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Next Event: Fri, Oct 6, 2017 - ART WALK - See THINGS TO DO - EVENTS

Things To Do

Benton Welty Historic School Room

1225 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA 95603

Visitors will get a rare sense of “school days” in the early 1900’s. The Benton Welty Schoolroom, located in Auburn City Hall building, is packed with turn-of-the-century photos, student scrapbooks, maps, and old school books.
Visitors can try their hand at string games and penmanship exercises. Free tickets will be issued for a “just-for-kids” gift basket. Ample parking behind building.

Hours of Operation: Open by appointment only. Give a call.

Bernhard Museum Complex

291 Auburn Folsom Rd.
Auburn, CA 95603

Website: www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/Facility/Museums/LocalMuseums/bernhard.aspx

Hours: Tuesdays thru Sundays, 11am – 4pm; closed Holidays
Admission: FREE!

Originally known as the Traveler’s Rest, this 1851 stage stop may be the oldest wooden structure in Auburn. The long brick and stone building facing the street is known as the Winery.

The two-story house was constructed in 1851 and was operated as a stage stop by Bishop and Long until 1858 when it became Bishop’s home. Benjamin Bernhard purchased the property in 1868.

Bernhard, who had at one time been a teamster, added the west, single story wing to the house in 1870 and turned his property into a productive farm. Bernhard built the winery in 1874. An underground tunnel connects the winery to the basement of the house. The Bernhard Complex is now part of the Placer County Museum system.


Commercial Street

301-351 Commercial St.
Auburn, CA

Although not a museum, this historical street contains buildings pretty much as they were originally built circa 1857. All the buildings on Commercial Street have bearing walls of fired brick. Store interiors have been altered to accommodate various businesses, but the fronts appear much as they did in the early days. Stroll Commercial Street, read the plaques on each building and notice the varied roof lines. Each building has its own story to tell.


Fred Brye Home

1522 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA 95603

The Fred Brye home, although not a museum, is a rare old historical example of the homes in Old Town Auburn of the Gold Rush Era. This Colonial Revival home was originally constructed in 1882 by Charles L. Simons. Simons came to Auburn in 1850 to try his hand at gold mining, but eventually became the owner of a saloon in town. The home was sold in 1901 to Brye, a well-known local butcher. Brye and his family lived in the home for 20 years and made significant improvements, including the iron fence that surrounds the property today. This stately building commands a view of Old Town Auburn from its hillside location just south of the Placer County Courthouse. In the 1940’s the home was converted into a 12-unit apartment house. The building was restored as a single-family residence in 1969, but only two years later it was converted into a restaurant. The property later became a Christmas store and, most recently, an office building.

Gold Country Medical Museum

219 Maple Street
Auburn, CA 95603

Website: www.goldcountrymedicalmuseum.com

Currently open Saturdays and Sundays Noon until 3:00 pm, or by arrangement.

One of four medical history museums in California, this is the only museum housed in a historic setting. This stately Victorian was the first hospital in Placer County, established in 1855 by a $1400 grant from the State of California to care for indigent miners. The mission of the Gold Country Medical History Museum is to display the course of medical care and knowledge from the Gold Rush era to the mid 20th Century.

The museum features settings depicting a doctor's office, a pharmacy, an operating room, and a wardroom. These settings reflect doctor-patient activities taking place as they would have in the 1800's to early 1900's. Additional displays are being developed to show the early hardships of medical care, to present human-interest stories and pictures of foothills doctors and medical facilities over the period, and to acknowledge associated health skills such as nursing, dentistry, and ethnic treatments. Permanent and visiting collections of medical artifacts, including implements, equipment, furnishings, pharmaceuticals and bottles, and advertising and other ephemera are on display in cabinets. A favorite display is the folklore, potions, and multitude of strange gadgets we today call medical quackery.

