Cambrian: Opinion

Harvest Festival ushers in autumn at Cambria Historical Museum

Fall, Halloween and other holiday items are on sale at the Harvest Festival.
Fall, Halloween and other holiday items are on sale at the Harvest Festival.

The excitement of change is in the air, as autumn is upon us. We feel that same excitement as we ready for the annual Harvest Festival events, which benefit the operation of Cambria’s crown jewel, the Historical Museum. We are also excited at the progress made in renovating the Blue House next door, now shining with a fresh coat of paint.

Your participation in the festival and farm tour is what assists us to complete our mission in the heart of the community. Our food and beverage vendors Saturday, Oct. 7 will pique and satisfy your appetite; and the ever-popular Indigo Jazz Quartet, featuring Julia Mitchell on vocals, will entertain on our backyard stage from noon till 3.

Many favorite vendors will return, with a host of new entries. Watercolorist Jim Karjala will be under the Port Orford Cypress, with a new art show and sale inside the museum displaying framed photography by Joe Josephs, and original works by long time Cambrians Mary Cole and Betty McDonald. Take care of your Christmas shopping in one fell swoop!

We have knitted and crocheted wearables, scarves and bags; unique jewelry including sea glass; wine barrel chairs; and holiday items. Cutruzzola will have wine, and guess what 927 Beer Co. will pour! Soto’s True Earth Market will have signature sandwiches, deli items, and drinks. For lighter fare, enjoy root beer floats, fresh popcorn, and taffy at a new booth.

Since this free event is family friendly, there will be plenty for kids to do, including games, weaving and rope making, pumpkin decorating and ever popular face painting! Authors Betty Winter, Janice Stevens and Pat Hunter will have their books available for sale and autograph. The museum is the original home of the scarecrow festival, and we will display some clever new creations in the yard, with the house’s last residents, Eugenio and Luisa Bianchini welcoming you on the porch to this fun day!

Our monthly Speaker Series continues with Gary McMasters’ presentation about Camp Roberts on Thursday, Oct. 12; and on Nov. 2, Cambrian Editor Stephen Provost’s introduction of his latest book, “Highway 99; The History of California’s Main Street,” which began as a “simple two-lane road that passed through the downtowns of every city between the Mexican border and the Oregon state line.”

McMasters will present the history of Camp Roberts, which from a historical perspective is one of the most important military installations in the world. Opened in 1941, the camp was the U.S. Army’s largest basic training camp during World War II. He will also cover the camp’s role in our defense from its construction, through WWII and the Korean War, up to its role as the primary training camp for our state’s National Guard.

Both evenings begin at 5:30 with hors d’oeuvres and beverages; members attend free, and the public is invited for a $10, which is applicable to a $30 membership fee for free admission to such events. Advance reservations are required — call Penny Church at 805-927-1442, apply at the museum, or on-line.

Consuelo Macedo’s monthly column on North Coast history and Cambria Historical Society activities is special to The Cambrian.

About the museum

The Cambria Historical Museum and bookstore, 2251 Center St. at Burton Drive, are staffed by volunteers from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; the heirloom gardens and backyard nursery are open all day every day. Phone: 805-927-2891. Go to, and Like us at