Awards of Merit

Congratulations to Our 2020-2021 Awards of Merit Recipients!

Join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of our 2020 and 2021 Awards of Merit recipients at this year's Annual Meeting in San Bernardino, CA!

Individual Award: Harrison Scott

Harrison Scott is the historian of the Old Ridge Route Road.  The road was originally part of historic Route 99.  It is due to the efforts of Mr. Harrison that the section of road that stretches from east of Gorman to Castaic is now being preserved.  He is the author of the book Ridge Route: The Road that United California.

Individual Award: Karina Dunbar

Karina Dunbar is a tireless volunteer who has been at Fort Tejon for many years.  She leads yearly programming for fourth graders and gives them a not-to-be-forgotten experience of life in an Army barracks in the mid-1800s. She is a role model and leader whose programs have given local residents an appreciation for the region and its part in early California history.

Waddingham/Doctor: Jerry Ludeke

Jerry Ludeke has been a mentor to many officers at the Kern County Historical Society.  She has a passion and enthusiasm for local history that shows through her countless volunteer hours and her dedication to preserving Kern County's diverse local history.  She has been instrumental in creating an archive and Bakersfield College and ensuring access to these collections to the public.

Media Award: Sindy Valdez

Sindy Valdez has brought SHHAR (Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research to the 21st Century.  She had contributed countless hours of work in the areas of social media, newsletters, and website creation.  The updated website and all the new social media accounts have helped get the word out on the contributions of SHHAR and get people interested in genealogy and history.

Scholastic Award: Susan D. Anderson

Susan Anderson is a museum professional who has directed a non-circulating reference library, permanent museum gallery, and an archive with over 100 collections.  She is also an accomplished author.  Her book, African Americans and The California Dream: From the Gold Rush to the Present, has been described as meticulously researched and beautifully written.

Preservation Award: Jeff Edwards

Jeff Edwards has been studying and writing about Porterville his entire life.  He has written more than 50 books and has more than 50,000 photographs that record significant historical events.  Through his writings and photographs, he is preserving the history of Porterville and the surrounding area.

Preservation Award: Save the Graves Coalition of El Dorado County

Save the Graves Coalition of El Dorado County's mission is to combat the problem of neglect in the historic cemeteries in El Dorado County,  The group organized a diverse coalition of regional organizations and held a living history cemetery tour.  This entertaining and educational event helped build community pride, enhance the region's historical identity and raise funds to help restore, refurbish and maintain pioneer cemeteries.


If you know someone that deserves to be awarded for their accomplishments in California history, please consider submitting an Award of Merit nomination for our 2022 Annual Awards Luncheon.  More information will be coming soon!

Congratulatory Comments Welcome Below!


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  • Kris Payne
    commented 2021-09-06 06:54:09 -0700
    Congratulations to all our 2021 Awards of Merit Recipients. We are pleased to honor your efforts.