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PHONE: (925) 449-9927
WEB ADDRESS: www.lhg.org




June 2002 Vol. XXXI No. 9

Reminder: The Livermore Art Association and Livermore Heritage Guild will be open until 8 p.m. on Thursday nights during Farmer's Market.
Tuesday, June 11th, 7:30 p. m. Congregation Beth Emek, College Ave, at M Street, Livermore. Livermore-Amador Genealogical Society will feature Sharing Your Finds and Tips. Members will be sharing many of the great finds that they have made this past year, Even more interesting might be the clever ways they made these finds. These finds and tips might include newly discovered websites, long lost cousins, and old family items found in the attic. Bring your finds and tips and share them with us.
Saturday, June 8, Livermore Rodeo Parade downtown Livermore, 10 a.m. to noon. Note: History Center will be closed all day.
Sunday, June 9: 1890's costumed docents of the Ravenswood Progress League lead free tours of the more than 100 year old buildings and some of the 30 acres of grounds of Ravenswood Historic Site, 2647 Arroyo Rd., Livermore. The Tank House Gift Shop, craft demonstrations, and Victorian croquet are available. Hours: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Info: 443-0238
Thursday, June 13 @ 7:00 p.m.
LHG Board Meeting, Recreation Center Room 3
PLEASE NOTE: LHG Board meetings move to Recreation Center, Room 3 June to October at 7 p.m.

Excerpted from Livermore Herald, March 27,1931
Old Livermore College Building Will Soon Be
Only a Memory

Sixty-one years ago when Livermore, just established as a shipping point on the Central Pacific railroad, was developing from grass covered range into an embryo city, a magnificent, three-story building dominated the southern comer of the townsite housing the only private institution of learning in the eastern end of the county-the Livermore Collegiate Institute.

Today it is rapidly being reduced to a pile of old lumber, stained by time and charred by flames. Once the most prominent educational institution in central California, the Livermore College, as it has been more commonly known, is fast moving into history. Within a few weeks, wreckers will have removed the last vestige of its material being but its name and fame will forever be prominent in the historical archives of the community.

In 1869 the Central Pacific railroad ran its tracks through the valley and the city of Livermore was born in the vision of Wm. H. Mendenhall. He presented twenty acres to the railroad on which a depot was erected, and immediately surveyed a townsite. Business enterprises were attracted to the new town, among the first being C. J. Steven's grist mill, A. J. McLeod's Livermore Hotel, and Whitmore's store, and the community began to take shape through the erection of homes. A grammar school was already in operation but Mendenhall, ambitious to establish his community in an educational way, was not satisfied.

Accordingly, in 1870 he presented six acres of ground to Rev. and Mrs. W.B. Kingsbury and with residents of the valley freely contributing the required funds, the building was erected.

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The old "Hstory of Alameda County," published in 1883 described the building in the following words: "It is situated on the north bank of the Arroyo Mocho, a wooded stream skirting the suburbs of the bustling town of Livermore. The main college building is three stories in height, is flanked by lesser additions and numerous out-buildings, and surrounded by beautifully shaded and kept grounds. Located as it is in the very center of the mountain-locked Livermore Valley, the view from the cupola of the building is very extensive, and one of the most beautiful in the state."

For five years Rev. and Mrs. Kingsbury operated the college, increasing the size of its grounds by purchase and establishing it as one of the finest educational institutions in the state. In 1875, J. D. Smith, whose memory is revered by hundreds of former pupils, purchased the property and for twenty years the college progressed under his direction. An average of fifty students attended the school and a list of their names would include many of the most prominent citizens of the state.

Smith had felt the pinch of poverty as a youth, his schooling having been made possible through the generosity of Wm. Lynch who had enabled him to attend McClure's Militaty Academy in Oakland, and the old professor never forgot his debt. No pupil was ever denied the benefits of education at the Livermore College, Smith extending to all the same sort of assistance that had been furnished to him. To his dying day he was proud and happy in the realization that of those whom he had helped, all had justified his benevolence with one lone exception.

Smith's career as an educator at the college drew to a close in 1895 and the property, then comprising 48 rooms,

became the original home of the Livermore Sanitarium. For ten years the sanitarium occupied the old college moving at the end of that time to new buildings on L Street,

In 1908 John McGlinchey, now County Fire Warden, Vice-president of the Livermore Rodeo Association, and for 27 years president of the Livermore Stockmen's Protective Association, established his family in the building which has remained their home ever since.

Memories of the days when poor and humble seekers for knowledge found as ready a welcome as those of wealth and affluence have been maintained in the old building by the McGlinchey family. Throughout the state, its famous as a home where hospitality is a religion, where the latch string is always out for the visitor and where the guest is not a guest --- but just another member of a happy family.

Many changes have occurred since the original building was erected in 1870. Additions have been made from time to time and with its purchase by McGlinchey the building was completely remodeled, several rooms being removed while a wide porch was constructed.

The fire last month brought an end to the life of the building, destroying the upper story and damaging the remainder to such an extent that rebuilding was not advisable. Early this week wreckers attacked the rusted nails and time-worn boards and the once proud building is rapidly being obliterated.

In its place will rise a new home for the McGlinchey family, a modern residence as different in construction as the present city of Livermore differs from the early settlement by the railroad depot.


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August 18, 2002