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Big Bear City’s Museum

Museum in Big Bear City

The Historical Society began in 1967 as an effort to preserve our mountain history. Our history is rich with stories of gold-miners, cattle and logging. The Historical Society maintains the Big Bear (Eleanor Abbot) Museum, located in Big Bear City, on Greenway, across from the airport. The museum opens from May to October.

The museum building started out as a general store in 1929, built by D.P. Terry of Beverly Hills. The store originally served the residents in the area of the Peter Pan Woodland Club. The building was moved from its site where the current CSD buildings are on Big Bear Blvd, to the current site in 1976. The museum opened its doors to the public on June 12, 1982.

The Historical Museum has a large collection of artifacts from the earliest time of Big Bear’s History. Inside, you’ll find rooms displaying clothing, furniture and tools used by the early people who populated the Valley. Outside, there is a new installation from the oldest inhabitants, an authentic Serrano dwelling made from willow.

Authenic Serrano Indian Dwelling

Outdoors, there is a fully working stamp mill, demonstrating the old miners’ abilities to crush the mined rock ore in hopes of extracting the gold. The young and young at heart can try their hand at gold panning in a real sluice. You’ll also find a fully equipped Blacksmith Shop. The Smithy will bend and twist red hot metal into original tools as used years ago.

Adult admission to the museum is $3. The docents are very knowledgeable of the local mountain history and can guide you to some of the activities available on the museum grounds. Special tours for groups are available by appointment. To schedule a group tour or for more information, please call (909) 585-8100.

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Gold Panning at the Museum

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