What to Expect at the Museum

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Historic Buildings

The 18-acre San Joaquin County Historical Museum includes four relocated and preserved historic buildings:

Charles Weber House (1848)  
Following the success of his Stockton Mining Company in the gold fields, Charles Weber imported redwood lumber from the Santa Cruz area and built a store on the Stockton waterfront—soon to become the gateway to the “southern mines”—and this small house on what is now called Weber Point (near the arena). When Weber married in 1850, he added a two-story Monterey Colonial-style adobe addition. By 1893, the Weber home had become unlivable due to cumulative damage from the many floods on Weber Point.  The original cottage was preserved by daughter Julia Weber, who moved it to her ranch north of Stockton.  The Charles Weber cottage was subsequently moved to the Museum, restored, furnished, and placed in a setting that will provide you with an idea of the first view of Stockton seen by new settlers and visitors sailing up the Stockton Channel in the 1850s…and the gracious atmosphere Captain Weber created amidst the fledgling pioneer settlement.   The cottage was willed to the Museum by Helen Weber Kennedy, Captain Weber's granddaughter.

Slideshow tour of the Charles Weber cottage and the Helen Weber Kennedy Gallery in the Erickson Building. Your tour guide is Helen (Peggy) Kennedy Cahill, great granddaughter of Captain Charles Weber.  (Running time: 9 minutes.)

Calaveras School (1866)
This one-room schoolhouse was originally located near Highway 88 just north of the Calaveras River. It served from 11 to 28 children in grades one through 9. It was one of the last one-room schools in San Joaquin county in 1959. The building was moved to the Museum in 1976, where it was restored; it was rededicated in 1986. Ever since, the Calaveras School has enchanted Museum visitors. Thousands of County elementary students have relived history via the Pioneer School Day program in which their classes spend a day as students would have in the 1880s.

Blacksmith Shop
Moved to the Museum from the Nelson Ranch on Roberts Island, this late 1800s blacksmith shop is a working shop used for Valley Days school programs and special events.

Julia Weber House (1892)
This home was built on Weber’s point (now downtown Stockton near the arena) for Mrs. Helen Weber and Julia Weber, wife and daughter of Stockton founder Charles Weber. It was moved by Julia Weber in 1901 to “Helen’s Oaks” on West Lane, north of the Calaveras River, and to the Museum in 2001. The Julia Weber house exterior has been restored to its 1892-1901 appearance. The house interior has not been renovated and it is not yet open to the public. The original furnishings from the house are, however, on exhibit in room dioramas in the Erickson Exhibition Building (see below).

Room-by-room tour of the Julia Weber house in the 1980s—before the original 1892 portion of the house was moved to the Museum—as well as an overview of Weber family history. The narrator is Helen (Peggy) Kennedy Cahill, great niece of Julia Weber and great granddaughter of Captain Weber. (Running time: 24 minutes.)

See the Julia Weber house being moved to the Museum from West Lane in 2001. (Running time: 6 minutes.)

Modern Buildings

The Museum also has eight modern buildings with exhibits:

Erickson Exhibition Building
Contains exhibits on Native Peoples (Miwok and Yokuts Indians); early trappers and French Camp; American settlers; Charles Weber (founder of Stockton) and family; the Gold Rush; and William Micke (farmer and philanthropist who donated and endowed the park). Children’s activity area and short-term and special exhibits.  (The Helen Weber Kennedy gallery is named for the granddaughter of Captain Charles M. Weber.  The gallery was dedicated in her memory by her daughters Helen K. Cahill, Katherine K. Cookson, Moira K. Holden and Geraldine K. Cole.)

Helen (Peggy) Kennedy Cahill, great granddaughter of Captain Charles Weber, narrates a slideshow tour of the Helen Weber Kennedy Gallery in the Erickson Building and the Charles Weber cottage. (Running time: 9 minutes.)

Tree and Vine Exhibition Building
Has exhibits on grape growing, wine making, stone fruit and almond and English walnut growing, fruit drying, and fruit shipping.

Delta Exhibition Building
Displays an extensive collection of hand and foot powered tools; a Harris wooden combine and exhibitions on foundries of San Joaquin county.

Micke Exhibition Building
The first exhibit building built at the museum has artifacts on a number of themes, including: ranching, grain growing/harvesting, general farming, dairying, and horse-drawn transportation.

Ag Equipment Center
With generous support from individuals and companies throughout the county, the San Joaquin County Historical Society built four new exhibition buildings, dedicated in March 2006. The McNeilly, Rosen, Brown-Jones, and Cortopassi-Avansino exhibition buildings that comprise the Ag Equipment Center are described below.

Cortopassi-Avansino Exhibition Building
"Innovators in Agriculture" exhibition illustrates the development of intensive, irrigated agriculture in San Joaquin County after about 1900. It focuses on six crops historically identified with the county: truck farming (small, diversified growing of vegetables and fruits), dry beans, asparagus, cherries, walnuts, and canning tomatoes.

McNeilly Exhibition Building
Displays agricultural equipment and small farm machines and toy and model tractors. 

Rosen Exhibition Building
Displays tractors and other agricultural equipment including a Holt sidehill combine. 

Brown-Jones Exhibition Building
Exhibition on Stockton/San Joaquin County as the “Earthmoving Capital of the World.” Historic equipment illustrates the development of tracked tractors—the local roots of Caterpillar Company—and scrapers, from horse-drawn types such as the Fresno scraper to the ever-improving scrapers of R.G. LeTourneau, whose company built 70% of the earthmoving machines used by the allies in World War II.

Sunshine Trail Living Exhibition
The Sunshine Trail is a living exhibition of native plant habitats that have shaped local history. Ten exhibit panels and 15 audio messages reveal the historic importance of habitats including: oak woodlands, valley grasslands, foothills, Sierra Nevada, streamside (riparian), and coast redwoods.

Delta Water Path
This trail encircles the pond (simulated Delta) and the 1848 Charles Weber house. It reveals the historic importance of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta with 8 exhibit panels and 6 audio messages.

Flame Tokay Grape Vines (1922)
The Museum maintains a small remnant of the Flame Tokay grapes planted by William G. Micke in 1922. Mr. Micke preserved the grove of Valley Oak trees along Pixley Slough, donated the land for Micke Grove Regional Park , and was active in the development of the park.

Events and Activities

The Historical Society also provides a number of Special Events and Activities for Museum guests.

There are also programs and services for Groups.