Ages: 0 and up
Cost: Free - admission is free - donation is appreciated
Parking: Yes - street
Features: Shop, Restrooms
Modesto's most recognizable historical landmark is the McHenry Mansion, located at the north end of downtown, on the corner of 15th and I Streets. The mansion was built in 1883 by prominent Modesto rancher and banker Robert McHenry. The McHenry family resided in the beautiful Victorian home for only 23 years before selling, at which point the mansion was converted into apartments. In the 1970's, the Julio R. Gallo Foundation purchased and donated the home to the City of Modesto, who in turn restored and furnished it to its near original condition for community use as a museum.
Today, the mansion is open for tours and can be rented for private events. The gardens are outfitted with plants native to Modesto and commonplace in the Victorian era and can be explored at any time. The interior of the mansion is decorated with antiques appropriate to the era; the main floor reflects what was vogue from the 1880's to the 1890's while the second floor -- a bedroom and and sitting room -- is decorated in the style of the early 1900's.
The museum's gift shop has recently moved two doors down, located now at 924 15th Street. Era-specific gifts are available to browse and purchase, including Old World Christmas, Radko and Inge ornaments, Mark Robert's fairies and more.
While all ages are welcome, due to the "look but don't touch" nature of this museum, the McHenry museum may be more appropriate for visitors aged 6 and up.
The McHenry Mansion is accredited by the American Association of Museums.
Hours of operation: Sunday-Friday, 12:30-4pm, Closed Saturday.
Reviewed on 08/09/2011
Great local museum..I had driven by this mansion several times until i decided to check it out. When you enter you sign into a guest book that every visitor can sign in to. You are promptly greeted by your tour guide which gives you the details of the home (who it was owned by, what the building has been in the past, ect.) Great little gift shop upstairs. If you've never been its a great place to visit, especially during xmas as they decorate...more
Reviewed on 11/08/2010
We love it! My oldest is a major history buff, especially CA history. He connected in so many ways and was able to give the friendly staff a run for their money with his questions and knowledge. We are taking Granny and Pop, next time they are down, to see the holiday decorations.