Healdsburg Museum’s newest exhibit, “Lake Sonoma: Before and After,” opens to the public on Thursday, May 28. This exhibit focuses on the early history of upper Dry Creek Valley and the construction of Lake Sonoma and Warm Springs Dam, the largest environmental undertaking in the history of Sonoma County.
These events are examined from many perspectives, from the native Pomo to the advocacy group, Citizens for Community Improvement, who led the battle for Lake Sonoma.
Local Native history is showcased through the eyes of the Mihilakawna (Dry Creek) Pomo. A multi-media computer kiosk created by David and Sherrie Smith-Ferri of the Dry Creek Pomo tribe is the highlight of this section.
Materials donated to the Museum by F.M. “Milt” Brandt and the well-organized advocacy group, Citizens for Community Improvement, who led the battle for Lake Sonoma are the focus of another section.
Visitors will also see never-before displayed photos from the construction of Warm Springs Dam, contributed by Stan Chapman, who worked on the project, along with some obtained by Connie Beeson. A display featuring the SSU archaeological investigations that accompanied the project is also included.
The exhibit also highlights some of the historic properties flooded by the creation of Lake Sonoma, including Skaggs Springs Resort, the Baxter White Oak Ranch and the Hallengren Ranch. Of special interest will be a model of the old Skaggs Springs Resort, built by talented Museum volunteer Jon Lacaillade. He has replicated the various structures from historical photos with artistry and precision. Volunteer Maggie Bates has added her own impressive features, including tiny signage and miniature guests of the resort, handcrafted and dressed in the fashions of the day.
Plan your next visit to the Museum to learn more about these events during their regular hours Wednesday through Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Healdsburg Museum & Historical Society is located at 221 Matheson St. Admission is always free.