History Museums of Novato


Discover our local history!

Novato History Museum                historic HFHM


In the historic 1850 Postmaster's House                In the historic 1934 Firehouse

     815 DeLong Avenue, Novato, CA 94945             555 Hangar Avenue, Novato, CA 94949

(415) 897-4320                                            (415) 382-8614

Museum Hours (for both locations): Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday
12pm-4pm, or by appointment.
Closed on Holidays / Admission is FREE 

Please call the main number for each museum for more information.

Mailing address:  Novato Historical Guild, PO Box 1296, Novato, CA

Novato is home to a number of wonderful small museums! ALSO VISIT:

Marin Museum of the American Indian, 2200 Novato Boulevard

Olompali State Historic Park, Olompali Exit, Southbound 101 (north of Atherton Avenue)

Space Station Museum, Pacheco Plaza Center, 464 Ignacio Boulevard



Novato Historical Guild  Gift Shop 
The Novato Historian  Related Links  
Call for Volunteers    




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Novato Historical Guild

The Novato Historical Guild is a volunteer nonprofit organization founded in 1976 to staff and financially support the Novato History Museum and the Hamilton Field History Museum.  The Guild has a partnership agreement with the City of Novato:  the City owns the Museum buildings and the historical collections, and the Guild makes sure the Museums are open to the public, as well as are educational, inviting, and safe places to visit.

The Guild hosts quarterly membership meetings, which usually involve guest speakers on local history topics, and publishes The Novato Historian, a quarterly newsletter. 

Membership in the Novato Historical Guild supports the preservation and interpretation of the history of Novato and Hamilton Field. Members receive a hard copy of the quarterly newsletter in the mail, The Novato Historian, gift shop discounts, and invitations to exclusive events.


Individual $20 yr Patron $100 yr
Family $30 yr Supporting $200 yr
Student $10 yr Life, Individual $350
$50 yr Life, Joint $500
Corporate Membership
$1,000 yr Benefactor
$1,000 yr

Novato Historical Guild Membership Application and/or Membership Renewal Form (PDF)


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The Novato Historian

This quarterly publication of the Novato Historical Guild, concerning both the Novato History Museum and the Hamilton Field History Museum, is mailed to members of the Guild.  The Historian includes news items about current events and exhibits at the museums, as well as one in-depth feature article per issue, usually authored by a Guild member.  The Historian is also available in hard-copy format when visiting either of the museums.


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Call for Volunteers

Come join our team! The museums are always welcoming new volunteers. We are eager to pair you with a project that meets your skills and interests. Some existing volunteer opportunities follow, but if you have something else in mind, please let us know.  To fill out an application today or contact us for more information, please visit the City of Novato Volunteer page by clicking here: Volunteer

MUSEUM DOCENT: We are looking for docents to volunteer once a month for four hours on a Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday afternoon, 12-4pm. Docents staff the museums during open hour, including greeting museum visitors and assisting patrons with any questions they may have regarding the collections.  We will provide training.

SCHOOL TOUR DOCENT: Third Grade tours begin in late March and run through early June. If you are interested in becoming a school tour docent, you may attend our docent training that occurs in early March of each year.  You do not need to commit to becoming a docent to attend the training, and new docents have the opportunity to shadow more experienced docents for a number of tours. For more information, call the Museum, 415-897-4320, and leave a message for Cindy Motsinger, one of the 3rd Grade Tour program managers.  She will contact you to discuss the program.

ORAL HISTORY PROJECT: The museum has an on-going community oral history project. We will provide training for anyone interested in volunteering for this project, whether as an interviewer or as an oral history recording transcriber.

ARCHIVES: If you have library experience, or like to organize books, documents, maps, and photos, let us know.

COLLECTIONS MANAGEMENT: We are cataloging and re-packing all of our artifacts in the museum's collection; this is a good opportunity for anyone seeking museum experience or wishing to learn about artifact handling, as well as learning to use the PastPerfect museum collections database.

CLERICAL WORK: Filing and word-processing.

FUNDRAISING AND EVENTS: We are looking for people who have fundraising experience or enjoy helping with events.

FACILITY SUPPORT: Volunteers assist in all aspects of maintaining the Museum structures and grounds.  Througout the year, we have quarterly work parties, which may include landscaping, power washing, interior touch-up painting, and decorating the interior and exterior of our buildings for the holidays, among other projects.  Handy and/or willing people are gladly welcomed to this team!


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Museum and Local History Links


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Gift Shop

The Museum Gift Shops have the perfect unique gift for local history lovers!

Besides the items shown below, there are additional gifts and souvenirs, such as books, notecards, T-shirts, and sweatshirts, available at each museum.  The Gift Shops are open during our regular public hours.

For more information, please call the Novato History Museum at 415-897-4320 or the Hamilton Field History Museum at 415-382-8614.

To order items via mail order, please print, fill out, and mail this form:  NHG gift shop order form 2013

Novato Township - Land Grant to World War II

Novato Township - Land Grant to World War II 
by May Ungemach
The definitive history of the Novato and north Marin area with      over 300 historic photos and maps. (496 pages) $30.50

hamilton book 

novato book 

Hamilton Field, an Images of America Book, published 2008. Contains over 100 historic images of Hamilton Field, primarily from the museum archives.  $21.00




Novato, a Then & Now Book, published 2009.  Contains historic photographs of Novato from the Museum archives, compared to Ron Vela's "now" photographs of the same sites.  $21.00


A Brief History of Hamilton Army Airfield A Brief History of Hamilton Army Airfield

Describes the early conception of coastal airfields in the 1920's, the efforts of local citizens to acquire land for an airfield during the Depression, a day in the life at Hamilton, and women service units before and during WWII. (12 pages) $3.00
Mission Accomplished video  Mission Accomplished (DVD - previously on video)

Shows historical film footage of the designing and building of  Hamilton Army Air Field, explores the military units that served before and after WWII, its roles as Hamilton AFB, and post-AFB   uses, including the housing Southeast Asian refugees following the Vietnam War. Produced by the Army Corps of Engineers. (28 min.) $15.00
City of Novato Early Years (DVD - previously on video)

A narrative and pictorial description of the historical development of downtown Novato. (15 min.) $10.00


Tote Bag 


Ceramic Ornament - Novato City Hall                             

The front of ornament is a line drawing of Novato City Hall, and the back is inscribed a four-sentence, brief history of the building. It is also marked as "1st in a series of ornaments featuring historic sites in Novato." $12.00




Tote Bag - Novato History Museum
Rugged cotton bag with double straps. Comes in red, royal blue,  navy blue, and black. $12.50


Leather Goods

Unique quality leather goods with the picture of the Novato City Hall on the front. These leather     items are manufactured by a local Novato company.

Leather Coin Purse Leather Card Holder Leather Purse

Coin Purse $15.00

Card Holder $12.50

Purse w/strap $23.00

Novato History Collector Cards

Novato History Collector Cards Our famous Collector Cards - 42 cards depicting           historical buildings and people from Novato.
Entire set $12.00
Pack of 10 cards $3.00
Individual cards $.30




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