Tri-City Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Hayward, Milpitas, Newark, Sunol and Union City, California

 

July 2, 2013 > LaborFest rolls into Niles

LaborFest rolls into Niles

Submitted By Rena Kiehn

"LaborFest" come to Niles on July 6 and 7 to celebrate those who built the infrastructure of this country - its highways, bi-ways, and railways. History comes alive through song, discussion, film, and Niles Canyon train rides as only the Niles district can.

In partnership with the Pacific Locomotive Association and Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum, LaborFest explores the bygone era of steam trains and silent film. The Museum's Edison Theater hosts feature silent films with live accompaniment on the socially charged theme of factory conditions, workplace safety and construction of transcontinental railroad lines to the West.

The history of trains in Niles Canyon dates back to the original transcontinental railroad. Western Pacific Railroad Company (formed in 1862) started construction in San Jose toward Sacramento. It built twenty miles of track that reached into Alameda Creek canyon in 1866. Its first passenger excursion entered the canyon on October 2 of that year and steam locomotives pulled trains through Niles Canyon for eighty years before diesels took over in the 1950s.

Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum was established in 2001 as a resource center to preserve the history of Niles, the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company western division, pioneering film companies of the San Francisco Bay Area, and silent films in general. Pacific Locomotive Association (www.ncry.org) runs excursion train rides through Niles Canyon on the historic Niles Canyon Railway, transcontinental gateway to the San Francisco Bay. All trains have enclosed coaches, open cars, and covered open cars; seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Parking for Saturday and Sunday is available either at the depot parking lot, located at the corner of the Sullivan Underpass and Mission Boulevard; the parking lot next to the Plaza on Niles Boulevard; or the parking lot at the Museum. The distance between the depot and the Museum is a short, seven-minute walk.

LaborFest Activities:

Saturday, July 6

2 p.m.
Niles Canyon Steam Train
Niles Station (37001 Mission Blvd.)
2:20 p.m.
Train Ride (1.5 hour excursion)
Cost: $12 adults, $7 children ages 3-12 (infants through age 2 ride free), $10 seniors age 62+

4:15 p.m.
Presentation on the 1894 Pullman Strike
After the train ride, make your way to the Edison Theater (37417 Niles Blvd.) where historian Laurence Shoup, author of a number of articles and four books including "Rulers and Rebels: A People's History of Early California 1769-1901," will present on the 1894 Pullman strike in California, which saw the largest and most intense mass strike in state history up to that point in time.

12 Noon - 4 p.m.
Free tours of Edison Theater and Essanay Museum

7:30 p.m.
Silent film screening with live piano accompaniment
Watch the dramatic film "The Whistle" (1921) directed by Lambert Hillyer and staring William S. Hart. This 70-minute film explores one man's attempt to avenge the death of his son following a factory workplace accident. Opening film shorts are D.W. Griffith's "A Corner in Wheat" (1909, 14 minutes) and "The Cry of the Children" (1912, 29 min). In "A Corner in Wheat" a greedy tycoon decides, on a whim, to corner the world market in wheat. This doubles the price of bread, forcing the grain's producers into charity lines and further into poverty. The film continues to contrast the ironic differences between the lives of those who work to grow the wheat and the life of the man who dabbles in its sale for profit. An indictment of the evils of child labor, "The Cry of the Children" was controversial in its time for its use of actual footage of children employed in a working mill. Doors open at 7 p.m. Cost: $5 for all ages.


Sunday, July 7:

2 p.m.
Niles Canyon Steam Train
Niles Station (37001 Mission Blvd.)
2:20 p.m.
Train Ride (1.5 hour excursion)
Cost: $12 adults, $7 children ages 3-12 (infants through age 2 ride free), $10 seniors age 62+

4:15 p.m.
Silent film screening with live piano accompaniment
The Sunday matinee film feature is "The Iron Horse" (1924) directed by John Ford and starring George O'Brien, which commemorates the building of the Transcontinental Railroad.


Tickets for both the train and the Museum film screenings can be purchased online through the Museum's PayPal account (with a minimal convenience fee) or by phone during the regular weekend tour hours of noon - 4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, or the day of the event at respective locations for the train ride and the Museum film screening (there is very limited seating; please reserve your tickets in advance to assure yourself a seat). Tickets are needed for everyone but babes-in-arms. For Saturday participants planning activities between the lecture and film screening, the Museum neighborhood features several shops and restaurants along Niles Boulevard.

LaborFest
Saturday and Sunday, July 6 and 7
Niles Station
37001 Mission Blvd., Fremont
Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum
37417 Niles Blvd., Fremont
(510) 494-1411
www.nilesfilmmuseum.org
www.laborfest.net

Home        Protective Services Classifieds   Community Resources   Archived Issues  
About Us   Advertising   Comments   Subscribe   TCV Store   Contact

Tri Cities Voice What's Happening - click to return to home page

Copyright © 2014 Tri-City Voice