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Two vacancies currently exist for the Historical Records Commission



  The Sonoma County Historical Records Commission fosters and promotes the preservation of historical records. All voting members of the Commission shall be appointed by the Board of Supervisors. Two vacancies currently exist.   Those interested in applying must have experience in archival and records management; are an professional historian affiliated with an accredited institutions of higher education in Sonoma County; are an active member of an established historical society or museum located in Sonoma County; or are a recognized, licensed, or accredited professional working in a field which uses historical records on a regular basis.   For more information about the terms and duties of the Commission as well as application, please go to

SCHS Board Vice President, Jeff Tobes dies of cancer at 68

Jeff Tobes, 1947-2015Sean Bressie
Jeff Tobes has left us at age 68, but he has also left us with a wonderful legacy.

Jeff had more energy than most of us could have ever imagined, and used it to make good things happen.

For many years, he was a key figure in building the History Day program in Sonoma County. He inspired his students to do research, work extra hard and even find financial sources to keep the program alive. Because of Jeff and others like him, Sonoma County's History Day people have left their mark at every level, from the local school to the national competitions.

When Jeff decided 10 years ago to take his loyal youngsters on long walks, they, and perhaps he, were not sure what they were getting into. More and more people joined up for 25-mile jaunts in Sonoma County and around San Francisco, starting in the very early morning and ending deep into the evening. More and more people got their exercise, learned their history and had a great time as Jeff set the pace. He even threw in an extra muscle-bender in 2011 in honor of Fred Wiseman, our favorite daring ex-pilot of the early 20th century.

Jeff was a fine teacher, a great treasurer for the Sonoma County Historical Society (the books are balanced), and a real contributor to the world in which we live. Read more

2015 Picnic at the amazing Castelli Ranch Sept 13th

The Sonoma County Historical Society invites you to come visit the amazing Castelli Collection with us!

Castelli's Ranch

Castelli's Ranch

Steve and Glenda Castelli have been collecting just about everything they ever saw over the past half century, and what they’ve got will take you on a long journey deep into the American past.

What have they got? —classic autos and trucks, old tractors and gas station signs and pumps, games and toys of every description, Lionel Trains and Schwinns and Flexy Racers, kitchen kitsch from the sublime to the outrageous, and much, much more than all that.

Here’s your chance to wander through their private museum during the Sonoma County Historical Society Annual Picnic, from 11 to 2 on Sunday, September 13th. The Castelli Ranch is located at 420 Grapevine Lane in Healdsburg, off Eastside Road, just west of Highway 101. We’ll provide free hot dogs and sausages, as long as you bring a salad or dessert to share. Nonmembers are welcome, so bring your friends— there’s no charge, but reservations are required to make sure there’ll be enough food. Call Joann Mitchell at (707) 545-5094 or Marjorie Torliatt at (707) 545-7507 to tell us you’re coming.

2015 History Walk Interactive Route Map - San Francisco

2015 History Walk Route

Download the Enrollment form 

2015 History Walk Update #1

It's that time again. You can enroll for the Eleventh Annual 20-25 Mile Historic Walk through San Francisco on June 6, 2015, by going to the Sonoma County Historical Society's website link: Read more

Volunteers needed for April 18th

The Sonoma County Genealogical Society has invited the Sonoma County Historical Society to have a free table at their spring seminar on April 18. This would give us an opportunity to pass out past issues of the Sonoma Historian and promote our organization. We are looking for volunteers to help with the booth during this event.  Please eMail Jeremy if you are interested.

2015 Lecture & Awards Luncheon - March 22nd

Join us Sunday, March 22nd, 2015, at the Flamingo Hotel, 4th Street & Farmer’s Lane in Santa Rosa 11am: No Host Bar, History Student Presentations, Raffle Fundraiser, & Great Conversation! 12 Noon: Luncheon, Annual Awards, & Guest Speaker

Download Reservation Form

SFJCAuthor Laura Ackley, an architectural  historian who has spent many years delving into the joys and mysteries of the Panama Pacific Exposition of 1915, will be the guest speaker at the annual awards banquet of Sonoma County Historical Society Sunday, Mar.22, at the Flamingo Hotel at Fourth St. and Farmers Lane in Santa Rosa.

Doors open at 11 a.m. and lunch will be served at noon. Cost is $40 per person. The SCHS also would appreciate donations to sponsor luncheon tickets at $40 each for History Day students who attend.

The menu: Entrée Choices:  Mediterranean Pasta (Vegan Option), Grilled Chicken Rustica, or Atlantic Salmon with Mango Pico de Gallo sauce; Caesar salad, herb roasted Yukon potatoes and vanilla ice cream with chocolate syrup.

There will be exhibits related to the Expo and also exhibits by History Day students. There will also be a business meeting, awards presentations and a fundraiser raffle. Read more

2015 History Walk Celebrates The 100 year PPIE Anniversary

The Sonoma County Historical Society is sponsoring its 11th 20-25 mile historical walk and its 6th through San Francisco Saturday, June 6, 2015 for history and physical fitness buffs.  The purpose of the walk is threefold: to increase health through walking, to learn about San Francisco’s unique history, and to promote Sonoma County. This year we will be celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Pan-Pacific International Exposition

Download the Enrollment form               View the interactive Route Map


Download enrollment form

Charlie Siebenthal presents expanded talk on the Sonoma Valley Railroad


The next program will be on Monday October 27, 2014

THE RAILROADS OF SONOMA VALLEY. NWPRRHS President Charlie Siebenthal will present a much expanded talk on the Sonoma Valley Railroad, its successor as the Sonoma Valley Branch of the NWP and the Sonoma Valley Branch of the Southern Pacific. Field work plus recently discovered maps and newspaper articles will be used to answer the many questions asked during his first talk on the railroads of Sonoma Valley.

Monroe Hall, 1400 West College Avenue, Santa Rosa. Parking in the rear of the building. Take 101 to the College Avenue exit. Turn west onto College Avenue. Monroe Hall is on the left just past the G&G Shopping Center. For further information please contact Charlie Siebenthal at 707-838-8882 or Please mark this date on your calendars. If you wish to receive an email reminder of each program please send an email entitled "WN list" to Charlie Siebenthal at your email address will be held confidential.

The little engine that could, just can’t anymore - Support the Howarth Park Train

Howarth Park Train

Help Keep the Howarth Park Train in Motion

Santa Rosa Parks Foundation's 1st annual Family Fun Night is on October 10th at Howarth Park from 5-9pm. All proceeds from the night will go towards the purchase of a new ADA compliant Howarth Park Train. This event will include live musical performances by Pat Jordan Band, Bear’s Belly and Midnight Sun Massive, along with delicious provisions provided by The Wurst, Island Ice and Third Street Aleworks. Santa Rosa High School’s agricultural department is supplying pumpkins for a children’s pumpkin decorating booth and rides will run until sundown. The train has been a part of the Santa Rosa community for 44 years, and as stated in a previous article by the Press Democrat, “The little engine that could, just can’t anymore.” Currently, the C.P. Huntington costs the city of Santa Rosa $30,000 a year in maintenance and sadly due to its datedness, the 1863 replica steam engine is broken down 1/3 of the time. We ask the community to come together for this special event so that the future generations of our city can enjoy 50 more years of wonderful memories. Tickets will be sold at the venue or you can purchase them now at Prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children: adult entry fees include an adult beverage and children entry fees include a train ride.