Needed For Merced's Historic Buildings
By JOHN M. DERBY
August 31, 2017
Merced has no statues of General Robert E. Lee, it has many
historic buildings and homes.
Unfortunately, to the out-of-towner, these historic buildings
and what made them historic is all but lost.
There is barely any evidence of why these buildings remain
standing after so many years.
History is very important, as the Merced County Historical
Society reminds us on a regular basis. The latest exhibit
at the Courthouse Museum is the Ag Centennial of Merced
County dating back to 1917.
Many communities in the country have chosen to place brass
or bronze plaques on the fronts of their historic buildings
giving a brief history on the background of the building,
the age and why it is unique.
Merced is yet to follow the example, however, it is never
too late. The buildings are still here. Many have newer
facades, but are still in the same location where they stood
a century ago.
Homes like the Greenbrier at 21st and K, and the mansion
at the Bear Creek Inn, have been saved from the bulldozer
and are still in good condition. They deserve a plaque telling
their importance in Merced’s history.
Old timers may know some of that history, but we are not
going to stand on the street corner and yell like a town
crier at passengers in cars as they drive by.
The plaques would cost a fair amount of money as they need
to be in a large enough size so the information on them
is readable from the sidewalk. They should also be of about
the same size so they are consistent all over town.
Perhaps the city or one of its sub-committees could offer
to cover part of the cost and negotiate with a local engraver
to get a set price for such plaques. For some of the downtown
buildings the Mainstreet Association might help out.
Writing up the information to place on the plaque might
be assisted by the Historical Society, or even the County
We see this as a joint citywide project that even clubs
and organizations might be interested in supporting. The
Sunrise Rotary raised several thousands of dollars to recently
rename M Street as Veterans Blvd.
Let’s use this column as a talking point and see if
it gains any traction. Bring the subject up at meetings
and see if anyone agrees.
It’s time to take a little more pride in our town’s