Coarsegold Historic Museum
Photo © Jack Good
The Coarsegold Historic Museum includes three historic buildings that provide information about the Chukchansi, Mono and Miwok Indian cultural heritage, explorers search for gold, followed by those settling on 160 acre homesteads. The Coarsegold area is located at the southern end of the Gold Chain and boasted many productive gold mines during the 1850s through the early 1900s.
The "packed adobe" building was a way-station for the mule-and horse-drawn freight wagons that traveled from the San Joaquin Valley to Fresno Flats (now Oakhurst) and on to Yosemite National Park. Visit the adobe and see one of the freight wagons that were used. The adobe is original to this property.
The Picayune School was in use for the local Indian children from 1913 to 1956. The building has been restored and is now used as a meeting room, but still has the old desks from school days. The school originally had a kitchen and the old refrigerator, stove and sink/sideboard are on display.
The barn has been restored and houses the historical society office plus a room dedicated to Indian artifacts. The docents will tell stories about the items and pictures on display. A 1905 doctor's buggy, coins from 1852, 100 year old ice skates, an early wind-ring telephone and a 1915 Maytag washing machine plus hundreds of other interesting items from many, many years past will either reacquaint visitors with history or open eyes to what has gone before.
To view a virtual tour of the museum, go to www.coarsegoldhistoricmuseum.org
The Coarsegold Historical Society has produced two hardbound history books about eastern Madera County which are available to purchase. Volume One includes a compilation of the history of 102 pioneer individuals and families who came to this area. Volume Two continues with individual stories, plus a mini book written by a man who lived along the stage route traveled by Teddy Roosevelt in 1903 on his way to Yosemite; a section on the Coarsegold Rodeo showing the program covers over the years; and a section on "Shootings, Robberies, Lynchings and Incidents from the 1850s on."
The Society has also produced a 55-card deck of standard playing cards with all different pictures relating to the history of eastern Madera County available for $10. Events are held throughout the year including walking tours of historic Coarsegold and Raymond.
Seasons Open: May thru September, Thursdays thru Mondays; October thru April, Sundays and Mondays
Hours Open: 10 to 2 Thursdays thru Saturdays; Sundays 12 to 4; Mondays 9 to 11:30
Fees: Free; Donations appreciated
The museum barn, adobe, schoolhouse and rest rooms (2) are all handicapped accessible.
The museum grounds cover about two acres. As there are picnic tables and a large parking lot and meadow, pets are not a problem.