“We need a Museum and we need it now!” Fearing that the rich history of Benicia would be lost, those words were often spoken by Harry Wassmann, a founder and Curator Emeritus of the Benicia Historical Museum. Working tirelessly in the early 1980s, he and many others knew that Benicia was a rich repository of California history; until then, uncollected, uncatalogued, and unpreserved.
The Benicia Historical Society donated $8,000 and many Benicia Volunteer Firemen and hundreds of other citizens donated their ideas, strength, historical information, funds and artifacts. Renovation of the building that now houses the Museum on the upper floor, the Col. Charles P. Stone Hall on the ground level, and the original Powerhouse that became the office took over a year. On May 19, 1985, The Benicia Historical Museum became a reality.
This community treasure is now approaching its 25th Anniversary. On May 15, 2010, the Museum’s Director Ann Hansen will invite the community to celebrate with a presentation and refreshments at Stone Hall. The new Patwin Indian exhibit will be dedicated pioneers of the Museum will be honored with an old-fashioned “ice cream social.” Humphrey the camel will make a special appearance for photo opportunities.