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Volunteer News

In November 2015, the museum began publishing Volunteer News, a newsletter sent to all past, current, and prospective volunteers. Volunteer News appears frequently "whenever there's news," and is filled with details about the comings and goings at the museum: visitors, donations and accessions, events, exhibits, anecdotes and tidbits. It also includes a monthly calendar showing docent schedules and events. If you'd like to receive Volunteer News, e-mail editor Mary Ellen Boynton, and she'll put you on the list.

Volunteer News
A snippet of the second issue of Volunteer News, edited by Mary Ellen Boynton and published "randomly and often," by the Ferndale Museum.

Museum board member and Volunteer News editor Mary Ellen Boynton (on right) helps set tables at the museum's annual Appreciation Luncheon, held last December in Ferndale's Danish Hall. With Mary Ellen is fellow board member Karen Olsen (on left) and her husband, volunteer Doug Olsen.​


The Ferndale Museum

The Ferndale Museum is a 501 (c) 3 charitable nonprofit that is managed by a very small staff that is dependent on nearly 100 volunteers who work in all aspects of the museum’s program and facility. We always welcome new volunteers — and new ideas.

There are many opportunities to give your skills and time. The museum needs construction workers and gardeners, greeters (docents), tour guides, researchers, computer technicians, data base managers, writers, photographers, interviewers, cleaners, collection preservationists, organizers, seismograph monitors, clock-fixers, bakers…the list is endless.

We’d be delighted to have you on the team! Please email director of volunteers JoAnne Godinho or call acting director Lynn Lourenco (707-786-4466).

Volunteer Appreciation, 2015

The 2015 Volunteer of the Year was announced at the museum’s annual Appreciation Luncheon on December 9, 2015, at the Danish Hall. Dick Hooley, a former member of the board of directors, and an outstanding community volunteer, was given the honor. His daughter, Jill Cyphers, made the presentation. Dick puts in hundreds of hours a year in volunteer work, much of which is spent keeping the century-old parts of the town clock operating. The clock is the property of the Ferndale Museum; it was donated by the original owner, jeweler and watch-maker Kurt Mathes.

Dick, who arrived at the lunch alone, is startled to see his wife Ruth and daughter (who had said they were going shopping in Eureka) walk into the Danish Hall. Daughter Jill Cyphers presented the Volunteer of the Year award to her father at the program following the lunch. (In background, director of the museum, Lynn Lourenco, enjoys the surprise.)

At the museum’s 2015 Appreciation Lunch four volunteers were awarded Life Memberships — the first time this honor has been given in nearly 10 years.

Mary Enos-Lenardo-Shirley Robertson-Pat Meinhardt
President of the Ferndale Museum board of directors, Mary Enos-Lenardo, with new Life Member Pat Meinhardt (on right). Pat’s award was announced by fellow volunteer (and lifelong friend) Shirley Robertson (center)

A Life Membership was awarded to outstanding community volunteer Ron Smith; the announcement was made by Connie (Hubner) Jorgensen (on right). Connie’s parents, the late Walter (Shorty) and Myreda Hubner were neighbors and close friends of Ron and Arleen Smith. (Arleen was awarded Life Membership in 1997.)

Arlene Hartin, historian for CalTrans and a member of the board of the Humboldt Historical Society, presented a Life Membership award to museum research consultant Ann Roberts (on right) and her husband, Rob (who was unable to attend the event). Rob monitors the seismograph, handles the publishing program printing, scans all accessioned photographs, transcribes audio oral histories, and maintains the maps, among other volunteer duties.

Volunteer of the Year

Dick Hooley, the Ferndale Museum Volunteer of the Year 2015, with his wife, Ruth, and his daughter, Jill Cyphers

JoAnne Godinho
JoAnne Godinho, Ferndale Museum,
Director of Volunteers

The museum’s volunteer task force, guided by director of volunteers JoAnne Godinho, welcomes new volunteers year ‘round, and holds new volunteer orientation get-togethers three times a year. Registration for the sessions is required (call Lynn Lourenco at the museum, 707-786-4466).


We welcome your visit February through December

Corner of Shaw & Third Streets:
515 Shaw (Map

Tours & school groups welcome!

Ferndale Museum
Post Office Box 431
Ferndale, California 95536-0431 USA

Summer Hours
Tues. - Sat. 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Tues. 7 - 9 p.m.
Sun. 1 - 4 p.m.


The Victorian Village of Ferndale
Humboldt County Visitor Information

Humboldt Room, HSU Library Special Collections
CA Office of Historic Preservation
California Preservation Foundation
National Register of Historic Places