Wednesday - Sunday from 1:00 to 4:30
The fruit-growing potential of the valleys around Vacaville was beginning to be fully appreciated when California Illustrated No. 1 - The Vacaville Early Fruit District was published in 1888. The booklet featured full-color plates of all aspects of the fruit-growing industry -- from growing, picking, packing, drying and transporting the fresh and dried fruits -- all meticulously drawn from photographs. The author, Professor Edward Wickson from the University of California, and the photographer, William R Nutting, were proud of their accuracy, offering copies of the photos that could be compared with the plates. Nutting also photographed the growers' homes and families to show the level of comfort provided by the industry. He took photos of schools and businesses in town as well, making it a strong promotional piece for the community as well as the fruit-growing industry.
The heyday of the fruit-growing industry in Vacaville began in the 1870s. By the 1880s refrigerated railroad cars were being used to ship the goods all over the country, and even to Hawaii and Europe. Local growers and Professor Wickson were writing treatises and books on how to grow the fruits that did so well in the area.
The Vacaville Museum's exhibit, "Through the Lens - Our Fruitful Heritage", which runs April 6 to September 15, 2019, will show 75 of William Nutting's photographs taken for the book, California Illustrated No. 1 - The Vacaville Early Fruit District. Juxtaposed with the color plates from the book, viewers can compare the photos to the plates just as the authors intended. Maps will help locate the orchards identified in the photos, and a recreated cutting/packing shed with fruit wagon will be displayed.
April 27, 2019 The History & Evolution Photography - Sponsored by The Vacaville Museum Guild Board
May 18, 2019 Our Orchards of the Past and Fruit Trees of Today - Sponsored by Jean & Hutson Brazelton: The Brazelton Ranch
June 15, 2019 Family Fun Art Day: Murals & Tapestries - Sponsored by First Northern Bank
July 13, 2019 Museum Musicale - Sponsored by The Ethel & Louis Surowitz Musical Scholarship Fund
August 17, 2019 Family Fun Photography Day: Pinhole to Digital - Sponsored by Jill Blechschmidt: McGuire Capital Group
September 7, 2019 Your “Fruitful Heritage”: - Sponsored by Anita & Frank Lopez
We are grateful for your consideration of sponsoring this exciting exhibition and its show-related free community events.
NEW STORE ARRIVALS! Malaquias Montoya Catalog showcasing our previous exhibit Women I Have Encountered is now available for purchase! We also have California Illustrated No.1, The Vacaville Early Fruit District prints available. In addition, we have recently received Steady Eddy's "Vacaville Museum Blend", medium roast coffee. Get your bag today!
Friday, April 5, 2019 - Members' Sneak Peek! An exclusive member's only reception will be held 5pm to 7pm for our new exhibit Through The Lens - Our Fruitful Heritage. The exhibit will open to public April 6, 2019.
Saturday, April 6, 2019 - Opening day for our new exhibit Through The Lens - Our Fruitful Heritage. An exhibit of stunning 1888 photographs by WR Nutting celebrate "The Vacaville Early Fruit District." The gallery environment will be enhanced by an historic fruit wagon, replica packing and cutting sheds and interactive activities for children as well. Gallery hours 1:00pm-4:30pm, Tuesday - Sunday.
Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 2:00pm - 3:30pm - The History & Evolution of Photography- An Illustrated Talk
Dr. Keystone will be presenting “The History and Evolution of Photography” in connection with the Museum’s new exhibit, Through the Lens: Our Fruitful Heritage. Dr. Keystone received his MD from the University of Michigan, and while in Ann Arbor as a young man, discovered the importance of photography as an art form. His fine art photography collection began in 1963, and by 1980—(100 years after Nutting photographed the Vaca Valley), at the inception of intense public interest in the art, he opened a fine art photography gallery in Santa Barbara with his wife, Lanie. His interest and engagement with fine art photography has continued to this day.
