The Southern Tuolumne County Historical Society (STCHS) is a volunteer community organization dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the colorful history of the area “south of the Tuolumne River.” Groveland and Big Oak Flat were 1850s Gold Rush towns which later thrived as a gateway to Yosemite National Park. The centerpiece of STCHS is the Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum in Groveland welcoming visitors from all over the world, and all year long. STCHS also advances its goals by building preservation projects, community education, and the History Resource Center.
On Sunday, September 5, 2021, STCHS held its annual Labor Day Barbecue at the Pine Mountain Lake Equestrian Center. As expected, the "main event" was just sitting with friends and enjoying the warm afternoon with good food.
A highlight for kids (and their parents) was the chance for the kids to eat large quantities of fresh local watermelon. Rumor had it that some kids ate so much they couldn't eat any ice cream after their burgers!
The music was provided by the well-known Bay Area entertainer, Groovy Judy, with tunes from the 60s (1960s!) to now. Some attendees couldn't resist the chance to show their skills on the dance floor.
Six panels of vintage photos of Big Oak Flat and Groveland let visitors learn about southern Tuolumne County - and STCHS itself. Plus a chance to talk with STCHS' own Kathy Brown (seated, hiding behind the poster) for any additional information.
The Museum would like to add an exhibit on the long mining history of southern Tuolumne County. In addition to vintage photos and personal stories, we want to include physical artifacts that can help brng our mining heritage to life.
We are asking our supporters and friends to help locate genuine artifacts that can be part of our exhibit. Maybe an item that has been hiding in the basement. Maybe that mystery gizmo that Grandfather left in that box in the attic. Miners' pans, cooking utensils, a tobacco pouch - almost anything that can convey what it was like during the Gold Rush. But not too big - it has to fit in a display case!
Not long ago a visitor to the Museum brought by the artifact shown in the photo. While we're still investigating it, it may be a miner's lamp. It is an example of the kind of item that would make our mining history all the more real.
Please bring to the Museum anything you think might be a valuable addition to the exhibit. Our team will assess what it is and how it can be part of the display, either as a donation or a loan. We'll handle any paperwork to give your family appropriate recognition for your generosity.
STCHS is welcoming visitors to the Museum to view local history in person. We follow the latest state and local Covid recommendations. Masks required for the unvaccinated.
Open hours are 10 to 2 on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. If necessary, please call us to open by special appointment.
As the Museum re-opens, it is looking to add volunteers to greet and welcome visitors to the Museum. It's a wonderful opportunity to meet people from all over the country and the world. Docents serve at their own schedule with no obligation other than to enjoy themselves. Sign up on the "Docent" page of the website.
Thanks to the years-long dedication of the Board Displays Committee (under the leadership of Kathy Brown), the Museum has just opened a new exhibit on the indigenous Me-Wuk, the First People to live in southern Tuolumne County. It's sure to offer visitors a great chance to learn about their lives and culture.
The exhibit offers a series of artifacts and historical photos that chronicle the way of life of the Me-Wuk people who lived in Groveland and Big Oak Flat before the Gold Rush. Of special interest is the basketry which was a prominent part of Me-Wuk culture.