The blossoming orchards and wonderful structures of Hemet are largely gone today, but much of our historic “Downtown” district is intact. This includes the Hemet Santa Fe Depot which houses our wonderful museum. Located smack dab in the middle of the city, the building was restored twenty years ago. Our museum was established in the adjoining 19th century freight house. Restoration an refitting was undertaken as a community endeavor. Support, labor and funding came from hundreds of local valley residents with little city assistance. In moving forward, both the city and the museum’s parent membership organization, the Hemet Heritage Foundation, have been at work creating stronger bonds between us. For years, when city leaders were giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Western Center, we continued to trust in the generosity and interest of the general public to help us maintain our committed mission to “Save Our Station” and have the Depot and Museum service as Hemet’s historical centerpiece. That commitment to partner and connect the city with it’s past has not flagged. So much can come from providing citizens, visitors, and especially children, with a better understanding of our history. As a resource, a wellspring of information, the Hemet Museum cannot help but raise an appetite for one’s going deeper into the fascinating story of our valley and its people.
If you have never visited the Hemet Museum or haven’t walked through it lately, we urge you to spend valuable time going over its collections. Much has been done to improve access to and presentation of diverse relics and artifacts with particular attention given to the local area Native American’s.
Using the artistic talent of Gordon Sisk, the new graphic/photo displays are outstanding and, behind the public area, much has been done to organize, identify, store and protect undisplayed items. We expect to have a station or kiosk for accessing and viewing our vast array of historic photographs and we have added a close-viewing display case for small items.
This is the year for us to make a commitment and resolution to help restore a warmer, more cooperative sense of community to the San Jacinto Valley. Moreover, I believe the time has come for us to seriously, substantively, attend to the task of reviving the heart of Hemet, it’s lovable “Downtown”. My hope, an the earnest desire of those around me, is that you will come to our ever-improving Museum; spend some time there to enrich your understanding and appreciation of what an ideal community is. We were there, not so long ago; an we can again be the “crowning jewel amid the Foothills of Heaven” with your help and support.
Rob Lindquist, President
Carnegie Library, northeast corner of Hemet Theater, 1951
Buena Vista and Florida in Hemet