The talk will focus on the early days of photography, including the origin of the art and its development. It will feature photographers from the 19th and 20th centuries, including such masters as early masters as Niepce, Daguerre, Matthew Brady, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, among others. In addition, the evolution of the photographic process itself will be highlighted. Examples of Daguerrotypes, Ambrotypes, tintypes, glass plate negatives, albumen prints, stereoscopes and autochomes will be featured. Together with the elegant exhibition, this will be the fascinating story of how photography, the Vaca -Valley and the country influenced one another and grew up together. You won’t want to miss this event—the story of photography is our story!
This is a free community event. Seating is very limited--so please call for reservations at the Museum: 707-447-4513
Wednesday, May 1, 2019 - Day Trip to San Francisco Museums
The Vacaville Museum Guild’s bus trip is an all-day trip, which includes a box lunch. We will be traveling to San Francisco to the De Young Museum and the Legion of Honor. The current featured exhibit, "Monet-The Late Years", at the De Young, will be our first stop. It includes his wonderful water lilies, wisteria, ponds and gardens painted in his last years at his cottage in Giverny. Truly a fabulous opportunity for us all. As is the "Early Rubens" exhibition, at the Legion of Honor Museum, which is the first to focus on his pivotal and most creative period of 1609 – 1621. On display are several works that have never been exhibited in North America. In addition, the Michielsen triptych will be shown in its newly cleaned state for the first time. Absolutely a pair of superb exhibitions not to be missed. After finishing the Monet, we have planned a 2-hour time-frame, to allow for a leisurely lunch at the time you choose, with plenty of time to explore other exhibits and the 2 wonderful gift shops.
Ticket Information: Reservations are $100 for Museum and Guild members and $105 for non-members, cash or check only, and may be made at the Vacaville Museum, 213 Buck Ave., Vacaville. Wed-Sun, 1-4:30 pm. Be sure to pick up your information slip upon making your reservation. Trip payments are non-refundable, but are transferrable. Your reserved seat includes round-trip coach bus to both venues, admission to both shows, and a box lunch ticket that will allow you to choose your sandwich or salad. The bus will begin seating at Alamo Plaza, 868 Alamo Dr., Vacaville, at 7:45 am, will leave at 8:00 am, and will return at 5 pm. For further information contact the Vacaville Museum, 707- 447-4513.
Saturday, May 18, 2019- 2:00pm-3:30pm - Our Orchards of the Past and Fruit Trees of Today in Your Own Backyard.
Talk by Master Nuseryman Ed Laivo. This is a free community event, seating is limited. Please call to reserve your seat today.
Saturday, June 15, 2019 -10:00am-11:00am -Family Fun Art Day: Murals & Tapestries
Hands-on Mural & Tapestry workshop with Muralist Leslie Molera. This is a free community event, seating is limited. Please call to reserve your seat today.
Saturday, July 13, 2019- 2:00pm-3:00pm -Museum Musicale!
Performed by the Sacramento Youth Symphony Chamber: Directed by Susan Lamb Cook, 1st Cellist of the Sacramento Symphony. This is a free community event, seating is limited. Please call to reserve your seat today.
Thursday, August 8, 2019 - Annual Children's Party. More details to follow.
Saturday, August 17, 2019- 10:00am-11:00am- Family Fun Photography Day: From Pinhole to Digital Camera
Hands-on workshop with photographer, Grant Holliman. This is a free community event, seating is limited. Please call to reserve your seat today.
Saturday, September 7, 2019-2:00pm-3:00pm - Your Fruitful Heritage
A celebration Roundtable Oral History by Locals who worked in the fruit industry. Visit the museum and share your story! We'd love to hear a brief summary of your agricultural experiences. Forms are available at the front desk. This is a free community event, seating is limited. Please call to reserve your seat today.
Saturday, September 14, 2019 - Museum Guild Patio Sale & Holiday Bazaar
More details to follow.
Friday, September 27, 2019 -The Jim Lawrenz Memorial Golf Tournament
The Museum Guild will hold its annual Jim Lawrenz Memorial Golf Tournament at the Chardonnay Golf Club. Our tournament is a fundraiser that provides financial support to the Vacaville Museum: Center for Solano County History and Culture. The Museum’s mission includes cultural and historical preservation for all of Solano County. Through exhibits, publications, and educational programs and outreach, the Museum continuously promotes the value of our community’s past, resonating with the present and bridging forward for future understanding and enrichment. Since its creation in 1984, the Museum has produced over 50 exhibits that focus on the historical and cultural heritage of Solano County.
