Night at the Museum revels in Patterson High’s past
by Brooke Borba | Patterson Irrigator
Oct 02, 2013 | 1389 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy Photo: Dominic Farinha
Courtesy Photo: Dominic Farinha
Patterson residents congregated to the Center Building Thursday evening, Sept. 26, to take part in the Patterson Township Historical Society's third annual "Night at the Museum."
Patterson residents congregated to the Center Building Thursday evening, Sept. 26, to take part in the Patterson Township Historical Society's third annual "Night at the Museum."
Patterson residents basked in the past during the Patterson Township Historical Society’s third annual “Night at the Museum” fundraising event on Thursday evening, Sept. 26.

The event, sponsored by the local Soroptimist Club, highlighted a new showcase featuring memorabilia from Patterson High School, including lettermen jackets and sweaters, football mug shots, old uniforms and yearbooks.

Though the number of attendees has fallen since its initial start two years ago, the event garnered participation from over 50 prideful residents, including City Councilman Dominic Farinha, curator Ron Swift and City Manager Rod Butler.

Generations of residents fondly looked over their glory days at PHS while delighting in glasses of wine and good company. The display will remain in the museum until 2015, which is the 100th anniversary of Patterson High School’s first graduating class in 1915.

One display case featured a history of Patterson’s first High School, which opened in the fall of 1913 when classes met at Patterson Grammar School, later named Las Palmas Elementary. According to the case, students moved to the new high school building when it opened in the spring of 1915.

“I absolutely love the high school display,” said Cathy Mahaffey, a retired educator of Patterson Joint Unified School District. “I love the fact that they have the original yearbook and class pictures of 1915. That was a great find.”

Resident Chris Bingham was also happy to report her enthusiasm in seeing the Patterson display.

“I particularly loved the school display,” said Bingham. “All of my children graduated from Patterson High. I love Patterson. I have a granddaughter (Emily) who is going to graduate from the very same school.”

One donated piece went so far as to shock Patterson resident Mimi Draper, who accidentally stumbled on a relic her father, Frank Cox, used in his school days.

Draper had found a children’s writing slate with her father’s name etched into the top. The piece was donated by Ramona Casado, who Draper was ecstatic to meet and thank for the find.

Several other items shed light on many different residents who went on to become leaders of Patterson’s Lions Club, Gridiron, 4-H, FFA and various other organizations and town initiatives. Many leaders include, but do not exclude, John Trinta, Dave Grischott, Michell Maisetti, Bob Halseth, Phil Carlson, Jim Veto, Bob Yamamoto, Jim Alves and Richard Lawrence, who were showcased in the 1973 and 1974 Tigers’ football roster, complete with their teenage mug shots.

Another great discovery was from long-time resident John V. Azevedo, who showcased his 1939 high school diploma. Azevedo said he has been around Patterson for 93 years, and felt that the museum was a symbol of Patterson’s legacy, economic growth and rustic character.

Azevedo was instrumental in thwarting the efforts to destroy the museum years ago after he retired from the military, although he gives credit to the city council at that time and the original Patterson family records.

“We probably have one of the finest museums I’ve ever seen,” said Azevedo. “I hope we continue to show support for it. We have a lot of history on these walls. I hope they never come down.”

Phil Breasher also offered a heartfelt speech, commemorating the efforts of Soroptimist members Coleen Sanguinetti and Gloria Satcher for their promising set-up of the display, curator Ron Swift for his dedication, Azevedo for his preservation efforts, and the support of the many corporate sponsors and community members.

Overall, the attendance may have seemed small, but the level of dedication from the community surpassed any and all expectations. Not only did the attendees speak highly of Patterson’s past, but gave a nod to Patterson’s future graduating classes.

Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24 or

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