Wednesday, April 16, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
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Museum officials seek photos of Suisun City skateway, boat works

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From page A4 | February 20, 2014 | Leave Comment

SUISUN CITY — Do you happen to have photos of the M&M Skateway on Suisun City’s waterfront, where rocker Fats Domino once played a set in 1959?

How about photos of Hunter’s Boat Works, whose owner built handcrafted wooden boats from the 1930s through the early 1970s?

Maybe a photo of the whistle-stop that some longtime residents say World War II commander Gen. Dwight Eisenhower made in Suisun City some time in the late 1940s?

Officials with the Solano History Education Center located in the Lawler House on Main Street are looking for any photos or other artifacts from this event and these two now-vanished Suisun City waterfront businesses so that they can be displayed at the museum.

The M&M Skateway roller rink was built partially over the slough where Bab’s Delta Diner and the Athenian Grill are now located. It was a popular spot to skate, according to longtime residents. It was later renamed the Pioneer Skateway & Ballroom in the early 1960s, which offered concerts that even included two appearances by The Grateful Dead.

The Hunter Boat Works built quality wood boats in Suisun City through the early 1970s, when the owner closed the company due to poor health. The company was started in Alameda in the late 1880s, but moved to Suisun City in the 1930s. During World War II, the company was part of the war effort, making life rafts and small military vessels.

Museum docent Joe Neitzel told the Suisun City Council on Tuesday that these are two parts of Suisun City’s history he is trying to flesh out at the museum, which is dedicated to educating people about central Solano County’s heritage, from Green Valley to Birds Landing.

“I would gladly display them,” Neitzel said any photos he could get of the two pieces of Suisun City’s past.

Neitzel is also looking for any paintings of the schooner Anna Sophia, which was commanded by Capt. Josiah Wing when he sailed the vessel up the Suisun Slough to the island in the Suisun Marsh where he built a wharf and warehouse and which became Suisun City.

The Solano History Education Center, 718 Main St. in Suisun City, is open from noon to 4 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For more information, send an email to the center at shecfriends@yahoo.com or call Betty Davis at 425-2740.

Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or ithompson@dailyrepublic.net. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson

Ian Thompson has worked for the Daily Republic longer than he cares to remember. A native of Oregon and a graduate of the University of Oregon, he pines for the motherland still. He covers Vacaville and Travis Air Force Base for the Daily Republic. He is an avid military history buff, wargamer and loves the great outdoors.
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