Taylor Observatory is the realization of a dream of Mr. Robert Taylor. Mr. Taylor was an Educator and an avid Amateur Astronomer. In the 1960s, he was the Principal of the High School in Kingsburg, California. Through his efforts, he succeeded in having an observatory constructed on the high school campus.
He moved to Lake County in the 1970s and became Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Lake County Office of Education. He identified funding that could be used to build an Observatory. This Observatory was built on property owned by the Elementary School in Kelseyville. Construction began in the late 1970s and the Observatory opened to the public in 1980. A planetarium was added in 1985.
Shortly after completion of the Planetarium, Mr. Taylor moved out of the area. Evelyn Norton, his assistant, assumed responsibility for the operation of the facility. She remained active in this role until her retirement in 2003. In 2004 the facility was renovated through the efforts of the Kelseyville Rotary Club and Amateur Astronomers from Lake County and the Ukiah Astronomical Society.
Ms. Norton passed away in 2005 and the Planetarium was named in her honor.
Current Observatory equipment was purchased through a grant and donations.
Most of the original equipment was sold, donated or put on display.
Original equipment installed in the Observatory was:
Cave-Astrola 12-1/2” Reflector mounted under the dome (sold)
- Cave-Astrola 8” Reflector (on display)
- Celestron 8” Schmidt-Cassegranian (on display)
- Spitz Nova III Planetarium projector (donated)