Yolo County Exploring Gibson House Options

By County of Yolo, Office of the County Administrator

(Woodland, CA) – The Yolo County Historical Museum, also known as the Gibson House, is a historical property representative of rural ranch life in Yolo County from the period of 1850 to the 1930s. The property was acquired by Yolo County in 1975. The non-profit, Yolo County Historical Museum (YCHM) Corporation, was subsequently formed to operate the home in accordance with a county agreement. Under their operation, the Gibson House provides living history education for local schools, and serves as a public park, museum, and event center. As the Gibson House and collection within are recognized as community assets, Yolo County’s intent is to ensure its long-term preservation and proper use for future generations.

Over the years, sustainability concerns have arisen regarding the Gibson House that recently led to a full review of the property and its operations by the county. This included an evaluation of the museum collection by a third party contractor. The review identified long-term sustainability concerns with the YCHM Corporation’s budget, preservation and maintenance of the collection, and facility repair needs.

In accordance with Yolo County’s objective to best preserve and utilize the Gibson House, on February 21, staff recommended to the Board of Supervisors that options for future management be explored with a non-profit provider, including an existing non-profit, creation of a new non-profit, or a combination of both. Additionally, staff recommended development of a plan for additional review and preservation of
the museum collection. It is envisioned that management options presented will provide additional functions and build upon current programming at the Gibson House.
“We are conducting this exploration as a form of due diligence to best preserve and maximize use of the Gibson House,” said Yolo County Supervisor Matt Rexroad. “The results could be transformational by expanding the current functions of the property for the community.”

At this time, Yolo County is still exploring partnership options for future management of the Gibson House. While this has included discussions with the non-profit organization YoloArts, to date, the Board of Supervisors has made no decision regarding future management of the property. County staff will return to the board in late spring/early summer to provide management options for consideration.

For further information regarding the Gibson House and to access research conducted, residents are encouraged to review the February 21 staff report (item # 39) found under the Board Meetings link in the upper right-hand corner of www.yolocounty.org. Residents may also contact District 3 Supervisor Matt Rexroad at (916) 539-0455.