Sarah Mooney Museum celebrates another year of its annual 'Legends of Lemoore' slated for Sept. 30

By Bill Black
Get ready for annual "Legends of Lemoore" from the Sarah Mooney Museum on Sept. 30.
Get ready for annual "Legends of Lemoore" from the Sarah Mooney Museum on Sept. 30.
Photo Contributed

The Sarah Mooney Museum's “Legends of Lemoore” 2023 Cemetery Walk is back for another performance on September 30, 2023, and it is always designed to provide visitors with alluring insights into the trials and accomplishments of six of Lemoore’s inspirational citizens.

The colorful and entertaining presentation times are at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

This year, the Walk highlights interesting facts and fascinating life stories of historical figures like  Merle Henley, Joel Whiteside, Jose and Maria Neves, and Pearl Badasci, along with return Legends Dr. Lovern Lee Moore and Rosina Byron.

From Moore and Byron, you will hear firsthand accounts of our first subdivision before “Lemoore” was named after Dr. Moore and excerpts from the memory of the many adventures of Rosina Byron.

During the stroll through Lemoore’s past, visitors will discover how a young farmer and deputy sheriff helped chase one of California’s most notorious and dangerous outlaws, how a young nurse was never far from the frontlines treating soldiers in WWII, and how our earliest foreign-born citizens embraced their new country.

These living histories are presented by experienced artists, portraying early notable “Legends of Lemoore.” This year, museum officials welcome Cynthia Maxwell in her new role as the program director.

Maxwell has portrayed several of our past Legends, and she has worked closely with our artists.

This year, we are also lucky to have two new artists present the life stories of their ancestors: Joe and Kathy Neves, who will share the life stories of their grandparents, Jose and Maria Neves. Jose and Maria established a dairy farm in the Stratford area before the Kings River was slowed by Pine Flat Reservoir.

Sarah Mooney Museum celebrates another year of its annual 'Legends of Lemoore' slated for Sept. 30

Judy Badasci's grandparents, Guy and Pearl Badasci, came from Switzerland and met in Riverdale, California. Through Pearl’s eyes, Judy will share family stories of her loving grandmother and the Badascis' impact on Lemoore.

Talented Wayne Tilley will take you step by step through the harrowing experiences of 21-year-old Joel Whiteside and his fellow deputies attempting to apprehend one of California’s notorious desperados. It all happened in the wet and chilly winter of 1877.

This year, we are welcoming Sandy Salyer, who will share the exciting life of Merle Henley. Born on a Lemoore fruit ranch, Merle was a talented musician and an incredible nurse. Henley was never far from the frontline of our troops in WWII. Jay Salyer will accompany Sandy as reporter Jamie Bezerra, who interviewed 98-year-old Merle in 1998.

Returning for repeat performances are the experienced thespians Michael Betcher and Debbie Walker, who will share new historical tidbits about the multifaceted lives of Dr. Lovern Lee Moore and Rosina Gallard Byron, both of whom celebrated interesting lives and left us too many stories of early life in Lake Country before and after there was a LemooreTickets are available at Rambling Rose, Mooney Museum 542 D Street – Sundays 12-3 p.m., any board member, or by calling 559-318-0260. 

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