If you are looking for a place to feel like an extended lost family, go to the Paso Robles Historical Society. The architecture is fabulous, and yes, we will get to that in a few minutes. The Paso Robles Historical Society is all about the people who work there. These are all volunteers, dedicating their time to make everyone who walks through the doors feel family. You know the kind of family you want to see, not Bruno. Your favorite aunt, the grandma that loves you just the way you are, or that fun cousin. I am serious, and these ladies could write a book or even teach a class on hospitality.
In the museum, you will see a cheerleader's uniform, and one of the ladies that is a volunteer there wore that uniform!
There are a variety of exhibitions that are on display. One of the displays still on view is the Amphorae Project, from the Wine History Project. Recently, the Wine History Project teamed up with 15 local wineries that utilize amphorae to make wine. One of the wineries is Indigene Cellars, owned by Raymond Smith, a black-owned business right in the heart of Paso Robles. The Wine History Project is reaching back into history at least 6,000 years old and showing us how our collective ancestors utilized clay for the maceration of grapes. Make sure to visit to get a detailed breakdown of the history and how the amphorae spread across Asia Minor to Egypt and Europe. Learn about the other wineries involved here in the county and the upcoming events that will center on the exhibition, including a lecture from Dr. Patrick McGovern, an Archaeologist and the Scientific Director of the Bimolecular Archeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum.
Two of the ladies who volunteer (which all the people who work there do…volunteer their time!) research the properties, and people live and work in Paso Robles. Nancy and Jan are two of the ladies that conduct research. Every person you meet treats you like family, so you will be in good hands if you ask about research. I am not confident that you will have to ask if there is a separate cost involved with the research they conduct. I do know they appreciate all donations. So please be as generous as you can when you visit in person or online.
The architecture is somewhat unique and was done in the Neo-classical style. It was designed by William H Weeks, and R. O. Summers of San Jose oversaw the construction. On January 12th, 1908, the first cornerstone was laid, and it was opened by June 19th, 1908. The funding was from the Carnegie Grant, one of 2,509 he would fund. This one in Paso cost $10,000, but he would spend 2,83,6987.00 in California alone. He financed the building, but each area had to spend the money for books, maintenance, and employees. Indiana had the most Carnegie libraries with a total of 165, followed by California with 142.