San Ramon’s unique museums and historical landmarks are a portal into its past and show how San Ramon has made its journey through the centuries. Like its neighboring cities in the Tri-Valley area, San Ramon is still close to its origins as a ranching and agricultural town. The wide open spaces and spacious boulevards are surrounded by rolling oak-studded hills and open valleys.
San Ramon has seen many changes through the gold rush beginning with the arrival of the stage coach line which connected the valley to the port of Oakland and turned the village of San Ramon into a bustling town. When the Southern Pacific Railroad came to the valley in 1891, the city grew again. In 1966, Interstate 680 finally connected San Jose with Walnut Creek and marked the final change that made San Ramon what it is today.
Forest Home Farms Historic Park
San Ramon’s museums and historical places preserve San Ramon’s early history since the pioneer families settled here. Forest Home Farms Historic Park is one such museum. It preserves, promotes, collects, interprets and exhibits the agricultural history of the San Ramon Valley. Forest Home Farms Historic Park provides a link from the past to the present through educational programs and interpretive showcases.
The 16-acre Boone family farm was bequeathed by Ruth Quayle Boone in 1997 to be a municipal historic park in memory of her husband, Travis Moore Boone. After Ruth Boone’s death, the City expanded the Forest Home Farms memorial to include Ruth. Mrs. Boone had been approached by developers who wished to purchase the farm for further development. Forest Home Farms History Park is now a regional open space that has captured a point in time in the history of Contra Costa County for future generations to see.
Glass House Museum
The Glass House Museum is located at the south end of Forest Home Farms Historic Park. Fashioned in Victorian style, the Glass House has two floors and was relocated from its original site at Lora Nita Farm. The museum was built in 1877 by David Glass, who wanted to craft a home with an imposing exterior design. The house design was bold at the time following the Italianate style of architecture which was made popular in the Bay Area in the mid-1860s by architects from the east coast who migrated to San Francisco. The building has nine rooms and has a wood-frame structure.
House tours and talks on the Victorian lifestyle for young children are available for visitors. There’s an eight-minute video that shows the history of the Glass Family.
The Museum of San Ramon
To get a glimpse of the history of the San Ramon Valley, a visit to The Museum of San Ramon is a must. The Museum of San Ramon is located at the corner of Railroad and Prospect Avenues in downtown Danville in the restored 1891 Danville Depot. Special exhibits about the Gold Rush, trains, Native American crafts and life, Christmas memorabilia and local crafts such as quilting and other interesting topics are scheduled throughout the year.
Walking Tours of the town of Danville are available every third Friday of each month on Fridays at 6:15 p.m. The meeting area is the Village Theatre. This year’s dates are: April 20, May 18, June 15, July 20, August 17, September 21, and October 19. On Saturdays walks are conducted on the second Saturday of each month at 10 a.m. The meeting area is at the Museum. This year’s dates are: May 12, June 9, July 14, August 11, September 8, and October 13. A $3 per person donation is requested. No reservations are required.
Permanent exhibits at the Museum showcase local valley history. This exhibit features artifacts, illustrations, photographs, captions, history brochures and hands-on opportunities to recreate the historical experience.
School and other special tours may be scheduled by calling (925) 837-1339.