VACAVILLE MUSEUM  
WELCOME TO THE PREMIER SOLANO COUNTY MUSEUM  Preserving our local history, culture and artifacts

213 Buck Avenue
Vacaville, CA 95688 
(707) 447-4513

Gallery hours:    
Wednesday - Sunday from 1:00pm to 4:30pm 

Office hours:
Tuesday - Sunday from 9:00pm to 5:00pm 

Docent led tours for school groups and other large groups are available Wednesday through Sunday from 9:30 until Noon. 
Call the museum office two weeks in advance of the planned date to make reservations. 
Smaller groups may plan afternoon tours by arranging with the museum office. 
Call for reservations. 
 
Admission donation 
Adults - $3.00 
Students and Seniors - $2.00 
School tours - $1 per student 
Members of the Museum - Free admission 

The Vacaville Museum, a Center for Solano County History, is the only institution whose mission includes cultural and historical preservation for all of Solano County. Through exhibits, publications and educational programs, the Museum continuously promotes the value of community heritage. Since 1984, Vacaville Museum has produced 40 exhibits, as well as numerous publications important to the history and sense of place of Solano County. The Museum is supported through admissions, membership sales and charitable contributions. To help us continue with our mission to educate and serve the community you can donate by using the button below. Thank you for your support. The Vacaville Museum  is a non-profit, community benefit 501(c)(3) institution, IRS#94-2803010. 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. If you would like to join you can email us at info@vacavillemuseum.org or give us a call at (707) 447-4513.

Artifact or Donation Inquiries: info@vacavillemuseum.org (707)447-4513 In order to consider your donation of artwork(s), artifact(s) or specimen(s), the Museum requires interested parties to be considered by our curatorial and collections staff. Connections to Solano County are essential, so please be sure to state them. Information about the object such as a general description, the name of artist or manufacturer (if known), dimensions, date made, history of how it was made or used, and any other details you can provide are greatly appreciated. Once we receive your complete proposal, Museum staff will carefully consider review your item to make a decision based on criteria such as its relevance to the Vacaville Museum Mission, how well it fits with plans for the Museum Collection, whether it is in good condition, and whether we can adequately care for it in the future. Not all donation offers can be accepted.    

CURRENT EXHIBIT
Our next exhibit "Solano Collects" opens to the public on Saturday October 5th. This is your show, created from the interesting, unique, whimsical and wonderful collections that your fellow Solano County residents have been enjoying in the privacy of their homes.

We had many outstanding collections submitted, and from them, over 30 collections were selected by an independent jury for the exhibit. It will be a sensory sensation of items large and small, serious and silly, with collections as varied as your imagination will take you. Everything from fine china objects to tiny 1930’s dye-cast pencil sharpeners—from enormous Swiss cow bells to delicate pottery, pinball machines, miniature Native baskets, exquisite paintings—and much more! Indeed, something for everyone. And, the best part is, we will be showing collections from folks from all corners of Solano County…making this a truly county exhibit.
Past Exhibit:
Through The Lens
Our Fruitful Heritage


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.



UPCOMING EVENTS

Friday, October 4, 2019- Opening night for exhibit "Solano Collects"
A sneak preview of the exhibition for Museum Members & Exhibit Collectors. Come meet the collectors & see the collections! It opens to the public on Saturday October 5th. This is your show, created from the interesting, unique, whimsical and wonderful collections that your fellow Solano County residents have been enjoying in the privacy of their homes.

We had many outstanding collections submitted, and from them, over 30 collections were selected by an independent jury for the exhiit. It will be a sensory sensation of items large and small, serious and silly, with collections as varied as your imagination will take you. Everything from fine china objects to tiny 1930’s dye-cast pencil sharpeners—from enormous Swiss cow bells to delicate pottery, pinball machines, miniature Native baskets, exquisite paintings—and much more! Indeed, something for everyone. And, the best part is, we will be showing collections from folks from all corners of Solano County…making this a truly county exhibit.

