History Objects

GGNRA Object Storage Cabinet
A storage cabinet for some of the GGRNA's smaller objects.


The Golden Gate NRA is an assemblage of military, private, and public lands full of diverse histories. The object collection holds thousands of items that serve as visual and tangible reminders of some of the people and events that helped shape the landscape and culture of San Francisco and its surrounding areas. Artifacts include architectural pieces of historic structures, souvenirs, uniforms and other textiles, Nike missile equipment, furniture, fine art, and statues. Each item is evaluated against the Golden Gate NRA’s Scope of Collections Statement and falls within a park theme, site, or event.


Park Sites

Some park sites are preserved for a single unique element that contributes to the history or natural history of San Francisco Bay or the greater United States. At other sites it can be difficult to peel the layers of history from one another. The museum collection helps to document and interpret park areas with items like souvenirs from Muir Woods, Sutro Baths bathing suits, and a Correctional Officers’ keys.

Military Themes

Much of the land that makes up the GGNRA was part of the Sixth Army and used in the defense of the San Francisco Bay, so it may be no surprise that a large part of the collection is military related. The park inherited many uniforms and accoutrements from the former Presidio Army Museum, which closed at the transfer in 1994. The Museum Program continues to collect items related to the U.S. Army's presence on park lands such as its involvement in the Spanish-American War, Coast Artillery defenses, World War II, and soldier life.


Park sites have also played host to many significant events that go beyond describing day to day activities. The 1906 Earthquake and Fire may have only lasted a minute, but it is remembered each year; the Panama-Pacific International Exposition took place for an entire year and stretched for three miles along the northern shore of the peninsula; and Native Americans from across the country made a stand on Alcatraz during the Indian Occupation in the late 1960s.

Go further

  • GOGA-3911 1906 Letter to the Fort Point Lifesaving Station
    Archives & Records

    Over 5 million documents, photographs, oral histories, and maps that document all areas and facets of the history associated with the GGNRA.

  • GGNRA Photo Galleries
    GGNRA Photo Galleries

    A selection of historic images of all sites around the GGNRA.

  • A mannequin dress in an officer's uniform

    On-line exhibits are available to showcase different themes, events, and places within the park.

Last updated: April 3, 2023

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Mailing Address:

Golden Gate National Recreation Area
201 Fort Mason

San Francisco, CA 94123


United States Park Police Dispatch: Non-Emergency: 415-561-5505 Emergency: 415-561-5656

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