Life Here

March 10, 2022 By Julie Turner

Local Planner: Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum

One of the West Coast’s largest naval installations and shipyards was once located in Vallejo, just a short drive toward the Bay Area from Paradise Valley Estates. Today, the city is home to the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, a nonprofit museum dedicated to sharing the history of the City of Vallejo and the U.S. Navy at Mare Island.

In 1854, Mare Island, a peninsula 23 miles north of San Francisco, became the first permanent U.S. naval installation on the west coast. The museum, located in the historically-significant Old City Hall building on Marin Street, features five galleries with more than 25,000 square feet of exhibits focused on the area’s Naval history and the people and history of the Vallejo area.

Explore highlights from the complete artifact, archive and photo collection of the USS San Francisco Association. The USS San Francisco — built at Mare Island — was one of the most highly decorated and illustrious ships in US Navy history. The museum also houses more than 35,000 historic photos of Vallejo and Mare Island and has a complete set of the Mare Island Grapevine newspaper spanning 1942-1996. One of the most popular interactive exhibits is the working submarine periscope offering a unique view of the city and Mare Island.

Visitors can familiarize themselves with the evolution of Vallejo, California’s first state capitol. Regional-focused exhibits feature stone mortars, obsidian spearpoints, fishing net weights and other material reflecting the lives of the area’s original Native American inhabitants. Historic textiles, paintings, drawings, prints, sculpture and other works created by California artists are displayed along with rare surviving artifacts, documents, and photographs from Vallejo’s historic Carnegie Library. See household furnishings and other items that date back to the pre-Gold Rush era.

The Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum is located in the Old City Hall, 734 Marin Street in Vallejo (94590). It operates Tuesday through Friday from noon to 4:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Annual memberships are available or per-visit admission of $5 for adults; $3 seniors and students; and children under 12 admitted free. Connect with the museum on Facebook for the latest events and news.


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