Cindy Baker Legacy
If you have been a member of the Murer House Foundation, you are aware of the imprint that Giuseppe “Joe” Murer made in Folsom. From the now-Historic Register of Historic Places, the Murer House which he constructed in 1925, to the many notable structures he built on Sutter Street – Hotel Folsom, Folsom Fire House, Sutter Street Post Office and more. For northern Italians that immigrated to the Sacramento region, Joe’s home became the gathering place where all were welcome for food, fun and lifelong friendships were forged.
Over time, all of that rich history may have been lost if not for the commitment of Cindy Baker, who made the history of Folsom, and specifically the life and contributions of Joe Murer, an indispensable part of her life and who founded the Murer House Foundation (MHF). Cindy passed away on May 29 after a two-year battle with cancer. In her inimitable style, Cindy was active, engaged, and dynamic, notwithstanding her diagnosis, until her very last days. Her energy and spirit never waned when it came to her commitment to the Murer House.
Cindy’s reach went far beyond the Murer House. Her love of history and writing, with a Master’s in Public History from CSU Sacramento, led to a rewarding 25-year career as a Historian. She consulted on numerous projects, including the decommissioning of Mare Island Naval Yard, an evaluation of the Rubicon Trail for the National Register of Historic Places and the development of Folsom’s Historic District, where Cindy worked to record the legacy of Folsom’s Chinese Population and the reconstruction of the Sacramento Valley Railroad turntable. The first 100 years of Folsom were the subject of her Master’s thesis. In 2012 the City recognized her “outstanding contribution to the arts and culture in Folsom” with a Resolution of Commendation.
Cindy loved and lived history. Her legacy will live on in the community of Folsom, the surrounding areas and with all those, she touched. However, no project was greater to her than the Murer House itself, as exemplified when she worked diligently with the City of Folsom to acquire the property as part of the Lake Natoma bridge project. Shortly after that time, the City’s redevelopment agency agreed to form the Murer House Foundation which ultimately became responsible for the operation of the site.
Cindy continued to guide, energize, and counsel the MHF over the next 25 years. Her efforts culminated earlier this year in the securing of an unprecedented long-term lease of 55 years for the MHF to operate the Murer House and Gardens on behalf of the City of Folsom. With this singular achievement, Cindy’s outstanding legacy and exceptional service to the community is secured.
Needless to say, Cindy has spent countless hours dedicated to the Murer House. She had a clear vision for its future with rebuilding the Learning Center to make it a place where the community comes to gather, just as Joe had all those many years ago keeping his fellow Italians close and preserving their heritage. Cindy’s vision remained strong in preserving Italian heritage and also through sharing as a community. The growth of the Learning Center opens up much more opportunity through Italian Language classes, Cooking classes, art classes and the experience of bocce ball, the great Italian past time!
The Murer House Foundation is committed to seeing her vision come to life, and to re-energize the property in the spirit of Joe and Cindy. It will not only become Joe’s legacy in Folsom, but Cindy’s legacy recognizing the difference she made by her many blessings to our community.
In recognition of Cindy’s contributions to the Murer House, and in her honor, we invite you to Make a Donation to the Learning Center Building Fund.