Founded in 1875, the Native Sons of the Golden West is an organization with a rich history of historical preservation, which began in 1890 with the purchase of Sutter’s Fort when that landmark faced demolition and which continues to this day. The Native Sons was formed as a lasting monument to the men and women of California’s Gold Rush.
Today the Native Sons of the Golden West maintain a strong sense of community building and help ensure a bright future through charitable endeavors and educational involvement. The Native Sons welcome members from all backgrounds who are California born.
NATIVE SONS COLUMBIA MUSEUM
The Native Sons of the Golden West Museum is located in the NSGW building on the main street of Columbia State Historic Park, three miles north of Sonora on highway 49.
Columbia was like many of the Mother Lode gold rush towns. It boomed when “thar was gold in them thar hills” and went bust afterward. But unlike many of its counterparts that literally were erased from the face of the earth by fire, vandalism, overlying development or other factors, Columbia never was completely deserted.
Beginning in the 1920s, the Native Sons spearheaded a movement involving a number of historical groups to preserve the largely intact town as a state park. The effort was crowned with success in 1945 when the California Legislature passed a bill to acquire the old business section of the town for that purpose.
The 19th century Native Sons hall was among the buildings that were secured in that process. The state leases it back to the Native Sons. They continue to use the upper story as their meeting hall. The ground floor houses a walk-in free museum, which is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving and Christmas. It features displays of many objects from the organization’s colorful past.
RAMONA PARLOR MUSEUM
Although the museum at Columbia is the only one operated by the organization as a whole, Ramona Parlor also maintains a museum of its own at 339 S. Mission Drive, San Gabriel, adjacent to San Gabriel Mission
Ramona’s broadly based collection offers a fascinating, many-sided glimpse of many features and eras of California history. They range from objects dating back to the pre-Spanish period in 1603; to the opera glasses of California’s last Mexican governor, Pio Pico; to a room of articles that belonged to Eugene Biscaliluz, the legendary longtime sheriff of Los Angeles County and organizer of the California Highway Patrol, who was a member of Ramona Parlor.
The museum is open without charge 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Special tours may be arranged by calling (626) 288-2026. http://www.ramonamuseum.org/
2014 Cleft Palate March Raises $130,754
Our 137th Grand Parlor Cleft Palate March showed a sound gain for this year. Last year we had roughly $107,000; this year we showed a increase of $23,708.92 for a total of $130,753.69.
The Directors of the Native Sons of the Golden West Charitable Foundation wish to thank all the parlors, brothers and individuals who donated. A full list of donors and amounts will be on the Web site for viewing at nsgw.org. Again thank you all for helping children born with cleft lip or palate.
- You can view the amazing amount of money raised by the Brothers, their Families and Friends – Here
- Native Sons accept donations year around please help when you can
You can read more great articles in the current issue of The Native Son
Grand President – Tim Tullius
Thirty-four years ago, on November 1980, I joined Golden Gate Parlor #29, after a short absence from when I was a member of the junior Native Sons. Many of you might not know there was such a group, but there was and I was a member. I was born into a Native Sons and Native Daughters family. Dad was a member of Golden Gate #29 for over 49 years; he served our Order as Grand Secretary and mom was a 49-year member of Argonaut #166’ she also started as a member of the Juniors. Little did I know that I would one day have the honor and privilege of being the Grand President of the Native Sons of the Golden West. But here I am and I am sure mom and dad would be excited and proud of this accomplishment. But my family connection with both Orders does not end with my mother and father. (read more)
The Grizzly Bear
This was a monthly magazine donated to all California, published by Grizzly Bear Publications and owned by the Native Sons of the Golden West. It was in publication from 1907 through 1954 and contained stories about California, the Native Sons, and the Native Daughters. The San Francisco Public Library has digitized most of the copies of this magazine and are now on-line for viewing at http://sflib1.sfpl.org/record=b1842377~S1. Great reading for all those interested in California history.