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California Area Historical Society


To bring together those people who are interested in local history. To preserve the history of the land and the significance of its settlers. To educate the public about the heritage of the area.

Programs and Services

  • To carry out its mission, the Society focuses on preserving collections in two areas: local history and genealogy. The collections include information on churches, public schools and the local state university, community groups and fraternal organizations, military conflicts and veterans, businesses and people & residents, both past and present, who have contributed to the community's development over the years.
  • To educate the public about the history of the area, the official publication of the Society, The California Crier, is published quarterly and distributed to members in 30 states. The publication contains information on settlers and early businessmen of the area as well as news clippings, photographs, and other information culled from our collections. The newsletter also highlights upcoming projects and events.
  • Educational programs for 2018 include a program on "The Spanish Lady Invades Western Pennsylvania: The 1918 Influenza Pandemic in our Area;" a book launching event for "Beginning on Boundary: An Orphan's Story;"and an Antique & Collectible Appraisal Show, with two additional fall programs yet to be scheduled. In 2017, in cooperation with California University of PA, the Society participated in the Digital Story Telling Project assisting students in locating original sources for videos.
  • The Gallagher House, site of the Society, is located at 429 Wood Street, California Borough. While not a museum, the first floor contains displays on the bottling, boat building, and coal mining industries--businesses that orginated as the town was settled in 1849. A rotating display now features items from the Society's collections--currently artifacts from World War I and recent collections from the Billingsley American Legion Post 168, closed in 2016.
  • The Research Center is located on the second floor of the Gallagher House and houses the Family History Room, the Library, and the Archives. Visitors may browse the shelves or access collections through databases on various topics. The photographic collection, local histories, obituaries, marriages, estate settlements, funeral home records, newspapers extractions, church records, tombstone photographs, and over 1,100 genealogy files are indexed for easy reference.

Primary Revenue Sources

Membership dues, donations

Primary Fundraising Event

Mothers' Day Tea Party mailing, Fall & Spring soup sales

2017 Financials

Federal Tax ID25-1710596
Net Assets$114,371


Name:Mary Beth Graf
Address:429 Wood Street, Box 624
California, PA 15419

This website contains an organizational snapshot, as well as links and contact information, for each of our participating charities. We have also included the tax identification number for each charity so Donors wishing to review more detailed financial and governance information may access the Form 990 for that charity via