“To collect and preserve information connected with the early settlement and to form libraries and cabinets … that advances the interests and perpetuate the memory of the founders of this new state.” Objectives; Society of California Pioneers Articles of Incorporation, 1850
Established in 1850, The Society of California Pioneers is dedicated to the study and enjoyment of California art, history, and culture. Founded by individuals arriving in California before 1850 and thriving under the leadership of several generations of their direct descendants, The Society has continuously served the academic community and the public.
As the oldest organization west of The Mississippi, The Society opened the first library in California, as well as a grand hall for meetings, lectures, and social events. Today, we operate a museum on The Main Post of The Presidio of San Francisco, free museum education programs, and The Alice Phelan Sullivan research library, all as a nonprofit organization designed to support scholarship and to encourage new interpretations that both illuminate and honor the diverse experiences of those who came before us.
Pioneer Hall at the Presidio opens with an exhibition of rarely seen treasures from The Society of California Pioneers’ vaults, amassed over the organization’s 165-year history. Photographs, paintings, decorative objects and rare manuscripts recall and illuminate the diverse experience of those who came before us.
Open Wednesday to Sunday
10 AM to 5 PM
(Interested in receiving invitations to special events? Click the “friends” tab above and add your email address to our community roster).