About Us

Museum of History Benicia

Preserving our heritage. Educating our future. Enriching our culture. 


The Mission of the Museum of History Benicia is to engage the community and the greater public in the evolving history of Benicia and its contributions to the development of our state and country. Dedicated to our children and future generations, our work fosters understanding, connectivity, identity, and pride. The museum complex is at the heart of Benicia’s historic preservation and heritage promotion programs through its exhibits, educational outreach, events, and activities, and online archives.

Our Story

Since 1982

“The History of California is Written in the Story of Benicia.”

The Museum of History Benicia shares the story of Benicia’s place in the history of California and how this history relates to the development of our country pre-and-post statehood. The name of our buildings, the Camel Barns Complex, comes from one of Benicia’s unique contributions to US Military history. In the 1850s and 1860s, the US Army experimented with using camels — imported from the Mideast — as pack animals. After the advent of the Civil War, the experiment was abandoned. The remaining camels were brought to the Benicia Arsenal to be auctioned to the public and were housed behind what is now our main Museum gallery.

In the early 1980s, a group of dedicated Benicians were determined to preserve the history of their historic city. It was through their efforts that the City of Benicia recognized the value of preserving the original Benicia Arsenal buildings that now house the Museum complex. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (No. 7600053) and placed on the list of California Historical Landmarks (No. 176.)

On December 7, 1982, the Benicia City Council dedicated the complex to the Museum of History Benicia.  MoHB opened its doors to the public on May 19, 1985, at that time operating under the name “Benicia Historical Museum”.

Since its inception, our Museum has undergone several recasts as its board and staff continue to look to the future and find new and exciting ways of presenting the history of California, as told through the story of Benicia.

With each new edition, the Museum has grown and developed, furthering the commitment of its staff and volunteers to the continued development of our community. With the 2022 acquisition of the Benicia Fire Museum collection, the Museum has stepped further into the public role of preservation. Commitment to our collective past brings us ever closer to the excitement of our future.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, Museum Staff, and Volunteers we are pleased and excited to rededicate ourselves and our mission, to our community. The Museum of History Benicia is your Museum and we invite you to explore with us as we unlock the doors to history through exciting educational programs, exclusive cultural experiences, and so much more.

Thank you for your support.

We will see you at the Museum!

Board of Directors
Museum of History Benicia

Your Support Makes This Possible!

We believe in cultivating curiosity and encouraging adventurous discovery, and we’re thrilled that you do, too! By supporting the Museum of History Benicia through your membership dollars and volunteerism, you contribute to our community’s history and culture by connecting children and adults with the arts, historic buildings and the environment through engaging exhibitions exploring local history. Your membership dollars are used to provide high quality educational programming for hundreds of schoolchildren each year, provide free access to the museum for senior citizens as well as bring nationally recognized exhibitions found nowhere else in the world to our museum walls.

Are you curious? Are you interested in California history? Do you have a few hours a week available to help out at the Museum of History Benicia? Then apply to become a volunteer with us! Volunteers are the heart and soul of this museum. Without them, we can’t offer our visitors the rich experiences they deserve. If you love history, or want to learn more about American History and California as it happened, get involved today.

The benefits that you receive by volunteering or joining our membership program are intended to further your enjoyment, appreciation and understanding of all there is to love about this spectacular little city near the San Francisco Bay.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Board of Directors
Museum of History Benicia

CA Association of Museums
Blue Star Museums


The Board of Directors of MoHB is composed of members of the museum elected for terms of three years. 

Bob Rozett
Alan Zada
Lynn Kelly
Board Secretary
Bryan Irving
Mary Hand


Jen Roger
Executive Director
Melissa Etcheverry
Director of Education
Beverly Phelan
Maureen Williams
Administration Manager
Bryanna Lloyd
Community Engagement Coordinator
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