Thursday, January 10, 2019

New Book Talks and Signings for "Visionaries" and "Apricots"

"Historic Bay Area Visionaries" is a hit in our Silicon Valley library system, where there are now dozen copies in circulation--and they're all checked out! I donated two more at a recent talk at the Los Altos Library.

We have lots of talks scheduled for the New Year, and I hope you will find time to stop by and say hello at one or more of them. I always like to see familiar faces when I make these appearances. It is a delight to see so many of you! Here are the details of the events:  

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Robert Louis Stevenson's First Christmas in California

Robert Louis Stevenson photographed in Boston, 1887. Courtesy of 
Historic Bay Area Visionaries and the California Historical Society.

If you've ever had a blue Christmas (and even Elvis had one of those), you have some great company in the poet and writer Robert Louis Stevenson. He came to California in 1879 from Scotland on a journey of romance and, at first, it did not appear to be going well. Here's what happened over the holidays (and be sure and read it all the way through, as there is a lesson in the story). And for more on Stevenson in California, pick up a copy of my book Historic Bay Area Visionaries (History Press 2018). Merry Christmas! 

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Sunday, December 16, 2018

New List of Upcoming Events for Historic Bay Area Visionaries

Christmas in the Adobes uses these wooden angels as the icons of the event. They were originally created in the 1950s for the City of Monterey. 

The Robert Louis Stevenson House was one of twenty-two adobes open during Monterey's annual "Christmas in the Adobes" celebration. It is a historic house-and-building tour in a city with some of the oldest standing structures in California. What a wonderful event. Lights, mulled cider, cookies, music, costumes, and volunteer docents led the celebrations at every adobe. A wonderful way to learn history and begin the holiday season.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Upcoming Events For Historic Bay Area Visionaries

Author Robin Chapman at a book signing with author Jan Batiste Adkins at Recycle Bookstore in Campbell, California in November.

The book signings and book talks have been going well since the publication of Historic Bay Area Visionaries in October and they have been keeping me very busy. In addition to the scheduled events below I will be doing some impromptu signings at retail outlets in the region that are carrying the book. And there are quite a few. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

American Legion Post Has Helped Veterans for Eight Decades

Col. John J. Howard was a decorated war hero who retied to a house on 
Robledo Road in Los Altos. The local American Legion post is named after him.

Our local American Legion post has made the decision to seek Historic Landmark status for its building. These things are difficult in all-volunteer organizations, because now the group needs to organize both the paperwork and the fund-raising to gain the status and to help restore the structure. That is a lot of work for volunteers.

Yet the post as done so much good in its life. 
Click the link to read more about its story:  CLICK TO READ ABOUT THE COL. HOWARD AMERICAN LEGION POST

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Upcoming Events for Robin's Historic Bay Area Visionaries

Historic Bay Area Visionaries was published October 15, 2018 by The History Press.
The book is now out and for sale on The History Press web site and on Amazon.

Historic Bay Area Visionaries (History Press 2018) has now been published and we are getting lots of requests for events. I am keeping an updated list on my Author's Page on Amazon (see below for link) and I will also keep an updated list here

Wednesday, November 14: Los Altos History Museum, "Catch the Spirit," 1:30 p.m. Writer Robin Chapman will moderate a panel of local authors and the panel will be followed by a book signing. The address is: 51 S. San Antonio Road, Los Altos, CA 94022: 650-948-9427

Thursday, November 15: The Union Presbyterian Church and the Northern California Congregational Librarians' Luncheon, 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. Author talk and book signing. 858 University Avenue, Los Altos, CA 94022. Cost: $15. For reservations contact Patty Grimm at or call Carol Campbell at 408-859-7488. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Thomas Foon Chew: The Man Who Made A Difference

BaySide Cannery (sometimes identified as Bayside or Bay Side) was the third largest cannery in the United States in the 1920s. It was owned by Thomas Foon Chew, a Chinese immigrant to California.

Thomas Foon Chew was born in the late 1880s in China and came to San Francisco with his mother and his father in 1897. How this was possible, following the implementation of the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, we don't know.