Cambrian: Opinion

Santa Rosa schoolhouse recalls another time and place

The one-room Santa Rosa schoolhouse nestles along Santa Rosa Creek. The schoolhouse, built in 1881, was moved from its original site 50 years ago.
The one-room Santa Rosa schoolhouse nestles along Santa Rosa Creek. The schoolhouse, built in 1881, was moved from its original site 50 years ago.

The avowed mission of the Cambria Historical Society has been to preserve and present the history of our area, and our boards and members over time have attempted to do this in engaging ways: family fun in the yard, fascinating displays in the exhibit room, and great quality research materials and books available in the museum store.

First and foremost is the operation of our museum since December 2008, and the maintenance of our attractive heirloom gardens. We have a longtime commitment with others such as Greenspace and the Fiscalini Ranch Preserve to perpetuate the dream of long ago as proposed by Cambria Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS) for the historic district encompassing early-day Cambria.

Our plaques project to mark significant historic structures and continue self-guided walking tours will soon culminate, with others to be added as folks step up to assist with research.

Relocation marked

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the transport of the 1881 Santa Rosa schoolhouse from its original site on the Molinari Ranch along Santa Rosa Creek Road to its current spot on Main Street.

Even though its use as Patty Griffith’s pottery studio will continue, it remains our earnest dream for it to be part of the historic district instead of the commercial area that now surrounds it.

Current visitors assume it is but a reproduction. But in 1964, the Molinari family donated it to dedicated volunteers of the Lions Club, who were committed to “renovate and preserve it for its historic value and to serve as a museum.”

Won’t it be wonderful someday to entertain today’s youth sitting and working with artifacts as they would have back in “the good old days”?

Small group session

The good old days of San Simeon will be re-created as Marj Sewell and Donna Crocker personify Julia Morgan and Phoebe Hearst at our next Small group session in the museum.

Though these soirees are intended as perquisites for members, the public is graciously included for a $10 fee to cover our enticing beverages and refreshments, and that can be applied to a new $30 membership.

Julia and Phoebe will speak at the museum at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 21. Parlor space is limited, so advance reservations are necessary. Call Penny Church at 927-1442 or go to

Penny is also chair of this year’s Harvest Festival, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11. Local vendors are welcome to reserve booth space. The same day our popular Pie Baking Contest, sponsored by Robin’s Shanny Covey and The Cambrian’s Culinary Corner, will return to the museum site and include a savory category. Contact Consuelo Macedo at 927-3159 for entry information.

Vine Dining, etc.

Speaking of popularity, we will reprise the Vine Dining gourmet dinner at Stolo’s Family Winery on Sunday, Oct. 12. Tickets for our major fundraiser will soon be available for $125 per person, or $900 for a table of eight. For information, contact general chairman John Ehlers at 927-8065.

The Farm Tour proved so popular that we have added an additional bus for the Monday, Oct. 13 event, chaired by Bob Johnson; call 927-1114 to reserve the $100 tickets.

Become a part of our dynamic teams as a museum and/or garden docent. Special training is available, including directions to assist in research and archiving. Check out our website at and like us on Facebook at

Our heirloom gardens are open daily, and the museum is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday.

Phone: 927-4826.