Redlands Historical Museum Association

P.O. Box 470
Redlands, CA 92373


Nelda Stuck and Liz Beguelin were appointed by Redlands City Council member Susan Peppler on January 18, 2000, to form a committee to study the feasibility of an historical museum in Redlands. The 13-member committee appointed by the two women began meeting in March 2000. Previous to the first committee meeting, Nelda and Liz met separately with Bill Hardy Jr., president of the A.K. Smiley Public Library Board of Trustees, and library director Dr. Larry Burgess to discuss the possibilities for the museum. Subsequently, the City Council directed that the museum will operate under the library’s jurisdiction much as the Redlands Lincoln Shrine operates today.

The museum board concluded that Old City Hall is the perfect structure and location for the museum, and the Redlands City Council unanimously approved that request on May 2, 2000.

The RHMA elected officers, opened a P.O. box, and began work on its legal status: by-laws, a mission statement, establishing the official name, Articles of Incorporation, a collection policy, and a non-profit 501(c)3 designation. All of this was completed by the first fund-raising event for the museum in November 2000, given by the Contemporary Club of Redlands. The University of Redlands School of Music Children’s Choir gave another fund-raiser; both events were sold out.

Publicity for the museum project also resulted from the Fourth of July Committee selecting the museum as the subject for their 2001 T-shirt.

To date, the RHMA has more than 600 Founding/Charter members. As a thank you to these members, the association presented four lecture programs. The museum’s first one-year exhibit was on display in the lower level of Smiley Library. A Redlands Quilts Show was also presented in May 2002 featuring 70 quilts related directly to Redlands.

The association contracted with Milford Wayne Donaldson, an historic preservation architect from San Diego, to address issues of handicap access, ADA bathrooms, an elevator and spatial designations for adaptive reuse as a museum. The Redlands Cultural Arts Commission provided the funds for this study. The initial study was completed and the city has tentatively approved the plans.

The association awaits passage of a bond issue by the Redlands Police Department for their new Justice Center, at which time Old City Hall will be renovated to become the museum.

The association is proud of its new “Future Home of the Redlands Historical Museum” sign installed in front of Old City Hall.

The number of donated items received by the museum to date has made it imperative that the association find additional temporary storage until the museum opens.

The Redlands Historical Museum Association is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization.
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