- Children’s Museum of the Sierra
- Coarsegold Historic Museum
- Consortium of Southern Yosemite Museums
- Fossil Discovery Center of Madera County
- Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park
- Madera County Historical Society & Museum
- Madera County Public Library
- Sierra Mono Museum
Photo Gallery (.mov)
The mission of the Children's Museum of the Sierra is to provide stimulating and interactive exhibits in science, natural history, community and the arts presented in an imaginative and playful way to encourage and challenge growing minds. Exhibits are designed for children ages two through twelve, and are presented in an environment that encourages parent and teacher involvement.
We are a discovery museum for young people (ages 2-12) and their families, providing hands-on exhibits and programs designed to encourage visitors to learn by doing, imagining, creating and making choices.
Our primary audience is children of the mountain community and the tourist population that visit the destination resort area of Yosemite National Park. We average 1,000 visitors monthly.
P.O. Box 117
Coarsegold, CA 93614
Phone: (559) 642-4448
Located just below the town of Coarsegold off of Highway 41, the Coarsegold Historic Museum is the home of a collection of artifacts stemming back to the 1800s.
The complex is located on property that once was part of an old horse-drawn-freight wagon road (pre-Hwy 41) and an original historical adobe freight way station. The 110+-year-old building is a "packed adobe" made of mud and rock. After its use as a way station, it was used for many years as a home. The grounds also have a barn that the dedicated volunteers of the organization restored. It now houses the museum. In it artifacts and history of the region can be viewed. Also in the building are the research library and the Historical Society's office.
Various sections of the museum represent the Coarsegold Market and Supply, a blacksmith and tool shop, a gold-panner hard at work, a tack shop, the kitchen of the Picayune School, an area of Indian artifacts, and an extensive display of pictures and articles about eastern Madera County.
In 1994 the Picayune School (in use from 1913 to 1956) was moved to the property. It was an elementary school especially for the local Chukchansi Yokut Indians. Picayune School is the only one-room schoolhouse in the local mountain area to be displayed as a school and is furnished with items dating to the period of its original use. It is now restored and listed on the California Register of Historic Sites and is a designated local Historical Landmark by the Madera County Board of Supervisors.
The Consortium of Southern Yosemite Museums invites you to take an educational, family oriented and fun filled journey into the past and discover the many treasures of the region.
- Stop by the 110 year old Coarsegold Historic Museum, brimming with artifacts and history including an old school house with authentic furnishings.
- In Oakhurst, see first hand how the early pioneers lived and dressed by visiting; The Fresno Flat's Laramore Lyman House Museum where you can learn candle dipping and rope making, and step back in time with the vintage clothing and accessories exhibits for men, women and children and war memorabilia dating from the 1790s through the 1990s at The Wild Wonderful King Vintage Clothing Museum.
- Visit The Children’s Museum for fun-filled hands-on activities for all ages.
- Visit The Little Church on the Hill, the only house of worship in this area for nearly fifty years.
- Visit The Thornberry Museum and ride The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad with majestic views of the Sierra National Forest.
- Discover the riches of the mining era, and see amazing exhibits such as the "Fricot Nugget", a rare, 13 pound crystalline gold specimen at The California State Gem & Mineral Museum.
- In North Fork, visit the first museum, Sierra Mono Museum, operated by an Indian tribe and opened in 1971 to preserve the culture and heritage of the Sierra Mono Indians. In addition see the Tettleton Wildlife Collection of over 200 free-standing animal dioramas of North and South America, Asia, and Europe.
- In Raymond, see the Charles Miller House, built in 1886, listed on the California Registry of Historic Places, and the home of the Raymond Museum. Step into the original board and batten homestead house and learn the secret of why between 1886 and 1946 "all roads led to Raymond."
- In Shaver Lake visit the Museum of the Central Sierra.
19450 Avenue 21 ½
Chowchilla, CA 93610
Phone: (559) 665-7107
Fax: (559) 665-0641
Madera County, in partnership with the San Joaquin Valley Paleontology Foundation, completed a unique and exciting Fossil Discovery Center. The project is located at the Fairmead landfill in Madera County, the site of one of the largest middle-Pleistocene fossil excavations in North America. These fossils are of particular significance for California and the western United States because there are few sites known from this time period, especially with so many species present. The facility interprets both the paleontology activity and the landfill activity. These diverse themes are united by showing how the world of the past became the world of the present, and how our current activities, including waste disposal, will create the world of the future.
The discovery center is next to the landfill and also serves as a satellite visitor's center for the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau. The site overlooks the current landfill operations and the paleontology dig. It also has a good view of the valley floor and the rising foothills to the east, the area where the prehistoric rivers washed down the bones that have become the Fairmead fossils.
Fresno Flats Historic Village and Park recaptures the flavor of 19th Century life in the Sierra Nevada foothills and mountains of Central California. Eastern Madera County is the southern end of the historic Mother Lode gold fields, but the people who settled here came not so much for gold but more to build their lives and raise their families, making their living as farmers, merchants and using the rich natural resources of the mountains.
The museum complex is built around two restored and furnished homes dating to the 1870s. Both have been designated by the State of California as Points of Historical Interest for their unique construction styles once common throughout Northern California, but virtually unknown today. They were saved from demolition, moved to Fresno Flats Historical Park and restored by the volunteers of Sierra Historic Sites Association, as were a pair of early-day one-room schools, two 19th Century jails and several other farm buildings.
210 West Yosemite Avenue
Madera, CA 93639
Phone: (559) 673-0291
The Madera County Historical Society operates a local history museum in the old Madera County Courthouse. Exhibits include a restored courtroom, basketry from several area tribes, and a reconstructed section of the historic Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company flume.
121 North G Street
Madera, CA 93637
Phone: (559) 675-7871
The mission of Madera County Library is to provide
- balanced and up-to-date resources for the educational and recreational needs of its patrons
- a professional information service
- public access to electronic media
- a pleasant, safe and clean environment
The North Fork Mono Families first incorporated in 1966 to form the Sierra Mono Museum for the purpose of preserving Tribal history. The museum offers both static and living history experience. The doors have been open to the public since 1971. Permanent collections include a wide variety of Native American baskets and cultural artifacts. Also on display is the Tettleton Wildlife Diorama Collection consisting of over 100 freestanding taxidermy animals of North America and Asia. Other collections include historical photographs, cultural items, beadwork and weapons.
Guided tours offer a walk through the collections, stories, songs, and nature walk with signage explaining usage of indigenous plants. Classes in language and Basketry are held throughout the year. Visiting the museum offers a glimpse at Mono Indian lifestyles of yesterday and today.