lost Japanese Community of Winters' exhibit now on display at the Winters Museum is informative, thought-provoking and insightful, and embodies the best of what a historical museum can offer to a community. Untold hours of research and preparation were wisely spent on this project. It’s best if you go and see for yourself, for I cannot do it justice in the few words of this column."
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Photo shows members of the Kato, Kozen, and Esaki families who were sent to the Turlock Assembly Center in 1942 and are awaiting placement in an internment camp at Gila River, Arizona. They are, from left to right, (first row) Jim and Bobby Kozen (second row) Bud Kato, Tony Kozen, holding son Roy; Henry Kato, Masako (Kato) Kozen, Mike Kato, George Esaki; and his mother Fusano, (third row) Yoneko Kato, Harry Kato, and Utae Kato.
The Kato and Kozen families were from Winters. The Esaki family was from Monterey. Jim Kozen was 6 years old; Bobby Kozen was 4 years old. Harry and Utae Kato were first generation or Issei as was Fusano Esaki. All the other Kato members (Bud, Henry, Mike, and Yoneko) along with Tony and Masako Kozen were second generation or Nisei as was George Esaki. The three Kozen boys (Jim, Bobby, and Roy were third generation or Sansei. (Identified by a family member, May 2020).
.Both Bud and Mike Kato later joined the Army. Mike served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and received a purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Photo is a Dorothea Lange reprint. The original currently is in the Dorothea Lange Collection at UC Berkeley Bancroft Library Collection.
The Winters Museum and the Winters History Mural had very special visitors recently. Jim Kozen and Family came to visit the Museum and the Mural on Sunday, February 6th.
Jim Kozen is the older of the two young boys standing in the front row of Dorothea Lange's photo taken at the Turlock Assembly Center almost 80 years ago.
Japanese American Community of Winters
Learn about the perseverance of the Japanese American community of Winters and how that history is being preserved.
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As part of the 2021 Sacramento Archives Crawl, and in partnership with the Yolo County Archives, Floyd Shimomura presented on his research into the Japanese American community of Winters, California. He was joined by Emily Masuda who discussed her efforts to preserve this history as a teacher and creative writer. Their presentation explored ﬁndings from archives, museums, and online databases to reveal information about the Winters Japanese School, genealogy, wonderful treasures from family collections, and the redress movement. The presentation was facilitated and moderated by Yolo County Archives Coordinator Heather Lanctot. It was recorded on Friday, October 8th.
Floyd and Emily played vital roles in assembling the Lost Japanese Community of Winters exhibit currently at the Winters Museum. Heather and the Yolo County Archives were valuable resources.
The Winters History Museum is centrally located in downtown Winters at 13 Russell Street, on the corner of Russell and First Streets, a short walk from Buckhorn Steakhouse, Putah Creek Cafe, Preserve, Steady Eddy's, Hooby's, Chuy's, Pizza Factory, Ocean Restaurant, El Pueblo, Carboni's, Winters Hotel, Winters City Hall, and Winters Community Center.
Our Recent Exhibit
Shimomura Family Visits the Museum
Ben Shimomura Family
The Winters Museum was so very fortunate to have the Shimomura Family visit to help open our Lost Japanese Community of Winters Exhibit. And Ben is 100!
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Back row (adults standing): Mark Shimomura, Floyd Shimomura, Brian Shimomura, Lisa Shimomura Quon, Reina Shimomura, Susan (Shimomura) Shimizu, Grant Shimizu, Craig Shimizu, Linda (Shimomura) Don, Tim Shimizu.
Front row (adults kneeling and kids standing): Malcolm Quon, Ruth Shimomura, Russell Quon, Ben Shimomura (wheel chair), Ben Quon, Jamie Shimomura, Ryan Shimomura, Ali Nakaji (Brian’s fiancé).
Philanthropy Day 2021
Museum Honors Exhibit Committee
Watch Woody: https://youtu.be/1sVCzjmAB
The Winters Museum Board selected the Museum Exhibit Committee, led by Floyd Shimomura and Gloria Lopez, as our National Philanthropy Day Volunteers of the Year.
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The current exhibit at the Winters Museum is “The Lost Japanese Community of Winters.” The exhibit showcases the Japanese families and businesses, an integral part of the Winters community before World War II, and what happened to them during and after. Included are photographs of happier times, pre-war weddings, photos and artifacts of dismal internment camp-life, and signs depicting anti-Japanese sentiments. It is poignant and thought provoking.
