Skip to main content

Pop Laval Foundation: Working to Preserve Local History

Jul 07, 2016 10:48AM ● Published by Melanie Heisinger

Claude C. “Pop” Laval. Photo courtesy of the Pop Laval Foundation.

Gallery: Claude C. “Pop” Laval [3 Images] Click any image to expand.

The Pop Laval Collection used to reside in the Pop Laval Museum in Fresno. Unfortunately, the museum is now officially closed, but the Pop Laval Foundation, a Fresno-based group, is still working strong to preserve the collection of historic photos.

This preservation began primarily when Elizabeth Laval, Pop’s great-granddaughter, took it upon herself in 2000 to begin digitizing the many photos and sharing them with the local community.


A Little History of the Pop Laval Collection 

From 1910 until 1966, Pop Laval’s ledgers and records inform us he took over 100,000 photographs from Bakersfield to Stockton, and throughout his beloved Sierra Nevada mountains. 

As people realized he was blessed with a keen eye for just the right shot, he was hired again and again by companies as well as individuals to capture their contributions to the greatness of California’s Great Central Valley. 

Just after the turn of the century, a young professional photographer moved his family from Pennsylvania to Fresno. Claude C. “Pop” Laval soon established himself as the “Go to guy” when an important life event such as a fire, an accident scene or family gathering needed to be recorded. 

This legacy of life, as it was lived in the first half of the twentieth, provides incredible insight into how people created America as they went about their daily tasks in the fields, orchards, dairy farms, and manufacture of tools and techniques, many still in use today. This quiet, inventive professional was always pushing the envelope of his vocation.

Around 1914, Laval brought the first of the newfangled “movie” cameras to the Valley. With this marvelous invention, he became a regular source for movie newsreel content to Metrotone and Pathe news services, providing the world’s audiences with noteworthy current events from California.

To honor this man and his legacy, Pop’s great-granddaughter Elizabeth began to reintroduce this treasure to the world in 2000. Although she and her team have digitized less than 1% of the Collection, with these they have published three books, was a weekly feature for almost five years on local Fox network TV, been a major exhibitor at the Fresno Fair for ten years, opened an acclaimed educational Gallery/event center, and provided public and private exhibits throughout the city.

To make a donation to this great foundation, or if you would like to view more of their digitized historic photos, you can visit their website. 


Content courtesy of the Pop Laval Foundation

Today, Community Spotlight history local groups
  • Central California Koi Show

    09/24/2017
    09:00AM — 03:00PM

    Koi will be on exhibit from koi hobbyists from the Central California Koi Society members as well...


  • Kings River Quilt Festival

    09/24/2017
    10:00AM — 05:00PM

    Kings River Quilt Guild sponsors this event with over 300 quilts from local artists, including fe...


  • Hawaiian Hula (dance) classes

    09/24/2017
    02:00PM — 07:30PM

    During our Hula classes, we respect the traditions of Hula and do our best to research the langua...


  • Hawaiian Hula (dance) classes

    09/25/2017
    02:00PM — 07:30PM

    During our Hula classes, we respect the traditions of Hula and do our best to research the langua...


  • Kino Hana, Cardio-Hula

    09/25/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    ALOOOOHA!!!! Ready to shake up your fitness routine? Ready to shape up and tone your amazing bo...


  • Hawaiian Hula (dance) classes

    09/26/2017
    02:00PM — 07:30PM

    During our Hula classes, we respect the traditions of Hula and do our best to research the langua...


  • Kino Hana, Cardio-Hula

    09/26/2017
    07:00PM — 08:00PM

    ALOOOOHA!!!! Ready to shake up your fitness routine? Ready to shape up and tone your amazing bo...


  • 2017 Art Hop

    10/05/2017
    05:00PM — 08:00PM

    ArtHop occurs every 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month. It’s one of the most active and successfu...


WHO IS CEN CALI LIFE MAGAZINE?

It is the mission of Cen Cali Life Magazine to spotlight what makes our Central Valley a unique and integral part of the Golden State. To learn more about us and our mission, click on the "About Us + Advertising Link" at the top of this page.

Happy Reading,

Karen Maroot

Publisher


 

PROUDLY BROUGHT TO YOU BY THESE COMMUNITY SPONSORS