The California Historical Society inspires and empowers Californians to make the past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives.
In June 1871 a group of people assembled at 323 California Street, marking the first of four attempts to begin the California Historical Society. After the undocumented collapse of the first group, a second attempt to revive CHS lasted from 1886-1891. In 1902 the ailing Society partnered with the California Genealogical Society and for a brief period the collaboration prospered. The earthquake and fire damage of 1906 induced yet another break of the Society.
Finally in 1922 C. Templeton Crocker, grandson of Charles Crocker, permanently resurrected the Society. Crocker’s financial generosity supported CHS until the dues collected enabled the organization to hire its first staff member in March 1923. The group held its first exhibition at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco in 1924.