Sugg House Subject Of Free Aronos Club Event
Date(s) - 02/21/2023
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
The Aronos Research Club will host author and historian Sylvia Roberts at the Tuesday, February 21, 2023 meeting to discuss the Sugg House. The meeting is held at Noon in the Aronos Clubhouse at 37 Elkin Street in downtown Sonora. The public is welcome to attend.
Sylvia Roberts is an expert on the African American pioneers in the 1849 Gold Rush. She has done extensive research on the Sugg House and the Sugg family.
The Sugg House is on the National Registry of Historic Places. The home was built in 1857 by William Sugg, who came to California as a slave and was able to buy his freedom. Originally built as a three-room brick faced adobe house, it became necessary to construct wood frame additions to accommodate his growing family of eleven children. The home was occupied by the Sugg family for 125 years. Grandson, Vernon Sugg McDonald, was the last to live in the house. Vernon Sugg McDonald was a local businessman and active member of the community who was honored by the Chamber of Commerce in the 1970s.
The Aronos Research Club, established in 1915, picks a topic of study each year. Historic Buildings in Tuolumne County is the current research project. The public is invited to join the club members at their monthly meetings and learn more about the community. Meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month at the Aronos Clubhouse.
Sylvia Roberts is the author of “Mining for Freedom: Black History Meets The California Gold Rush.” The book focuses on the estimated 5,000 blacks that were an early and integral part of our state’s Gold Rush. In her book, she wrote, “Thousands of resourceful, resilient, resolute souls have been overlooked by mainstream history for more than one-hundred-and-fifty years.”
Roberts is a member of the Tuolumne County Genealogical Society and works with museums, archives and historical societies locally and throughout northern California. In her efforts to broadcast the unique history that is her focus, she has also worked with the National Park Service and the Smithsonian Institution. In 2007, she founded the Mother Lode Black Heritage Foundation in Sonora, a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the history of California’s African American Gold Rush pioneers.
The Aronos Research Club was established in 1915. With 30 members, the Aronos is the largest club in Yosemite District of the California Federation of Women’s Clubs and one of the few clubs that owns their own clubhouse in the General Federation of Women’s Clubs. Their clubhouse was originally the First Baptist Church, built in 1902 and purchased by the Aronos Research Club in 1936.