Gold Country Museums

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Chew Kee Store Museum
Main St., Fiddletown

The Chew Kee Museum appears much today as it did during the last century when Dr. Yee ran his herbal store in this structure. The shelves are lined with bottles and containers of potions, leaves, barks, weeds, flowers, herbs and the other items the doctor used to create his cures. The bedroom walls are covered with old newspapers used as wallpaper, dating back to the 1870's. The kitchen has its old stove and various other cooking utensils, and the store's counters are still intact. A very interesting look at a nineteenth century Chinese store.

Amador County Museum
225 Church St., Jackson, CA 95642
Housed in one of Jackson's oldest homes, which dates back to 1859, the museum offers some fifteen exhibit rooms, including Indians of North America, Quilts and Sewing, a Vintage School Room and others depicting the lifestyles of the early settlers. Scale models of the North Star Mine stamp mill, the Kennedy Mine Tailing Wheel No.2, and the Kennedy Mine headframe are also on display.

Shenandoah Valley Museum
14430 Shenandoah Rd., Plymouth, CA
Mail: 12300 Steiner Rd, Plymouth, CA 95669
A museum about early farm history and winemaking that is part of a California Historical Landmark. Housed in one of California's oldest wineries.


Angels Camp

Angels Camp Museum
753 South Main St. Angels Camp, CA 95222
Many items of interest from the early days of Angels Camp are on display in and about the Angels Camp Museum. An old overshot water wheel is located on the museum grounds, as well as numerous other pieces of mining machinery. Another part of the complex is the Carriage Museum which houses an impressive display of historic carriages, photos, and mining equipment.

Old-Timers Museum
470 Main St., Murphys, CA 95247

San Andreas
Calaveras County Museum & Archives
30 North Main St., San Andreas, CA 95249
The Calaveras County Museum complex includes a series of displays of pioneer nineteenth century life in the Mother Lode. Exhibits include the geology of the Gold Country, artifacts of the Miwok Indians, early mining items, photographs, and the jail cell where Black Bart was held to await trial for stagecoach robbery.



Gold Discovery Museum Visitor Center
POBox 265 - 310 Back St., Coloma, CA 95613
The museum offers information, exhibits, and artifacts relating to the gold discovery and the California Gold Rush. Located about the grounds are numerous mining exhibits containing examples of the different kinds of equipment used by the forty-niners.

El Dorado County Historical Museum
100 Placerville Dr., Placerville, CA 95667
Located on the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, the museum contains exhibits relating to life before the Gold Rush with the Miwok, Maidu, and the Washoe Indians, mining displays featuring items from the Gold Rush, a country store, buggies, buckboards, and an old Diamond & Caldor Shay steam engine used for hauling flat cars.

Fountain & Tallman Soda Factory Museum
524 Main St., Placerville, CA 95667



Northern Mariposa County History Center
Hwys 49 & 132 in Coulterville

Mariposa County Museum & History Center
POBox 606 - 12th & Jessie Sts., Mariposa, CA 95338
In addition to the excellent museum, which includes original documents, artifacts and art work depicting the people and life in Mariposa County from the migration of its first inhabitants through the Indian and Spanish periods to the events of the Gold Rush, the museum grounds contain mining exhibits, an Indian Village, the old Mariposa Gazette Building, wagons, stages, and buggies from the old days.

California State Mining & Mineral Museum
Mariposa County Fairgrounds, Hwy 49
POBox 1192, Mariposa, CA 95338
Exhibits include the fabulous collection of gems, minerals and rocks assembled by the California State Department of Conservation, an authentic replica of a gold mining tunnel, a reproduction of a mining assay office and a working model of a stamp mill.


Grass Valley

Northstar Mining Museum
Allison Ranch Rd., Grass Valley, CA 95945
Designated Historic Landmark #843, the Northstar Mining Museum houses a large display of mining equipment and artifacts from the 1880's, such as a cornish pump, a stamp mill and the world's largest Pelton Wheel, built by A.D. Foote in 1895.

