Time Traveling at the Healdsburg Museum: Destination Healdsburg
Nowadays, the alluring town of Healdsburg is among the most popular and buzzed about destinations in Sonoma County. From the enchanting central downtown plaza, around which visitors will find everything from the trendiest boutiques, independent bookstores and upscale accommodations to art galleries, organic locally grown produce, and artisanal products of many varieties to the revered regional wine appellations, including Alexander Valley, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, and Russian River Valley, that surround it, Healdsburg is a must for any modern Sonoma County itinerary.
But how did this charming slice of wine country grow from a former no man’s land to one of the region’s most celebrated hubs? The new Healdsburg Museum exhibition, Destination Healdsburg, aims to answer that question, or at the very least to put it into context.
Filled with historical artifacts, stories, and photos from Healdsburg’s tourism history, including a scale architectural replica of West Street (now Healdsburg Avenue) in 1935, the Destination Healdsburg exhibition promises visitors an opportunity to step back in time. In so doing the exhibition revisits the following periods in the town’s evolution:
1860s – Stagecoaches transport visitors to “Nature’s Scenic Wonders” of the Geysers
1870s – Railroads bring vacationers to the Russian River and nearby hot springs
1880s & 1890s – Boom times! Healdsburg touted as “San Francisco of the North”
1900s & 1910s – Vacation homes, cottages and tents on Fitch Mountain
1920s to 1950s – The automobile takes over, parking becomes an issue, travel cheaply along the “Redwood Highway”, in “Auto Camps” to visit “Russian River Resorts”
1960s & 1970s – Scenic agricultural splendor, cows, sheep and “Prune Blossom” tours in the surrounding valleys
Perfect to pair with a day of wine-tasting, shopping or a five-star lunch or dinner at one of Healdsburg’s many highly lauded eateries, Destination Healsdburg offers an excellent perspective on how the magic of Healdburg has evolved over the years. (And best of all admission is free).
The Destination Healdsburg exhibition runs through October 1, 2017.