Walnut Creek Downtown Tours
Our popular Downtown History Tours take place on the 2nd Saturday of each month, rain or shine. The next tour is on July 11, 2015. Click here for more information.
Closed July 3 - 5th for the Holiday Weekend.
Welcome to the Walnut Creek Historical Society
Founded in 1967 by members of the Walnut Creek Women’s Club, the Walnut Creek Historical Society has developed into a vital organization that engages with the community and city government to carry out its mission to preserve and interpret local history. Among its varied activities, the Society operates and maintains the Shadelands Ranch Musuem, supports local history programs for area third-graders, and maintains a rotating exhibit at the downtown Walnut Creek Library.
Shadelands Ranch Museum
Built by Walnut Creek pioneer Hiram Penniman (1824-1907), the main house on the Shadelands Ranch grounds is a 1903 redwood-framed Colonial Revival structure that now showcases numerous historical artifacts, many of which belonged to the Pennimans. It also houses a rich archive of Contra Costa and Walnut Creek history in its collections of old newspapers, photographs, and government records. The Sherwood Burgess Room is open Wednesdays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for individuals who wish to do research on local history.
The Museum is on the National Register of Historic Places and belongs to the City of Walnut Creek, but is operated by the Society through fundraising and a dedicated corps of volunteers. The Museum is closed each year from the beginning of November until the first Sunday in February. During the annual hiatus, the Society holds public events around the holidays and carries out routine maintenance on the house each January.