Carmel Valley Historical Society
About the Historical Society
Our mission is to preserve and promote the historical record of Carmel Valley. The library continues to be updated as we review the contents of items already in our collection as well as new items coming in weekly. Books and documents are arranged by category, not by numbering system, and are not available online. Our library is not a source for major academic research for which other institutions are more suited. The collection is non-circulating; however, copies can be made at little cost. Researchers can access our special collections of local family histories, documents, periodicals, photographs, and books on the history of Carmel Valley. Books on the history of Monterey County and California in general are included as overarching historical views of events impacting Carmel Valley history.
Some of the significant items in our collection include an autobiography by Joe Hitchcock, books of the Images of America series (including Elizabeth Barratt’s book on Carmel Valley), an extensive collection of information on the California Missions, Monterey History & Art Noticias relating to Carmel Valley, and historic early 20th Century photographs from the collections of A.C. Heidrick, George T. C. Smith, George J. Seideneck, and James Ziegler. Of local interest are histories of Rosie’s Cracker Barrel, Tassajara Hot Springs, Jack N. Swanson’s book “The Life and Times of a Western Artist”, Carmel Valley ranches, the Vintage Airfield, and the Carmel Valley Fire Department & Valley Volunteers.
Visitors will find the library to be quiet and inviting with a research desk provided. Eleanor Avila, retired librarian and past volunteer, was responsible for the early organizing and configuring of our unique “Library in a Barn.”
Library use is by appointment only, (831) 659-5715. Docents are available to answer questions and assist with special requests on Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 4 pm and on Sundays from 11am to 2 pm.
Curious? Do you have a skill or talent you would like to share? Time, perhaps, to take on a docent shift?
30 minutes. Jeff Ohlson of the Carmel Valley Historical Society gives an overview of the history of Carmel Valley’s Cachagua Fire Department. This presentation takes you from its formative days of the mid-1970s to present. The presentation includes the history of the department’s founders and directors, its volunteer firefighters and their rigorous training, their fire vehicles, its legendary fundraising and community support, and major fire incidents.
We are happy to share with you the results of our latest endeavor – a Virtual Tour of the History Center!
Great news! All of the Historical Society’s old newsletters have now been added to the “Newsletter Archives” page (click on News -> Newsletter Archives).
A comprehensive history of the department recounts its early days to present. It includes many photos of volunteers in training or during actual emergencies.
Now for the first time you can download a full 56-page file of the Centennial Newspaper for your enjoyment. This rare issue contains many historical articles about Carmel Valley, such as: Ranching, Native Indians, noteworthy families, old schools, Valley Library service history, fire departments, churches, parks, and much more.