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Museum founder remembered for community involvement
Susana Luzier said that as a baby she slept in the wooden-peg cradle that now sits in the Sacramento Valley Museum.
"My grandfather saw that cradle on a porch in Alabama and he bought it," Luzier said.
She is the granddaughter of Lulu Salter, who is credited with founding the museum.
Luzier attended Saturday's 50th anniversary ceremony of the museum along with her son, Rory O'Reiley, her granddaughter, Michaelah O'Reiley, and her great-granddaughters, Kay Lanie Sandefer and Teyah Walters. Sandefer and Walters are Salter's great-great-great-granddaughters.
While there, they explored the museum finding items from their family.
In the same room as the cradle is a dresser that Luzier once used while staying with Salter in Williams from 1949 to 1950.
She said she still has the accompanying mirror.
"When I die, I'll make sure the museum gets it," Luzier said.
During the ceremony, museum trustee Marilyn Ornbaun presented a history of Salter's life, which she had pieced together by scanning old newspaper accounts in the museum's new reading and research room.
In addition to founding the museum, Salter engaged in a variety of committees and civic activities while living in Williams with her husband, Dr. Ney Salter.
"This vibrant young couple became immediately involved in the civil affairs of Williams," Ornbaun said.
Ornbaun said Salter was a charter member of the Colusi Historical Society, the Sacramento Valley Museum Association and the Williams Women's Club. She was a trustee of the Williams Cemetery District and helped start the library.
"She was instrumental in starting a tree planting program here in Williams and she campaigned for a better sanitation ordinance," Ornbaun said.
Ornbaun said Salter also wrote and directed the "Dr. Robert Baylor Semple Pageant," which was performed in the Williams Grammar School Auditorium in April 1932.
Lulu Salter, was born on Dec. 10, 1887, in Illinois to Ambrose and Clara Gale of Peoria, Ill., said Ornbaun.
Census data in 1910, during her childhood years, show her name as Edna L Gale, according to Ornbaun.
In college, she studied dramatics and oratory and would later give speeches across California as a member of the Women's Club.
According to her great-grandson, she was known for her ability to speak.
"When she told a story, everyone would listen. She told of all the places she had been to and the things she's done," said O'Reiley.
She died at the age 85, on March 20, 1973, which was 33 years after her husband's death.
Her headstone at Williams Cemetery reads "Lulu Gale Salter."
She shares a plot with her husband and two children. Alice Clarabelle died when she was 11 days old in 1914, and Milton Ney Jr. died at the age of 6 in 1926.