Museums in The Village
Five museums and a historic reference library recreate the history of the Arroyo Grande area with artifacts dating back to the early days of local settlers.
126 S. Mason Street. Constructed in 1895, the building is now being used as a Museum by the South County Historical Society. Museum Hours are Saturday, Noon to 3:00 p.m. and Sunday, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
This home was built in the late 1800's but the exact date is unknown. Records show the property was sold in 1895 to Charles A. Pitmen and by the price paid for the property, we think the house existed. In 1906 the house was sold to Dr. H.S. Walters and was known for many years as "Dr. Walter's Sanitarium."
The house had numerous owners over the years. In 1948 the house was turned into a duplex and the Travis and Roundtree families lived there. The Roundtrees owned the house and sold it to Travis in 1961. The city of Arroyo Grande bought the house December 5, 1976, and used the house as a daycare center and home for their Recreation Department.
The Society acquired the home in June of 1997 and has done major restoration work to make it a mini museum and visitor center, A gazebo and period garden is being used for social events and weddings. The restoration work was done by volunteers from the society, community, and local businesses.
Santa Manuela Schoolhouse
This is one of the few remaining one-room schools in the county. Built in 1901. Open, free to the public, and for special tours with Docents from the South County Historical Society, from 12-3 pm on Saturdays and 1-4 pm Sundays.
Santa Manuela School House, which the Society owns and maintains, was built in 1901 on the corner of the Joseph Jatta Property, which is now under Lopez Lake. It is a one room school house, which was in use until 1957.
In 1999, with cooperation from the Village Improvement Association and the City of Arroyo Grande, the school was moved Short Street adjacent to the swinging bridge. This building is completely restored to its original use including the school books, maps, slate boards, pictures, etc.
128 Bridge Street, built in 1902 and is on National Register of Historic Places. It is currently operated as a museum by the South County Historical Society.
In 1985, the Society acquired the I00F - Odd Fellows Hall, located at 128 Bridge Street in the Village of Arroyo Grande, The hall was built in 1902 on land donated in 1898 by Mrs. Elston. Ben Stuart, a local contractor did the stone work. The building was completed in six months at a cost of $5,500. It was dedicated on January 10, 1903. This two and half story structure is faced with native sandstone which came from a quarry south of Arroyo Grande.
The Barn Museum
The Barn Museum is located next to the School House in Heritqage Square. It contains many artifacts from the agricultural history of the Arroyo Grande Valley, as well as many antique vehicles and carriages.
The Barn is operated by the South County Historical Society and is open Saturday, 12-3 pm and Sunday 1-4 pm.
Paulding History House
The first resident Medical Doctor in Arroyo Grande was Dr. Edwin Paulding. He came to Arroyo Grande in 1882, married Clara Edwards and together they bought the house at 551 Crown Hill Road in 1891. (the house was built in 1889). A beautiful Oak Tree believed to be 250 years old dominates the front yard.
In 1892 a blessed event occurred in the home. They gave birth to a daughter, Ruth. Ruth became a teacher and taught for many years in Arroyo Grande. She passed away in 1985 at the age of 93 in the same house.
The Paulding Middle School across the street from the house is named for her. She generously left the house and its contents to the San Luis Obispo Historical Society and in 1998 the property was passed on to the South County Historical Society.
Dr. Paulding, also a talented wood worker spent many hours working on carvings which can be seen in the house along with countless other artifacts, among them the only authentic Cumash Indian basket in the County.
Docents are available to answer your questions at the Paulding House during it hours of operation which are available by Appointment (805.473.3231) or on the 1st Saturday of the month from Noon to 3 p.m.
The Patricia Loomis History Library and Research Center at 134 S. Mason Street. Constructed in the late 1800's, it has been restored to its original beauty. The building now includes a catering kitchen and Bridal Room which can be rented for weddings. Ruby's House is operated by the South County Historical Society and is open weekdays, 1-4 pm.