2012 Home Tour

The Museums and Points of Interest

The 2012 Home Tour included the seven private homes on the previous page. On this web page, you will see photos of the following:

  • Five "points of interest"
The Shell Clubhouse
Four Museums

The Martini Monument

The monument to commemorate Martinez as the birthplace of the martini. Home Tour visitor Phyllis Yost and Carter Wilson pose on either side of this historical marker which is located on the site of a 19th Century saloon where Julio Richelieu mixed up the first Martini in 1874. Carter arranged for E Clampus Vitus to put up this marker in 1992.

The bronze plaque at the location in Martinez where the martini was invented. This is a close-up of the brass marker which memorializes the Birthplace of the Martini.

The "Half House"

This house is the "other half" of the Masonic Street home which was on the Home Tour. The homes were split prior to 1921 and this portion of the original house was moved to its current location on the corner of Masonic and Alhambra. Though both houses are on the same block, the address of this house is now 1005 Alhambra Avenue. It is not on the Tour but can be viewed from the sidewalk. It is directly across the street from the Martini Monument.

The "Doll Hospital"

Residents of the Doll Hospital in Martinez, CA. Another point of interest on the Martinez Home Tour was the "doll hospital" where dolls are repaired, displayed and doll-making classes are conducted. The official name of the doll hospital is Nature's Way Doll Centre, located at 1616 Alhambra Avenue.

The Doll Hospital in downtown Martinez, Califonia. The proprietress of the doll hospital, Jan DePuy (right) shows a home tour visitor the international dolls which she has collected or made and placed on display.

The Doll Hospital in downtown Martinez, Califonia. Docent Bettye Bloome (left) shows an enraptured home tour visitor around the doll hospital. Note the child-size dolls surrounding the child's dinette set on the right.

City Hall

City Hall in Martinez, California. Though the Tour was on a Saturday and City Hall is normally closed, docent Barbara Patchin opened the building to home tour visitors. Refreshments were available for home tour visitors -- who were able to take a break, sit in the City Council Chambers chairs and use the rest rooms in the building.

Harriett Burt explains that the Martinez City Hall was originally a school when it opened in 1917. Docent Harriett Burt explains to visitors that the City Hall building began life in 1917 as a school -- built to accomodate the influx of children when the new Shell Refinery went into operation on the edge of town. On the wall behind Harriett are photographs of past mayors of the City.

The council chambers at City Hall in Martinez, CA. When the City Council is in session, Council members sit on the raised platform to the left. Prior to 1956, when the building was a school, this room was used at various times as either the gymnasium or the auditorium.

1939 Cadillac Fleetwood 60.  Martinez CA. On the day of the Tour, this beautiful 1939 Cadillac Fleetwood 60 Special was parked in front of City Hall. This huge luxury car sold for $2,240 in 1939 when new.

Shell Clubhouse

The Shell Clubhouse in Martinez, CA. The Shell Clubhouse was the starting point for the Home Tour. Buses left approximately every 10 minutes. There were displays and exhibits in the Clubhouse. There were also refreshments (coffee, bottled water and cookies), a live musician and raffle prizes.

The Arts & Crafts interior of the Shell Clubhouse in Martinez, CA The 1937 Clubhouse is still in possession of its original Crafstman interior. This is the stage. Home Tour raffle prizes are stacked on the table. Note the beam over the stage, supported by wood corbels at either end, into which is carved the name of the town.

Community activist, Gay Gerlack.  Shell Clubhouse, Martinez CA. The Home Tour Committee's Gay Gerlack was in charge of the Clubhouse activities and displays -- which included the antique camera exhibit to her right. Note the Craftsman detail in the background: wainscotting, knotty pine paneling and octagonal window

Antique cameras on display. This is the display of antique cameras of various types: bellows, early 35 mm, "box", Brownies, Instamatic  and Disc versions. In front of the cameras are framed 8.5 X 11 photos of the 12 new historic postcards that the Martinez Historical Society recently published. There were other displays and exhibits in the Clubhouse on Tour day also.

Shell Alumni Museum

The Shell Alumni Museum in Martinez, CA. The Shell Oil Museum depicts the history of oil refining in Martinez -- beginning with the construction of the Refinery in 1915. The Museum is staffed with docents who are retired Shell employees. It is located behind the Shell Clubhouse parking lot.

The Shell Refinery Museum in Martinez, CA This 1921 pump behind the Shell Museum was used as a ram pump when needed to unclog the pipeline which delivered crude oil from the oil fields near Bakersfield to the Shell Refinery in Martinez. Photo courtesy of the Society for Industrial Archeology.

The Martinez Museum

(the Borland House)

The Martinez Museum in Martinez, CA The Borland House houses the Martinez Museum. The Museum is normally open three times per week. To check the Museum's hours, please visit the website maintained by the Martinez Historical Society.

Interior view of the Martinez Museum One of the four upstairs rooms at the Martinez Museum is the School Room. It is particularly popular with Museum visitors who went to school in Martinez.

The John Muir Home

(the John Muir National Historic Site)

John Muir's Victorian home
John Muir lived in this Victorian mansion from 1890 until his death in 1917. On Tour Day, the National Park Service provided bus service to the site -- or visitors were able to drive their own cars also.

John Muir's office.  Martinez CA.
This is John Muir's office. This is where he wrote his books and penned letters to presidents and legislators, persuading them to establish our National Park System. Photo courtesy of Historic American Landscapes Survey.

The Vicente Martinez Adobe

(the John Muir National Historic Site)

The Martinez Adobe was constructed in 1849 The Martinez Adobe is one of a few structures in California which date back to Statehood or beyond. It was constructed in 1849 of adobe blocks, but has now been seismically retrofitted to last the ages. The adobe is home to an extensive exhibit on the 1775-1776 de Anza Expedition from Mexico to present-day San Francisco.

Exhibit about the d'Anza Expedition of 1775/1776 Juan Bautista de Anza was the commandante of the Tubac Presidio in what is today Arizona. His expedition of 240 colonists and 302 head of cattle left Tubac in the fall of 1775 and arrived at the site of present-day San Francisco a year later. The above map shows an additional excursion by the soldiers through the location of today's town of Martinez. Click map to enlarge. Courtesy of the East Bay Regional Park District.

The cost of the Tour was underwritten by our community-minded sponsors; please mention them when possible. These are the PLATINUM sponsors:

Cole Real Estate

These are the GOLD sponsors:

Community Focus

And these are our SILVER sponsors:

Shell Western States Federal Credit Union
Republic Services
Les Schwab Tire of Martinez
Bisio / Dunivan

And these are our Bronze sponsors:

Leading Edge Pest Management
Connolly & Taylor Chapel

The above pictures are provided by photographer Carter Wilson. Contact John Curtis by email if you have corrections or additional information for the captions underneath the above photos.