Our Year End Message
Even though our doors were closed for part of the year, we were able to curate the highly successful and much appreciated “Lost Japanese Community of Winters” exhibit. Currently we are building our next exhibit which is titled "Remembering the Town of Monticello." We have been meeting monthly with folks that lived in (or had relatives that lived in), the town of Monticello which was demolished to create Lake Berryessa. We have been collecting photos and artifacts, researching families, and collecting stories, preparing for a mid-February opening. . . .
. . . As I reflect on what has been a difficult year, I'd like to offer gratitude for your continued support. The Board members and I view the museum as an important resource for the community, and we believe you do, too. As you're aware, we have continuing obligations such as rent, utilities, and the costs that incur when building and curating exhibits. If you are able to help us meet these obligations, your tax deductible donation can be made online via www.wintersmuseum.org. Alternatively, you may use our donation form. We sincerely appreciate your continued support, especially in these unusual times.
Support the Winters Museum!
Winters Veterans Speak
Historical Society of Winters has published the video recording of the program portion of the Honoring Winters Veterans event that was held at the Winters Museum on 03/01/2020. See it here: https://youtu.be/Hd2iuMSo30E
Robyn Rominger with Books
Book-signing by Robyn Rominger
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Joann and Evelyne Visit the Museum
Big Day of Giving 2022 Is Over!
Thanks to the Museum Donors!
We are having a parade on Main Street in Downtown Winters to thank our donors for contributing more than $15,000 to the Winters Museum!
Richard Rominger will be missed. . .
It is with deep sadness that the Historical Society shares the news that one of our board members, Richard Rominger, passed away this week. He and his wife Evelyne were instrumental in helping us move from “a museum without walls”, to obtaining a location and opening the doors to our Winters History Museum.
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Typical of Rich, he was involved in an act of kindness when he collapsed, arranging for food to be delivered to locals in need. His participation in the affairs of the Historical Society of Winters was just one of many organizations for which he served. But the fact that he was part of six generations of history in Yolo County and farming make this loss especially poignant and regretful for the Historical Society. He and Evelyne told first-hand stories and contributed artifacts that enrich our collections. Last year, Rich, dressed up in his navy cap, told an audience who came to the Veterans Day exhibition of his experiences serving during the Second World War. Perhaps less important, but equally generous of his time, he addressed legions of fifth graders as President Lincoln while they prepared for their living history experience as Union soldiers on an overnight trip on Angel Island. Rich dressed in a period costume, complete with top hat, as he sent the troops off.
Many of you know that Richard Rominger was the former Deputy Secretary of Agriculture under the Clinton Administration, (assuming all the duties of the Secretary post as “Acting Secretary” for five years while Clinton wrestled with his nominations to be approved.) He also served as California Secretary of Agriculture under Jerry Brown during his first term in the 70’s and 80’s. He served on the UC Davis Board of Regents, the board of the American Farmland Trust, and California Roundtable on Agriculture and the Environment just to mention a few of his leadership positions. It has been the Winters community’s good fortune to call Rich our own, and his death is a significant loss.
Our hearts grieve along with Evelyne and the rest of the Rominger family as we say goodbye to this generous statesman, historian, farmer, and friend.
A Brief History of Winters
Newt Wallace writes his Express column
Thanks to the Winters Express for including an article which details the early history of our town in the Welcome to Winters 2020 publication. Please pick up a copy while they are available, or . . .
Winters Historical Mural Project
Mural Wall 2020
Following the safety protocols of the CDC due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Winters Participation Gallery, and eighteen students painted the east wall of the John Rogers building which houses the Winters History Museum.
For more: www.wintersparticipationgallery.org
Winters Historical Mural Project
A Salute to Winters Veterans
If you can help us to add to our photo collection, please let us know.
Sweethearts and Mayors
Youth Day Royalty
If you can help us to fill in the blanks or improve our photos and info, please let us know.
Connect with HSW!
What People Are Saying
"I guess you really *can* make a silk purse of a sow's ear now and again. The Winters Historical Society has transformed the unutterably funky Winters Express office in the old library building into a small and lovely museum. I look forward to watching it grow over time. Stop in and take a look and see what you can do to help them grow, whether its monetary contributions or handing over some of those great old artifacts you have around the house or volunteering time."
"Yes - it was a wonderful event and a marvelous museum. Thanks to all who contributed to the success of both. "
"Great beginning to what will blossom into a great treasure for the people of Winters and the world."
"Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I will support you always!"
You Can Help!
The Museum Needs Docents
Volunteer to serve a two-hour shift at the Museum: http://bit.ly/hsw-signup1.
Send any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One of the Museum's dedicated volunteers recently wrote: "Volunteering at the Winters Historical Museum is a pleasure. Visitor numbers are increasing, my estimate, 40% locals and the balance from across the nation and abroad. They love it, they contribute and value our history...without exception. The contributions the Museum founders have made in terms of time and donations is generous and loving, ‘so native Winters proud.’
"Visit if you haven’t, volunteer for a 2 hour shift, I believe you’ll be happy you did. While some shifts may not see a visitor at all, the opportunity to view and read the collection of history is priceless - from Winters root’s families to Winters High School class lists and news tidbits each year since WHS held its first classes. Thank you for this gift."
Recent Exhibits and Events
Celebrate Friday the 13th
Join us as we continue the tradition of the Wallace Family's Friday the 13th Party. We will honor Newt's memory with the extra special Newt's Black Ink Ale served in an extra special Newt's Black Ink Ale Pint Glass.
Celebrate Winters Agriculture!
Apricots drying in the sun
Farm girl with apricots
Music at the Museum
Friday May 31st 6-9 PM
Please join the Historical Society of Winters for an evening of music at the Winters Museum on Friday 06/31. The event will feature live music by amazing local artists and will benefit the Winters History Museum. In addition, the event will provide one of the last opportunities to see the Winters Plein Air Festival Art Show. The paintings will be coming down on Sunday 06/02.
Plein Air Paintings of Winters
The Winters Museum will feature the plein air paintings of the artists who participated in the 2019 Winters Plein Air Festival. The art will remain on display at the Museum through Sunday, June 2nd. You will be able to see and purchase paintings. Museum hours are Thursday through Sunday from 2:00 until 6:00 PM. Don't wait. Plan a visit today.
Reliving Our Youth Days
Remember Youth Days of the Past with a visit to the Winters Museum and the current feature exhibit "Reliving Our Youth Days." The exhibit opened on Thursday, March 21, and will run through May 5th.
The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday from 2:00 until 6:00 PM.
Opening Night Event
On Friday, November 30, we opened with our first exhibit!
We titled it "Historical Society of Winters 'Expresses' Itself."
The Winters Express, especially the Wallace years, are featured. The short film “Winters Express” featuring Newt Wallace was shown. Charley Wallace shared his comments.
Video Slideshow of the Youth Day Opening
Video slideshow of photos from the opening night for the Reliving Our Youth Days exhibit at the Winters Museum.
Photo Slideshow of First Exhibit
Opening Night Video
Former Winters Express publisher Charley Wallace demonstrates an antique Campbell Country Cylinder Press built in 1861 at the Historical Society of Winters (CA) Museum opening, November 30, 2018, with the help of his brother, John.
(Video by Shaunie Briggs)
We are planning our next themed exhibits. Here are a few that we are considering. Drop by and tell us what you think.
Building The Museum
This video slideshow follows the HSW team's conversion of the Winters Express office space into the Winters Museum.
Winters History on Social Media
Theodore Winters and Family, 1885
Caption reads: "Theodore Winters and his family are shown in this 1885 photo owned by the Nevada Historical Society. In the back row, left to right, are Nettie and Louis; front row, left to right: Nellie, George, Neva, Theodore, Maggie, Mrs. Winters, Archie and Theodora."
(Winters Express, 1975 Winters Centennial Supplement)
The Saloons Have Moved!
A 1875 Los Angeles Herald news item mentions Buckeye and Winters. Learn how a decision regarding the routing of an extension of the Vaca Valley Railroad led to the demise of Buckeye and the rise of Winters.
(Source: Tom Crisp's The People of Buckeye and Early Winters)
Winters History Mural 2018
Winters Participation Gallery (WPG) sponsored a summer class titled “The Winters History Mural Project.” It was taught by local professional muralist, Jaime Montiel, and included a dozen students ranging in age from 11-18.
For more photos and videos, visit Winters Participation Gallery.
You Can Help!
Museum Needs Items!
The Winters Museum is looking for items to display.
We are particularly interested in items that relate to local agriculture, local businesses, or family history. Items should be small and have a connection to Winters. If you have an item that you would be willing to donate or loan, please email a photo with a short description to email@example.com.