Playing with History: Vintage Toys and Games at the SLV Museum

Nickel mint popcorn and peanut wagon, at the San Lorenzo Valley Museum.

Nickel mint popcorn and peanut wagon, at the San Lorenzo Valley Museum.

Every mid-December, the San Lorenzo Valley Museum presents a holiday exhibition that reflects the festive cultural spirit of the community. This year, the tradition continues with the fun-filled Playing with History, a collection of locally owned vintage toys and games on display through early January, 2017.

Puppets from the Truella Lund Collection. Truella was the first female police officer in Santa Cruz.

Puppets from the Truella Lund Collection. Truella was the first female police officer in Santa Cruz.

Playing with History introduces visitors to locals and lifestyles from the past through diverse items of entertainment. The museum space is cheerfully decorated to showcase antique cars, puppets, doll house, erector sets, board games, and more. While most of the objects are recognizable, some – like the Nickel Mint Popcorn and Peanut Wagon – are rare.

The museum building was once a church constructed in 1906.

The museum building was once a church constructed in 1906.

The museum venue itself is also a piece of unique antiquity as the oldest surviving church building in Boulder Creek. The former church was built from old-growth redwoods in the Gothic Revival style, and was completed in 1906. There have only been minor revisions since then, and most of the original structure remains the same today. After many years of use by the Christian Science Society, it was sold in 1995 to the local Historical Society to hold museum collections. When the building celebrated its centennial in 2006, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places, and is now an official Santa Cruz landmark.

The museum features permanent as well as rotating exhibits.

The museum features permanent and rotating exhibits.

The San Lorenzo Historical Society continues to provide free admission to most of the museum’s annual exhibitions and educational programs, along with several fundraising events. The building and property feature permanent displays of antique artifacts depicting early life in the area. The museum includes a reconstructed turn of the century kitchen and schoolroom, tools from logging and mills, blacksmithing, and furniture. Rotating exhibits go up throughout the year and present all manner of topics related to San Lorenzo Valley and spanning Santa Cruz County.

Wooden cars from the Frank Perry Collection.

Wooden cars from the Frank Perry Collection.

Under the direction of President Lisa Robinson, a board of directors and staff of volunteers create ongoing opportunities to engage the community and teach about local history. The museum’s Historical Talk series features guest speakers who are often scheduled to compliment each exhibition. The museum also offers a bookstore, resources for public research, and educational outreach programs for adults and kids, including hands-on activities, docent led tours, and customized walking tours of the SLV towns.

Tomorrowland Rocket to the Moon Game

Tomorrowland Rocket to the Moon Game

2016 marks 110 years the building has been a steadfast Boulder Creek structure, and 40 years the dedicated non-profit has been preserving local history and sharing it with the community. As this year winds down, the SLV Museum and Historical Society look forward to the future with more events planned for the young and young at heart.

Playing With History An Exhibition of Vintage Toys and Games

December 10, 2016 – January 8, 2017

 

Peter Rabbit's Race Game.

Peter Rabbit’s Race Game.

Learn more about the San Lorenzo Museum and Historical Society by visiting their website.

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