Preserving the unique heritage of west Sonoma County

Western Sonoma County Historical Society Celebrating the Cemetery Walk

Our mission is to protect the heritage of western Sonoma County through inspiration, education, collection, and preservation, and to support community and private efforts toward these goals. The society fulfills this mission by maintaining two free public facilities – the West County Museum and the Luther Burbank Experiment Farm; and by providing quarterly speakers and newsletters to our historical society members. One of our most celebrated annual events is the Cemetery Walk, where local actors recreate historic vignettes memorializing the deceased in the Sebastopol Memorial Lawn Cemetery.


The Western Sonoma County Historical Society is a non-profit organization founded in 1974, and incorporated in 1978 to save the three-acre remnant of Luther Burbank’s Experiment Farm at Gold Ridge in Sebastopol. Later, the Society founded the West County Museum in the Railroad Depot building of the Petaluma & Santa Rosa Railroad on Main Street. Both sites are owned by the City of Sebastopol.

It is a wholly volunteer work supported by members, a few non-government grants, and donations from the public. Members receive the Apple Press newsletter, invitations to exclusive events, and other perks!


The Historical Society holds four general meetings during the year. Meetings usually feature programs of a timely or historical theme and include a social hour. A newsletter is published monthly except December. The Historical Society maintains the West County Museum and Luther Burbank Gold Ridge Experiment Farm, runs educational programs, conducts research on the history of Sebastopol, and preserves the Society’s collections and archival materials.

The Society also presents annual preservation awards to those who have done an outstanding job of preserving or restoring original architecture or building new structures that keep the flavor and heritage of rural Western Sonoma County.


Make a donation to support your Historical Society. Donations help fund our mission of preserving western Sonoma County’s history and uplifting our communities.

Historical Society Board of Directors

President: Teresa Ramondo
Vice President: Alex Douglas
Treasurer: John Fore
Director, Burbank Farm: Gail Lee
Director, West County Museum: Donna Pittman

Corresponding Secretary: Elaine Von der Porten
Recording Secretary: Linda Collins
Member-at-Large: Kate Field
Member-at-Large: Vacant
Past President: Steve Stedman