David Griggs retires from the Carpinteria History Museum/Historical Society | News
Director/curator ends 36-year career at the head of the non-profit association of the Valley
David Griggs, director/curator of the Carpinteria Valley Historical Society and Museum of History, has announced that he will retire at the end of September. Dorothy Thielges, chair of the nonprofit’s board of directors, said Griggs has held the position for 36 years.
“What started as a job, and turned into a career, became my life’s work. I have enjoyed every day fulfilling my duties as director and curator of the museum, but more than that, I feel simultaneously privileged, honored and blessed to have been entrusted with the cultural history of this special community,” Griggs said.
“I don’t know of a more beautiful, fascinating and rewarding community in which to work. Plus, a daily lunch at the beach!”
The public may know Griggs for his larger roles, such as developing and growing the popular monthly museum market and widely known for a reliable revenue stream as well as a space for community interaction; the expansion of the annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair in a beloved tradition; the introduction of bus trips to other museums and culturally significant destinations; and develop and offer school tours tailored to classroom programs for students across the region, from the Conejo Valley to the Goleta Valley.
The museum is a self-sufficient, self-governing organization that does not depend on government funding, and Griggs said he takes pride in developing and maintaining a balanced budget for the organization.
“We built and grew an endowment fund from $2,000 when I started in 1986 to what recently topped $2 million,” Griggs said.
A lot has changed at the museum since Griggs took over. As he recounted, “I am very proud of the many improvements to the museum’s exhibits, building and landscape, the publication of our storied newsletter and, perhaps most importantly, the growth of our family of dedicated museum volunteers and our general members. . Without the help of so many people, I could not have accomplished these things. Together, we have built a magnificent and renowned museum of which we are all very proud!
Bradley Miles, former chairman of the board, was instrumental in museum building projects before and during Griggs’ tenure.
“David and I had a lot of fun together, did a lot of crazy things. We took a horseback trip to the Valley of the Moon behind Carpinteria, and the second morning we saw new bear tracks covering our tracks. recent and we went straight on the Chismahoo trail!…and he didn’t mince words to me about anything,” Miles said.
Griggs said what he will miss most is the dedicated family of museum volunteers and all of his other friends in the community, saying he could not have accomplished what he did without them.
Before his September 30 retirement date, he plans to complete a few projects; notably, the construction of a small addition to the facility for increased storage of the collection.
“I promised to return to the museum to visit, especially to hunt for treasure in the market or mix up my famous Wassail punch for the annual holiday open house,” Griggs said. “I thank everyone for all the love and support I have received during my 36 years at the helm of this very special museum!”
“We will miss him terribly. Now the board’s search committee has taken on the seemingly impossible task of finding his replacement,” Thielges said.
For more information, contact the Carpinteria Valley Historical Society at (805) 684-3112 or visit carpinteriahistoricalmuseum.org.
Amy Orozco sits on the board of the Carpinteria Historical Society.