The Boyd Gate House 

1125 B Street San Rafael
Open:  W-F 10 am - 2 pm     Sat 11 am - 3 pm 


   Videos - Book Talks   

Marriage, Murder, & Betrayal in Nineteenth Century California

Zoom Presentation - November 17, 2021
49 min.

Left for dead on Monterey’s beach in 1832, Scotsman James Black survived to build a Marin county cattle and dairy empire. His privileged life ended in addiction after his wife’s death at the hand of their son-in-law. After his death Black’s daughter fought her stepmother for four years and across two counties for a fair portion of her father’s $15 million dollar estate. Join the Black family and their contemporaries as California evolves from a sea-otter-hunting Spanish colony to a Mexican territory beset by invading Russians and finally into an American state where wealth and influence come to those who embrace the new west’s opportunities and risks. 

The Socialite and the Sea Captain with author David Hirzel

Zoom Presentation - January 20, 2021
58 min.

Louise Arner Boyd chartered the schooner Effie M. Morissey on behalf of the United States government to conduct some secret pre-war scouting in Baffin Bay. The ship's captain was Bob Bartlett. From the beginning these two strong, independent people did not get along.

They came from different worlds - hers of high society and philanthropy, his of the rough-and-tumble life of a seal-trading captain. The ship was his, the expedition was hers. Neither could stand the other, but both had committed to the voyage. David Hirzel's in-depth comparison of the two logs they both kept, each day side by side, casts a revealing light on the underlying conflict between them and the barely concealed contempt that continued throughout the voyage.

Creating a Book From Cover-to-Cover with Brian Crawford

Zoom Presentation - December 2, 2020
38 min.

The Museum is delighted to share the Verdenal Journal, one of the gems of its collection, with all lovers of American history, through the story of our publication of "Journal Across the Plains". In April 1852, twelve-year-old John Verdenal, his younger brother Dominique and their parents left St. Louis, Missouri in a wagon train heading for California. The brothers’ travel journal details the people they encountered and their challenges traversing rivers, prairies, deserts and mountains.

The project to develop "Journal Across the Plains" took over a year to complete and required the work of a team of volunteers and staff members. Brian Crawford was part of that team. He will share the journey of the book's creation from hand-written journal to the final book that has made this incredible story available to all. Brian will answer some of the questions that often come to mind. Who gave the original Journal to the Museum? How were the maps produced? Where did the photos come from? Are any of the brothers' ancestors still alive? What happened to the family after they arrived in California?

Jeff Burkhart, The Barfly

Zoom Presentation - June 16, 2020
56 min.

Directly from Jeff's Kitchen - Take one-part Mr. Boston's Bartending Guide, one-part Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential, a dash of JR Moehringer's The Tender Bar, combine and you have the pure entertainment that is Twenty Years Behind Bars. Part trade manual and part psychological introspective Twenty Years Behind Bars Vol. II: Parole Denied combines real-life observations and information in an amusing and irreverent fashion.

Jeff Burkhart is both an award-winning journalist and an award-winning bartender. His Barfly column was voted best column in California in 2014 and he has been voted best bartender in the North Bay three times; by the readers of Bohemian Magazine, the readers of the Marin IJ, and the readers of the Pacific Sun. He has also contributed spirits/historical features to San Francisco Magazine, GFF Magazine, Capture Magazine and National Geographic Assignment.

Marin History Museum

1125 B Street
San Rafael, CA 94901



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