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Museum Memories Day Focuses On Local Natives
Members of the Riverbank Historical Society will meet for a Memories Day session at the museum on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 11 a.m. News File Photo

With the new year, the Riverbank Historical Society has resumed its “Memories Day” activities, including one scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 12 at 11 a.m.

It will be a Part Two of sorts, continuing the presentation that was first made back in April 2016 on the local Yokut Indians.

The speaker again will be Bill Buckram, a retired teacher who taught elementary school in Riverbank for 13 years. He went on to teach history at Modesto High and La Loma Junior High. After retiring, he became a docent at the McHenry Museum in Modesto and leads tours for elementary school groups there.

The talk he’s continuing is based on the book The Stanislaus Indian Wars: the Last of the Northern Yokuts, written by Thorne B. Gray. His presentation covers the period between 1776, when the first Franciscan missionaries made contact, up to 1933, when the last Yokut died at Knights Ferry.

Bucknam says he plans to focus on events that took place near Riverbank, concentrating on Chief Estanislao’s (for whom Stanislaus County is named) revolt against the missions and Mexican Army forces, in approximately 1828.

“I will also discuss the Yokut culture before contact, including how and why these seemingly docile and peaceful people were able to resist the efforts of the missions and Mexican military to subjugate them,” he said.

The Riverbank Historical Museum is at 3237 Santa Fe, next to and behind City Hall North. It is a Carnegie Library, constructed in 1921 with funds donated by Scottish-American industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie and local contributions. The facility has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1997, when it was dedicated as a museum.

At the same meeting, at 10 a.m., there will be a general membership meeting. At that time, the slate of officers for the society’s board of directors will be discussed, prior to next month’s installation dinner.

The Riverbank Historical Society is a non-profit organization that was formed in the late 1990s, and has been operating the museum since it was dedicated as a historical landmark in 1997.