Introduction to the Exhibit
The Golden Gate Bridge Fiesta Souvenir Program in 1937 declared:
Another dream comes true: The Golden Gate Bridge forever links the Northbay
counties with San Francisco—Southern Gateway to the Redwood Empire.
Seventy-five years later, the Golden Gate Bridge remains a dynamic link between San Francisco and Mendocino County and the entire Redwood Empire. Focusing an exhibit on a structure three counties south might seem a stretch, but the more research that was done, the more compelling the justification for the Mendocino County Museum to extend the borders of its interests.
In the years leading to the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the extensive festivities that greeted its completion, Mendocino County was actively and loudly involved in the advocacy and enthusiasm, the debate and resistance, and the benefits and challenges that attended its creation. The stories of the design and engineering of the transformative feat of transportation construction and the organization and financing of a monumental public works project are awe-inspiring and instructive to this day.
Exhibits are constructed by teams of people, similar, though smaller scale, to building bridges. The Mendocino County Museum wishes to acknowledge the many individuals and organizations that have made the dream of an exhibit on the Golden Gate Bridge on its 75th Anniversary come true.
Mendocino County Museum Exhibit at the County Administrative Center
With the Golden Gateway exhibit, the Mendocino County Museum is inaugurating a companion display at the Mendocino County Administrative Center in Ukiah. The main lobby of the building features framed posters produced by the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District, which has generously authorized their reproduction and use by the Mendocino County Museum.
The exhibits in the two locations have a common theme, but differ in presentation. The Museum exhibit is tailored more to Mendocino County’s experiences of the Golden Gate Bridge construction and opening in 1937 and features many vintage photographs from the Museum's collections and from loans from local families. Mendocino County residents and visitors are encouraged to enjoy both exhibits.
Acknowledgement of Organizations
The Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District and its General Manager, Denis Mulligan, loaned several artifacts from the Bridge itself and authorized the use of the Golden Gate Bridge Posters that are concurrently displayed at the Mendocino County Administrative Center in Ukiah. Jim Eddie, the First District Representative on the Museum Advisory Board, is the Mendocino County Representative on the Golden Gate Bridge District Board, and was instrumental in introducing the Mendocino County Museum to the Bridge District.
The Redwood Empire Association, of which Mendocino County was a member, was a vital player in the story of the Golden Gate Bridge. REA records are a key resource for historical documentation and photographs of the transportation eras both before and since the opening of the Bridge. The Mendocino County Museum is pleased to house REA archives from the 1960s on.
The Bancroft Library at the University of California at Berkeley is a unique and extensive repository for California historical records and provided a wealth of information for this exhibit, including access to REA archives from the first half of the twentieth century.
The Mendocino County Historical Society maintains important local collections of archives at the Held-Poage House in Ukiah. Several significant documents and photographs have been loaned to this exhibit thanks to the Historical Society.
Acknowledgement of Individuals Loaning Photos & Artifacts
Paul Poulos, the Director of the Held-Poage Library in Ukiah, as an individual, loaned photographs of the construction of the Bridge and an invitation to the 1937 Fiesta, from his family collection.
Loans of artifacts were also made by:
Keith Rongey of Willits
Judy Pruden of Ukiah
Barbara Willens of Willits
Acknowledgement of the Golden Gateway Exhibit Team
Kiersten Hanna served as the Exhibit Coordinator and provided the structure, perspective, and encouragement that pulled everything together.
Team members included:
Bennett Ralston – Text Panel research, writing, and design; exhibit installation
Dirk Johnson – Text Panel research, writing, and design
Katy Tahja – Text panel research
Sylvia Bartley – Text panel research
Peter Frey – Text Panel editing; exhibit installation
Ree Slocum – Photo preparation and framing
David Weitzman – Framing
Sarah Baldick – Exhibit installation
Barbara Willens – Exhibit installation
Lara Eventide – Exhibit installation
Janet Rayner – Exhibit installation at the Administrative Center in Ukiah
Judy Pruden – Exhibit installation at the Administrative Center in Ukiah
Acknowledgement of Local Business Involvement
Mendo Mill & Lumber Company
Ron Greystar Studio
Thank You to All