Gibson Mansion

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William B. Gibson House
Gibson Mansion.JPG
Location 512 Gibson Rd., Woodland, California
Coordinates 38°39′44.42″N 121°46′24.77″W / 38.6623389°N 121.7735472°W / 38.6623389; -121.7735472Coordinates: 38°39′44.42″N 121°46′24.77″W / 38.6623389°N 121.7735472°W / 38.6623389; -121.7735472
Built 1857
Architectural style Mixed (more Than 2 Styles From Different Periods)
NRHP reference # 76000542[1]
Added to NRHP November 07, 1976

The Gibson Mansion (also known as the Yolo County Historical Museum, YCHM, the Gibson House, or the Gibson Museum) is a historic mansion that now serves as a museum in Woodland, California. Exemplifying several architectural styles, including Georgian Revival and Neoclassical, it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.[2]


William Byas Gibson (1831–1906), originally from Virginia, moved from Missouri to Yolo County in 1850 and began to farm and raise livestock. In 1857, he purchased 320 acres (130 ha) of land south of Woodland with a small home on the property, which would later be the center of his 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) estate.[3][4] Near Christmas of 1857, William married Mary Isabel Cook (d.1915) of Kentucky. They had three sons: Robert (1859-1941), Thomas (b.1861), and Joseph (1863-1897).[5] As the family grew and as their wealth increased, they enlarged the house several times between the 1870s to the 1910s, remodeling it into the current mansion.[6][7][4] Gibson died in 1906 and the home was occupied by Robert and his wife Elnora Root until her death 1963.[3][8] Between 1963 and 1975 the home and the acreage it is on was uncared for and dilapidated, and some labeled it a haunted house during this vacancy.[7][9] In 1975, efforts to purchase the house and the 2.5 acres (1.0 ha) it resides on were directed by the County of Yolo to establish it as a county park and the first countywide historical museum. Yolo County Historical Museum Corporation was incorporated in 1986, and their board of directors now operates the museum, on behalf of the county.[9][10] The museum is open to the public on weekdays.

As a museum[edit]

The Gibson Mansion was Yolo County's first countywide historical museum.[9] It was designated by the National Park Service to be on the National Register of Historic places on November 7, 1976, about a year after the County of Yolo purchased the house.[1] The museum houses rooms of historical furniture and items dating from the 1850s through the 1930s. There are also changing exhibits relating to the history of Yolo County.[9] On the museum grounds there is a functional blacksmith shop, a dairy display, a root cellar, a laundry display, as well as two barns with usable historic wood-working and agricultural tools.[7]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ "CALIFORNIA - Yolo County". Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  3. ^ a b Gregory, Thomas Jefferson (1913). History of Yolo County, California. Los Angeles, California: Historic Record Company. p. 284. 
  4. ^ a b "General Background". Yolo County Historical Museum. Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  5. ^ "Major Events Timeline - Gibson House Museum | Woodland, CA". Gibson House Museum | Woodland, CA. Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  6. ^ Walters, Shipley (1995). "Hey Day of Woodland". Woodland a City of Trees: A History. Woodland, California: Yolo County Historical Society. p. 34. 
  7. ^ a b c "Yolo County Historical Museum". Museums USA. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  8. ^ "The Gibson Home". Yolo County Historical Museum. Retrieved 2009-05-03. 
  9. ^ a b c d "About Us". Yolo County Historical Museum. Retrieved 2016-12-15. 
  10. ^ Yolo County Historical Museum Corporation (1989). By-Laws of the County Historical Museum Corporation.

External links[edit]