Bear State Books
Exeter, California


From California To Coffeyville

Chris Brewer contributes to video on the Daltons. The video, produced by the California Auctioneers and Appraisers, interviews California historian Chris Brewer and others about the history of the Dalton Brothers and the Wild Bunch gang and describes in detail the capture of the 1876 Winchester rifle used by Bill Dalton in California’s first train robbery 1891 and seized by Sheriff E.W. Kay, Tulare County, California. The incident was described in Frank Latta’s book, “Dalton Gang Days,” and the rifle ended up in Latta’s archives until it was sold after his death. The rifle was auctioned off May 5, 2013.

Handbook of Yokuts Indians Re-released

yokuts handbookThe latest book from Bear Sate Books in Exeter is a must have for anyone interested in local history and Native American culture. The Handbook of Yokuts Indians, produced especially for Table Mountain Rancheria, the classic reference text for scholars studying area Indians, as well as collectors, has been re-released in 2014 with a whole new look.
Written by Frank F. Latta and originally published in 1949, the Handbook of the Yokuts Indians is considered by many historians and cultural anthropologists to be the single most important work on the lives and culture of the more than 60 tribes that made up the Yokuts. 

“The book is the definitive reference on Yokuts Indians,” said Chris Brewer, local historian. “It lives up to the name ‘Handbook,’ and is the only major reference source on Yokuts.”

The original 1949 publication was enlarged and edited by Latta and his daughter, Monna Latta Olson. It was released in an enlarged second edition in 1977. The edition soon sold out, and collectors and researchers found themselves paying up to 10 times the original cover price. Brewer felt it was time to republish the book as the price for the old edition was way too inflated.

The inflated cost of the second edition, as well as its scarcity are what prompted Brewer to gain the rights from the Latta Family Trust to re-release the Handbook.

The release of the latest edition is priced at a more reasonable $99.95.

The book’s latest incarnation was published for collectors, and serious researchers, as well as for those interested in Native American culture and local history. People who are interested in local history or the history of the San Joaquin Valley will want this book, especially those who missed it last time. It is also felt to be a superb textbook for anthropology, history, and archaeology students.

Drawn from first hand interviews, the book contains literally hundreds of photographs of the Yokuts people demonstrating their traditions and artifacts.

There are dozens of photographs in the book, many of rare Yokuts ceremonies and basket makers.

UPDATE: This book has sold out.