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The San Mateo County History Museum is reopening its exhibit space, "Joseph W. Welch Jr. Gallery: Journey to Work," on Sunday, Oct. 7.
The reopening event, free to the public, takes place from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the museum, located in the historical courthouse building at 2200 Broadway in Redwood City.
The 1,500-square-foot gallery, which explores how different forms of transportation changed San Mateo County, has been substantially upgraded, thanks to a gift from the Christensen Family Foundation.
New objects that the public will see include a high wheel bicycle, historic and miniature saddles, a 19th century slot machine, a 1948 jukebox, and 1950s iconic fixtures such as a coke machine, a telephone booth and a gas pump.
A variety of historic photographs will be on display for the first time. New platforms stanchions and mounts are being fabricated for the opening. Museum staff has restored a damaged old bar from the San Gregorio Hotel.
The exhibit have a video component allowing one to "drive" an old streetcar and an audio unit for the phone booth that will invite visitors to hear about the Peninsula's automobile culture of the 1950s.
The gallery is named for the recently deceased Joseph W. Welch Jr. because of a generous contribution made in his name by his family that will allow the museum to install a new climate-control system. The Welch family is also lending the museum objects from its historic slot machine collection.
Visit historysmc.org or call 299-0104 for more information.