UKIAH, CA., 11/27/22 – The Historical Society of Mendocino County (HSMC) is accepting applications for volunteers to serve on its board of directors. This is a great opportunity for community members with an interest in local history to further HSMC’s mission of collecting, preserving and sharing the diverse history of Mendocino County.
The historical society was founded in Ukiah in 1956. Since its inception, HSMC helped preserve historical landmarks countywide, including the Held-Poage Memorial Home in Ukiah. The home was built in 1903 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, it serves as HSMC’s headquarters and research library and archives.
Other major projects implemented by HSMC include building the Mendocino County Museum in Willits, restoring the Little Red Schoolhouse on Highway 20, and building a temperature-controlled archival storage facility at the Held-Poage property that contains 21,000 objects, ranging from photographs to local Indigenous basketry.
Volunteers from throughout the county are invited to apply to serve on the nine member board. Applicants with experience in strategic planning, grant writing, fundraising and backgrounds in the nonprofit, museum and library sectors or business management are specifically of interest.
Board member Phil Gary shared that one of the major projects at HSMC is the cataloging and digitizing of its vast collection to make it more accessible to the public. Board members “are entrusted with the responsibility of planning and supporting the metamorphosis of HSMC from collection center for artifacts to a fully digitized and computer accessible information center,” says Gary. The board is hoping new board members will have interest in the project, including bringing technology skills and innovative ideas on how to further expand access to the collections with the public.
Other recent projects led by the Board of Directors include restoration efforts and property improvements to the Held-Poage Memorial Home. “We are well on our way to restoring the Held-Poage Memorial Home to its condition in the mid 1920s,” says Gary, and “through the generosity of the Held and Toney family trusts and the contributions of more than fifty HSMC members, we have planned and constructed a pavilion as an adjunct facility for social gatherings.” The pavilion offers space for not only HSMC to utilize, but the general public to rent for special events.
However, it’s not just fun and preservation at HSMC. Board members are also responsible for overseeing the finances of the organization, including maintaining a realistic balanced budget and planning and implementing fundraising efforts. These and the many activities in progress and planned align with the organization’s strategic plan, according to Gary.
“Our Strategic Plan calls for the completion of the cataloging and digitizing our archived material within the next ten years,” he says, along with “the completion of the restoration of the Held Poage Memorial Home within the next two years, the ongoing search for sustained revenue sources, and the improved awareness of our benefit and value to our community.”
For more information about the HSMC and its board of directors, or for an application, please contact the HSMC at [email protected] or call (707) 462-6969.
Sarah Stierch covers food, beverage, culture and breaking news for The Mendocino Voice. Contact Stierch at [email protected] The Voice maintains editorial control and independence.