The Tuolumne County Historical Society will hold its annual meeting and Christmas soup luncheon on Thursday in the community room at Sonora Hills, just off Greenley Road in Sonora.

The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. with a short business meeting and election of 2018 TCHS officers.

A variety of soups will be provided by current officers and members of the Board of Directors. Entertainment will be provided by a local ukulele group, S’more Ukes, who will play a medley of holiday songs.

The luncheon is free of charge and open to all members and guests.

In the business part of the meeting, 2018 TCHS officers and directors will be elected and a vote taken to make changes to the society by-laws. A copy of the by-laws with proposed changes has been mailed to all members.

The slate of officers includes Angela Brown, president; Frances Gardner, second vice president; Betty Sparagna, recording secretary; Kathy Boone, membership secretary; Joseph Celentano, acting treasurer; and Sandy Fisher, Linda Crocker, Chuck Holland, Bonnie Summers, Janet Montano and Lisa Mayo, directors-at-large. The position of first vice president and two director-at-large positions are vacant.

Members of the museum Board of Governors who will serve for the coming year are Gardner, chair; Celentano, acting treasurer; Dan Azevedo, Brad Fisher, Winnie LoVine, Jim Napler, Randy Pope and Bob Rogers, governors-at-large. Ad-hoc members are Craig Pedro, county administrator; John Gray, county supervisor; and Kaenan Whitman, county assessor-recorder.

In addition to operating the Tuolumne County Museum, the society operates the History Research Center, which is available for use by scholars and history buffs.

The museum is at 158 Bradford St. and occupies the former Tuolumne County jail, which was built in 1866. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 1 to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturdays, and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.

The Tuolumne County Genealogy Society operates the museum on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

The research center, which is located adjacent to the museum, is open on a drop-in basis between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Compiled beginning in 1915, the museum collection’s extensive inventory includes more than 35,000 photographs of local people and places, vintage clothing and household items, plus business- and industry-related artifacts, records relating to landmarks, commerce, railroads, logging, mining, water development, communities and geography.

Billie Lyons is curator of the museum.

The society also publishes a quarterly magazine, Chispa; the bi-monthly newsletter, Historian; and historical books.

The most recent publication is “Glory of the Sierra” by Chuck Holland, a history of the Sierra Railroad in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.

Events sponsored by the society during 2017 included the annual Lamplight Dinner, during which volunteers are honored for their contributions to the society and awards made for historic landmarks; historical presentations on Sonora’s Jewish heritage and Columbia Candy Kitchen; National Museum Day open house; a vintage book sale; and historic walking tours and fourth- grade history tours in conjunction with the City of Sonora.

The society also hosted a regional gathering of the Gold Country Historical Alliance in March.

The society currently offers an opportunity for members of the community to contribute and place a personalized laser-engraved commemorative memorial brick-paver in the newly remodeled Tuolumne County Museum Courtyard and Garden. For additional information, go online to

Information about the society is available on the website, by calling (209) 532-1317, or by visiting the museum or history center.

The society is always in need of volunteers to help with research or serve as docents in the museum. Membership in the society is available at $10 for students, $25 for general membership and $50 for patron members.