Five Solano County museums will be participating: Benicia, Vallejo, Peña Adobe, Travis AFB and Vacaville. It is sure to be a first-of-its-kind, landmark exhibition and we hope everyone will come celebrate this extraordinary show. What a wonderful way to herald the 35th Anniversary of the county’s Vacaville Museum.

Saturday, November 2, 2019 -Arts & Lectures Series: Collectors' Connect

The Museum is pleased to coordinate its second monthly Arts & Lectures series.  The opening event will be “Collectors’ Connection” on Saturday November 2, 2019 from 10:30 am-12:00 pm, and will spotlight three very different and important collections representing a broad sweep of geography, history and art.  Spend a morning at the Museum and get in-depth knowledge about three of the 30 collections in the exhibit.

Rochelle Stacey will tell the fascinating story of her uncle, Joe Boyd Williams, and his critical leadership role as the chief prosecutor for the Japanese War Tribunal which began after WWII in 1946 and ended in 1949.  View his important memorabilia from that time, including the original signatures of all indicted officers, the gifts bestowed upon her aunt and uncle and more.  

Collector, Tom Markle, is the foremost collector and authority on poet/artist Don Blanding.  Tom has presented lectures about this fascinating artist throughout the country and is in the process of writing a book about Blanding, as well.  His talk will be illustrated by Blanding’s original art work and ceramics which are currently on display in Solano Collects, as well as hear a sampling of the writings of “The Vagabond Poet’”—as Blanding was called.

Finally, be amused and amazed by Randy Nelson’s collection of carved wooden folk figures from around the world.  And,  see the intricate, interactive wooden toys created by Randy’s father in the 1950s and 1960s.  He might even let you try to get Humpty Dumpty to fall from his wall!  In addition to meeting and learning from these three collectors, Arts & Lectures guests will have time to view the entire Solano Collects exhibit with the Museum’s staff.  

Tapping in on many of the show’s objects and collections, the Arts & Lectures series will be built around the Solano Collects exhibition.  In the same way that the show offers something for everyone, so too, the Arts & Lectures series will appeal to a broad reach of interests and ages.  Other events will all be the Museum’s popular “Family-Fun-Days”—featuring  Painting: An Artist View Of The Show, Nov. 23rd;  “Collector’s Connection: From Butter Churning to Lego Building, Dec. 14th; and African Drumming, Jan. 25th 2020.  You won’t want to miss any of these exciting events.

Admission is free but space for the events is very limited.  Call the Museum to reserve your place for each of the events: 707-447-4513 or check us out on Facebook

Saturday, November 23, 2019 - Arts & Lectures Series: Family Fun Day, Painting: An Artist View Of The Show
Free admission, call (707)447-4513 to reserve your seat today. More details to follow.

Saturday, December 14, 2019 - Arts & Lectures Series: Family Fun Day, "Collectors' Connection" From Butter Churning to Lego Building
Free admission, call (707)447-4513 to reserve your seat today. More details to follow.

Saturday, January 25, 2019- Arts & Lectures Series: Family Fun Day, African Drumming
Free admission, call (707)447-4513 to reserve your seat today. More details 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! Take a stroll through beautiful downtown Vacaville from Main Street to Buck Avenue and warm up with some of our tasty onion soup on the evening of Merriment on Main, the annual tree lighting. Our amazing Museum Guild members will be hosting the evening serving up delicious soup and live entertainment by local groups throughout the evening. For more information about Merriment on Main, please visit merrimentonmain.org

Free Admission  *Details and time subject to change.

*Schedule subject to change.

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STORE
Our store has been transformed into a small exhibit showcasing the History of Vacaville. More items are available for purchase in our lobby.
NUT TREE REMEMBERED 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 plus tax. Phone orders and shipping are available.
CALIFORNIA ILLUSTRATED NO.1
"The Vacaville Early Fruit District" -PRINT
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. This beautiful print is $10.00 plus tax. Shipping is not available. *Limited quantities.
MUSEUMB BLEND MEDIUM ROAST COFFEE
The aroma of coffee now fills our gallery! Grab your bag of freshly roasted, whole bean or ground Museum blend coffee. A huge thank you to our friends at Steady Eddy's for making this happen! Each bag is $13.00 plus tax and a portion of the proceeds will be donated back to the museum.  Get your fresh bag today! Shipping is not available for this product.
Join and Support The Vacaville Museum

Membership

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!

