Issue date: February 03, 1999

Grand opening events Grand opening events (February 03, 1999)

San Mateo County's historic courthouse will open its doors to the public Saturday, February 6, in its new life as a museum of county history. A gala celebration starts at 1 p.m. at the courthouse, 777 Hamilton St. in downtown Redwood City.

In addition to displays of historic carriages, early county cultures, and railroads that served the county, two special programs will entertain visitors to the event.

"Grizzlies: The California King" will tell children about California's state emblem and the role grizzlies played in San Mateo County. Youngsters will be able to make a "grizzly claw necklace" and a disappearing grizzly.

Upstairs in Courtroom A, historic characters will tell their stories. Retired bailiff John Edmonds will be recounting the dust and adventure of driving the stagecoach from Redwood City to Pescadero, dressed as Simon Knight, who lived in the old town of Searsville. Matt Woodside, site manager for the Woodside Store, will portray Don Francisco Sanchez, and it is rumored that the notorious John C. Fremont will attend.

Founded in 1935, the San Mateo County Historical Association operated a museum in the College of San Mateo from 1963 to 1998, when it closed for its move to the courthouse.

Among the South County residents who have contributed substantially to the new museum, are Mel Lane of Atherton, and architect Adolph Rosekrans, of the family that owns the Runnymede Sculpture Garden on the old Spreckels estate in Woodside. Rosekrans and Associates did the architectural work for the new museum. Also on the historical association board of directors are financial guru Ken Fisher of Skyline and Undersheriff Greg Munks of Woodside.

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