The Fort Crook Museum is located in historic Fall River Mills, and displays interesting glimpses into the frontier history of this beautiful region in the mountains of Shasta County. The grounds of the Fort Crook Museum include nine structures and a picnic area. You can also learn the art of crafting metal using the forge, anvil and a wide variety of blacksmithing tools throughout the year.
Fort Crook was established on July 1, 1857, to protect travelers on the Shasta - Yreka Road and the Lockhart Ferries. Built by Company A, 1st Dragoons under the command of Captain John W. T. Gardner, the fort consisted of 25 - 30 log buildings enclosed by a pine-pole stockade 12 feet high. It was located on the Fall River Valley about 7 miles north of the current museum grounds. Originally called Camp Hollenbush, the outpost was soon renamed in honor of Lt. George Crook, then in command of Company D, 4th Infantry. Crook became a General during the Civil War and gained national fame as both a fighter of and advocate for the Plains Indians.
The recently renovated Round Barn is very striking and visible from Highway 299. It was dismantled and reconstructed on the grounds. The project is almost complete and the unique building is now open to the public during regular hours.
The Main Museum building was constructed through donations of time and treasures, and resembles the circular structure of the Round Barn. It has three stories, two of which are filled with many artifacts and historical items. The top floor offers panoramic views of Fall River Mills and the Fall River Valley.
The Main Museum building also houses a gift shop and restrooms. The collection inside includes a hand-made Native American canoe that was retrieved from the bottom of the Fall River. You'll also find displays of antique guns, historical photographs, arrowheads and baskets from the local Native American tribe.
Other historical buildings include the Pittville School House (constructed 1884), the Pony Barn, the Fall River Jail, and two log cabins from nearby.
The grounds of the Fort Crook Museum are home to local events such as Pioneer Days, the Antique Truck Show, Art Show, and it may be reserved for weddings and reunions.