June 6, 2019

Independence: Eastern California Museum; things to do


High Sierra: Highway 395


Eastern California Museum  155 N. Grant St., (760) 878-0364.  W-Sun 10-4.  By donation.

outdoors wagon display of Eastern California Museum in Independence, California
outdoors wagon display of Eastern California Museum in Independence, California


Founded in 1928, this historic museum displays a large collection of more than 400 Paiute, Shoshone, and finely-made Panamint tribe baskets.  Most date from the 1880s to the 1930s and were specifically for trade to tourists and settlers. 

indoor display of Native American baskets at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California
indoor display of Native American baskets at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California


Among the area artifacts from mining and pioneer life are several treasures--an 1890s Regina music box (purchased in San Francisco)




and a green dress that once belonged to Amelia Earhart (she never lived here, but her husband had a house in the area). 

Amelia Earhart's green dress displayed at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California
Amelia Earhart's green dress displayed at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California


I particularly like a labeled bird-egg collection. 

bird eggs displayed at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California
bird eggs displayed at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California


The rustic outdoor Little Pine Village--a sort of faux ghost town--displays cabins and farm buildings as well as farming and mining equipment and trains.  Some of the buildings were brought in from other places, and one of the outhouses is a rare three-seater, where you can take a leak and get leaked on through the ceiling at the same time.  A peaceful Native Plant Garden offers a pleasant walk.

Native Plant Garden at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California
Native Plant Garden at Eastern California Museum in Independence, California



More things to do along Highway 395.

More things to do in nearby Yosemite.

More ideas for exploring Northern California.

images ©2018 Carole Terwilliger Meyers


5 comments:

  1. As a real far easterner (i.e. the east coast), I'm not really sure where this is although Google Maps will no doubt clue me in. The Eastern California Museum seems like it's one of the little quirky, eclectic museums all over the world -- fun to stumble upon. I mean, Amelia Earhart's dress and emu eggs----why not?

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  2. Thanks for sharing this peek at this Independence, California museum. It's interesting to see an Amelia Earhart dress there, since she hails from a city nearby our hometown of Kansas City.

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  3. I haven't heard much about this part of California but when I was in Nevada at the Cowboy Poetry Festival there were many references to it. The Eastern California Museum sounds like a great place to learn about the region's history and culture. That collection of Native American baskets looks quite exceptional

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  4. I've never spent any time in Eastern California, so I had no idea of what to do there. This museum looks like it has some interesting and important exhibits from our US history. I'll definitely make a visit when I'm in that area.

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  5. What a very interesting find. I've never been to this part of California but this would be just one reason to check it out.

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