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Santa Ynez Historical Museum is getting set to welcome back visitors

 Santa Ynez Historical Museum is a little-known gem on the Central Coast
Caroline Feraday
Santa Ynez Historical Museum is a little-known gem on the Central Coast

It’s a little-known museum on the central coast that's been shuttered for a couple of years because of the pandemic.

The wooden and steel door creaks open on the old Santa Ynez jail. It’s one of the exhibits here at Santa Ynez Historical Museum, which preserves the Valley’s rich cultural history.

"I'm sure that one of the local blacksmiths made all the nails that went into this. As you can see it's not the most comfortable of accommodations," said John Copeland, local historian and board member at the museum.

Most of those locked up in the jail would have frequented one of the 12 saloons in the town, said Copeland.

"They were probably drunk and disorderly," he said.

The little-known museum is getting set to reopen to the public after being shuttered for over two years because of the pandemic.

"This is one of the finest collections of wagons, buggies, carriages and stage-coaches west of the Mississippi. They all have great stories to them," said Copeland.

The Yosemite Stage from the early 1850's is housed at the museum. Copeland explained that the horse-drawn carriage revolutionized tourism at Yosemite, as visitors could take a six-hour ride into the valley floor.

"This is the gem of the valley," said Chrissy Castillo, who works for the museum.

She says the Californio Vaquero lifestyle and spirit of local traditions is the focus of their upcoming celebrations at the Museum, and upcoming fund-raiser events.

The Vaquero cowboy was out with their cattle and their horse day and night, they were hired to be caretakers for the cattle," explained Castillo.

An honorary Vaquero has been chosen for the event. Local resident Paul McEnroe. He says the museum is important to the local community.

"It's amazing and marvelous but it's kind of a lost place. I have a sense that it's coming back to life."

The 38th Annual Vaquero Show and Collectable Sale runs Saturday, November 12 – Sunday November 13th and admission is $5.00 per person.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022.

Since joining the station she's won 7 Golden Mike Awards, 4 Los Angeles Press Club Awards and 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for ten years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.