Harvey House

Historic Harvey House, 1868 

Salinas City, California

(First Mayor's House) 


Our Work

The Historic Harvey House serves the community with four interacting program projects.

1) Helping teachers teach better: we are transforming professional development. The House and Collections are the foundation for appropriate grade-level materials for third and fifth grade elementary teachers. Our PD project trains teachers through grade-level specific institutes providing background information, lesson ideas, and reading the material, that meets Common Core State Standards.

2) Hosting 3rd and 5th-grade student visits: we are enabling teachers to bring their students to the House for a morning of interactive activities, thereby reinforcing classroom instruction with the developed lesson plans.

3) Hosting autism spectrum disorder (ADS) students: we are partnering with Monterey County Office of Education to develop real life skills for ASD students through our garden management project.

4) Providing exhibitions to the community: we are developing exhibitions that are directed to the diverse backgrounds of students, families, and visitors to the House. After 3rd and 5th-grade students began bringing their families to the house to share their experience, "community outreach” project was born. Through exhibitions, this project will tell stories of the diverse community. It includes Saturday open houses, Local History Day and Founders' Day, open houses and exhibits.


Children on Lawn

After visiting the House this third class has a picnic on the lawn.

Why We Do This Work

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 and their place in the past, present, and future.

When we put community history into the context of the Harvey family, 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. We address this need directly 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 immigrant family from the Midwest. By presenting relevant exhibitions, we hope to help people feel a sense of belonging and involvement.

Museums benefit the entire community. Benefits of the Historic Harvey House Museum include serving as an attraction for visitors to the Intermodal Transportation Center and a catalyst for change. With CSUMB's Salinas City's campus, our link to Service Learning students and our working relationship with elementary school Districts, we serve as a center for creativity and a voice of the past, present, and future.