Walnut Creek Historical Society

Walnut Creek Historical Society
Address: 2660 Ygnacio Valley Blvd, Walnut Creek, CA (in the Shadelands House)
History Room Hours: Wednesdays 1:00 - 3:30 p.m. or by appointment
Phone: (925) 935-7871
The Walnut Creek Historical Society was founded in 1967 by members of the Walnut Creek Women's Club.They operate and maintain the Shadelands Ranch Museum, give programs to third-grade students from local schools and provide walking tours of the downtown area. 
The history room houses many wonderful resources. They have letters and papers of the Penniman family, who built the Shadelands house. This family had a large farm growing pears and walnuts. 
They have photos, clipping files of people and many subjects. They have records of the Women's Club, the local American Legion, the local Association of University Women (AAUW) and local Boy Scouts. They also have newspapers, including the Walnut Kernel, a weekly started in 1931 by Lyman Stoddard, a walnut grower and newspaperman. In addition, they have local high school yearbooks, photo albums and scrapbooks. 
Especially interesting are some older local government records consisting of tax records, Walnut Creek court records and assessment books. Contacting the society ahead of time is a good idea, as many of their original materials are stored off site. The volunteers there are wonderful and very helpful. 
Incidentally, the guided history walking tours they offer are run during the months of March through October. They are led by docents and free to the public. Check out the website for more information.