Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum

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Changes at San Lorenzo Park

There have been many regulation, rate changes and rental requirement changes implemented at San Lorenzo County Park as of January 2019.  These changes are being implemented by the County of Monterey, under the management of the Resource Management Agency (RMA), a division of Monterey County governed by the Monterey County Board of Supervisors.  To clear up some general misconceptions as to the relation on the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum (MCARLM) and the County of Monterey, the MCARLM board would like to issue the following statement:

 The Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum is a 7 building museum facility that is owned and maintained by the County of Monterey, and located within a county park also owned and maintained by the County of Monterey.  At this time, RMA has one remaining employee dedicated to the care and preservation of the collection entrusted to the county for many decades.  The group best known as MCARLM is a non-profit organization that serves as the benefactor to the museum facility owned by the county.  MCARLM works to provide educational programming opportunities to the public and local youth., utilizing the artifacts owned by the county.  MCARLM's mission is related to the protection, interpretation, and educational aspects of the museum, and are not related to the park or non-museum facilities, such as the rentals of the DeAnza building or the RV/Campgrounds, nor do funds from the entry gate, rental, or park use fees benefit MCARLM.  As a non-profit, MCARLM relies on fundraising, donations, and grants to continue operations and services.  For questions, or more information, please feel free to contact MCARLM at (831)385-8020, or for issues or concerns, contact Chris Lopez, District 3 Supervisor. 

Greetings from the Executive Director


We are not makers of history. We are made by history. 

Martin Luther King, Jr.

History is a silent friend that guides us through our lives, influences our decisions, provides examples of the consequences to our possible actions. This friend provides us the ability to learn from our experiences and the experiences of others to better our lives and the lives of those around us. Our museum’s role in preserving history is more than just a home for storing symbols of the past, it also tells the story of the evolution of life in this area. Preserving history for the use and betterment of our community is not only our mission, it is our obligation to the future. 

Since 1979, MCARLM has strove to save the artifacts, stories, and legacy that makes up the rich heritage of the Salinas Valley and utilize all of these tools to educate the community, visitors, and children. Located in the south end of a county that is rich with history and culture, MCARLM has become an important resource for Monterey County schools in providing their students with vital social studies education that they are not receiving in the classroom. 

In the 2017-18 fiscal year, educational school tours were provided for over 1800 Monterey County Students. Utilizing the La Gloria School House, students spend 20 minutes in the historic one-room school house, getting to experience first hand the life a student their age would have lived around the turn-of-the-century. They spend 20 minutes in the main exhibit barn experiencing hands-on interactives while learning about the evolution of agriculture in the Salinas Valley from Mission times to the early 1900’s. Finally they either spend time in the History of Irrigation Museum learning the importance of water in our area and their role in sustainability, or they are taught about transportation and how the train reaching southern Monterey County opened up the agricultural industry to the rest of the world. The 4th annual 4th Grade History Jamboree provide an in-depth social studies experience that complements 4th grade curriculum. Some response from teachers in attendance included; “the program allowed my students to actually experience what some of the 49ers got to experience in their time.” – Mayra Rodriguez, San Ardo Elementary and “This program benefitted my students by making California History come alive. . . Today’s event will be remembered better than reading the same thing in a text book.” Kevin Roberts, Santa Lucia.

In our mission to educate youth, we started our High School Internship program, now in our 3rd school year. During the 2017/18 cycle, this program included 4 exceptional King City High School students that stepped out of their comfort zone to learn to welcome, converse with, and provide guided tours of the museum to visitors of all ages. Two of the interns worked to mentor local students from Chalone Peaks Middle School in the second year of the Common Ground Garden Program. In January, the interns began working on the annual High School Intern Exhibit as their program culmination project. After settling on a topic, they worked to research, write and development exhibit panels, prep the exhibit area, install the exhibit and then present it to a group of almost 40 MCARLM members, friends and family. This years exhibit was titled ‘South County Roots’ and covered 6 area towns that were once vibrant, but due to changing times and circumstances ceased to exist or lost its vitality. The growth and development that these interns experienced was invaluable to their start on the next adventure in their lives, college. Feedback from the interns year end final report included: “This past year with MCARLM has been filled with tremendous learning experiences. I have become a better, well-rounded young lady due to the countless benefits this internship has offered me.” Caroline Martinez, and “Working at MCARLM taught me a lot of things. It helped me to be more aware of my surroundings, be responsible enough to take care of a whole building, and being able to go out of my way to talk to people even if I do not know them.” Cassidy Flores.

Working to provide educational and growth opportunities to youth and visitors is a major part of MCARLM’s mission and what all donations, fundraisers, and memberships help to support. We could not provide quality opportunities without the support of our members and community. Thank you to all of our sponsors, members and supporters over the past year, and thank you in advance for partnering with us in the continuance and growth of our educational programming and mission of interpreting authentic objects, providing exceptional programs and building community connections.



Jessica Potts

MCARLM Executive Director

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  1. Welcome to MCARLM!


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Your donation will help us continue to inspire and engage current and future generations of agriculture and rural life history enthusiasts. Without the Agricultural and Rural Life Museum, our community would be bereft of the inspiration and sustenance provided by the historical context of our exhibitions. No matter the size of your budget, your gift will make a difference! Gifts of all sizes tremendously appreciated.

Thank you for your contribution!