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The Museum of the Central Sierra

Museum of the Central Sierra – Tina Quillen

ADA Accessibility Notes

Fully accessible.

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.

Pet Friendly Notes

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


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

Seasons Open

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


No entrance fee. Donations are appreciated.

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