Grass Valley Museum
Old Mt. St. Mary's Academy
410 S Church St. Grass Valley, CA 95945

Nevada City
Firehouse Museum No. 1
214 Main St., Nevada City, CA 95959

North Bloomfield
North Bloomfield Museum
Located in Cummins Hall
Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park,
23579 N. Blomfield Rd., Nevada City, CA 95959
Sharing one of the historic buildings in North Bloomfield with the Ranger's office, the museum offers a look at the history of hydraulic mining in the region through displays and a video presentation. In addition, many historic artifacts, documents, and photos from North Bloomfield's mining days are on display.



Bernhard Museum Complex
291 Auburn-Folsom Rd, Auburn, CA 95603
The complex includes the Bernhard Residence, built in 1851, a stone Winery building circa 1874, a Wine Processing building circa 1881, and a reconstructed Carriage Barn. Tours of the residence reflect the typical life of a nineteenth century farm family.

Placer County Museum
101 Maple St., Auburn, CA 95603
Located on the first floor of the Placer County Courthouse, museum highlights include a holographic image of an early miner, a restored Sheriff's Office, and a Native American habitat complete with a light and sound presentation.

Gold Country Museum
1273 High St. Gold Country Fairgrounds

Dutch Flat
Golden Drift Museum
32820 Main St. Dutch Flat, CA 96714
Exhibits focus primarily on the region's rich heritage concerning the boom days of hydraulic mining, the rise of the county's timber industry, and the birth of the transcontinental railroad.

Forest Hill Divide Museum
24601 Harrison St., Foresthill, CA 95631

A four-page brochure on the Historical Museums of Sierra County may be obtained by calling the Sierra County Chamber of Commerce at: (800) 200-4949


Alleghany Mining Museum
POBox 907, Alleghany, CA 96910
Located in the old Alleghany Supply Company building, the Alleghany Mining Museum offers visitors the unique opportunity to actually explore a working underground gold mine, the famous Original Sixteen to One Mine. Still under development, the museum is working on a 3-D scale model of the mine, along with other mining related exhibits.

Downieville Museum
POBox 484
Downieville, CA 95936
Located in a historic Gold Rush building, the Downieville Museum contains a number of informative collections that depict life in this area from the Gold Rush days to the present. Mining tools, Indian artifacts, household articles, and lodge regalia are all well represented.

Forest City
Forest City Historical Association Museum
Located in the Dance Hall
Forest City, CA
The museum contains artifacts from the barber shop, saloon and billiard hall that once occupied the first floor of the historic Dance Hall. Also on display are mining implements, a Pelton wheel, gold scales, and other items from the everyday life of a 19th-century mining camp.

Loyalton Museum
Loyalton Community Hall
Loyalton, CA
Among the displays in this small museum are 19th-Century clothing and housewares, wooden skis, handmade farm implements, Indian artifacts, and a logging steam engine.

Sierra City
Sierra County Historical Park & Museum
POBox 260, Sierra City, CA 96125
Hwy 49, 1 mile east of Sierra City
Located on the site of the Kentucky Mine, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Sierra County Historical Park includes an excellent museum featuring documents, photographs, and artifacts concerning the life and times of early day Sierra County. The grounds include a working stamp mill, mine tunnel, blacksmith shop and trestle from the mine to the stamp mill.


Knights Ferry

Knights Ferry Visitor Center
Near the Covered Bridge, Knights Ferry



William Cavalier Museum
Main St., Columbia, CA
Located in the old Knapp brick store, the Cavalier museum hold an interesting array of items from Columbia's past. Mineral specimens, photos, books, lithographs, coins, tokens, guns and many other relics from the mining days are carefully displayed for visitors to enjoy.

Tuolumne County Museum & History Center
POBox 299, 158 West Bradford Ave., Sonora, CA 95370
Exhibits include the Tuolumne County Gold Collection, an extensive collection of vintage firearms and paraphernalia, photos and artifacts from the early days of Tuolumne County. Books on local history and limited edition reprints of old lithographs are available for purchase.

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