by Leigh Johnsen
San Joaquin County Historical Society & Museum
One of the best-kept secrets of San Joaquin County may be the historic government records housed at the San Joaquin County Historical Museum. Knowledge that these resources exist often comes as a surprise to visitors. The Museum holds official records from the County of San Joaquin and the Cities of Stockton and Lodi that, together, span the years 1850 to 1997.
Members of the staff are pleased to announce that research in its historic Lodi City Records just got easier due to the addition of a guide recently posted on the Online Archive of California. The guide, viewable by clicking here, offers a searchable list of material in the collection, which spans the years 1907 to 1962.
During this period, Lodi matured into a thriving agricultural center with an increasingly sophisticated government, society, and physical infrastructure. Notable local developments early in the twentieth century included establishment of the Lodi Improvement Club (1905; later, Lodi Women’s Club) and construction of an Opera House (1905), Library (1910), City Hall (1912), High School (1913), and jail and first city park (1914).
The collection, which the Lodi City Council gave to the Museum in 2010, includes material from the City’s assessor, clerk, treasurer, and police, and as well as the Public Works Department. The kinds of documentation it contains range from correspondence, tax assessments, minutes, reports, oaths of office, and hospital records to maps, diagrams, contracts, and a scrapbook.
Members of the public are welcome to research material in the Lodi City Records by appointment. To arrange a visit, send me an email or phone me at (209) 331-2055.