We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“Enjoyable Trip to Gold Rush History” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Tuolumne County Museum

Tuolumne County Museum
Ranked #5 of 11 things to do in Sonora
Attraction details
Sonora, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Enjoyable Trip to Gold Rush History”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 June 2013

We are new to the area and wanted to learn a little more about Tuolumne County so we made a trip to the Toulumne County Museum. We were pleasantly surprised. Sonora is a small town and we weren't sure what to expect from a small local museum, so we were pleased to see what this little museum had to offer. It was designed with a lot of attention to the gold rush history and I really came away with a feeling for what it must have been like for those early settlers climbing the rugged Sierra Mountains in wagons looking for a new life. The stories and artifacts are testament to the struggles of those pioneers. It was a worthwhile trip and a definite must see for families with kids.

Visited April 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank TravelingDuo1972
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a Review

28 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    14
    14
    0
    0
    0
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
San Jose, California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Sonora History”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 March 2013

This little museum has it all. What a great find in the town of Sonora. I was impressed with all the displays that were set up. Very knowledgeable group of volunteers on staff to answer questions.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank khebert
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“educational”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2013

Full of old time artifacts and information. Really interesting if you like history of the mother lode.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank Bev S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
48 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Very nice local museum”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 November 2012 via mobile

A nice look at the local history. The museum is housed in the old county jail and sheriff's residence. Many of the exhibits are in the old jail cells. There is an excellent display of antique firearms as well. Admission is free with donations accepted.

Helpful?
1 Thank DangaBrewin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warsaw, Indiana
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Law and Order in Sonora”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 April 2012

While waiting for some shops to open in Sonora, California, we happened across the Tuolumne County Museum. It is located in the old jail and there were many exhibits of the history of law and order in Sonorma, during the Gold Rush. It is a beautiful brick building. It is just off the main street of Sonora, at 158 West Bradford Avenue.

We were greeted by a wonderful lady who told us the high points of the museum, and some interesting stories of the folks that were housed in the jail. There was no cost, but one could make a donation. Group Tours are by Arrangement

The Tuolumne County Museum was built in 1857 as the county jail, replacing an old oak tree with a chain and a log cabin during the wild days of the Gold Rush.

Rebuilt in 1866 after a fatal fire it was in use until 1960. The fire was set in his cell by Tom Horn an local misfit who thought if he set the fire they would take all the prisoners out of their cells, but the heat was so intense it fused the metal door shut. He was the only fatality. You can tour the two cell blocks, women and juveniles were incarcerated separately from the men.

The Pioneer Gun Collection is extensive and displayed well. I enjoyed the display of gold nuggets also. A wonderful slice of history.

There is a gift shop and very clean restrooms. There is a beautiful courtyard that is used for parties and events. Lots and lots of photo opportunities.

Visited April 2012
Helpful?
2 Thank Shedonna
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

Been to Tuolumne County Museum? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing