Benicia Historical Museum
The Museum Complex consists of four original 1850’s Benicia Arsenal Buildings. All of the buildings are built of native Californian sandstone quarried near the Museum site. The rustic, austere style set a precedent that was utilized in most of the Benicia Arsenal buildings built in the 19th Century. The Arsenal is one of only three locations where native stone was used for US military installations. The other two are Ft. Sill, Oklahoma and Ft. Tejon, California near the north end of the Grapevine. Each of the Museum buildings have a keystone decoration of a cannon ball surmounted by a flame. This is the symbol of the US Army Ordnance Depot.
NOTE ABOUT NEEDED CONTENT:
I would like new landscape / wide photos of each area. I would also like to have drone video orbiting each building as well as a separate fly through. There will be a video button that will cause a pop up video. There will be also be links to interactive activities by way of a “look inside” link.
Museum Gallery (Upstairs)
Floor two of the Stone Hall houses our main Museum gallery (Building #9). Built in 1854, this was originally a storehouse for the Arsenal. This area features exhibits ranging from the Native Californians of Solano County, to the founding of California, to the Gold Rush, to current-day arts in Benicia.
The lower level of Building #9 is known as Captain Charles P. Stone Hall. Here we host many events; including First Friday At The Museum, Art Camel Gallery, History Talks, Concerts, and more. The hall can also be rented for weddings and private events. See our Rentals page for details.
Spenger Memorial Garden, is located behind Stone Hall and was dedicated in 2008 to the memory of Catherine and Paul Spenger. The garden is a charming space for a picnic after a Museum tour and is available to rent for private events. See our Rentals page for details.
The Silas Casey Building (Building #7) was erected for the Arsenal in 1853. It now houses our Industrial Exhibit, Archive offices, and Education Department.
Currently, our Museum Offices (Building #8). Erected in 1855, this was originally the Engine House, and later served as a guardhouse, an Army Officer’s office, a chapel, a cartridge bag shop, and an artist’s studio.
The Powder Magazine
The Powder Magazine (Building #10) is a unique adventure. Built in 1857 from native Benicia sandstone by predominantly Irish stonemasons, this is one of the few remaining examples of the stonemasons’ art in California, from the vaulted ceilings to the carved capitals on the pillars. The Museum has restored this building and installed a display of Benicia Arsenal artifacts. At the present time, the Powder Magazine is open to visitors by appointment only.