First Mayor's House

Oldest House in Town

aka Historic Harvey House   |   SALINAS, CA   |  http://www.firstmayorshouse.org

Mission

Our mission is to build community spirit through local history.

Ruling year info

1999

Principal Officer

David G Baker

Main address

First Mayor's House, 820 Park Row #715

SALINAS, CA 93901 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

68-0434434

NTEE code info

Student Services and Organizations (B80)

Museum & Museum Activities (A50)

Historical Societies & Historic Preservation (A82)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

We address the need for civic literacy. A generation of Salinas' students have not received instruction in history/social studies. After our training institutes, teachers have the background and the tools to provide their students with a program that leads to increased understanding of their town in the past, present and future. When we put community history into the context of the First Mayor's House, we give the student the connection not only to his/her immigrant parents but also to the community's history. By doing so, we build a stronger community. Now, students are able to gain a perspective, seeing history in the context of the Harvey family, an immigrant family who came before them. We also address the need for a community museum, doing so by developing exhibitions that are relevant to the local area, past and present and inclusive - the Chinese, Japanese, Dust Bowl migrants, Filipinos, as well as the Harvey family, an emigrant family from the Mid-West.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Teacher Professional Development.

The program trains teachers through grade-level specific institutes that provide background information, lesson ideas and reading material appropriate, that is appropriate for their students’ grade level.

Population(s) Served

After participating in the Institute and using the developed material in the classroom, teachers bring their students back to the Harvey House for a morning of interactive activities, reinforcing their classroom instruction.

Population(s) Served

This program began after students began bringing their families to the house to share what they had experienced. It includes Saturday open houses (every Saturday), special openings and exhibits that are directed to the diverse backgrounds of students, families and visitors of our community.

Population(s) Served

The Preservation program provides the foundation for other programs. It involves collection care, digitization of manuscripts and photographs and data entry into the museum software program. Volunteers and service learners from California State University Monterey Bay assist the Executive Director, gaining practical experience and life-long appreciation of collection care.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Monterey County Office of Education 2017

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our organization aims to help the community take pride in its past, utilizing our assets in the most effective manner to build a stronger community for the future.

The First Mayor’s House serves four populations. The first is teachers. Many have no background in the pedagogy of teaching history and even fewer have familiarity with the history of Salinas. The second is students. The majority are the children of farm workers, receiving free and reduced lunch and attending low performing elementary schools. Within this population, we target the 3rd and 5th grade and estimate that 6,000 students would benefit from visiting the First Mayor's House. The third population is the community, the parents and families of our students. Salinas is approximately 65% Hispanic and has a population of 156,000.

And finally, we serve tourists. While this is a small population, it is an impressionable one. During the summer of 2017, approximately 4-6 visitors toured the House every Tuesday and Thursday. Many were visitors to the United States for the first time, for example families from Vietnam and Spain, who gained a lasting impression of Salinas via the First Mayor's House.

Our program is unique to Salinas, as the House is the only living history museum geared to the student with materials adapted to their grade level and accompanied by lesson ideas that culminate with a visit to the House. Visits of third grade students occur from late September to December. Students are given a brief orientation and a student journal; they are divided into small groups and visit six stations in the house, education center/gallery and garden. Docents greet and lead students at each station. After the visit, the students lunch on the lawn and return to their classrooms to continue the lessons.

Fifth grade students are given a tour of the House, proceed to the education for a two-hour simulation game. That game, “California or Bust”, will challenge the student. The student will follow in the footsteps of I. J. Harvey and deal with real-life situations like how much weight can I bring or deal with dangers on the trail like small pox and dysentery. Visits will occur in the spring follow the institute and docent training.

Our education program (this is year 9) is effective because it is strategic, it targets the teacher, the single most important factor in the classroom.

First, our location. Our location enables us to achieve our goal. It is centrally located at the new Intermodal Transportation Center, adjacent to the proposed historic park and within walking distance to the National Steinbeck Center and the satellite campus of California State University Monterey Bay at Salinas City Center. Moreover, It is easily accessible by school buses and adjacent to the new California Welcome Center.

Second our volunteers, staff and board. They are our strongest asset. We could not accomplish our goals with out our volunteers. Many are retired teachers - still giving back to the community. Retired teachers who have the time and skills to engage the students. They have been able to adapt the collection to the appropriate grade, meeting State Standards. They have made, the visit relevant for the student and justifiable for the teacher.

Three generations of Harvey's lived in the house, built by Salinas' first mayor, I. J. Julian Harvey in 1868. In 1980, granddaughter Florence Baker, the 3rd generation, donated the House and its collection for educational purposes of future generations. However, the House's location was not well suited for this purpose. In 1999, the City of Salinas provided a more suitable location and assisted in procuring the permits to move the House to the new location. Funds for moving, restoring and planting the new garden were provided by a trust established by Miss Baker and by local community grants. After years of work, by volunteers, the House was restored, the gardens planted, the family documents, photographs, clothes and furniture preserved. It was a “hidden gem”, giving visitors a rare glimpse of early Salinas life. Nevertheless, there were few student groups or local community visitors who came to the House. Programs engaging the community and extending the school classroom to the House were non-existent. Today, that has changed substantially!

Today, the First Mayor’s House offers a wide variety of educational programs for teachers, students and the community. It can do so for a number of accomplishments so far,

• Saving and restoring the First Mayor's House and developing it into an educational resource for the community of Salinas.
• Giving the teacher the tools to put history and social studies back into the curriculum, best said by one teacher-participant, "I want to make my students have a positive outlook on Salinas".
• Adapting the House and Collection to meet State Guidelines and CCSS for 3rd and 5th grade students, enabling the program to be interweaved with the social studies curriculum.
• Continuing to provide interactive visits for 3rd and 5th grade students, reinforcing the educational material.
• Transforming the education center into a multi-use museum gallery for both educational activities and community exhibitions.
• Spearheading Founders' Day, multicultural event recognizing the diverse cultures of immigrants settling in Salinas over the past 150 years.

Tomorrow, the First Mayor’s House will continue to offer education programs, continuing to offer visits to 2,000 to 3,000 students per year. In addition, it will host 2-3 exhibitions per year and open on a permanent basis offering tours for the 5,000 to 10,000 tourists predicted to visit the California Welcome Center.

Financials

First Mayor's House
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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First Mayor's House

Board of directors
as of 12/20/2019
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

David Baker

Retired.

Term: 2019 - 2021

Mary Jane Choate

Retired educator

Carlos Mariscal

Retired educator

Mary Randall

Retired Administrator

David Baker

Retired, Medical Research