- Death Valley National Park
- Eastern California Museum
- Inyo County Free Library
- Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site
- Lone Pine Museum of Film History
- Manzanar National Historic Site
- New Coso Heritage Society Inc. – Southern Inyo Museum
- Owens Valley Paiute-Shoshone Cultural Center and Museum
Photo Gallery (.mov)
P.O. Box 579
Death Valley, CA 92328
Phone: (760) 786-3200
Death Valley National Park: A Land of Extremes
Hottest, Driest, Lowest: A superlative desert of streaming sand dunes, snow-capped mountains, multicolored rock layers, water-fluted canyons and 3 million acres of wilderness. Home to the Timbisha Shoshone people and to plants and animals unique to the harshest desert.
The Eastern California Museum in Independence has been the repository for Inyo County and Eastern Sierra history for eight decades. That history, from dinosaur bones to Native American baskets to pioneer saddles to famous Sierra mountaineers to the famous "Water War" between Los Angeles and the Owens Valley, is on display in the museum building and on the museum grounds.
The museum bookstore features a wide variety of titles, from fiction by renowned Victorian Era writer Mary Austin (an Independence resident), to histories about California and Owens Valley water issues, Death Valley and the Eastern Sierra.
The heart of the museum's collection is one of the largest collections of Owens Valley Paiute-Shoshone basketry in the nation. Ornamental and functional baskets, along with cradleboards, arrowheads, bows and arrows, and rare examples of Paiute beadwork are included in the extensive collection.
The Museum is also a repository for more than 20,000 historic photos of the majestic Eastern Sierra, including photos of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states, and Death Valley, the lowest point in the U.S.
Many of the Museum's historic photos are on display. For example, an extensive section of photos is devoted to renowned Eastern Sierra climber Norman Clyde.
The Museum's photos, History Files and artifacts help relate the story of the Owens Valley "water wars," which started in 1905 when the City of Los Angeles set its sights on the water in the Owens River as the answer to the growing city's need to secure additional water supplies. The astounding construction effort that created the Los Angeles Aqueduct (completed in 1913) is documented through photos and wagons and other equipment used on the project.
The museum features an equipment yard that contains freight wagons from the area's mining era, farm equipment and construction equipment.
A substantial collection of oral histories also allow real voices from the past to tell their own stories about the history they saw and lived, whether it included early mining days in Death Valley, building the Aqueduct, riding the Carson or farming in the once verdant Owens Valley.
Another popular and vital part of the museum is its permanent exhibit displaying some of the few remaining artifacts from the Manzanar World War II Internment Center, which was "home" to about 10,000 Japanese Americans during the war. The focal point of the exhibit is a replica of a typical barracks "apartment" at Manzanar. All of the camp's buildings, which covered 36 blocks, were dismantled immediately after the end of the war. Manzanar was located between Independence and Lone Pine, and although the campsite is now a National Park Service Historic Site, the Eastern California Museum has a substantial exhibit of photos and other artifacts from the camp on display.
Inyo County is the home of Mount Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48 states and Death Valley National Park, the lowest point in the United States. The Los Angeles aqueduct runs through the valley and transports water to the City of Los Angeles.
The Inyo County Free Library was formed in 1913, serves a population of about 18,000, and has six branches. Inyo County stretches over 10,000 square miles. It is 240 miles and a 6 hour drive from the City of Bishop to the most southern branch in Tecopa. The Library has a rich collection of local history materials at the Central Library in Independence, the county seat.
P.O. Box 363
Bishop, CA 93515
Phone: (760) 873-5950
The Laws Railroad Museum and Historic Site is located on land donated to Inyo County and the City of Bishop by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1964. The museum is operated by the Bishop Museum and Historical Society under contract with those two agencies. The gift deed from the Southern Pacific Company to the county and city reads as follows: "In appreciation of the interest of Inyo County and the City of Bishop in preserving the memory of the Far West's last common carrier narrow gauge railroad, the Keeler Branch, Southern Pacific Company is pleased to donate steam locomotive No. 9 together with other rolling stock, and the Laws Station building and surrounding installations for safekeeping in behalf of generations to come."
701 South Main Street
Lone Pine, CA 93545
Contact Rob Barron, Museum Director at 760-876-9909 or Chris Langley, Executive Director at 760-937-1189 for more information.
The Beverly and Jim Rogers Museum of Lone Pine Film Museum celebrates and preserves the diverse movie history of Lone Pine, Death Valley and the Eastern Sierra.
The private institution has over 10,000 square feet of exhibits, an eighty-five seat movie theater and gift shop that focuses on keeping alive the cultural heritage of America's cinematic history through film programs, artifacts preservation and exhibits and events including two film festivals.
Exhibits at the museum reflect the museum’s extensive collections and include: early silent films, post war films, "eastern," science fiction such as Tremors and Iron Man and the many cowboy heroes who worked locally including John Wayne, Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.
P.O. Box 426
Independence, CA 93526
Phone: (760) 878-2194
In 1942, the United States government ordered more than 110,000 men, women, and children to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps where Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War II.
P.O. Box 775
Lone Pine, CA 93545
Phone: (760) 876-5052
The New Coso Heritage Society, Inc. is committed to saving our history and heritage in the Southern Inyo County area for ourselves and future generations. So much history has passed through this county from the history of our Native-Americans, mining, farming and ranching, and historical film-making to modern-day tourism and recreation in one of the most environmentally diverse regions of the country. We are here to remind people of history's value and to safeguard our local heritage.
2301 West Line Street
Bishop, CA 93514
Phone: (760) 873-3584
The Owens Valley Paiute Shoshone Cultural Center-Museum hold numerous artifacts and antiquities from the Numa (Paiute) and Newe (Shoshone) Nations that originally inhabited the Owens Valley, we are responsible for many artifacts that are entrusted to us by our people to bring to you the general public in hopes of bringing better understanding and appreciation to our peoples culture and traditions. We also house many artifacts from archaeological digs and findings, as well as repatriated artifacts pursuant to the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA).