David Griggs, director/curator of the Carpinteria Valley Historical Society and Museum of History, will retire, effective Sept. 30, 2022, after serving the Carpinteria community and beyond for 36 years, according to Dorothy Thielges, president of the nonprofit’s Board of Trustees.
“What started as a job, and developed into a career, became my life’s work. I have enjoyed every day fulfilling my capacity as the museum’s director and curator, but more than that, feel both privileged, honored, and blessed to have been entrusted with the care of this special community’s cultural history,” said Griggs. “I don’t know of a more beautiful, fascinating, and enriching community to work in; plus, daily lunch at the beach!”
The public may know Griggs from his more high-profile roles, such as developing and growing the popular and widely-known monthly museum marketplace for a dependable revenue stream as well as a space for community interaction; expanding the annual Holiday Arts & Crafts Faire into a beloved tradition; introducing bus trips to other museums and culturally significant destinations; and developing and providing school tours on a variety of topics tailored to class curricula and hosting classes from the Conejo Valley to the Goleta Valley.
He is justifiably proud of growing and maintaining a balanced budget for the organization, and the museum remains a self-sufficient, self-sustaining organization without reliance on government funding. “We have built and grown an endowment fund from $2,000, when I started in 1986, to what recently topped $2 million dollars,” Griggs specified.
A lot has changed at the museum since Griggs took its helm. As he recounted, “I am so very proud of the many improvements made to the exhibits, the museum building and landscape, publication of our history-packed newsletter, and, perhaps most importantly, the growth of our dedicated museum volunteer family and general membership. Without the help of so many, I would not have been able to accomplish these things. We, together, have built a beautiful and reputable museum in which we all take great pride!”
Bradley Miles, previous president of the Board of Trustees, who was instrumental in museum building construction projects before and during Griggs’ tenure said, “David and I had a lot of fun together, did lots of crazy things. We took a horse pack trip to Valley of the Moon behind Carpinteria, and on the second morning we saw fresh bear tracks covering our recent tracks and got right on the Chismahoo trail out of there! … and he didn’t mince his words towards me about anything.”
Griggs reports 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 retirement date on Sept. 30, he plans to finish a few projects, notably, the construction of a small new facility addition for reorganizing and expanding the collections storage.
“I have promised to return to the museum to visit, especially treasure-hunting the marketplace or mixing-up my famous Wassail punch for the annual Holiday Open House,” said Griggs. “I thank everyone for all of the love and support I have received through my 36 years at the helm of this very special museum!”
“He will be terribly missed. Now, the board’s recruitment committee has undertaken the seemingly impossible task of finding his replacement,” noted Thielges.
For more information, contact please call the Carpinteria Valley Historical Society at (805) 684-3112 or visit www.carpinteriahistoricalmuseum.org.
Link to Carpinteria Magazine story on coverage on David Griggs: https://issuu.com/home/published/cvn_summer2015