Researching and Preserving the History of the Southern Yosemite Foothills

Southern Yosemite Museums

After you explore what our COARSEGOLD HISTORIC MUSEUM has to offer, check out these great spots!

SIERRA MONO INDIAN MUSEUM  in North Fork, houses an impressive display of traditional Indian arts and dioramas of North America. Enjoy exploring local native culture and history, a nature trail and an Indian Village. The museum is open from 10 to 3:30 Mon thru Fri. Entry fee. Information  at 559-877-2115.

LITTLE CHURCH ON THE HILL: The church in the Oakhurst Cemetery has history dating back to 1892. It was then known as Christ Church and sat on Chapel Hill at the junction of Road 426 and Road 425B in “Fresno Flats,” as Oakhurst was known in the old days.  The church is generally open from 7 to 4 on weekdays; weekends for special events. For more information about holding special events, call 559-674-8826.

FRESNO FLATS HISTORIC VILLAGE & PARK recaptures the flavor of 19th Century life in the Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains of Central California. The museum complex is built around two restored and furnished homes dating to the 1870s. Both have been designated by the State of California as Points of Historical Interest for their unique construction styles once common throughout Northern California, but virtually unknown today.

CALIFORNIA STATE MINING and MINERAL MUSEUM is located in Mariposa (95338) at the fairgrounds (5005 Fairgrounds Road; 209-742-7625) and exhibits the State’s collection of gems and minerals. Open hours are Thursday thru Sunday from 10 to 5.  $4 for adults; 12 and under enter free. 209-742-7625

RAYMOND MUSEUM:  The museum features exhibits about the train coming to Raymond for 20 years and why “All roads led to Raymond!” Photos  displayed tell the history of the area. Raymond was the terminal for the railroad that carried passengers to Yosemite from Madera from 1886 to 1906. Passengers changed there to horse-drawn open stages to proceed to their destination over rough and narrow mountain roads. he museum was the home of the railroad station master. nformation: call 559-689-1886. Free, donations appreciated. Roads 600 & 608. Open Sundays, 12 to 4.

THE MADERA COUNTY ARTS COUNCIL:  To receive the Madera County Arts Council, email or call 559-661-7005.

THE MUSEUM OF THE CENTRAL SIERRA is located at 42642 Tollhouse Road in Shaver Lake at the entrance to the Edison Campground. The CSHS new Amphitheater is an ideal spot for a wedding or anniversary celebration, a concert under the stars or theatrical production. There is seating for 150 with chairs or more for a casual event with blankets on the ground. Electricity and water are available. The on-going lecture series called Sierra Voices:  Free talks are held in the media room at the museum. Information:  559-841-4478

THE SIERRA STEAMERS operate the fully functional Dolbeer Steam Donkey.  It was used to move large trees from where they were felled in the forest to the mill. For information:

CHILDREN’S MUSEUM OF THE SIERRA:  The museum is open at 49269 Golden Oak Drive in Oakhurst on Tuesday thru Saturday from 10 to 5.  $6 for those age 2 to 59; under 2—free!  Annual memberships are available.  See the website for many, many events. Information:  559-658-5656.

THORNBERRY HOUSE MUSEUM AND YOSEMITE MOUNTAIN SUGAR PINE RAILROAD offers an exciting four-mile railroad excursion at Yosemite Park’s south gate (Fish Camp) on Hwy 41.  Ride into turn-of-the-century history where powerful Shay Locomotives once hauled massive log trains through the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Once onboard the train you will travel along the historic right-of-way of the Madera Sugar Pine Railroad where mighty lumberjacks felled the timber and flumes carried the lumber to the town of Madera.  The conductor will tell of the history of the line, the trees, and the wildlife native to the area. Also visit the Thornberry Family Log Cabin, over 100 years old, where the actual tools used by lumberjacks are displayed.  Have fun at the gold panning operation. Info at 559-683-7273; 56001 Hwy 41, Fish Camp.

THE GOLDEN CHAIN THEATRE  presents 19th Century Historic and Melodramatic Theatre productions where “good triumphs and evil is vanquished!”. Find the theater north of Oakhurst at 42130 Hwy 41. $12; seniors $10; students and active military $8 children $6. Call 559-683-7112 for ticket information. The Grub Gulch Saloon serves alcoholic and soft drinks, et al, and hotdogs, candy and great free popcorn.

NELDER GROVE:  1,540 ACRES IN THE Sierra Nat’l Forest just off the Byway, 10 miles north of Oakhurst.  Visit the website or call Brenda Negley at 559-760-9108 for activities.

THE FOSSIL DISCOVERY CENTER is located off Exit 164 on Hwy 99 just outside of Chowchilla at 19450 Ave. 21 ½. Blake Bufford manages the discovery center and dig site with the largest Pleistocene fossil bed in the western United States. This is truly a wonderful adventure for children and adults alike. You’ll be amazed at the “dig’s” accomplishments! SJV Paleontology Foundation, PO Box 1020, Madera 93639  559-665-7107.

MARIPOSA MUSEUM AND HISTORY CENTER is located at 5119 Jessie St. in Mariposa.  This museum has outstanding displays in every room.  Spend a day in Mariposa enjoying the two museums–the Mining & Mineral and Mariposa and have lunch at one of the interesting restaurants along the street of antiques in a truly historic setting.

Curious about happenings at these wonderful locations? Click here to check out the Summer 2016 Events Newsletter of the Museums & Historic Sites of Southern Yosemite.

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