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Penne Arbanasin takes helm of Stonyford Museum

Submitted by: Roy Stewart, Stonyford, CA

Penne Arbanasin took over the duties as director of the Stonyford Museum on June 10, and accepted the keys from former director, Joyce Bond, who has served since the museum opened in 2011.

Arbansin cane to Stonyford in 1997 to work at the Fouts Springs Youth Facility. She served there for 18 years, until it closed in 2015. Part of her duties, she said, was to guide her youthful charges on wilderness hikes in the Mendocino Snow Mountain National Forest. The Boy’s Ranch, as it was sometimes called, had once been the home of a mountain resort that catered to tourists who came for the medicinal waters and woodlands living experience. Penne delighted, she says, in imparting this history and that of a nearby working dairy farm that had supplied milk and other dairy products for the correctional facility.

Arbanasin said she became interested in Stonyford history about five years ago, and became a “teacher” at the Stonyford Library who voluntarily taught local history to groups of Stonyford youngsters.

Bond learned of Arbanasin’s work and considered her as her replacement.

“I was surprised and honored that Joyce would entrust me with the duties of director,” Arbanasin said.

Being the director is a challenge, Arbanasin added, but it is a job she is looking forward to fulfilling.

Arbanisin shares a home in nearby Lodoga with her husband, Steve, and attends the Stonyford Community Church.

The museum is an important part of the tiny town of Stonyford (population 149 in the 2010 Census) and has a loyal cadre of adherents who dedicate their time and material to keep the museum operating.

The museum has been closed since March due to the present COVID-19 pandemic. It is tentatively scheduled to reopen on Sunday, June 28.

The museum will be open from 1-4 PM the second and fourth Sunday of each month through November. â– 

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