JSCNHM home • Spring 2012 • vol. 4 no. 2

Plumas County

Photo Gallery (.mov)

Chester-Lake Almanor Museum

PO Box 877
Chester, CA 96020
Phone: (530) 258-2742
Website: http://www.lakealmanorarea.com/museums.htm

The rustic 1929 log building containing the Chester Museum is shared with the Chester Branch of the Plumas County Library. One of the main attractions is a photographic history of the Lake Almanor Basin. View vintage photos of dairy farming, early days logging, gold mining and even early-day tourist activities.

A fine collection of Maidu Indian basketry and artifacts represent some of the intricate handwork produced by Plumas County's first inhabitants. A large collection of artifacts adorn the walls and center of the room while out-of-doors are various large items, including a vintage privy. Near the museum, on the Collins Pine Company lawn on Main Street is a compact century-old steam locomotive known as the "Dinky".

Collins Pine Museum

500 Main Street
Chester, CA 96020
Phone: (530) 258-4441
Website: http://www.collinsco.com/Museum/

The Collins Pine Museum was opened to the public in May of 2007. The building was constructed to look like the sawmill that was operated by Collins Pine Company in Chester from 1943 to 2001, after which it was replaced by a new sawmill. The post and beam construction inside provides an aesthetic space where the different species of wood grown in this area are featured.

The mission of the Collins Pine Museum is to develop exhibits on lumbering, forestry and principles of sustainability. The building contains exhibits on lumber grades, forest stands, old photos and implements. Information is displayed on branch and cone identification, saw milling, lumber drying, power co-generation, sustainability and on how forest operations fit into the carbon cycle.

Indian Valley Museum

Taylorsville, CA 95983
Phone: (530) 284-7785
Email: IVM@frontiernet.net
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Indian-Valley-Museum-170738006309794/timeline/

The museum houses many artifacts representing the period from the 1860s through the 1940s. Over 600 pictures are on display showing life as it was in the valley. Mannequins model clothing worn in the past. Kitchen tools and appliances, including the early electric models, are also exhibited. A wood cook stove, icebox, and pump vacuum cleaner, are in the pre-electricity kitchen exhibit. An early electric stove, coil-top refrigerator, and many early electric small appliances, are to be seen in the 1930s kitchen.

An impressive collection of Maidu Indian baskets, arrowheads, and artifacts, is to be found in the Mountain Maidu Room. The bearskin featured in the local bear dance is on display here when not in use. Francis Musser's extensive collection of mineral specimens, fossils, rock carvings, and sculptures, are featured in the Gem and Mineral Room. The large Museum Annex contains exhibits of early logging, farming, blacksmithing, and the tools used in the pre-electric Indian Valley. Also included is the first fire engine in the valley, a 1932 Dodge truck.

Jim Beckwourth Museum

P.O. Box 2367
Portola, CA 96122
Phone: (530) 832-4888

Jim Beckwourth was an African American who played a major role in the early exploration and settlement of the American West. Although there were people of many races and nationalities on the frontier, Beckwourth was the only African American who recorded his life story, and his adventures took him from the everglades of Florida to the Pacific Ocean and from southern Canada to northern Mexico.

The Jim Beckwourth Museum is a well preserved 1850s log cabin, believed to be the third such cabin built by Jim Beckwourth as a trading post and 'hotel' in the Sierra Valley. The cabin is constructed of 'V' notched logs of the type used in the area where Beckwourth grew up.

Plumas County Library

445 Jackson Street
Quincy, CA 95971
Phone: (530) 283-6310
Website: http://plumascounty.us/index.aspx?NID=546

The Plumas County Library has branches in Quincy (headquarters), Chester, Greenville and Portola.

Plumas County Museum Association

500 Jackson Street
Quincy, CA 95971
Phone: (530) 283-6320
Fax: (530) 283-6081
Email: pcmuseum@digitalpath.net
Website: http://plumasmuseum.org/index.html

The concept of an active "living museum" is evidenced by the dozens of different exhibits, events, meetings and functions held at the Plumas County Museum. Permanent exhibits include an outstanding collection of baskets woven by the area's original Mountain Maidu Indians. The Industrial History Wing features Railroads of Plumas County, Gold Mining on the Feather River, and TIMBER!, an exhibit about the lumber industry of the county. Other developing collections include natural history specimens, audio-visual resources, the Chinese influence, historical competitive ski racing known as "longboarding," medical exhibits, and children's toys.

The Exhibit Yard provides visitors with a look at some of the equipment used by Plumas pioneers to wrest a living from the area's natural resources. A sleigh, water wagon, hydraulic mining monitors, logging equipment, a working blacksmith shop, a stamp mill and a restored gold miner's log cabin are just some of the items found here.

While the basis of the museum's collection is historical, the Stella Fay Miller Mezzanine Gallery features contemporary cultural displays by county artisans.

The museum's archival library houses its comprehensive collection of photographs, documents, records and literature, which is continually augmented to compile a permanent record of Plumas County people, places and activities. Its value as a research and resource center is immeasurable.

Plumas-Eureka State Park

310 Johnsville Road
Blairsden, CA 96103
Phone: (530) 836-2380
Website: http://www.parks.ca.gov/default.asp?page_id=507

Plumas-Eureka State Park was established in 1959, and provides visitors with a glimpse into a fascinating period of California history, as well as opportunities for quiet recreation in a beautiful high Sierra mountain setting. The focal point of the park is the museum building and historic area surrounding it. Originally constructed as the miner's bunkhouse, the museum now serves as a visitor center.

Inside, displays depict the natural and cultural history of the park. Outside and across the street from the museum is the historic mining area, where the Mohawk Stamp Mill, Bushman five-stamp mill, stable, mine office, Moriarity House (historic miner's residence) and the blacksmith shop depict life in gold rush-era California.

Western Pacific Railroad Museum

P.O. Box 608
Portola, CA 96122
Phone: (530) 832-4131
Email: info@wplives.org
Website: http://www.wplives.org/

The Western Pacific Railroad Museum at Portola is home to North America's largest and most complete collection dedicated to telling the story of one railroad. It is also one of the few places where you can experience rail history in a truly "hands-on" way. Come sit in the cab of the world's largest and mightiest diesel locomotive, climb aboard passenger cars from the California Zephyr, and take the throttle of a real locomotive under your control.




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