Chronicling the County’s History in 101 Objects
In January, 2018, the Marin History Museum launched the online exhibition of the “History of Marin in 101 Objects”, which is now available on both Instagram and Facebook. Inspired by the Smithsonian’s “History of America in 101 Objects”, this effort is intended to show the range of the Marin History Museum’s artifact collection, as well as make Marin’s rich history more visible to an inquiring population.
The 101 objects posted illustrate the sweep of our collection, including the first issue of the Marin Journal, a Miwok mortar and pestle, a trove of items and ephemera from San Quentin's reform-minded mid-century warden, Clinton Duffy, and a hard hat from the dedication of the Civic Center that had belonged to Vera Schultz, the first woman elected to serve as county supervisor.
Some of the artifacts, like the county’s mid-nineteenth century book of dairy cattle brands or remnants of pre-statehood era, tell stories that may be unfamiliar to much of our current population. Meanwhile other objects have been particularly resonant for those who have direct connections and firsthand memories, such as the water conservation mailer dating from the 1977 drought, or the red-and-white beanie worn by freshmen at San Rafael high from the 1930s to the 1960s. One post that featured turn-of-the-century hand-cranked candy mold from Charles Stocking’s San Rafael store garnered a lot of attention from his descendants.
The MHM team of volunteers has enjoyed the opportunity to collaborate with project lead Ian Sethre and longtime museum librarian Jocelyn Moss. Their knowledge of the museum’s holdings has made selecting, researching, writing, and photographing these 101 artifacts an exciting and sometimes immersive experience.
Shown below are examples of the Marin History Museum's 101 artifacts. The completed compilation of all 101 images along with a detailed descriptions of each artifact can be viewed in Instagram.
San Rafael Fire Department
San Anselmo license
Marin Bottle Works
Ignacio Pacheco's Sword
Louise Boyd backpack
San Anselmo License
San Quentin/San Rafael ticket
San Rafael High School beanie
Snowdon Fairfax Chair
Vera Schultz Helmet
Fairfax rental sign
Earthquake relief meeting and badges
Marin Town and Country
China Camp opium pipe