Local Historian Publishes Book

Jo Anne Disney
December 24, 2013 • 267 views

Long-time San Gabriel resident, Mr. Richard J. Arnold is now part of “Arcadia Publishing’s popular Images of America series.” His book is entitled San Gabriel.   It took 3 years to complete this project. Why did he write the book?  According to Mr. Arnold, he inherited his love of California history, cars and photographs from his dad.
Mr. Arnold is a retired San Gabriel Police Department Captain. He served in the San Gabriel Police Department for 33 years. Mr. Arnold is a graduate of Cal-State, Los Angeles and has spent the last 30 years researching his book. “He enjoys the investigative process of researching and has spent many enjoyable hours researching the vast collection of rare books and photographs at the Huntington Library.” Some of the other resources were: the California State Library, Los Angeles Public Library, the USC Digital Library as well as the San Gabriel Historical Association.
Will his book leave a lasting legacy? According to Mr. Arnold, “San Gabriel only touched the surface of the history of this community but hopefully it provides a good foundation for those folk that want to do more research on the community by reading further.” He said about San Gabriel, in the words of his favorite author, Mr. David McCullough, “It’s what you feel about it, this work you’ve done; this offering you’ve made, and whether or not it’s going to stay in print and whether it’s going to stand the test of time.”
I found the book fascinating, especially the vintage photographs of the San Gabriel Mission and the surrounding land. The changes from the past to the present are surreal. Mr. Arnold spent many long hours “collecting just the perfect photographs” for his book. The historical information presented is invaluable and gives readers some fascinating facts. Local residents can learn about the rich history of their city and actually see the past through these wonderfully chosen photographs. San Gabriel is available at local bookstores or online.

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