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Early sources of historical knowledge and preservation have been credited to the Golden West Native Sons and Daughters, and to Mrs. Alice Webster, a former postmaster and city treasurer who served as the very first president of the Antioch Historical Society. The Antioch Historical Society began to remain silent many times until 1954, when Jack Dempsey became President and Ed Calisesi became Secretary-Treasurer. No more meetings have ever been held since taking office.

Around 11 April 1974, Eva Lozano, then President of the Women’s Club of Antioch, met with other members of the Women’s Club and agreed to reorganize the Society and bring it back to existence. Eva Lozano was elected President, Geneva Kipp, Vice President; Marie Allen, Secretary; Florence Brown, Treasurer; and Victor M. Parachini, Henry R. Spiess, and Harold W. Woods as Directors. Ed Calisesi was able to find a box of documents in his cellar, and the business was off and running again. The official date set out in the Charter for the “Reorganization of the Antioch Historical Society” was 24 April 1975, when the first meeting took place at Marchetti ‘s Restaurant, with Elise Benyo as the speaker.

The Society met at various locations in the city, often hosting membership dinners at the Woman’s Club; purchased various stores for the collection of artifacts; and searched for a museum site, as membership continued to expand. On 1 April 1979, Mayor Verne Roberts, a founding member, arranged the awarding of the old Carnegie Library at 6th and “F” Streets to the Society for their first museum.

The museum quickly filled the capacity with artifacts. In 1994, in the midst of speculation of the merging of the Riverview Fire Protection District with Contra Costa Fire, the Society sent letters to the Fire District demanding consideration of the old Riverview Union High School should the Fire Protection District be abandoned. In 1997, having learned of the proposed sale of the property, Retired Mayor Verne Roberts commissioned Elizabeth Rimbault to avoid the auction and asked the County Board of Supervisors to sell the building to the Antioch Historical Society.

Following the satisfactory completion of a real estate contract with a great deal of political pressure, the Board of Supervisors decided to sell the house to the Society. Don Parachini, the son of founding member Victor Parachini, and a prominent San Francisco attorney, joined Elizabeth Rimbault in the final negotiations. In September 1999, the Society transferred all its belongings to the Riverview Union High School and began the renovation and reconstruction of the building. Two and a half years later, the Society was able to complete the purchase by paying the entire five-year purchase option thanks to a significant amount of funding and donations from the Parachini family.

Volunteers are the base of the Antioch Historical Museum. People are still expected to support the programs and events of their museum. If you’ve got time, they’ve got a place for you.

There is no need for special experience or knowledge to be a volunteer-just your curiosity and enthusiasm. They’re going to help you find the activity you’re going to love and train you as needed. If you have a special talent or interest, they’ll certainly find a way to use it. Hours rely on your availability and during the Museum’s working hours.

This amazing landmark in Antioch, California is located near some other must-see places of interest:

  • Black Diamond Mines Regional Preserve
  • Roswell Butler Hard House
  • Shannon-Williamson Ranch
  • El Campanil Theatre
  • Art and Cultural Foundation of Antioch
  • Lynn House Gallery
  • Rivertown Art Center
  • Contra Costa County Fairgrounds

All of these wonderful landmarks are located just a short distance from our location at 1091 Shary Circle in Concord, California! Stop by for a visit anytime!

By Geraoma - Own work, Public Domain,