Farm museum

Our Mission: Preservation,Restoration, Education

Luther Burbank bought his 15-acre farm on Gold Ridge in 1885 in Sebastopol. During his career, he introduced over 800 varieties of fruits, flowers, vegetables, and grains. He developed many of California’s plums and prunes, the ancestor of the Idaho Potato, the Shasta Daisy, and novelties such as Plumcots, Thornless Blackberry, and Spineless Cactus.

Luther Burbank and His Experiment Farm

His home in Santa Rosa was primarily a showplace, but he developed and grew thousands of new hybrids, crossbreeds and

selections at his Experiment Farm in Sebastopol

After Luther died in 1926, Mrs. Burbank established an apple orchard on a portion of the Farm and leased the rest to Stark Brothers Nursery. When their lease expired in 1957 the property deteriorated and subsequently passed into new ownership.

Local historians, intent on preserving the Burbank legacy in Sebastopol, formed the Western Sonoma County Historical Society in 1974. The cottage was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

The City of Sebastopol worked with the Society in its efforts to obtain three acres of the original farm and to restore the Cottage. Restoration began in 1983. Since then the Society’s Farm Committee with the aid of volunteers continues to maintain the cottage and Burbank plant varieties, provide a self-guiding plant walk, and train Docents for guided tours.

Preserving unique heritage of West Sonoma County

Our mission is to protect the heritage of western Sonoma County through inspiration, education, collection, and preservation, and to support community and private efforts toward these goals.

Museum joins Pomo Project to show Batikletcawi Was Here


Pomo Exhibit

Opening Thursday, September 4th and showing through the 28th of December, The West County Museum joins with The Pomo Project of Sebastopol to present Batikletcawi Was Here Honoring the First Ancestors.

The past and present meet in this exhibit which combines modern images and regalia items by Pomo Project artists, the Sonoma County Pomo Youth Dancers and other California Indian contributors with historical pieces from the museum’s holdings as well as loans from the community of historical finds and contemporary examples of traditional items.

Excerpts from lectures and talks given by Greg Sarris, Chairman of the Graton Rancheria, and Vana Lawson, daughter of Essie Parrish recorded during previous Pomo Honoring Month events of the past 5 years, help tell the story of the relationship to the land the first people had and how the events of history changed everything. The exhibit also reflects how attitudes about cultural exchanges change over time.

The exhibit reception will be Saturday, September 27th, from 1-4 pm kicking off Sebastopol’s 5th annual Pomo Honoring Month in October.

Specific Information

General Questions

Western Sonoma County Historical Society:

Rae Swanson:

Steve Stedman:

West County Museum

Rae Swanson:

Sally Morrison:

Museum, Reference, Genealogy

Rae Swanson:

Mary Dodgion:



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