The Trinidad Museum Society (TMS) was founded in 1980 and incorporated in February of 1983. The basic motivation was to provide a means to retain historic materials still remaining in the community and to establish an organization able to take advantage of any opportunity to establish a museum to collect, preserve, and interpret the history and natural history of the greater Trinidad area – the sea, shore, and coastal area between Little River to the south and Stone Lagoon to the north, an area not specifically delineated in the Society documents but defined by consensus and postal zone.
“Enhancing appreciation of our Trinidad Area’s rich past” is the Trinidad Museum Society’s Trinidad Museum Mission. The Trinidad Museum carries out its mission by collecting, preserving, and interpreting material and information illustrative of the human and natural heritage of California’s north coast and by increasing public awareness, appreciation and understanding of the diverse cultural and natural history of the Trinidad region through collections, exhibits, events and educational activities.
In September 2009 the Museum moved from its original location at 529-B Trinity Street to its current location at 400 Janis Court, in the historic Sangster-Watkins-Underwood House.