The Calaveras County Museum in San Andreas houses an extremely interesting collection of exhibits and artifacts detailing the history of this part of California - the Gold Country!

You enter the museum through the imposing doors of the 1893 Hall of Records. These doors are 16 feet tall and made out of solid iron. Once inside, the friendly attendant offers information about the exhibits. The cost is very reasonable at only $3 per adult and $2 per senior, and it's open daily 10-4. The museum has several levels and there are stairs.

The exhibits and displays include all aspects of the region's history. There is a section on the original inhabitants of this area, the Miwok Indians. There are exhibits detailing the history of the Chinese immigrants as well as many displays chronicling the history of gold mining and everyday life in an 1800's "wild west" town.

A unique exhibit is the actual building that housed California's first courthouse. It was built in 1850 with boards that came from China since there were no sawmills in California at that time.

Visitors can peek into original old offices of the Hall of Records, which have been restored to look as they did in the late 19th Century. You then can walk into an adjoining building and see an old courthouse where the notorious stage-robbing outlaw "Black Bart" was sentenced.

The museum attractions continue outside, as you enter the old jail yard. The walls surrounding this yard were built in 1885 and were 10 feet high. The old jail itself is quite interesting and was in use all the way up to the mid 1960's.

San Andreas is a pleasant small town and there is ample parking around the museum.