Contact Us

Do you have questions for our Historical Society or Museum Staff?  We are a good source of information for over 400 families in the local area, and our base is expanding regularly as we receive historical information, gifts, articles, memorabilia, and relics, from our members, donors, and patrons.

To contact us, submit queries to creativebeth.c@gmail.com; include your name and a phone number if you wish to be contacted by phone.

Where is the Clovis Museum?

We are located at the southeast corner of Pollasky Ave and Fourth Street, in the heart of Old Town Clovis, amid cafes, coffee shops, restaurants, gift shops, tea rooms, delis, flower shops, the Clovis Chamber of Commerce, and antique stores galore.  A visit to the Clovis Museum is an adventure for you and your family in this downtown area.

  WHERE DO WE PARK?

Convenient parking is available along our streets and in the tree-lined Old Town Alley-way between Clovis Avenue and Pollasky Avenue, with entry at Fifth Street; other city provided parking is on the east side of the 300 and 400 blocks of Woodworth Street, with additional parking between Hughes and Clovis Avenue, just one block (and easy walking) east of the Museum (behind the Tarpey Station Tourist Information building).

Clovis Historical Blanket

The blanket is 6 feet by 4 feet, not including a 4-inch fringe all around, with a pale to medium blue background; the “Clovis Gateway to the Sierras” sign, which currently spans Clovis Avenue between 4th Street and 5th  Street, is depicted across the top margin; the remaining images, from left to right, top to bottom, are Clovis Cole, with the caption “Clovis M. Cole Wheat King of the U.S.”; “Tarpey Depot 1892”; “Flume from Shaver Lake to Clovis”; green and red street banners depicting antique street lamps, captioned “Old Town Clovis”; in the center our museum is depicted with the caption “Clovis Museum –First State Bank Building 1912”; Pair of Soldiers statues -from the Clovis Memorial Building at Cole and 5th street, honoring our fallen citizens; logo of the Clovis Rodeo Association –Last weekend in April; the historical “Clovis High School -1920”; logo of the City of Clovis.  The bottom edge is emblazoned “Clovis, California -U.S.A.” with the American flag in each bottom corner.  Overall, the blanket is very impressive, not only in looks but, in its ability to capture the essence of Clovis history.


Let’s Talk Clovis

The Arbuckle family

Ira Handley Arbuckle served as our postmaster for twenty-three years, 1936-1959. He was born in 1889 on a farm south of Kansas City, MO. His family arrived in Clovis in 1904. They purchased a ranch at Minnewawa and Alluvial. Ira, a 1910 graduate of Clovis High School, was a successful viticulturist of the Jefferson Colony district when he married Florence  Sharer in 1912. Her father, Marques Monroe  Sharer, had arrived here in 1881. The Arbuckle family would move into Clovis,  333 Osmun, when Ira was appointed Postmaster in 1936.

Their two sons, Warren, 1930 Clovis High Graduate, and Clinton, 1945 Clovis High Graduate, were outstanding tennis champions.  Clinton continued to compete in tournaments until the 1980s.  Lt. Warren Arbuckle was killed in action in 1944 at Solerno, Italy. He is a Gold Star Hero of Clovis.

John Reynolds’s Family

John Reynolds‘s family settled at the Gettysburg and Leonard Area (Jefferson School District) when he was ten years old (about 1945) and graduated from Clovis High School in 1953. He was selected by the International Farm Youth Exchange to visit family farms in Ireland for a year. He graduated from Fresno State College in 1957.  A year later, he married Karen Moore, who is related to the Morgan and Weigle families that arrived in the Garfield School district in 1907. They met at Fresno State.

Toll Thornton

Toll Thornton was one of the few blacks residing in Clovis during the late 1920s and later. He worked at the O.S. Dimmen barbershop and was known for his prose and rhymes. He was a man of integrity and religious conviction. He was described as very friendly.  He was born in Louisiana in 1870, died in Fresno in 1955, and is buried at Mountain View Cemetery.

A 1900 census documents Toll living in Drew, ARK, with his mother and stepfather, Annie and George Tubbeville. He is listed as widowed with five children, ages 1 to 8. Soon after the census, he married Amelia (her last name not known), and lived in Pinedale in the 1920s, moving to Fresno by 1935.

The following is a quote from an article (publisher, date, and author unknown) regarding Toll: “He endeared himself to many through his sagacious limericks that he used to apply to problems of the day. It was his unobtrusive way of giving advice, and those who remember Toll say he had sound views on how to get along. Some have likened him to the present-day Cassius Clay for talking in rhyme.” Many of our senior citizens today, passing by his shoeshine stand on the way to or from school, recall hearing Thornton offer advice to them in response to their complaints of school, home, playmates, and the like.

In October 1932, Thornton heard gunfire next door in Dimmen’s barbershop: Isaac Eddy, a harness maker, got riled up and stormed into Dimmen’s, fired at Ole S. Dimmen, wounding him in the shoulder, and also shot Sam Vosganian (his former landlord); Thornton sprinted out of his own shop to a nearby tree and sought safety. Both wounded men were rushed to the Clovis Sanitarium that was directly across the street; Dr. M.S. McMurtry testified that Dimmen returned home that same day after treatment, but Vosganian required surgery and a longer hospital stay. Eddy was placed under a $5,000 bail, and the preliminary hearing was held by Clovis Justice of the Peace J.E. Burke at the City of Clovis Courthouse, now the Clovis Museum. Eddy was tried for attempted murder, convicted, sentenced, and died in Folsom Prison.

In 1935 Toll advised Emil Prudek to apply as a barber at Dimmen’s shop, which he did. This launched his long career as a barber, which lasted for 45 years. Emil said that Toll gave him the best advice he had ever gotten.

Toll Thornton helped establish a motto, used today for City of Clovis advertising: Clovis the Friendly City. He left us a rich heritage.

These stories are based on articles written by Peg Bos, Clovis Museum Curator, and published most often in the newspaper, The Clovis Roundup.