What do you think?
Many of us have walked by our beloved Sierra Railway Exhibit with a warm place in our heart for how it was created, and regret that it no longer functions. I'd like to put out a plea to the community regarding this model train display at the back of the Pole Barn here at the museum.
Having checked with Chuck Schneider and Jim Miller, our museum historians, to the best of our my knowledge the display has sat in an inoperative state for at least the last fourteen years. The foundation has recently conducted a formal assessment and, we are in agreement that if we wish to have a Sierra Railway Exhibit that operates, educates and excites our visitors – we need to start from scratch.
That said, I'd like to dismantle the current display – retaining any essential parts that could potentially be reused in a reimagined exhibit, and use this new space to display artifacts that are currently boxed and shelved. The result would be new exhibits to see each time you visit!
I want to assure the community that we still will have a Sierra Railroad display, but it might be a couple of years off. As you read earlier, the foundation has taken the formal steps necessary to potentially tap in to federal funds to build a new, engaging, and interactive exhibit that connects with today’s museum audiences in a way that will really bring the Sierra Railway innovation and achievement to life!
If anyone has any objections to us dismantling the old display, please contact us as soon as possible. Thank you for your continued support and enthusiasm for the Angels Camp Museum.
Pole Barn Campaign & Giving Tuesday Results
Money In: The Pole Barn campaign launched in 2021 and concluded with a final push on Giving Tuesday this past November, 2022. We set a goal of $25k. During the final push during Giving Tuesday we raised $4,100 for a total raised of $21,105 over the course of the campaign.
Money Out: So far the foundation has contributed $2,250 to pole barn stands, $1,016 on signs and $13,580 on concrete for pole barn pathway expansion/improvements.
If you haven’t visited the Mining & Ranching exhibits in the Pole Barn recently, you should! You’ll be delighted at the amazing work of Museum Staff!
Spring 2023 Fundraiser
Want to know what it was really like in Angels Camp in the 1856? The Museum Foundation is working on a story about a man who came to Calaveras County from Massachusetts with the hope, like so many others, of finding gold and striking it rich. His name was Andrew Galliardo. It’s an account of what life was like then as told through Andrew’s eyes, a prospector who hailed originally from Rehoboth, Massachusetts. This story draws on letters generously shared by the Pierce family, which they had received from Andrew between 1856 and 1858. Keep an eye out for our invite! We're targeting April!
Reimagining the Old Sierra Railway Exhibit
There have been numerous efforts to reinvigorate the museum's Sierra Railway exhibit. The most recent effort was done by the Angels Camp Museum Foundation which started in August 2021. Working with several train enthusiasts both in the surrounding area and the Bay Area and completing a thorough assessment, it was finally determined that while the exhibit was one of the more interesting models, it was so aged that it really needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. Major findings include:
We have identified a vendor in Fresno, Monster City Studios, as a resource to build the exhibit (they even have a train enthusiast on staff) and will work with them on a scope of work to attach to a planning grant application the foundation plans to write requesting federal funds from the National Endowment for Humanities. Once a detailed plan and budget are in place, we would apply for the implementation grant. Clearly, this is a multi-year effort; it will be worth it.
If you’re interested in helping to write the grant (next round due in August), develop specifications, or help with any other aspects of the project, please apply here.
Look for a brand-new display in the Medical Exhibit (main building lower level) of a local beautician featuring household cosmetology devices of yesteryear. Put together by museum staff members Suzie and Amy, the exhibit features old-fashioned hair curlers, antique hand mirrors, and the centerpiece: a permanent wave machine.
We take for granted how easy it is to get the looks we want—with access to electric curlers and safe chemicals, it’s more convenient than it’s ever been to keep up with today’s beauty standards. That wasn’t the case a hundred years ago when not every home had an outlet and medical chemistry was still in its infancy. It was during this period when the permanent wave machine was invented in the effort to save women time fixing their hair every morning.
Looking like a medieval torture device, the machine was the precursor to modern chemical hair perms and used heat to essentially fry the hair in place. Reaching peak popularity at the beginning of the 20th century, women would need to sit under the device for up to ten hours to achieve the desired effect. Having to sit still for that long meant that accidents were not unheard of, with burns and hair loss being commonly reported.
Join The Board Or Volunteer!
We have lots of volunteer opportunities including serving on the board, visit our Volunteer Program page to learn more and apply!