Mission and Overview

The following mission statement was adopted by the Historical Society’s Board of Trustees in December 2008:   

The San Joaquin County Historical Society preserves and interprets the history of our county.

The Historical Society provides educational experiences that showcase the county's traditions of ingenuity, innovation, and invention -- with emphasis on San Joaquin county's singular contributions in agriculture -- to promote community pride, continued learning, and an appreciation of regional history among county residents and visitors.

The San Joaquin County Historical Society accomplishes its mission on behalf of the County of San Joaquin by:

  • Preserving historic buildings, documents, and objects;
  • Operating the San Joaquin County Historical Museum;
  • Presenting exhibits and programs; and
  • Developing and disseminating publications and media.

Historical Society Overview

The San Joaquin County Historical Society is a California nonprofit corporation, tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  The Historical Society was initially formed in 1954 and since 1966 has operated a history museum in Micke Grove Regional Park under an agreement with the County of San Joaquin. History of Historical Society 

The Museum was initially accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM) in 1973 and has retained that status after subsequent reviews.  AAM accreditation is noteworthy—only 775 (4%) of 17,500 American museums of all types are currently accredited; only three California regional history museums are accredited; and the San Joaquin County Historical Museum is the only museum in San Joaquin County that is now AAM-accredited.

The Historical Society and Museum maintains for the County of San Joaquin a collection of more than 50,000 historic items representative of the history of the region.

The Weber/Kennedy collection includes furnishings and artifacts that belonged to Charles Weber (the founder of Stockton and the first farmer in the county) and Weber family archives, furnishings, and artifacts.  The historic Charles Weber cottage (1847) and the Julia Weber home (1892)—both originally located on Weber’s Point in Stockton—have been relocated to the Museum campus.

Also relocated to the Museum are the historic Calaveras School (1866) and a working blacksmith shop. 

The Museum maintains the Floyd J. Locher tool collection, one of the largest hand- and foot-powered tool collections in the nation.  The 3,300 artifacts in the Locher collection are mostly for woodworking (carpenter, joiner, cabinetmaker, shipwright, coach and carriage maker, cooper, wheelwright, etc.), but also include blacksmith and farrier tools, harnessmaker tools, and others.  The tools date from the 1600s to the early 1900s.

The Museum maintains for the County an extensive collection of historic wheeled and track-layer tractors and agricultural equipment, most of which was either used in or manufactured in San Joaquin County. 

In addition to the Weber/Kennedy family archives, the Museum maintains County records prior to the mid-1950s and a photograph collection of approximately 7,000 images.

The Historical Society and the County maintain the grounds of the 18.5 acre Museum campus, plus eight exhibition buildings, administrative and collections storage space, a workshop building with maintenance and restoration shops, a small gift shop building, and a restroom building. 

The Historical Society and Museum is governed by a Board of Trustees elected by the members of the Society.  A handful of Society employees focus their efforts on collections conservation and management, facilities maintenance and security, educational programs and visitor services, administration, and publications.     

The Historical Society relies heavily on volunteers.  The volunteers who conduct the Museum’s educational programs and services for schoolchildren are called “docents” (from Latin “to teach”) and the Docent Council is organized to train and maintain this critical workforce.  Other volunteers include a group that restores historic agricultural equipment, and “Friends of the Museum” volunteers who do a variety of support tasks.