The Van Buskirk Family Collection consists of family business papers and biographical materials, including a ranch ledger
of C.R. Van Buskirk (c1910), as well as records of various Lodi (Calif.) religious and temperance organizations to which diverse
family members belonged (1895-1919). The collection also contains a file relating to the gift of land by Charles R. Van Buskirk
to the City of Stockton for use as a park (1957-1976) and other clippings relating to his donation.of park land to Lodi and
to his receipt of an award by the Fraternal Order of Eagles (1957).
Lodi businessman, Charles Lever Van Buskirk (1845-1920), came to California in 1893.
He and his brother, George, bought extensive timber lands in Calaveras and Amador counties with the intention of entering
the lumber business. At the same time Charles Van Buskirk also
acquired numerous corner lots in the city of Lodi, on which he erected the Lodi Opera House,
the Van Buskirk Building, the Telephone Building, the Sentinel Building and the School Street Garage. He was also instrumental
in obtaining for Lodi its first public library. Van Buskirk's civic-mindedness extended, as local historian George Tinkham
writes, "[into] all matters pertaining to schools, charitable organizations, the paving of streets, building of churches and
other institutions of public benefit." His was also a temperance advocate who worked to see Lodi free of saloons. Before he
came to California, Van Buskirk married Angie B. Crocker, who shared his involvement in the temperance movement and was later
President of the local Women's Christian Temperance Union (1914-1915). The Van Buskirks were also active members of the Lodi
Congregational Church. They had two sons: Charles R., a Lodi vineyardist; and, Erle Lever, also of Lodi, manufacturer of the
Van Pump. Charles R. gave park lands to both Lodi and Stockton (1950s).