Kerbyville Historical Museum 24195 Redwood Hwy
Kerby, Oregon 97531
April – October
Daily: 11am – 3pm
Chidren 6-16: $2
Children under 6: Free
Kerbyville Historical Museum offers a rare glimpse into the history of Josephine County, Oregon. Exhibits span the culture of the local Takelma Tribe, timber industry, Illinois Valley pioneer settlers, and local gold mining history.
The Josephine County is named after the daughter of one of the gold miners who first discovery of gold in Southern Oregon in 1851 in the Illinois Valley. When placer gold is discovered at Sailor Diggings—in present day Waldo, Oregon—a gold rush commences. These ambitious gold miners constitute the first settlers to the region.
Kerbyville Historical Museum embraces the county’s origins as a mining town. The collection includes ornate gold scales, an early miner’s hard hat and lanterns, claim maps, gold pans, ore samples including local copper, and black and white photographs from south west Oregon’s diggings. All exhibits include clear and insightful tags from the museum’s passionate curators.
One eye catching exhibit includes an ingot mold for 1000 ounces of silver or 1850 ounces of gold. Smelted gold or silver would be poured into this mold for easier transportation. By 2014 prices, a gold bar from this mold would be worth $2.8 million.
The grounds include a 1880s Naucke House, the one-room log Grimmette School house, and a 1934 miner’s cabin. Th hand split and hewn miner’s cabin was relocated from West Fork, Taylor Creek in 1982. The cabin is typical of the makeshift cabins created by miners to stay near their claims both for convenience and security against claim jumpers.
The museum is a local treasure and an illuminating stop right off U.S. Route 199. The the museum is open daily between April and October. So take advantage of some good weather to learn more about South West Oregon.