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#0008: Steve Lech: Riverside County Historian and Author


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Riverside is a city of stories...and if you grew up in Riverside you heard plenty of them. The names of the players adorn civic facilities, street signs and businesses. When Steve Lech and I were kids we both read Tom Patterson's columns and books about our town. For Steve it wasn't enough...he was determined to learn more about the city and the county. Today he's one of the foremost experts on our neck of the woods (in our case substitute "desert" for "woods") with a stack of books (several with co-author Kim Jarell Johnson) to his name. He also writes a regular column for the Riverside Press-Enterprise (which alternates weekely with a column by Ms. Johnson) and is the president of the Riverside Historical Society.

I visited Steve at his Wood Streets home (which was built by his grandparents on an orphan lot left between two developments). I was learning new Riverside things minutes into our conversation (this was before I even turned on the recorder). He brought out his books (including his massive volume "Along the Old Roads: A History of the Portion of Southern California that became Riverside County 1772-1893") and we got underway with the official interview.

About halfway through I was convinced that we were going to merely scratch the surface of Steve's storehouse of Riverside history. He's agreed to be a regular guest on the podcast. Do you have a question for Steve? Is there something you've noticed in Riverside that has piqued your interest? Drop us a line through the site contact form and we'll bring them up next time we sit down with Steve.

- Ralph from Riverside