San Jacinto Museum

Note: The San Jacinto Museum and the Estudio Mansion will be closed December 23 - 25, 2016.

The San Jacinto Museum is a monument to community support and initiative!
It was founded in 1939 by interested and enthusiastic citizens and kept open in 1978 by another generation of equally concerned citizens

San Jacinto Museum in 1940  museum in 2003
The museum in 1940                   The museum in 2003       

Members of the Civic Federation, Chamber of Commerce and Women’s Club decided, in 1939, to display early California and Indian artifacts for the enjoyment of visitors to the Valley during the Ramona Pageant.

Ken Kreigh, local artist and rock mason, donated his recently remodeled building for the exhibit. Response was so enthusiastic that the citizens petitioned the City to take over the operation of the Museum. In 1978, when budget shortfalls threatened to close the Museum, local residents formed the non-profit San Jacinto Valley Museum Association to support the Museum.

San Jacinto is one of Riverside County’s oldest cities. The Anza Trail, one of the first overland routes to California, crossed the Valley in the 1770s. The mission padres named the valley San Jacinto (Saint Hyacinth) and established an outpost here around 1820.

San Jacinto in 1890
Old Town San Jacinto in 1890

In 1842, Jose Antonio Estudillo received a land grant to the entire valley from the Mexican government. In the 1860s, the Estudillo family began selling off portions of the rancho, and a small American community began to form. In 1868, local residents petitioned to form a school district, and by 1870 a store and post office had been established.

In 1883, the San Jacinto Land Association laid out the modern city of San Jacinto at Five Points. The railroad arrived in 1888, and the city was incorporated that same year.

The local economy was built on agriculture for many years, and the city also received a boost from the many tourists who visited the nearby hot springs. The city and its residents helped to start the historic Ramona Pageant in 1923, and have supported the production ever since.

basket collectionThe San Jacinto Museum features exhibits on the natural and human history of San Jacinto and surrounding areas. Local Indians relics, artifacts from pioneer families, and material on the community, its businesses and institutions are featured. Special exhibits highlight the record-breaking 1937 Soviet transpolar flight which landed in San Jacinto, and the development of downtown.

The Museum also maintains a large collection of historic photographs and memorabilia, which is available to researchers. Group tours are available by appointment.

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city hall

San Jacinto Museum
695 Ash Street
San Jacinto, CA 92583

Betty Jo Dunham
(951) 654-4952

Learn more about the Museum Association...