Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum


The museum is temporarily closed in response to the Governor's orders regarding COVID-19. Please continue to check back to see when we are open again for visitation.

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MCARLM COVID-19 Response

The Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum cares deeply for our staff, docents, members, visitors, and area youth. If we have learned anything from the years of cultivating the rich heritage of the Salinas Valley, it is that together we are resilient and will persevere. During this time we have, as many have, made the hard decision to close our museum doors until we come through this crisis, and do our part to flatten the curve. This does not mean that we have stopped serving the community to the best of our ability. We have just had to re-imagine what the means, and what we can do. Here are a few options we are providing at this time:

-At Home Hands-on History Packs: With the schools closing and thousands of children being confined to their homes for the next couple of months, we have responded to create and supply, free of charge, an activity package for children 7-12 that includes 3 crafts (and all needed supplies), 1 Native American family game, and a 32 page activity booklet, (created to provide a small amount of the educational experience a child would receive with a visit to the museum), and an old fashioned stick candy. While getting supplies at this time have proven difficult, we intend to continue to provide this pack as long as the need continues and the supplies last. 

 -Virtual Lecture: Originally planned as a part of MCARLM's annual history lecture series, the program on Jo Mora by Peter Hiller had to be cancelled and re-imagined due to the shelter in place ordered due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic. Thank you to Peter Hiller for suggesting and putting together the content of this presentation, and thank you to Nick Potts for creating and editing this video. This virtual presentation can now be enjoyed in the comfort of your home, at your leisure.

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel our school tours (for the Spring Season), 4th Grade History Jamboree, Lecture, and Kids Day at the Museum. As the situation progresses, the MCARLM board will continue to analyse our responses and the community need. Please reach out to us with any thoughts, ideas, needs or suggestions. We greatly appreciate the years of support from our community, and look forward to many more years of making history with you!

Greetings From the Executive Director 2019

“The role of preserving history is twofold—- firstly, to remind society not to repeat it and secondly, to remind society to repeat it.”

~Kayla Ettinger, KCHS 2019 Graduate and

MCARLM Scholarship Recipient


What does it mean to be responsible for the preservation of history? The role that a history museum takes in assuming the responsibility of protection of the documentation of a community, society, generations of area families is not a small task that can be taken lightly. Housed within the walls of  7 museum buildings located at the Monterey County Agricultural & Rural Life Museum holds artifacts that are no more just old items to the museum, than someone's personal treasures is just stuff to them. Each piece in the MCARLM collection represents a person, their life, their story. These items are proof of a life and time that may have passed, but mattered and made an impact on the world around us today, whether big or small.

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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. 


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!