Cambrian: Opinion

Cambria Historical Society paying tribute to volunteers this holiday season

Keeping the holiday traditions alive in historic east village, Santa and Mrs Claus will come by fire truck on Hospitality Night to light the historic Port Orford Cypress on Center Street.
Keeping the holiday traditions alive in historic east village, Santa and Mrs Claus will come by fire truck on Hospitality Night to light the historic Port Orford Cypress on Center Street.

Well, happy 10th anniversary to Cambria’s Historical Museum, the heart of our fair community! We are proud of the many folks who saved the derelict but significant Guthrie Bianchini House onto the National Register of Historic Places in November, 1980, thus preventing the property from demolition or other development.

We are grateful to them for their far seeing vision!

Other visionaries established the Cambria Historical Society in 1990, a very small group dedicated to preserving documents and artifacts from many pioneer families who were no longer with us, or who would contribute to our legacy. In 1999, a small dedicated committee of CHS rallied the community to “Save the Bianchini” and managed to commit to a half million dollar mortgage for the house and three lots on which it stands.

Concurrently, with other non profits such as Friends of the Fiscalini Ranch, Greenspace and Friends of the Cambria Library, we tapped into this generous citizenry for funding all at the same time to preserve the town’s heritage. The Historical Society’s Hundred Angels (actually about 50 of them and a major angel) ultimately paid off the mortgage. Preservation efforts continue to this day with a paid off mortgage for the Nancy Moure Resource Center and the Save the Schoolhouse Campaign.

To all of these, near or dearly departed, we are eternally grateful, never take them for granted, and certainly don’t assume that they will always be there for us (we can only hope). As a small sign of our recognition and appreciation, we will be serving cake Sunday, Dec. 9, during regular business hours 1 to 4 p.m., to any and all who can join us, including the general public. This commemorates the grand opening on Dec. 8, 2008, when we proudly opened our doors and began showing off our major accomplishment.

We are grateful to more recent folks who recognized our community commitment and service, and joined in to continue our mission and programs. As they say, “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver, and the other gold!”

Keeping traditions alive, the museum will host Santa on Hospitality Night on Thursday, Dec. 6, as he arrives by fire truck to light the historic Port Orford Cypress on Center Street about 5 p.m. As is customary, he will retire to the parlor where we will take complimentary photos of children and families with him. Last year, we also served cookies and candy canes to more than 200 folks who were in about 80 photos.

In one of our many other services, we are happy to report that our next speaker on Thursday, Dec. 13, Catherine Ryan Hyde, has attracted a full house, and we can accommodate no more. We are proud to present people of Hyde’s caliber and are already lining up wonderful folks for the 2019 Speaker Series, which is a perquisite for members and otherwise open to the public for a small fee.

Bob Schwemmer, of NOAA and the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, will be the keynote speaker for the Annual Recognitions Dinner on Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Cambria Pines Lodge, which can accommodate all who wish to hear this accomplished speaker! He was last in Cambria in December 2016, and we will have lots of information forthcoming about the event.

Speaking of accommodating, Museum curator Melody Coe reports that so many people responded with donations of furniture and other artifacts to the Nancy Moure Resource Center that we are bursting at the seams. Please hang onto other such donations for the time being, but there is room for documents.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from the Cambria Historical Society Board of Trustees and Members! Keep our heritage alive!

Located at 2251 Center Street at Burton Drive, the museum and book store are staffed by volunteers from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday-Sunday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday; the heirloom gardens and backyard nursery are open all day every day. Phone: 805-927-2891. Go to and like us at

Consuelo Macedo’s column is special to The Cambrian. Macedo is the Community Relations Chairwoman on the Board of the Cambria Historical Society.