Museum hosts evening with Pleasanton historian tonight

Curator Ken MacLennan is author of new local history book

Ken MacLennan, Pleasanton historian and author of a new local history book will be the featured speaker at 7 p.m. tonight at the Museum on Main's Ed Kinney "An Evening with..." at the Firehouse Arts Center.

MacLennan is author of "Pleasanton, California: A Brief History," published by History Press in 2014, and he also is curator at Museum on Main. He promises a new look at an old story in an insightful review of local history from the eve of the Spanish invasion of California to the turn of the 21st century, including rarely seen photographs. Books will be available for purchase and signing after the talk.

"My research for the book was based on both primary and secondary source materials," MacLennan said. "By using original Sanborn Fire Insurance maps from the late 1880s to the mid-20th century, we are able to infer various changes in the landscape of our community, such as the response to Prohibition. They were pretty creative."

MacLennan also will discuss water use in the valley over the years.

"Before the mid-1890s, Pleasanton's water needs were handily served by sinking artesian wells at strategic points around town," he said. "The local water table was high enough that these did not need to be particularly deep."

The speaker series is all general seating at the Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave. Tickets are $10 general admission, $7 seniors and students, and $5 museum members. Tickets may be purchased at the museum, 603 Main St.; online at; or by phoning 462-2766.

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