The Jim Lawrenz Memorial Golf Tournament honors the memory of James (Jim) Lawrenz. Jim was a tremendous friend and supportive contributor to the Museum. Both he and his wife, Heidi Campini, became involved in providing service to a number of local community non-profit organizations. As a life member of the Vacaville Museum, Jim served as the President of the Museum Board for a number of years. At the time of his passing in 2013, Jim was the Chairman of the Board of the NorthBay Healthcare Foundation. Jim loved his life in Solano County – the history, the golf, the wine, the community, and we know Jim would be honored to have you enjoy and support this event in his memory. More information on the tournament to follow.
Tuesday, December 3, 2019- Annual Onion Soup! Please join us as we celebrate the downtown Vacaville's Merriment on Main annual tree lighting ceremony with our traditional onion soup! Our amazing museum guild members will be hosting the evening with delicious soup and live entertainment by local groups throughout the evening. Free Admission
*Schedule subject to change.
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Supporting the Museum through membership is paramount to the preservation of community heritage in Solano County. Joining the Museum is possible at various levels with graduated member benefits.*
Join us today, we look forward to sharing our upcoming programs and exhibitions with you. Come down and visit our information desk!
Please contact our office (707)447.4513 to renew your annual membership.
Vacaville Museum is a non-profit, community benefit 501(c)(3) institution, IRS#94-2803010. Nearly 40% of our budgeted annual operating income is from gifts, donations, and memberships. Your help sustains our work.
Thank you for your support!
The primary volunteer core for the Museum is the Museum Guild. Guild volunteers work with Museum staff to provide valuable events, gallery activities and fundraisers that support the museum. Museum Guild members staff the museum reception desk and gallery during operating hours and coordinate the Docent program. For more information on joining the museum Guild, its policies, dues and calendar of events, please give us a call (707) 447-4513.
Our store has transformed into a small exhibit showcasing the History of Vacaville. Come check it out!
Featured Vacaville Museum Publications:
NEW ARRIVAL! Malaquias Montoya Catalog showcasing our current exhibit Women I Have Encountered is now available for purchase!
Nut Tree Remembered - The Cookbook
3rd printing NOW AVAILABLE!
40 recipes and more than 100 photos and graphics from the Nut Tree Restaurant and Retail Stores which closed in 1996. $25.00 each plux tax. Phone orders and shipping are available.
Omo i de - Memories of Vacaville's Lost Japanese Community
Telling the story of the Japanese community in Vacaville prior to the May 1942 internment of WWII.
Solano's Gold - The People and Their Orchards
Conversations and photos of farmers and ranchers tracing the history of the fruit industry in Solano County.
We invite you to join our email list. You will periodically receive news and messages of interest to museum supporters. We will not share your email address with anyone.
Explore Other Solano County Museums
Benicia Historical Museum at the Camel Barns
2060 Camel Road, Benicia 94510 (707) 745-5435
Wednesday through Sunday 1:00 - 4:00
Dutra Museum of Dredging
345 St. Gertrude Avenue Rio Vista, 94571
By Appointment Only, please call (415) 258-4796 or (650) 207-6489
Rio Vista Museum
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Historical Societies and Sources for Research
The Pena Adobe Historical Society - www.penaadobe.org
Open House first Saturday of every month (except January) 11:00-2:00 and by appointment
Rockville Cemetery District
4219 Suisun valley road, Suisun 94585 (707) 864-2421
Silveyville Cemetery District
7661 Rio Dixon Road, Dixon 95620 (707) 678-5578
Suisun-Fairfield Cemetery District
1707 Union Avenue, Fairfield 94533 (707) 425-1622
Vacaville-Elmira Cemetery District
522 Elmira Road, Vacaville 95687 (707) 448-7206