Train expert Richard Hulbert, former Folsom Chamber of Commerce CEO Roger Zittel and the Baker family were honored for their contributions to preserving Folsom’s history at the Heritage Preservation League of Folsom’s meeting on Jan. 31.
Hulbert received the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award for his leadership in preserving local and regional railroad history from Kathryn Corbett.
He is a member of the Folsom El Dorado Sacramento Historic Railroad Association, where he served on the board of directors for eight years. As a working volunteer, Hulbert is the organization’s chief mechanical officer and principal coordinator of the volunteers. He is overseeing the restoration of the Vail Speeder No. 30 “Skagit,” now used for special runs, and maintenance vehicles.
Hulbert has 43 years of experience in railroad mechanical maintenance, restoration and rolling stock consultation. He worked for the Southern Pacific Railroad Company for 23 years, where he advanced to chief locomotive electrification officer.
He comes to Folsom from the California State Railroad Museum, where he was mechanical superintendent, supervising 35 volunteers who restore and maintain the museum’s rolling fleet.
Hulbert was commended for his “skilled resourcefulness and undeterred dedication in keeping our historic rail corridor open and running.”
Accompanying the presentation, Robert Rohwer, docent trainer from the California State Railroad Museum, showed a film on early rail history, “The Transcontinental Railroad and the Building of the West.”
The 2010 Bud Davies Award for Community Partnership went to Roger Zittel. Zittel established Zittel Farms in Folsom in 1967 and served as chief executive officer of the Folsom Chamber of Commerce for 22 years.
Zittel’s contributions are legend. During his tenure with the chamber, he worked with business, civic and city leaders to perpetuate many events and places that Folsom residents and visitors enjoy today.
Some of them are: repair of the Historic Railroad Depot Building and listing it on the National Register, restoration of Sutter Street and building Pioneer Village, and locating the Railroad Turntable in the Historic District.
Sharon Fait, who worked with Zittel on many of the projects, presented the award.
The Baker Family
Cindy Baker accepted the June Hose Award presented to the Baker family by Deborah Grassl, daughter of June Hose. Cindy is a senior historian with PAR Environmental Services in Sacramento and a fourth generation Folsom resident. The Baker family has been involved with many historic preservation efforts in Folsom. This award was to honor their success in maintaining The Murer House as an integral part of Folsom.
Giuseppe (Joe) Murer was born in Crespano del Grappa near Venice, Italy (now Folsom’s sister city). A carpenter by trade, Murer built his Italianate home in Folsom in 1927. He became one of Folsom’s leading businessmen, building several of the structures that still grace Sutter Street.
The Baker family established the Murer House Foundation to support preservation of the house and property as a cultural center that highlights Folsom’s Italian heritage. The Murer House Learning Center offers Italian language, culture and food classes and special events.
The Murer House and Learning Center are at 1125 Joe Murer Court.
Heritage Preservation League projects
Since it was formed in 2003, the Heritage Preservation League of Folsom has worked to preserve Folsom’s history.
At the awards meeting President Loretta Hettinger introduced Mike Marlow, who gave a slide show presentation of the Powerhouse and early Folsom. The Powerhouse was the first to transmit electrical power by alternating current in the United States. In 1895 it lit up downtown Sacramento. It was the technological wonder of its day. Today the building has been restored and is in the Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park, a 17-acre park between the Historic District and the American River. It is the only state historic park within city limits, and like all state parks is threatened with closure due to the state budget deficit.
Hettinger announced the latest project the organization is undertaking — the league is joining with June Chan and family to create a museum to honor the contributions of the Chinese community to Folsom. They are beginning a fundraising campaign to convert the building on Sutter Street that once was a Chinese market to house the museum.
For more information visit these Websites:
Heritage Preservation League of Folsom, www.folsompreservation.org.
Folsom El Dorado Sacramento Historic Railroad Association, www.fedshra.org.
The Murer House and Learning Center, www.murerhouse.org.
Folsom Powerhouse State Historic Park, www.parks.ca.gov.