The Museum of the Central Sierra

Let your Central Sierra experience begin at the Museum of the Central Sierra.  The Museum is operated by the Central Sierra Historical Society and features historic materials and artifacts, books and photographs, speakers and special events. Learn about the flora and fauna of the various elevations and regions of the Sierra Nevada as well as the people who explored, lived and worked here.

In addition to the museum building, visitors will be able to see a fully restored, historic Caboose from the SJ&E Railroad that operated in the early days of the Southern California Edison Big Creek Hydroelectic Project.  Attend an event at the Amphitheater and our fully functioning hydroelectric powerhouse. Our Redinger Powerhouse is the only exhibit like it in the world!

Throughout the summer months, the Sierra Steamers hold several day-long demonstrations of a DolBeer Steam Donkey.  Visitors can experience the power of this amazing machine that was used to drag large logs from where trees were felled in the forest to a historic sawmill or railroad line.  Kids especially enjoy pulling the handle to make the whistle scream!  Ask at the museum for the date of the next "Steam Up".

The museum embodies the concept of a "museum without walls" using stories and experiences to bring the Sierra Nevada mountains into the museum and encourage the visitor to leave the museum for first hand experiences in the mountains.  Satellite exhibits and nature trails enhance this concept.  Visitors are encouraged to explore the Foothill, Forest and Alpine region of the Sierra Nevada.   

The rich history of the Sierra Nevada can be found in the stories of the Mono People who first populated the region;  the footprints of the first alpine explorers; the struggles and experiences of the early ranchers; the vast logging industry of the forest region; the unique hydro power generation system; and the recreation opportunities offered by mountain streams and lakes - - and in the inspiration for artists and writers and the people who are the present residents of this very special place.

About this Establishment:  The Museum of the Central Sierra sits on 20 acres of land donated to the Central Sierra Historical Society by the Southern California Edison Company.  It is located at 42642 Tollhouse Road in Shaver Lake, California.  The museum is located just off HWY 168, about one mile north of the village of Shaver Lake.  Take the Camp Edison Road and the museum entrance is the first right hand turn. 

Time Represented:  Past, present and future of the Sierra Nevada.

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Location

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Nearby
Latitude: 37.121988 Longitude: -119.313143 Elevation: 5526 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Lee Larsen

Seasons Open

Daily during the summer months (May - September). Spring and Fall as weather permits.

Hours Open

11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Fees

No entrance fee. Donations are appreciated.

ADA Accessibility Notes

Fully accessible.

Pet Friendly Notes

Lots of open space, shade and water for pets.  Leashes required.

Comments

This Museum is a must see when coming to the Shaver Lake area. No other museum in the world, offers working Steam Donkey’s and a mini working hydroelectric powerhouse to excite and inform visitors young and old of the early days of the history of the Shaver Lake and Big Creek Region. A must see on your next trip to Shaver Lake!

Darinda Otto **Shaver Crossing Railroad Station**SJ&E Railroad**, 5/19/2011

The greatest collection of exhibits and artifacts that describe and explain the connection of resources, from the high country to the valley, and how they are all necessary in producing power, food, and fiber for people, while protecting the environment they require to continue to produce these resources.

Barbara Grow, 9/11/2015

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