Continuing with the Wild West Media trip to San Diego County in California recently, I stopped in Ramona to visit the Guy B. Woodward Museum and meet the tour guide. The lock was securely in place but after a phone call, the docent arrived and unlocked everything to show me around. I confess I’m not really big on museums but she was so enthusiastic about her subject, it was far more interesting than most.
This was all very personal to her. She knew the Woodward family history through and through and recalled every piece in the collection and from where it came. We went through all the outside buildings, all the many rooms of the house and basement, and she explained every wagon and cart in the yard and how it came to be there. The biggest problem with visiting these old museums is that I recognized far too much of it!
Guy Burton Woodward, for whom the museum is named, was born in 1909 and grew up working in the family dairy. Through the years, he worked for various law enforcement agencies and was honored for working with young people.
His first love became the collection of oral histories, photos and historical items. Eventually, he established a museum that was moved to this Verlaque House. It was once owned by a great uncle and comes with its own history. While he disassembled old buildings and reconstructed them on site, he also wrote a history column for the local newspaper.
Walking into the yard or through the door is like stepping back in time. You can find just about anything, clothes, quilts, tools, equipment, artifacts, mining and farming equipment, furniture, toys, a dentist’s office, and the list goes on and on. If you ever wanted local census figures, cemetery or school records, this is the place. It is not a modern museum filled with electronics, but if you want to learn local history, you have only to follow and listen.
As I meandered the countryside after leaving Ramona, I wondered what they would put in a museum named after me. Maybe somebody would go find the old Sprinter motorhome that had “Charlie” printed under the window and Silver Gypsy above the front windows and forget a building altogether. It could have a sign reading, “It was fun while it lasted!” God Bless until next week.
Minshall’s RVing Alaska and Canada ($19.95) and RVing Adventures with the Silver Gypsy ($16.95) are available thru Amazon.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”