Placer County Museums
101 Maple Street - Room 104
The original Gatekeeper’s cabin was built by Robert Montgomery Watson—also the builder of the Watson Cabin—to be the home of the Watermaster who controlled the flow of water out of Lake Tahoe. We still have a Watermaster, but s/he no longer lives in this cabin. Instead, the cabin showcases Tahoe history, from the Washoe people through the logging and mining eras and the establishment of the tourism industry at Lake Tahoe. Exhibits include Native American baskets, resort memorabilia, historical photographs, clothing, oral histories, maps, archival documents, newspapers and artifacts.
130 West Lake Boulevard, Tahoe City, CA 96145
Please contact the museum for operating hours.
Watson Cabin, 560 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City, CA 96145 Phone: 530-583-8717
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For guided tours, coming face to face with 100 year old objects, tracking down your family history and much more, your journey to the past begins right here.
The Forest Hill Divide Museum focuses on the history of the Foresthill area, including topics such as mining, geology, Native Americans, timber, and home life. The complex includes a working blacksmith shop, the original Foresthill Jail, and a 1931 USA Fire Truck.
24601 Harrison Street, Foresthill, CA 95631
Open Memorial Day through Labor Day
Saturday and Sunday Noon – 4:00 pm - Closed Holidays
The Gold Rush Museum
601 Lincoln Way, Auburn, CA 95603
The Gold Rush Museum inside the Gold Country Fairgrounds has closed permanently. The new Museum is under construction in the Historic Auburn Depot at 601 Lincoln Way and is partially open on weekends from 10:30 to 4:00.
Docent led tours are available in our museums daily. For those that want to dig a little deeper into our history, we offer many site specific tours and programs.
101 Maple St. Auburn, CA
Open Daily 10:00 am – 4:00 pm - Closed Holidays
This museum presents an overview of Placer County history from the early Nisenan inhabitants through the latter half of the 20th century. It also includes the Placer County Gold collection, the renowned Pate Collection of American Indian artifacts and the original Thomas Kinkade painting "Auburn Centennial". The Museum occupies the first floor of Auburn’s historic Courthouse.
To schedule a group tour, call 530-889-6500
The museum takes its name from the Golden Drift Historical Society, which in turn was named for a gold mining company that existed in Dutch Flat in the early 1900’s. The principal shareholders were residents of the community.
The Museum and the Historical Society are dedicated to the preservation of the history of the area, including the towns of Gold Run, Dutch Flat, Alta, Towle and Baxter. The Museum displays a rich photographic history of the area’s towns, mining, lumbering, schools, churches, social, Indian and Chinese heritage. Artifact exhibits include Indian projectile points, fraternal order memorabilia, Chinese Joss House artifacts, mining and railroad relics.
32820 Main Street, Dutch Flat, CA 95714
Open Memorial Day through September. For a group tour, please call 530-889-6500.
Friday, Saturday & Sunday Noon – 4 pm - Open Summer Holidays
The Griffith Quarry Museum is housed in the original Penryn Granite Works office, built by Welsh immigrant Griffith Griffith in 1864. It contains some of the original office furniture, information on the Griffith family, the history of the Penryn-Loomis Basin area, and the granite industry.
Corner of Taylor & Rock Springs Roads, Penryn, CA 95663
To schedule a group tour, call 530-889-6500
7504 Rock Springs Roads, Penryn, CA 95663
HoursOpen Saturday and Sunday Noon – 4:00 pm
Golden Drift Museum
291 Auburn-Folsom Road, Auburn, CA 95603
Open Tuesday through Sunday 11:00 am – 4:00 pm - Closed Holidays
Built in 1851 as the Traveler’s Rest Hotel, the Bernhard House has been welcoming visitors for over 150 years. Filled with artifacts and furnishings from a bygone era, the Bernhard House transports visitors to a simpler time. The Bernhard Museum also serves as home to the third grade Living History Program.
Mon-Fri: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Sat-Sun: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
In addition to the thousands of photos and objects on display in our museums, we are also in charge of keeping tens of thousands more safe and organized. The Archives and Research Center is in charge of photos, records, and oral histories while Collections takes care of three dimensional artifacts.
11526 C Avenue, Auburn CA
Our goal is to make this facility function as comfortably and efficiently as it can and to support the needs of everyone who needs to access Placer County historical information.
Open Monday, Tuesday and Friday, 9:00 am to noon and 12:30 to 3:00
Open Wednesday and Thursday by special appointment
Please call for appointments: 530-889-7789.