Several museums and historical sites up and down the Eastern Sierra corridor pay tribute to life in the Old West. In Independence, the Eastern California Museum displays a reconstructed ghost town, pioneer history, Indian artifacts, ranching and mining equipment as well as nature exhibits. An exhibit dedicated to Manzanar Relocation Camp is also on the grounds. South of Independence is the actual Manzanar site, now a National Historical Site. The Laws Railroad Museum in Bishop is an 11-acre tribute to the Owens Valley pioneer era. Climb aboard a Locomotive No. 9, explore narrow-gauge railroad cars and stroll through the village of historic wooden buildings. Displays include an old print shop, country store, schoolhouse and more. A trip to the Hayden Cabin, located on the grassy banks of Mammoth Creek, offers a peek into a historic log cabin featuring mining implements and displays, photographs and intriguing memorabilia from the area's early decades.
Mammoth Ski Museum
The Mammoth Ski Museum is home to the Beekley International
Collection of Skiing Art and Literature. 500 years of the sport
and culture of skiing are captured in the collection and research
library. This include vintage posters, original paintings, photography,
sculpture and literature by artis and authors such as Ansel Adams,
Andrew Wyeth, Eric Sloane, Leroy Neiman, lill Tschudi, Hannes Schneider,
Sir Arnold Lunn and Warren Miller. The exhibts and programs are
seasonal and constantly changing.
Bodie Museum Historic State Park
You'll find no tourist traps or fancy recreated saloons here. No
food, no drinks except for three water fountains. The only business
doing commerce is the Bodie Museum (open from May to October). The
museum is free to the public and offers postcards, books, film and
a few other items. Bodie is now a California State Park and is open
year round weather permitting. In the wintertime though, some connecting
roads and most trans-Sierra highway can be closed because of snow
accumulations. With an elevation above 9000 feet, the snow gets
Eastern California Museum
760-878-2411 ext. 2258
The museum has one of the finest collections of Paiute and Shoshone Indian artifacts. Also, the museum has an exhibit on Manzanar Relocation Camp that includes rare photographs, diagrams, and mementos. Additional exhibits include antique wagons, tractors, mining implements, a Paiute Indian dwelling, and a reconstructed pioneer town. The museum operates 10am to 4pm daily (closed Tuesdays and major holidays).
Here you will find the most extensive collection of Artifacts in the area. Displays include an exhibit about the nearby Manzanar Japanese Relocation Camp, Native Paiute and Shoshone basketry and other Native American crafts, Early farm and mining equipment, an extensive photo collection, a library of local history and a reconstructed pioneer village. Books of local interest are also for sale. Museum is open every day except Tuesdays and Major Holidays from 10am till 4pm. Donations are accepted. Located three blocks west of Highway 395 via Market Street to Grant Street.
Laws Railroad Museum
Laws Railroad Museum located on Silver Canyon Road in Bishop is
a combination of historical buildings, train cars and trail paraphernalia
remembering an era gone by. The old general store, post office and
an assortment of buildings have been transplanted from their original
location to escape salvage. Visit the trading post and walk around
old engine #9 to get the real feel You can tour the train and the
museum's buildings daily between 10am to 4pm. This railroad was
the last narrow-gauge to operate west of the Rockies. Here you will
find 11 acres of exhibits dedicated to preserving the flavor of
the old west. Exhibits focus on a 1909 Baldwin 10-wheel engine and
the infrastructure that would support an old town and rail stop
including buildings and memorabilia from the turn-of-the-century.
Mammoth Museum and Historical Preserve
The authentic 1927 log cabin, built by Emmet Hayden, displays old mining equipment, memorabilia and photos of early-day Mammoth Camp. Mining equipment is demonstrated on the weekends during the summer months. The museum is open daily from 11am to 6pm during the summer usually from Memorial Day through September. The museum is operated under permit by the Inyo National Forest. Visitors are welcome to come and experience a taste of Mammoth's past from the early mining days of 1880, through the beginnings of automobile tourism and summer cabin residents, to the early days of skiing on Mammoth Mountain.
Mono County Museum
The museum is located west of the park behind the Memorial Hall on School Street in Downtown Bridgeport. The museum has an extensive collection of Paiute Indian willow and beaded baskets, barbed wire display, and other historic artifacts. The museum is open from Memorial Day to the end of September, daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Old Schoolhouse Museum
The Mono Basin Historical Society Museum
located in Lee Vining at Guss Hess Park, houses a fascinating collection of materials from the Mono Basin's past. See Native American artifacts, gold mining implements, and even the legendary upside-down house! Built in 1925, the school house now displays odd artifacts, photographs and equipment that chronicle the history of Mono Basin. Other exhibits include farming and mining equipment. The museum is open 12 p.m. to 8pm Thursday through Sunday during the summer.
Paiute Shoshone Indian Cultural Center
The center located in Bishop has some outstanding exhibits that include a depiction of a Paiute camp in the winter, traditional willow shelters, sweat house, along with many other Indian artifacts. The center is open daily year-round (closed on major holidays). The cultural Center and Gift Shop offer a variety of Native American arts and crafts with a look at life as it was before the area was overrun by white man. The Paiute's were here for 10,000 years in much the same way and in the last 100 years, their whole way of life has changed.
The museum contains Yosemite related history items, and natural history.