Learn the region's notorious past at museum lecture

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Like most of the colorful characters from California’s past, the life of Joaquin Murrieta is wrapped in legend and lore, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction. It’s not clear if he was the worst bandit to terrorize the gold fields, a kind of Robin Hood who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, a murderer who was justifiably killed by lawmen, or the inspiration for the fictional character Zorro. Learn more about Murrieta at a free community education program to be presented by Placer County Museums at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 10, upstairs in the Bernhard Museum Winery, located at 291 Auburn Folsom Road in Auburn. Alton Pryor, who has written several books and articles on California history, will share the facts and tell some of the stories surrounding Murrieta. For more information about this free program, call (530) 889-6500. ~ Staff report