Colfax Area Historical Society

History of the CAHS



Colfax history
Museum & archives
Research resources
About the CAHS
FAQs (Q&A)

Phone: (530) 346-8599


USPS mail: Mail for both the Colfax Area Heritage Museum and the Colfax Area Historical Society is received at PO Box 185, Colfax, CA 95713.

Museum location: The Colfax Area Heritage Museum is physically located at 99 Railroad St, Colfax CA 95713.

Web site:


"The objective of this Society shall be to support and promote charitable, educational and scientific work as defined by Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code as well as promote interest in the history of the Colfax area in the State of California, to support a local Museum; cooperate with other Historical Societies and local groups; to discover, collect and make accessible to the public any and all historical facts and objects; to mark places and buildings of historical interest in the Colfax Area and catalog such markers in an orderly and available manner; to accept gifts and donations from the public and other organizations; to raise funds in a legal manner to accomplish the above."

Enter The Historians

It was in July 22, 1985 that a small group of people decided that there should be a Historical Society that addressed the Colfax Area. After this group met, acting chairperson, Gertrude Paul, a long-time Colfax resident, who had previous experience with other historical societies in the Bay Area, decided to lead the organization of the group.

An election was held, under the guidance of Dave Tucker of the Placer County Museum, and Bob Townsend of the Chamber of Commerce, and Penny Owens, proprietor of Colfax Deli & Pick-A-Flick Video Store, became the founding president of the Colfax Area Historical Society. Vice President (Programs) was Gertrude Paul. Recording Secretary was Jean Paoli. Treasurer was Phyllis Geary. Corresponding Secretary was Helen McNerney. The Board of Directors included Al Melenson, Jack Keyte, Dave Wilt, and Ed Fritz, DVM.

The 41 Charter Members were: Susan & Robert Ash, Myrtle Bell, Belinda Brewer, Lou K. Buechter, Dainna Bush, Jean Carroll, Sherry Chesny, Larry K. Cooper, Stella M. Cortopassi, Charlotte Price Curlin, Gwendoly M. Daniels, Marion & Paul Dutton, Edna, Myrtle & Robert Findley, Katheryne & Wm. Fisher, Mike Flaherty, Mickey &Ken Fletcher, Dr. Ed Fritz, Mary (Jackie) Gardner, Phyllis L. Geary, Linda & Edward Griffin, Leola Harris, Sue & Bill Hughes, Catherine & Steven Hunter, Kathleen Keck, Vivian & Jack Keyte, Ingeborg Kuenzly, Elizabeth Landers, Chris & Bart Magoffin, Helen McNerney, Al;fred E. Melanson, Julia & Jose Ortiz, Penny & Richard Owens, Jean & Frank Paoli, Priscilla & H. Parrott, Gertrude & Fred Paul, Sara & George Pink, Jack Pitchford, Emil A. Pruss, Peggy Reed, Gladys Rodriguez, Scott Rogers, Marge Shields, D. & A. Shuttleworth, Hilde Small, Robert Townsend, Helen and Richard Wayland, Helen E. Webster, Marie Weinand, Patricia and Dave Wilt, Larri Wolfe, Gloria and Kim Woodward, Mavis Wright.

The purposes of the group were defined and most of them still hold true. They included preservation of the local history by compiling stories about the people and their buildings, hold meetings featuring speakers on local history topics, share, and preserve life stories of early residents, and start working on the establishment of a Museum in Colfax.

Revised By-Laws, in part, as of July 22, 1999, Officers shall be: President, Vice-President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Cobblestone Editor, Treasurer, Membership Office, which may consist of two members, Two Directors, and the immediate past President.

The Directors and Officers shall constitute the Executive Board.

Except for the Directors and the Immediate past President, officers shall be elected each year to serve a term of one year, or until their successors take office. Directors shall be elected for a term of two years, with one Director serving only one year for starters.

A logo was designed and a constitution and by-laws were created, and the Society was incorporated. A newsletter was created and called Colfax Cobblestones

As more people became aware of the Society, membership swelled and a fee was decided to help fund the mailing of the Cobblestones and other expenses..

Meetings were to be held on a quarterly basis, as was the newsletter mailing. Guest lecturers were approached to give their presentations at these meetings. The Society was 32 years old on July 22, 2017. Some of the many accomplishments of the Colfax Area Historical Society are:

  • Gathering of an increasing collection of archival artifacts.
  • Preservation of oral and written histories of local interest.
  • Identification of old photographs, maps, etc. from many sources.
  • Participation in numerous civic events in the town of Colfax.
  • Identification of historic buildings and placement of commemorative plaques with recognition of original owners.
  • Oral Histories, and research on the history and present condition of the Colfax Cemetery.

Work along these and many other fronts continue and is guided by the able hands of volunteers meeting each Tuesday in the Archive Room at Sierra Vista Center.

In 2001, the City of Colfax appointed a Depot Project Management Committee with two of our members serving. Jim Wood as Chairman, and Myrtle Findley as vice chairman. In 2006 one room was completed enough for our Museum to move in under the direction of Helen Wayland.

Colfax Area Historical Society Presidents, 1985 to Present

2016-2018, Jay MacIntyre
2012-2016, Swend Miller
2011-2012, Janet Lee
2009-2011, Jim Flynn
2008-2009, George Lay
2006-2008, Myrtle B. Findley
2003-2006, Charlie Gray
1999-2003, Jim Flynn
1997-1999, Myrtle B. Findley
1995-1997, Gertrude Paul
1992-1995, Jim Standley
1991-1992, Gertrude Paul
1990-1991, Dr. Verne (Dave) Wilt, who was replaced by Gertrude Paul before his term ended
1989-1990, Dr. Verne (Dave) Wilt
1987-1989, Gertrude Paul
1985-1987, Penny Owens

Board Meetings in 2014

Board meetings are held at the Colfax Passenger Depot.

September 11, 2014,
10 a.m.
Fall board meeting.