Numerous historical items stolen in Alvarado Adobe Museum burglary

Alvarado Adobe Museum to explore love letters and more on Valentine’s Day
Photo courtesy of the City of San Pablo

By Mike Kinney

Sometime between Saturday, Aug. 5 and Monday, Aug. 8, numerous historical items and prehistoric Ohlone Native artifacts were stolen during a burglary at Alvarado Adobe Museum at 5 Church Lane in San Pablo, according to Jan Pottier, president of the San Pablo Historical and Museum Society President.

The stolen items are valued at $50,000, said San Pablo police Capt. Brian Bubar. 

But to the city, the items that help tell its history to residents and visitors alike are priceless.

“Cart loads of items were stolen,” Pottier said. “All the items in a trunk that are tied to our early Portuguese history were taken. The bedspread from the bed in Gabriella’s room, including our mannequin, Delfina, was taken. Some of the display cases were also damaged and the glass broke in the process of taking the items.”

Pottier added that most of the stolen items “are only of historical value to us and to the history of Rancho San Pablo” and are irreplaceable.

Also disheartening is that the museum’s entire Native American display was taken, artifacts that Pottier described not only as priceless, but as “part of our early history that can never be replaced.”

The Museum is appealing to the public to help police in its investigation.

“Our investigators are dedicated to working on this case and returning these stolen items and artifacts,” added Capt. Bubar.

Anyone who sees or hears of anyone in possession of, or trying to sell, any historical artifacts, are asked to immediately contact the San Pablo Police Department at (510) 215-3130. 

The original Alvarado Adobe was torn down in 1954 after it fell into disrepair and citizens could not raise the money to purchase it, according to Pottier. In 1978, a replica was built as the new Civic Center was being constructed “as a reminder of San Pablo’s pace as an important center in the early history of California and home of the Governor,” she said.

“The Museum contains relics from when only the indigenous people lived in the area,” Pottier said. “Two of the rooms are furnished in the period of the mid 1800s when the Castro/Alvarado families occupied the Adobe and the rest of the museum dedicated to the history of San Pablo as it rose from a Rancho to a City called San Pablo.”

Photos of items stolen from the Museum: