by Zach Chouteau
Don’t know much about (Richmond) history? A fun and easy way to explore the city’s past awaits at a longstanding local venue that proves good things really do come in small packages.
Tucked away in the Iron Triangle neighborhood at 400 Nevin Ave., the intriguing Richmond Museum of History is split between a downstairs gallery hosting changing exhibits and a more robust second level loaded with ongoing displays shining a spotlight on the city’s eclectic yesteryear.
“The Richmond Museum of History contains so many hidden stories, there is sure to be at least one that will catch your attention,” Executive Director Melinda McCrary told the Richmond Standard. “The permanent exhibit includes artifacts related to agriculture, industry on the bayfront, wartime in Richmond as well as information about Native Americans, Latinos and African-Americans.”
Operated by the Richmond Museum Association (RMA), the venue is a trove of wonderful archival photographs from numerous eras, model boats, eclectic antiques and plenty more. One of the eye-catching standouts is surely the pristine 1931 “First Ford,” the initial Model A car to roll out of the company’s Richmond assembly plant that year. Another memorable item is a large hanging circular frame that is at first hard to comprehend; after ducking beneath its interior, visitors are provided with a photographic 360-degree view of Richmond in all its circa 1912 glory.
As for the compelling parade of temporary exhibits constantly revolving through the downstairs Seaver Gallery, the current showcase is a worthwhile look for anyone with an eye towards fashion. Having kicked off in late August and visible through Dec. 23 of this year, Accessories, Accessories, Accessories shows off a sampling of the venue’s impressive vintage clothing collection—spotlighting items worn by actual working-class Richmond residents throughout the past century.
The handsome brick building housing the museum is a treasure in itself and originally debuted in 1910 as the Carnegie Library—where the RMA first originated in the structure’s cellar. Today, in addition to the inviting museum, the association also oversees the SS Red Oak Victory, a historic warship built and launched in the Richmond Shipyard in the 1940s. The ship, docked at 1337 Canal Boulevard, is now home to numerous innovative events ranging from pancake breakfasts to vintage film series—as well as a Fleet Week WWII Reenactment on October 8 that will include music, food and even Hula dancing.
The Richmond Museum of History is open Wednesday through Sunday , from 1-4 p.m.; admission is $5 for adults, and $3 for seniors/students over 12 . While kids under 12 are always free, any youth under 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The Red Oak Victory is open for visits Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., with a $10 donation required for boarding.
Jobs | Jan 9, 2017
The demand for medical assistants in the healthcare field is so high, Kaiser Permanente is offering a 50-percent tuition discount …
Jobs | Jan 26, 2016
Starting Feb. 1, Chevron will begin accepting applications for Operator Trainee positions at the Richmond Refinery, the company announced today. …
Crime | Oct 20, 2015
A 31-year-old Richmond woman was sentenced to 21 years in state prison Tuesday for fatally shooting a 16-year-old ex-boyfriend who …
Crime | Nov 18, 2015
The woman pictured is wanted by police in connection with the violent robbery of an El Cerrito High student on …
Recent News | Feb 7, 2014
Although the US Postal Service says only a small percentage of packages end up lost or delayed at its national …
Crime | Jul 14, 2015
A man was killed and a 17-year-old critically injured after shots rang out at the Monterey Pines Apartments complex in …