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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:

Sunday, June 25, 2 to 3:30

S.F. Chronicle Celebrated Columnist
Adair Lara

The Improbable Story of How I Came to Write
History of Petaluma, A California River Town

Adair Lara will discuss the creation and content of her book, History of Petaluma, A California Rivertown.  Published in 1982, this is the definitive book on the history of our community.   Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about Petaluma history and to pick up a copy which belongs on every Petalumans’ bookshelf.


Unveiling of the City of Petaluma’s 1858 Incorporation Documents

Annual Bell-Ringing Ceremony
Join the PMA for this annual tradition!
Steps of the Petaluma Historical Library & Museum
Free and Open to All!
July 4 at 10:30 a.m.

At the Annual July Fourth Bell Ringing Ceremony this year, our own Mayor Glass will unveil the founding Incorporation Documents of the City of Petaluma.  Our early pioneer residents created these documents in 1858 in an attempt to civilize a frontier town.  It was thought the original documents were in our own city hall, but after a bit of sleuthing, they were found in the State Archives in Sacramento.


Paula Freund

Saturday, July 15, 2 to 3:30

Paula Freund, curator of Portraits of Petaluma Pioneers will speak about what inspired her to create the exhibit, and the many surprising historical facts she unearthed along the way to its completion.


Arielle Lehmann

Public Historian

Saturday, August 5, 2 to 3:30

Arielle will lecture on the importance of Petaluma’s incorporation documents.


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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Paris in Petaluma: Music and Art Summer Salons

Petaluma Historical Library and Museum
20 Fourth Street, Petaluma
Mondays, 10:30-12:30
July 24- August 7

$75 Early Bird Special Through June 21!
$90 Regular Tuition

Registration Information and to Purchase Tickets please click here


Come celebrate the city of lights and love in this delectable three-week lecture performance course on the history of music and art in turn of the century Paris.

July 24: Wild Beasts: Gabriel Faure, Maurice Ravel and Fauvism
July 31: Moonlit Cathedrals: Debussy and Impressionism
August 7: The Sublime and the Surreal: Erik Satie and Salvador Dalio


“Kayleen Asbo is a force of nature. She has the rare ability not to just educate and entertain-but also to inspire”
Alan Silow, President of the Santa Rosa Symphony

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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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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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