Fires

Santa Rosa museum honoring ‘Peanuts’ cartoonist Charles Schulz safe for now

A portion of a huge mural made from thousands of cartoon strips at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa on Wednesday July 18, 2007. This is the fifth anniversary of the museum honoring “Peanuts” creator Charles “Sparky” Schulz.
A portion of a huge mural made from thousands of cartoon strips at the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa on Wednesday July 18, 2007. This is the fifth anniversary of the museum honoring “Peanuts” creator Charles “Sparky” Schulz. Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

The museum honoring legendary “Peanuts” cartoonist Charles M. Schulz remains safe from the wildfires consuming Wine Country, a spokeswoman confirmed Wednesday.

The Charles M. Schulz Museum sits near the center of Santa Rosa, the city most heavily affected by the 17 fires raging through Northern California. It is located about 2 miles south of the Coffey Park neighborhood that was decimated early Monday after flames jumped Highway 101.

The museum was still in the southern edge of a Santa Rosa evacuation zone and had no power, but was otherwise safe as of 10:15 a.m. Wednesday, said Marketing Director Tracey Pugh.

“The museum is fine,” she said. “There’s no fire around it and everything is safe.”

She said Schulz’s widow, Jean Schulz, is safe but didn’t know if her house is still standing. Pugh said the “Peanuts” creator did most of his drawing at a home in Sebastopol, but would have drawn in the Santa Rosa house before his death in 2000.

The first “Peanuts” comic strip began appearing in newspapers in October 1950, depicting the complex friendships of a group of neighborhood children who rarely interact with adults. Starring enduring characters Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy and Linus, the strip continues to influence popular culture, 17 years after its last publication.

Successful television specials continue to air every year around the holidays, including “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.”

The Charles M. Schulz Museum and Research Center opened its doors in 2002 and has welcomed 867,092 visitors, according to its website.

Officials at another Santa Rosa landmark, the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts, said their main building where performances are held remains intact. However, the arts campus suffered damage to 30,000 square feet of school and workshop space, as well as its pavilion tent.

Entire neighborhoods of Santa Rosa have been razed by the Tubbs Fire, which had burned 28,000 acres and killed at least 11 people by Wednesday morning. It’s just one of the 17 fires blazing through Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino, Yuba and Nevada counties.

Ellen Garrison: 916-321-1920, @EllenGarrison

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