Creative Sonoma

Petaluma Historical Museum

Petaluma Historical Museum



Preserving the Unique History of Petaluma and Providing Educational and Cultural Services to the Community.

The former Carnegie library now houses Petaluma poultry, dairy, and Miwok Indian history exhibits from the 1850s. The cornerstone for this stately Carnegie Library was laid in 1904. The building, designed by local architect Brainerd Jones and built from locally quarried stone, features the largest free-standing leaded glass dome in Northern California. The building is in the neo-classical style, featuring original fan-glass windows, round leaded-glass windows, also original interior wood paneling and columns. It also houses a fine research library.


Our Response to COVID-19:

A Message from the PMA Board of Directors

Recent tragic events have swept our nation and our world into a powerful outcry for equality and justice. One man’s death has galvanized people’s consciousness in a way that past atrocities failed to do. George Perry Floyd’s unconscionable murder by law enforcement has engendered an international outcry that cannot be ignored.

The Petaluma Museum Association stands in solidarity with all those who have suffered the effects of prejudice and intolerance. “Black Lives Matter” formed as a movement not only to express outrage and demand change but also to educate Americans about past wrongs and misconceptions.

We who form the PMA Board of Directors believe the accurate account of history is a sacred obligation for future generations. History teaches us and guides us to be better as we create a stronger, more diversified future. To that goal, the PMA endeavors to tell our human story as truthfully as possible, relying on artifacts and published material in our archives.

The PMA vows to tell our local history from the vantage point of all those who have called the Petaluma area their home. That includes all races, ethnicities, religions, gender identifications and political persuasions.

We will not flinch from telling unlovely truths about our past as we create future history exhibits and presentations. We pledge never to whitewash our history. We rely on our membership and the viewing public to help correct our past errors and misconceptions.

As Americans we must always remember the words from our Constitution’s preamble “to form a more perfect Union.” That includes scrupulous honesty about our past.

Since issuing this statement our Collections department has begun to update our permanent collections including Poultry to include an overlooked  jewish business partner, General Vallejo's legacy, and  the role of colored schools in our town's history.

We are updating our exhibit systems to be "covid safe" for future exhibitions and events.