When was the last time that you strolled along the streets of downtown Templeton? If it’s been awhile, you owe it to yourself to spend a few hours taking in the charm and history of this quaint town situated off Highway 101 between Atascadero and Paso Robles – and make sure to allow time to visit the Templeton Historical Museum, located right in the center of it all at 309 Main St.
Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the museum is funded and maintained by the Templeton Historical Museum Society, a nonprofit organization. The society’s mission statement is clear: to collect, preserve and exhibit artifacts and records relating to the history of Templeton and the surrounding area.
“We enjoy having people stop by the museum,” said Darrell Radford, a museum docent and volunteer. “Those who stop in often share their own stories as they walk around, recalling certain items that their grandmother owned or maybe they have seen in old photos.”
Along with his wife, Milene, a former school teacher who has spent countless hours cataloging items, making description cards and categorizing photos for the museum, Darrell has been a member of the Templeton Historical Museum Society for more years than he can recall.
“I used to drive Milene’s mother, Helen Barlogio, to the meetings and before long she bought me a lifetime membership,” said Darrell. Milene currently serves as the society’s Secretary while Darrell spends many hours restoring and maintaining various artifacts.
As with all volunteer and non-profit organizations, the success of the Templeton Historical Museum Society is directly connected to its membership. The need for new members is a topic that Darrell is passionate about.
“We would like to have more community members support us,” said Darrell.
Oftentimes, said Darrell, once a new member becomes involved and learns more about what the historical society represent, they later want to volunteer as a docent or help with restoration, repairs or maintenance duties.
“That is exactly what happened with our former Templeton Fire Chief Greg O’Sullivan,” said Darrell. “When Greg retired he jumped right in to help – now he is our Treasurer and also helps with restoration projects – we like seeing someone get excited and get involved with what we do here.”
Ready to get involved with the Templeton Historical Museum Society? These friendly folks are all about making history fun. Currently, Darrell and his fellow volunteers are working on restoring an old Templeton school bus in the former blacksmith shop next door to the museum – and they are always looking for others to become involved with various projects.
More about the Templeton Historical Museum Society
In 1988, long-time Templeton residents Al and Carla Willhoit donated property on Templeton’s Main Street for a museum site. In 1989, Velora Howard and members of local organizations including the Chamber of Commerce met and began formulating plans to raise funds to construct a museum; they also established the Templeton Historical Museum Society as a nonprofit organization. When the Templeton Presbyterian Church enlarged its facilities, church leaders donated the 1920s-era Horstman House on the property to the museum society. The house was moved to the museum site in 1994, renovated by volunteers, and officially opened to the public in 1998; it now holds local memorabilia and photographs. Located behind the house is Templeton’s original railroad warehouse, now home to a 1925 Model T, an antique carriage, a firehouse display and numerous other large items. In 2013, the society purchased the Tullock blacksmith shop building next door.
Take a peek into the past at the Templeton Historical Museum, located at 309 Main St. in the heart of downtown Templeton. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. Admission is free. To receive a membership application, call (805) 434-0807 or go to the museum website at www.templetonmuseum.com for more information.