San Mateo County History Museum
  • History comes alive at the San Mateo County Historical Association. Visitors can discover the past through hands-on school programs, interactive exhibits and a wide range of events for both adults and families. We offer FREE Family programs throughout the year, including a free activity hour for preschoolers on the first Friday of every month. We also have a huge used bookstore—with most books priced under $5.00. And we provide a unique venue space for Special Events (from weddings, to Corporate Board Meetings, to and Bar mitzvahs).

Docents Needed

The San Mateo County Historical Association is searching for enthusiastic and dedicated individuals to help history come alive as docents. There are opportunities at the History Museum in Redwood City, the Woodside Store in Woodside and the Sanchez Adobe in Pacifica. Last year, over 19,000 students and adults attended school programs at the Historical Association. At the History Museum, … Continue reading


Victorian Days at the Old Courthouse

The San Mateo County Historical Association will present its annual Victorian Days event on August 18, 2013 between noon and 4 p.m. at its San Mateo County History Museum, which is housed in the County’s Old Courthouse at 2200 Broadway in downtown Redwood City.  The program will take place from noon until 4 p.m.  ADMISSION … Continue reading

Willie Mays with Child

History Makers Dinner Honoring Willie Mays

On November 8, 2012, the San Mateo County Historical Association will be honoring baseball legend Willie Mays who has been a resident of the Peninsula since 1969. We honor Willie Mays for his activities as a concerned citizen of San Mateo County with charitable interests across our country. Master of Ceremonies for the evening will … Continue reading

Victorian Days Play

Victorian Days at the old County Courhouse

Victorian Days On Sunday, September 23 celebrate Victorian Days at the History Museum. Discover what Peninsula life was like in the late 1800s through craft activities, a reenactment and displays from local historical societies. The Victorian era was named for Queen Victoria, who reigned in Great Britain from 1837 to 1901. On the Peninsula, San … Continue reading

Dancing at the Sanchez Adobe in Pacifica

Rancho Day Fiesta | Saturday, 9/15, Pacifica

On Saturday, September 15 celebrate Mexican California during the Rancho Day Fiesta at the Sanchez Adobe, 1000 Linda Mar Boulevard in Pacifica. During the event, enjoy early Californian music and dancers, real rancho food, crafts and demonstrations. Debuting at the festivities is a carreta built for the Sanchez Adobe. A carreta or ox cart is … Continue reading


The History of the Honeybee in San Mateo County | Join us Saturday at 1:00

This Saturday, Montara beekeeper, Catharine Fraley, will be speaking at our Courthouse Docket about the history of the honeybee in San Mateo County. Fraley will discuss how the honeybee arrived on the San Francisco Peninsula shortly after the California Gold Rush began in 1849. She will also delve into recent threats to honeybee populations in … Continue reading


Re-installation: Phase One

Re-installation, Phase One. Last week the painters were here taping and tarping, priming and painting, striping and staining. Here are some photos of the process: In case you were wondering: The focus of our Journey to Work exhibit is on how transportation shaped the development of the San Francisco Peninsula. Early development started around the … Continue reading


Exhibit Closed for Restoration | Photos Before, During and After

If you have visited the Museum over the past few weeks, then you may have noticed that our Journey to Work exhibit is closed for some much needed restoration.  Aside from a fresh coat of paint, and a few updates, when the exhibit opens in October, you will notice: a 1948 jukebox a 1950’s coke … Continue reading

2010 San Bruno Fire; Photo Courtesy of  National Image Works, KM 2 Communications

Historical Happenings | History Museum Newsletter

From Montara Beekeeper, Catherine Fraley, talking about the history of the honey bee in California, to a presentation of  “Trial By Fire” a film documenting the  2010 San Bruno explosion/ fire, we have a number of exciting historical activities coming up over the next few weeks.  For more one what’s coming up, please checkout our Historical … Continue reading


Caltrain– the oldest passenger railroad in the West

This Saturday, local author Janet McGovern will discuss her new book Caltrain and the Peninsula Commute Service. The rail line now called Caltrain was started in the 1860s to create a faster alternative to statecoaches and ships between the key cities of San Francisco adn San Jose. Operated by the Southern Pacific for many years, the … Continue reading

Kids making Mexican maracas

Free First Friday Photos

We offer Free Admission to the Museum on the First Friday of every month.  Kids enjoy a fun filled activity hour (with crafts, stories and a chance to explore our exhibits), and adults have an opportunity to experience a free tour at 2:00.  It’s always fun.  Here are some photos from the FFF activity hour:

The History Museum needs acorns

The San Mateo County History Museum is in need of acorns. We use acorns in our “Providing Plenty” school programs, which serve Bay Area 3rd and 4th graders. We need a supply of at least 15,000 acorns to last us through the school year. If you have an after school program, Boy/Girl Scout Troop, church … Continue reading


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