Founded in 1932, the Santa Barbara Historical Museum houses a collection of over 80,000 objects and artifacts of significance relating to Santa Barbara’s past. Constructed in 1965 by the Santa Barbara Historical Society, the Museum is the primary repository of Santa Barbara’s collective cultural heritage and ethnic diversity. Visitor see a wide array of unique paintings, objects, photographs, furnishings and textiles dating from the 15th century. Santa Barbara’s rich past is represented with artifacts from Chumash, Spanish, Mexican, “Yankee” and Chinese cultures. The Museum also hosts three to four special exhibitions a year in the rotating Sala gallery.
The Gledhill Library contains rare literary and visual documents, including 70,000 historic photographs. Two early 19th century buildings, the 1817 Casa Covarrubias and the 1836 Historic Adobe are adjacent to the Museum.
The Fernald Mansion, a fourteen room Queen Anne Victorian located at 414 West Montecito Street, is currently closed for renovation.
Admission is free, $5 donation suggested. The Museum is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am-5pm, Sunday 12-5pm, and is closed Mondays. Free guided tours on Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm.