HISTORY QUIZ: Step Back in Time

The San Mateo County Historical Association staffers have thousands of photos that they need help identifying in order to caption them. Can you help them?


Patch readers  and  know their history!

Patch found the caption information for one of last week's photos very interesting. Thanks Steve!

"Here is a link to the Oakland Tribune story about Marcella. Marcella and three friends were driving north on HWY 1 near Montara, they picked up a hitchhiker, the hitchhiker tried to rob the four people by pulling a gun and shooting people. Two people died (including the hitchhiker) and the other three (including Marcella) were injured."


The San Mateo County Historical Association still has many photos that need captions, after it recently purchased more than 30,000 San Mateo Times newspaper photos that span most of the 20th century and provide a glimpse into San Mateo County life and its generations.

Mitch Postel, president of the historical association, bought the photos from a collector for $2,500.

Own a little piece of history by looking at these photos and help the association find out about the story behind each one, so the group can archive them.

Peninsula Patch sites will publish various photos as we get them - usually on Thursday or Saturday mornings - so you can help us identify them.

The only information we have for the first photo is, “Timothy Murphy,” April 14, 1949. Does anyone know why these two have a Soviet Flag at what looks like old San Mateo City Hall in the middle of the Cold War?

The second photo says “Avery Hazen murder hearing at the Redwood City Courthouse, April 1, 1960.”  Does anyone know the story?

Please note in the comments if you have information about the photos attached.

Then call or e-mail  archivist, Carol Peterson, if you want more information. Carol can be reached by phone, (650) 299-0104, or e-mail, carol@historysmc.org

Kathy Sinfield June 14, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Timothy Murphy is my grandfather. My uncle John remembered the photo as being on the front page of the San Mateo Times. My grandfather worked at city hall and when he showed up for work, that flag had been raised on the flag pole. He brought it down and put up the American flag. Neither my mom or my uncle recall the name of the policeman in the photo. Kathy Sinfield
David Nakai June 14, 2012 at 09:44 PM
Timothy Murphy - Home-made communist flag flown at City Hall by pranksters or malcontents: http://newspaperarchive.com/san-mateo-times/1949-04-14/ and http://newspaperarchive.com/san-mateo-times/1949-04-14/page-2/ Avery Hazen - Two ex-cons beat a man to death: http://newspaperarchive.com/san-mateo-times/1960-04-01 and http://newspaperarchive.com/san-mateo-times/1960-04-01/page-31
Peggy, great observation; on closer look, I see what you are saying. Let us know what you learn from NAVA. Kathy, thanks for sharing! Do your mom or uncle know if they ever figured out who was responsible for raising the flag?
Jim Clifford June 14, 2012 at 10:48 PM
Redwood City Library history room staff says Times-Gazette reported on Aug. 4, 1960 that Erwin Avery and Charles Hazen pleaded guilty to manslaughter in beating death of Vern Fore whose head hit pavement during fight that followed "traffic altercation."
Yikes, that sounds like some serious road rage. Thanks for the info, Jim.


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