The PRAHS has preserved the history of Paso Robles for 36 years
By Camille DeVaul and the Historical Society of the El Paso de Robles Region
PASO ROBLES – Known as “California’s Oldest Waterhole,” the world has been drawn to the Paso Robles area for hundreds of years. Between the home of the Salinan tribes and later that of our founders, the Blackburn brothers, so much history rests on our soil. The Historical Society of the El Paso de Robles region has made it their mission to keep this story alive.
Go through this together, Paso Robles
During the 36 years of its existence, the Historical Society of the Region of El Paso de Robles (PRAHS) has preserved, promoted and encouraged knowledge and awareness of local history through an extensive collection of photographs, documents and newspapers and shares these collections through exhibitions, research and education.
PRAHS, a non-profit organization, was formed in 1985 and held its first meetings at the Plymouth Congregational Church. Some of the founding members of the company are well known names in the Paso Robles community. Virginia Peterson and Norma Moye founded the company alongside Recording Secretary Sandra Hatch, Corresponding Secretary Bruce Woodworth and Treasurer William Gerst. Other household names have served on the board, Dolly Bader, Al Davis, Margaret Gates, Al Heer, Fraser MacGillivary, John McCarthy, Swift Jewell and Wally Ohles.
A lot has changed, but a lot remains the same. In 1997, the Carnegie Historical Library, located in Paso Robles City Park, became the headquarters of the Historical Society. The ground floor of the library serves as a local history museum, and the lower level of the building houses the office of the Virginia Peterson Research Library and Society.
Membership and support of the PRAHS has grown to include local residents, businesses, people from across the United States and abroad. The Historical Society is entirely made up of volunteers and there are no paid staff. Funding is generated through donations, grants and bequests.
It is thanks to the dedication of volunteers who made it all possible. Some volunteers help by welcoming visitors and answering questions about exhibits, local history, shops, restaurants and vineyards. Other volunteers work in the research library cataloging, classifying and researching, entering computer databases, assisting in the management of financial records, and maintaining member and volunteer records.
But it’s not all work and no play for volunteers and docents. Field trips are scheduled to other local historical societies and museums, bi-monthly meetings are held to update and inform about exhibits and exhibits, and casual lunches are held to discuss future plans and ideas.
Volunteering with the Historical Society of the El Paso de Robles Area is both fun and interesting. Stop and talk to the volunteers, and you’ll be ready to sign up.
The Paso History Museum is open five days a week: Thursday to Monday, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The opening hours of the research library are as follows: Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment.
For more information to contact the library, visit pasohistorymuseum.org, email [email protected] or call (805) 238-4996