The Cloverdale History Center and Historic Gould-Shaw House showcase important local exhibits and archive a large collection of artifacts and ephemera of Cloverdale’s natural and human history.
Our Permanent Exhibits Include
- The Gould-Shaw House, its Victorian rooms decorated as they would have been at the turn of the 20th Century
- Pomo artistry and artifacts, showcasing examples of basket making, grinding stones and flake tools
- Timeline Wall highlighting key episodes in the history of the town and vicinity
- The Citrus Fair: a Cloverdale tradition since 1892
- Vintage mudwagon, tools, equipment and machinery
- Bank of Cloverdale’s curious cannonball safe
- Transportation Exhibit
A collection of over 100 Pomo Baskets is on display in the second floor exhibit hall of the Museum’s History Center. The exhibit is part of a private collection on loan to the museum from Silver Galleto, Vice Chair of the Cloverdale Rancheria. Workshops are planned. Exhibit display throughout 2022.
Introduction to Cloverdale History
Cloverdale lies nestled among forested hills and colorful vineyards at the north end of Sonoma County’s famed Alexander Valley. Originally inhabited by the Makahmo Pomo with white settlers beginning to arrive in the 1850s, the town later became known as “The Orange City” because of its flourishing groves of citrus. In the latter years of the 19th century, Cloverdale welcomed trainloads of visitors arriving to enjoy its signature event, the annual Citrus Fair, to relax at the Russian River resorts or to experience the geothermal wonders of The Geysers. During the same period, unique communities developed outside of town – a religious colony around a charismatic healer, a utopian community of French socialists, and an agricultural settlement of Italian immigrants that became the unparalleled Italian Swiss Colony winemaking enterprise.
Over the years, Cloverdale has been a farm town, a regional transportation hub, a stopping point for Redwood Highway travelers, and a thriving lumber town. More recently, Cloverdale has become a distinctive tourist destination while retaining its small town character as a friendly hometown.
From Stagecoaches to Trains to Automobiles to the Redwood Highway
From trails to rails—from horses to horseless—from byways to highways—the History Center’s new transportation exhibit offers glimpses and stories from Cloverdale’s past.
Our extensive collections are being cataloged for future use by researchers, historians, and exhibit planners.
Donations of Artifacts, Photos and Other Items
If you have an item you would like to donate, contact the Historical Society by phone at (707) 894-2067 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment with one of Collections volunteer team members. The item can be loaned either permanently or temporarily, depending on your wishes and its relevance and place in our collection. Items must be related to our mission and to the Cloverdale area. We also accept unconditional donations, meaning that if we are not able to accession them, we may use them in our sales to raise funds for our programs. However it works out, we are very grateful to the many people who have donated to us and made our collection a truly valuable resource for the community.
Image Reproduction Requests
The Museum’s Collection consists of more than 65,000 photos, artifacts and ephemera donated by Cloverdale families and residents since the Historical Society was founded in 1968. The Collections Management Committee has developed written policies and procedures and coordinates the work of accession, preservation, storage, retrieval and de-accession of these precious items. Many of the photos and materials are available for reproduction. Written permission is necessary to reproduce or use image(s) that are part of the Historical Society Collection and charges apply.