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McHenry Museum

  • 5

(2 reviews)
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McHenry Museum
1402 I Street
ModestoCA 95354
(209) 577-5235

Ages: 6 and up

Cost: Free

Parking: Yes - street

Features: Shop, Restrooms

The McHenry Museum began it's life as Modesto's library, but has since become a living, breathing visual archive of Modesto's rich history.  The curators have collected a vast array of early photographs and documents, but have also constructed a replica of a turn-of-the-century Modesto street, complete with dentist office, blacksmith shop and general store.  Yet another permanent exhibit features paintings by Virgil W. "Bill" West, which illustrate what life was like on cattle ranches in early California.  The Changing Exhibit area currently features a collection of vintage holiday decor and other small furniture pieces from the McHenry Mansion, which is presently closed for reconstruction after a December 2011 fire.

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.

Hours of operation: Sunday-Friday, 12-4pm; closed Saturday.

2 Reviews

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  • 5

Reviewed on 12/19/2011

As an adult, what I appreciate the most about the museum is its accessibility... Not only are the exhibits very informative, the admission is entirely free. (Donations, of course, are accepted and very much appreciated.)
Students with a need for a touchstone of Modesto's history will find a wealth of information at McHenry Museum in both its exhibits and its docents.
Upstairs is a large room devoted to the region's history: gold mining in the foothills, how waterways and trains made navigating the valley possible, irrigation's role in populating a rich agricultural area. Downstairs is a kind of visit to 'daily life' in Modesto: household goods from 1800s to the 1950s are on display, as is a collection of dolls from the same era, police and firefighting uniforms and paraphernalia, and even an American Graffiti style diner has been re-created.
Children are most impressed with just how OLD things are, especially in relation to the things they are familiar with: televisions, washing machines, tools.

McHenry Museum


  • 5

Reviewed on 08/09/2011

Great local Museum with Modesto history. Nice place to take your kids to learn more about their town or local town.

McHenry Museum