Cambrian: Opinion

Drink a toast to Cambria's history at Vine Dining fundraiser

Maria Stolo Bennetti of Stolo Family Vineyards will host the Historical Society's Vine Dining and Live Auction.
Maria Stolo Bennetti of Stolo Family Vineyards will host the Historical Society's Vine Dining and Live Auction. Special to The Cambrian

Spring is in the air, inside and outside at the Cambria Historical Museum. Black lilies (Arum palaestinum), white lilies (Callas), and myriad pink roses festoon the Heirloom Gardens, and the heirloom lilac will soon bloom fragrantly. Inside the exhibit room, a fresh new display of olden day Cambria is ready for your perusal.

Come and take a look at a representative sampling of the various types of architecture that characterize each era of Cambria’s economic history. Compare and contrast life here before and after electricity was installed in 1921. Check out the east and west sides of Lee Street before it was renamed Burton Drive in 1984.

These wonderful things happen through the good graces of our devoted volunteers, without the benefit of funding that is available to bigger museums in larger metropolitan areas. Visitor support during the 12 hours the venue is staffed, and sales in the museum store and in the backyard nursery are good but insufficient; individual and business memberships continue to sustain us.

We seek opportunities for grants, and President John Ehlers has established the 1866 Fund for bequests (check that out on our website or call him at 927-3063).

This brings us to news of the biggest and best fundraiser of the year, our great social event at Stolo Family Vineyards, from 3 to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 26. We will have our Spring Vine Dining and Live Auction, with a five-course gourmet dinner served al fresco by chefs from our partnering restaurateurs. 

Tickets are now available in the bookstore and online to support the museum’s operation; for information, call the event chairwoman, Penny Church, at 927-1442. Julia and Brett Mitchell’s Indigo Jazz will entertain us.  

Words fail us here to describe the fantastic menu and accoutrements that are fully described on our website at The braised short ribs and poblano mashers will be prepared with panache by William Ouderkirk of Robin’s Restaurant; and Centrally Grown’s new chef, Eric Olson, will join us with abalone ceviche and charcuterie. Linn’s Restaurant’s Matt Beckett has red Russian and 

dinosaur kale with vegetables and caramelized chèvre; and Giovanni Grillenzoni of Harmony Café and now at Pewter Plough Playhouse will bring crepes with artichoke hearts, ricotta and mozzarella to the table.

Two other newcomers to CHS, chefs Salvador Garcia and Tony Gutierrez of the Sow’s Ear, promise a fantastic custard mousse and fresh berries for dessert. Each course has been masterfully matched with a fine wine by Stolo’s Maria Bennetti. The public is cordially invited to reserve prepaid tickets for $125 per person; members may have discounted tickets at $100 per person, all available at the museum and on our website. 

Family memberships are also available during our current drive for $30, along with business memberships for $100.

Membership perquisites also include free admission to the society’s series of speaker sessions, which are held in the museum’s parlor. A stellar lineup follows the success of our keynote speaker, Dan Krieger, who was so well received at the February Recognitions Dinner. 

Ever-popular Sharon Lovejoy will regale us with “A Writer’s Saga: How a Cambrian Became an Award-Winning Published Author and Illustrator,” beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 26. Beverages and refreshments are also served, and advance reservations are necessary for the limited spaces.   

Historical Museum