Patricia Loomis History Library and Resource Center
NEW HISTORY LIBRARY AND RESOURCE CENTER FOCUSES ON PROJECTS FOR CHILDREN AND ADULTS
On Saturday, September 30, 2006 10 a.m., the South County Historical Society opened its
fourth building in the Village of Arroyo Grandes Heritage Square. The event was a
dedication of the Patricia Loomis History Library and Resource Center located in
Rubys House at 134 S. Mason St. This new center will offer teachers, students,
journalists and researchers a wealth of materials on California history with a special
emphasis on local South San Luis Obispo County history. The Library and Resource Center
will be available to students and community members for research projects, including the
production of community history exhibits and historical reenactments. The Library and
Resource Center was made possible through the generous donations of two retired women
journalists, Patricia Loomis and Jean Hubbard.
Loomis, a granddaughter of local pioneers E.C. and Clara Loomis, was
raised in Arroyo Grande and has been one of the Societys most important benefactors.
Her generosity allowed the Society to renovate and restore sections of the 1888
Rubys House in order to expand their library and outreach programs. Loomis also
donated a large number of books from her private collection, including the Hubert H.
Bancroft series on the history of the West, a 39-volume collection written in the late
19th century. Loomiss interest in California history stems from her long career as a
journalist with the San Jose Mercury News, where for many years she wrote a history column
named Signposts that focused on early pioneers of the San Jose-South Bay region and the
streets named after them. She is also a long-time member and former officer of the
Oregon-California Trails Association, dedicated to the preservation and protection of
overland emigrant trails and the emigrant experience.
Several hundred books, pamphlets, photos, and scrapbooks were donated
to the Societys new library by local writer Jean Hubbard. Hubbard wrote articles
focusing on South County history for the Times Press Recorder for 12 years. Her articles,
books, and wealth of knowledge on local history will be invaluable resources for
researchers using the new library. Jean is a founder and charter member of the South
County Historical Society, serving most recently as curator of the Paulding House Museum
in Arroyo Grande. Her contributions to the preservation of local history are well known
The Societys Board of Directors, on behalf of its members, hope the Patricia Loomis
Library and Resource Center will make history come alive by offering valuable resources
for student and community projects designed to re-create local and California history. The
Center will also develop programs to make history more relevant for all age groups by
connecting the past to present-day challenges faced in South County and California. For
more information phone 489-8282.