Literature Connection - Tomo of Kukumonga Village

Maxine Strane

Ralph Strane

We are using this book as our literature connection for local history. It is a remarkably illustrated book about daily life in a Native American village in what is now known as Rancho Cucamonga. Mrs. Strane wrote the book while she was teaching sixth grade in an attempt to fill a void. She realized that many books discussed Native life in other regions, but nothing had been done to show what life was like in our valley. Her husband Ralph illustrated the book.

I am including a few samples from the book, with suggestions about how to use and extend the book. It can be a very helpful part of a rich curriculum that includes other sources.

You may want to purchase a class set of Tomo along with copies for teachers at your grade level.

Books may be purchased through the

John Rains House

8810 Hemlock

Rancho Cucamonga, CA

(909) 989-4970

Hours: Wednesday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., Sunday 1 - 5 p.m.

The house is operated by the San Bernardino County Museum, and welcomes group tours by appointment. It is on our list of suggested field trips. It is an excellent example of a rancho home from the era directly after Mexican control of California. Mrs. Rains was Maria Merced Williams, daughter of Isaac Williams who owned Chino Rancho, and grand-daughter of Don Antonio Maria Lugo, owner of San Bernardino Rancho. Its interesting history can help round out your students' understanding of the 1850's and 60's.