Membership Renewal

Please contact our office (707)447.4513 to renew your annual membership.

Donations

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!


Membership Levels:

Individual $50:  

  • Annual Membership
  • Full benefits for one adult including special events.
  • Two guest passes
  • Inquire about Guild Membership
Family $75:
  • Annual Membership for two
  • Full benefits for two
  • Two additional guest passes
Sponsor $150

  • Annual Sponsorship
  • All previous benefits plus four guest passes
Principal $250
  • Annual Principal Membership
  • All previous benefits
  • Six guest passes
  • Two Museum etched wine glasses
  • Special invitations to designated Museum promotional parties
Patron $500
  • All previous benefits
  • Eight guest passes
  • Courtyard for one private event
  • Special Guided tours of Museum exhibits and collections
  • One family-level gift membership, upon request
  • Invitation to Leadership Giving Circle Party


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Volunteer

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.



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VACAVILLE MUSEUM BOARD OF TRUSTEES 2019
President, Allan Haddox, Haddox Consulting
Jill Blechschmidt, McGuire Realty
Becky Craig, Vacaville Chamber of Commerce
Ron Rowlett, Mayor of Vacaville
Damon Tyler, Tyler Financial
Cara Fox, Realty ONE Group Fox
Randy Nelson, Retired
Doug Spletter, Reynolds Law LLP
Joe Nicolli, Vacaville Convalescent and Rehabilitation Center
Anne Ribeiro, Retired
Past President, Scott Pardini, Recology
 Ex Officio:  
Lanie Keystone, Director, Vacaville Museum
Marian Chmieleski, President, Vacaville Museum Guild
EXPLORE
Solano County Museum Consortium
In an inspiring display of cooperation, Solano County's major museums and preservation efforts have joined together as the SCMC: Solano County Museum Consortium. SCMC formed to address three community-wide issues: education, public awareness, and volunteerism. Many local residents and visitors are unaware of the depth and breadth of the museum services offered throughout the area.

"Museums provide connections for people. Connections to their past, to their communities, to each other, and to their future. It just seemed like a natural thing to do, that we should all be working together," said Phil Kohlmetz, Director of the Western Railway Museum in Rio Vista.

SCMC members include the Benicia Historical Museum, Museum Roundtable, Rio Vista Museum, Solano County Historical Society, Vacaville Heritage Council, Vacaville Museum, Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, and Western Railway Museum.

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
16 North Front Street, Rio Vista 94571 (707) 374-5169
Saturday and Sunday 12:00 - 5:00

Travis Air Museum
661 East E Street, Building 80, Travis Air Force Base 94533 (707) 424-5605
Daily 9:00 - 4:00

Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum
734 Marin Street, Vallejo 94590 (707) 643-0077
Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 - 4:00

Western Railway Museum
5848 State Highway 12, Suisun City 94585 (707) 374-2978
Saturday and Sunday 12:00 - 5:00

Historical Societies and Sources for Research

Dixon Library Archives
230 North 1st Street, Dixon 95620 (707) 678-2934

Solano County Genealogical Society
620 Main Street, Vacaville 95688 (707) 446-6869
Monday 10:00 - 2:00, 3rd Saturday 10:00 - 2:00

Solano County Archives
815 Chadbourne Rd, Suite 120, Fairfield 94534 (707) 434-1101
Tuesdays and Fridays 10:00 - 2:00

Solano County Historical Society
P.O. Box 3009, Fairfield, CA 94533-3009
610 East Main Street, Vacaville 95688
email: www.info@solcohs.org
www.solcohs.org

Vacaville Heritage Council
618 East Main Street, Vacaville 95688 (707) 448-0518
Tuesday & Thursday 9:00 - 2:00 and by appointment

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

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