Show At Courthouse Could Be Best Yet
By JOHN M. DERBY
June 1, 2017
you have not seen the exhibit on the Italians of Merced
County, now on display at the Merced County Courthouse Museum,
then do it now.
It may be the best exhibit of its kind ever displayed at
the local museum.
It fills up three rooms with hundreds of pictures and it
tells the story of those who fulfilled the American Dream.
Many of the local Italians, who first came to Merced County
in the early 1900s, had little more than the the coats on
their backs, and a name pinned to the front with the town
they were headed for.
They spoke no English and some might have been lucky enough
to have a relative waiting for them when they got off the
train in this strange land.
They took whatever jobs were available; yard work, house
cleaning, child care, farm work and caring for dairy cows.
The pay was poor, however, they were happy to be in a country
where there was an opportunity to improve their lives.
They stuck together, helping each other through the hardship,
and they shared their food and whatever they had.
They married other Italians as well as some people who were
not Italian. They sang and danced and built their own Italian
Hall where they reminisced about the Old Country. They had
a lot of pride in being Italian and starting with nothing.
In time, they became successful and their names are among
the leaders in this community. They were elected to a variety
of offices , served as County Sheriff, members of the City
Council, and the Board of Supervisors.
All of this is part of the pictorial history of Italians
in Merced County, and it did not just happen, it took hours
of volunteer time, as well as staff time, to provide this
Congratulations to the Merced County Historical Society,
and all those who took part in bringing this impressive
exhibit to the museum.
It should not be missed.
The hours the museum is open are: Wednesday through Sunday,
1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Museum is located in the historic Merced County Courthouse
at 21st and N Streets, Merced.