The museum is in its infancy. There's so much more to do, so many more artifacts to collect and interactive displays to develop. You can help with your financial, artifact, or time donations. Have a medical collection to put on temporary display? Have family letters or photos illuminating early medicine? Would you be pleased to support the preservation of early medical history?

For more information contact curator Kent Perryman, 530-367-3973
Email: kperryman@suddenlink.net

Or contact Old Town Auburn Preservation Society President, Ross Carpenter, 530-885-1252
Email: serendipity@onemain.com

Gold Rush Museum

601 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA 95603

Website: www.placer.ca.gov/departments/facility/parks/parks-content/museums/gold-country-museum

Hours: Weekends Only 10:30-4pm; closed holidays
Admission: FREE!

The Gold Country Museum, located in the old Auburn Depot Building in Downtown, interprets Placer County’s Gold Rush history. Your tour of the museum begins with an excursion into a replicated hard rock mine. Once you leave the dark tunnel behind, you’re greeted by a stamp mill and an assayer’s office. It’s here that gold was processed from the raw material removed from the mines. Exhibits of a miner’s cabin and a mining camp saloon where a game of Faro is underway provide glimpses into the lives of miners. Museum docents will help you explore the most common methods of procuring gold and the lifestyle of the early miners and their families.

You can also pan for your own gold in our indoor stream or watch a video on Gold Rush history!

Panning for gold costs $3.00.

James Block Building

1585 Lincoln Way
Auburn, CA 95603

This historic building, built circa 1857, is constructed of brick on a mortared rock foundation. The irregular shaped structure has a canopy extending out to the edge of the sidewalk and houses the old Post Office as well as commercial establishments. It was built directly over a branch of the Auburn Ravine whose stream still flows directly below. The post office is the oldest one in California housed in its original building as well as being the oldest continually operated Post Office west of the Mississippi.

Joss House Museum

200 Sacramento Street
Old Town Auburn, CA 95603

Known as the Joss House, this structure was built after the fire of 1855. It served as a temple and house of worship for the area’s Chinese population.

In the 1880s, this block of Sacramento Street was known as “Chinatown Hill.” The Chinese concentrated here and built most of the buildings. At one time, they had laundry shops, opium dens and card rooms. Brewery Lane, just north of the Joss House, was the entrance to Auburn’s “red light district.” During the district’s illustrious history, a pious man seeking to burn out the ladies also unfortunately burned out some of the Chinese settlement.

Lawyer's Row

219 Maple Street
Auburn, CA 95603

Built 1855. This building was constructed of brick laid with lime mortar (no cement) and placed on a mortared rock foundation. The southeast corner has been rebuilt with conventional brick and cement.

The Stars and Stripes newspaper was published in this building from 1867 to 1880 by the Hart Fellows Community Project. After that, a number of lawyers occupied the building, and it became known as “Lawyers Row.” This building is listed on the National Register.


Old Town Auburn Firehouse

Lincoln Way and Commercial St.
Auburn, CA 95603

Built in 1891. Before becoming one of Auburn’s most famous attractions, this firehouse was home to the Auburn Volunteer Fire Dept., one of the oldest volunteer groups west of the Mississippi. Organized in 1852, this group is still fighting Auburn fires.

Placer County Museum, in the Historic Courthouse

101 Maple Street
Auburn, CA 95603

Website: www.placer.ca.gov/Departments/Facility/Museums/LocalMuseums/courthouse.aspx

Hours: Open everyday from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm; closed Holidays
Admission: FREE!

The Placer County Courthouse you see today was completed in 1898 with most of its building materials coming from Placer County: the granite from Rocklin, the bricks and terra-cotta trim from Lincoln, lime and lumber from various other areas in the county. The slate roof is from El Dorado County. The courthouse bell came around Cape Horn. This building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and houses the Placer County Museum and Gift Shop.
The museum presents an overview of Placer County history and the Pate Collection of Native American artifacts. It also includes the treasury where the Museum's gold history is displayed.

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