Mapping the Pacific Coast documents the mapping of the West Coast of North America before the Lewis and Clark Expedition as illustrated by a selection of maps, books and illustrations dating from 1544 to 1802. Organized by the Sonoma County Museum and generously sponsored by Quivira Estate Vineyards and Winery and the Tonopalo Private Residence Club.
Mapping the Pacific Coast invites visitors on a voyage beginning with the first exploration of the West Coast by Europeans and leads to Thomas Jefferson’s commission of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery from 1804 to 1806. The exhibition traces one of the greatest adventures in history, including dangerous ocean voyages by Spanish, French, English and Russian explorers, the race to discover the Northwest Passage, sightings of “sea monsters,” and the very first contacts between Native Americans and Europeans. Many of the documents included in the exhibition are particularly relevant to the West, with references to explorers such as Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, Sir Francis Drake, and Captain James Cook, all of whom left their mark on the Pacific Coast. These histories are told through original maps and illustrations — the earliest being woodcuts and the majority being copperplate engravings.