(photo taken on September 7, 2016)
California School for the Deaf, Fremont’s fairly new museum is about 500 square feet which is small for a school that has a long history. The room was a bit crowded, but not cluttered. Some of the artifacts are as old as 156 years old. The school was first founded in San Francisco in 1860. The school later moved to Berkeley in 1889 and then to Fremont in 1979. Many of the items were taken from both locations and saved when the school moved to Fremont. Many CSD alumni donated some items when the museum was founded.
The bookcases were taken from San Francisco’s location and used at Berkeley’s location. The bookcases and many other items (there are two more bookcases on other walls, by the way) were too many and too big for Fremont’s library, so off they went to a storage unit until about seven years ago. The museum obviously needs a bigger room, but finding a new location on the campus is a problem and will be a very expensive move. The museum has only one curator who is alumni and a retired teacher. When I walked in the museum, I immediately could tell how old those items were because of the smell and the antique furniture in there were impressive. The feelings I had about the museum were: pride, appreciation, and “wow, the deaf children had this and that back then!” I could not go in the museum’s small archive room, because more items are stored in special containers and the room is temperature controlled.
Note: You can see a little girl in the background. It is a child-sized doll wearing a uniform that was used at the San Francisco location. A deaf alumnus made the doll and donated it to the museum before he passed away.