New exhibits opening at Cambria Historical Museum

Special to The CambrianMarch 21, 2013 

The Salinan tribe will unveil a display illustrating its heritage and tribal life during a members-only reception from 5 to 7:30 p.m. today, March 21, at the Cambria Historical Museum. Potential members and renewing business and family members are also invited to attend the free event.
An opening for the general public is set for 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 24, at the corner of Burton Drive and Center Street.

The museum will also host a new exhibit about the Peter Aloysius and Maria Josefa Pico Forrester family, who lived down Center Street at Bridge Street from 1868 to 1877. The Forresters were active in the burgeoning community and Forrester, a multi-talented lawyer, surveyor and real estate agent, is credited with suggesting Cambria as a name for the town, which had been known as San Simeon and Santa Rosa before that.

A post office had been established in the Grant and Lull store on Main Street at Bridge in 1867, but because those two places had already been established elsewhere in California, a new name was needed. Forrester, a mining engineer who also mapped the community, noted the resemblance of the local topography to Cambria, Pa., a mining area near from where his family had immigrated to San Francisco after the gold rush. The federal government accepted and recorded the new name on January 10, 1870.

The museum exhibit will show more about the illustrious career and heritage of Forrester, who actively contributed to the civic growth of Cambria as well as California.

The newly remodeled museum store sports a fresh look for the books, gifts and souvenirs available during regular hours: 1 to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday.

Volunteer docents offer tours inside and are on call to talk about the heirloom gardens outside. Training sessions are regularly scheduled for new volunteers; the next will be from 9 to noon Friday, March 22.

There’s no admission charge for the museum; donations are accepted. For more information, call 927-2891 or go to, or

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