About the Pardee Home Museum

The mission of the Pardee Home is to preserve and interpret the historic Pardee family residence, including its gardens and collections, for the education and enjoyment of the citizens of Oakland and the greater Bay Area, and for visitors from throughout the nation and world.

Here's your chance to discover a glorious historical treasure! While visitors flock to San Francisco's historical sites, few know what's just across the Bay: the Pardee Home Museum, one of the great undiscovered gems of California Museums.

Oakland's Pardee Home Museum is one of California's greatest architectural and historical treasures. From the outside, the beauty of the house and gardens is striking enough -- but once you get inside, you'll be astonished by the unique interiors and artifacts from around the world. And you'll discover its outstanding historical importance as the home of one of the East Bay's most influential families.

Enoch Pardee came to California from the Midwest during the Gold Rush to make his fortune. He succeeded well enough to become a respected eye doctor, and in 1868-69 built the house that is now the Pardee Home Museum. Enoch also pursued a vigorous public career in the 1870's and 1880's, serving as mayor of Oakland, state assemblyman, and state senator. His son, George C. Pardee, followed closely in his father's footsteps, also becoming an eye doctor and mayor of Oakland, and was elected Governor of California in 1902.

George Pardee was extremely important to California history:
  • The "Earthquake Governor", who received universal praise for his remarkable leadership during the 1906 tragedy
  • One of the most important early conservationists in the United States
  • Founding commissioner of the Port of Oakland
  • Founder and longtime president of the local water utility, EBMUD, which honored him with the naming of the Pardee Dam, still the dominant source of water for this region
  • Co-founder of the Progressive Party in California
In addition to the architecture of the house itself and the richness of the renovated gardens, the Museum offers two floors of collections -- from the sublime to the bizarre -- that explore the rich diversity of the Pardee family's interests. Governor Pardee's wife Helen was one of the most prodigious private collectors in California. Her collections are exhibited today just as the family left them. Just a few of the 70,000 objects in the collections include:
    Main Parlor Collections Carlton Watkins Chandelier Elk Head
  • Scrimshaw from Alaska
  • Candlesticks from India
  • Altar pieces from China
  • Weapons from Africa
  • Rosaries from Mexico
  • Fine art from California
  • And so much more!
Mrs. Pardee was a renowned hostess, and loved to give house tours with an emphasis on her collections--a tradition that lives on today when you tour the Pardee Home Museum.

© 2003-2018 The Pardee Historic Home Museum, Inc.
Date Last Modified: 02/13/19