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Preserving the Unique History of Petaluma and Providing Educational and Cultural Services to the Community

20 Fourth Street, Petaluma
(Corner of 4th and B Street)


Find all our Current Brown Paper Ticket Events here

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 Our Current Exhibit:


Portraits of Petaluma Pioneers

Personal Images & Public Stories of a California Rivertown

June 10 to September 24, 2017
Hours: Thurs. – Sat. 10 to 4, Sun. noon to 3
Admission to the exhibition is free


An exhibition of photographs from the Petaluma Historical Library & Museum and the Sonoma County Library portrait collections.

Online Resource

This exhibit is supported by a web-based catalogue of images which can be accessed at:

Please take a moment to visit and enjoy the visual richness of the many Portraits of Petaluma Pioneers from the collection of the Petaluma Historical Library & Museum.

As the availability and popularity of camera portraiture grew in the 1850’s and 60’s, so did the booming frontier town of Petaluma, California. The pioneers took full advantage of the services offered by their town’s entrepreneurial photographers, preserving for us the opportunity to observe their faces and demeanor in rich intimate detail and connect them to the stories of their accomplishments and experiences.


Scheduled Events:

The Sonoma County Genealogical Society Presents:

Local Historian John C. Burton on:

William P. Hinshaw (c1866)

The Hinshaw Family, Early Sonoma County Pioneers


Saturday, August 19, 2017
Chat begins at noon, Presentation 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.
This event is free to the public


At his death in November 1900, the property of William Pettis Hinshaw was apportioned as follows: Three thousand four hundred acres of land in Sonoma and Marin counties, valued at $100,000. Real Estate in Petaluma and East Petaluma, $50,000. The personal property is as follows: Two hundred cows, $4,000. Fifty head of stock, $750. Thirty horses, $1,200. Stallion, $100. Farming implements, $1,000. One hundred and sixty-five shares of Bank of Sonoma County stock, $21,000. Cash on hand, $6,000.


John C Burton, Master Storyteller and local historian will talk about the history of the Hinshaw Family in Sonoma County from the Gold Rush Days to Now. Join us for a fascinating look back at a pioneer farming family which is truly representative of Sonoma County History.



Gawain Weaver

The Conservation, Preservation & Restoration of Photographic Material


Saturday, September 2, 2017 at 2:00


Join us for a presentation by photograph conservator, Gawain Weaver.  Scheduled in conjunction with the PHL&M’s current exhibit, “Portraits of Petaluma Pioneers,” Gawain will discuss the subject of photograph conservation and demonstrate a wide range of treatments from simple tear repair and flattening to more complex unmounting, washing, and stain removal. Gawain will also discuss the expanding role of digitization in the preservation of photographic materials.


Gawain’s B.A. degrees are from Sonoma State University, and his M.A. is from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.  A fellow of the George Eastman House and Image Permanence Institute in Rochester, N.Y., Gawain has served as the President of the Bay Area Art Conservation Guild since 2012, and teaches photograph preservation at San Jose State University. 


Gawain’s two companies, Gawain Weaver Art Conservation, and Two Cat Digital, provide photograph conservation and digitization services for both institutions and individuals.



Jeff Elliott

Petaluma’s Three Crises

Saturday, September 23, 2017 at 2:00


Jeff Elliott, Santa Rosa historian, will discuss three historic crises faced by the Petaluma community: Petaluma’s conflict with the rest of Sonoma county as being the only town outspoken in opposition to the confederacy; how the town resisted anti-Chinese bigotry after the infamous murder of the Wickershams; how Petaluma greeted waves of refugees escaping the devastation of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.


Jeff Elliott is a veteran journalist having written nationally for magazines and newspapers for over a quarter century. In 1995 he founded the Albion Monitor, the first internet “newspaper” with syndicated news and commentary plus original investigative journalism. He turned to historical research after retiring in 2009, and his writings can be found at, with over 600 articles on local history and architecture. You can follow him on Facebook @OldSantaRosa.


Exhibition Support: Portraits of Petaluma Pioneers has been funded anonymously by a patron of the Petaluma Museum Association and created by its staff and volunteers with generous assistance from the Sonoma County Library; the Bancroft Library, the California Historical Society; and the Society of California Pioneers.

For questions and more information please contact us at 707-778-4398

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Musical Mondays Fall Series

Classical Anatomy: The Evolution of Form

With Kayleen Asbo, Ph. D.


Petaluma Historical Library and Museum
20 Fourth Street, Petaluma
Mondays, 10:30-12:30


Join Dr. Kayleen Asbo, celebrated music historian for the Santa Rosa Symphony for eight weeks of lecture-performances into the evolution of Classical Music, in a series that will bring to new depth and insight to the upcoming season at Weill Hall.


Session I: The History of the Concerto
October 9 – October 30

October 9: From Baroque Beginnings to Mozart’s Masterpieces
October 16: Beethoven’s Revolution
October 23: The Romantic Virtuoso: Schumann, Grieg, Liszt and Tchaikovsky
October 30: The Contemporary Concerto: From Prokoviev and Ravel to Arvo Part’s Credo


Series I Subscription:  $100   Drop in single classes $30


Session II: The History of the Symphony
November 6 – November 27

November 6: From Concerto Grosso to Haydn and Mozart
November 13: Beethoven’s Revolutions
November 20: Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms and Rachmaninoff
November 27: The New World: From Dvorak to Leonard Bernstein


Series II Subscription:  $100   Drop in single classes $30


Early Bird Special for all eight classes
Purchase both series by September 1 for only $150! 

Registration Information and to Purchase Tickets please click here

Kayleen Asbo Ph.D. is a lecturer for the Santa Rosa Symphony and the San Francisco Opera. A pianist, composer and cultural historian, she is on the faculties of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, the Pacifica Graduate Institute of Santa Barbara and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at UC Berkeley, Dominical University and Sonoma State University where her classes have been hailed as “a revelation”, “pure passion” and “an addictive blend of joy and education.”

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Historic Downtown Walking Tours

May through October
Saturdays at 10:30 a.m.
Meet at the Steps to the Museum
Led by costumed docents
Free – Donations accepted

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Join us for Family Storytime Outside under the Oak
Thursdays, August 10 & 24
10:00 a.m.
Meet at the Oak behind the Museum
Petaluma Historical Library & Museum
20 Fourth Street (Corner of 4th & B Street)
Presented by the Petaluma Regional Library
100 Fairgrounds Drive
(707) 763-9801


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Museum Location and Hours

The Petaluma Historical Library & Museum is located at 20 Fourth Street, in downtown Petaluma, CA 94952.  (707) 778-4398

Hours Thursday through Saturday:  10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday: 12 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Petaluma Historical Museum ~ 20 Fourth Street ~ Petaluma, CA 94952 ~ (707) 778-4398

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