Museum salutes dairy industry
Published: Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 4:37 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, March 7, 2009 at 4:49 p.m.
The city of Petaluma has a history steeped in agriculture, and in honor of that, the Petaluma Museum presents a year-long exhibit, “A Salute to Petaluma’s Dairy Industry – Past and Present.”
The exhibit celebrates the families, organizations and businesses that have contributed and continue to contribute to Petaluma’s dairy industry.
“When you think about butter and eggs in Petaluma, the emphasis has always been on eggs and the chicken time in our history,” said Katherine Rinehart, president of the Petaluma Museum. “We thought it was time to talk about the dairy part.”
The exhibit highlights include a look at the role of technology in the dairy industry from cream separators and milking machines to issues of sanitation and going from glass containers to cardboard and plastic packaging. There are also photographs on display by Linda Musick along with a collection of historical items from Clover Stornetta.
“Most of what we have on display is on loan,” said Rinehart. “Interestingly enough, we don’t have a lot of artifacts associated with Petaluma’s dairy history.”
The exhibit also shares the histories of the Petaluma Cooperative Creamery as well as Petaluma’s dairies, from the larger Sleepy Hollow to the smaller White Dairy and Chandler’s Dairy. Histories of some of the dairies in west Marin, which share a Petaluma address, are also included.
“We’re also going to be highlighting the role of the milkman,” said Rinehart. “Milkmen are often overlooked.”
The stories of the dairy ranchers themselves are a big part of the exhibit as well and come from a number of different nationalities: German, Irish, Danish, Portuguese and Italian.
Rinehart added, “The exhibit will be open-ended in that as word gets out, we hope that people will be inspired to come forward with their own contributions throughout the year.”
The Petaluma Museum is located at 20 Fourth St. For more information, call 778-4398.
-- Yovanna Bieberich
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