For generations of soldiers serving overseas, the next best thing to going home was getting mail from home.

“Mail Call,” a traveling exhibit from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C., celebrates the history of this of treasured correspondence.

The show opens upstairs at the Sonoma County Museum with a reception from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 9, and runs through April 21.

The exhibit also is augmented with items from the Sonoma County Museum collection and other local sources, said Eric Stanley, the museum’s history curator.

“We have some wartime letters that were mailed locally. We have a coconut that was mailed to Santa Rosa from the Pacific Theater of Operations in World War II,” he said. “Obviously it passed through our building at some point as mail.”

That’s because the Sonoma County Museum is housed in the same building that served downtown Santa Rosa Post Office from 1910 to 1965.

The building was originally at Fifth and A Streets, and later was moved to its present site at 425 Seventh St. in Santa Rosa, where it has served as home to the Sonoma County Museum since 1985.

Reception admission costs $5; free for museum members, veterans and soldiers with ID, and children 12 and under.

Regular hours: 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

Admission: $7; $5 for students, seniors and disabled; free for children 12 and under.

Information: 579-1500,