Indian Valley Museum opens May 12 for Mother’s Day weekend

Carrie Chase, who ran the Chase Hotel in Red Clover Valley with her husband Moses. Photo courtesy Indian Valley Museum

The Indian Valley Museum in Taylorsville opens for the season on Mother’s Day weekend. The museum has displays, photographs, and research material donated to the museum since its opening in 1973. This year includes more new displays and research material from ongoing item donations.

In 1932, during the depths of the Great Depression, presidential candidate Franklin D. Roosevelt exchanged letters with Harley Flournoy of Quincy, and these letters are now at the museum for visitors to read. The first letter from candidate Roosevelt includes the following passages:

“There is a feeling throughout the country that we have a wonderful opportunity to assume the responsibility of National government. I want you to feel that I am relying on the county and state committeemen and women for their aid and support to bring this about … I would really appreciate a letter from you letting me know what issues are most discussed in your district, what we can do to help and how the situation looks from your very practical view point.”

Harley Flournoy’s page-long reply includes:

“The question of the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment seems to be the main issue and your attitude on that question commends you to our people and they are going to give you their support … Our county people are essentially a mountain people, strong in their likes and dislikes and your straight-forward attitude on the vital issues of the day appeal to them and they like your avowed principles and are going to stand by you to the finish”.

The unpopular 18th Amendment to the US Constitution was passed in 1920 and prohibited the sale, manufacture and transport of alcohol. The Roosevelt platform included the repeal of this amendment, which he did in 1933 after being elected President for the first of four terms.

Women and mothers are well represented in the museum in both displays and research records, especially the work that they performed.

Homemakers, teachers, basket weavers, domestic workers, hotel operators, artists, musicians, and more are an essential part of the 4,000-plus museum collection.

Some examples include Mary Sobrero Esani’s early electric wringer washer, Sally Garvin’s beekeeping protective gear,  Margaret Crume’s war ration books, Mary Cottingham’s treadle sewing machine, Nola Cunningham Bowen’s beaded bottles, Nellie Peck’s grinding stone, Laura Boyden’s mandolin, the photography of Linda Page, Michelina Paladino’s tatting shuttles to make lace, Maysel Mead’s pocketknife and baskets made by Maidu weavers Freda Davis Joseph, Julia Washoe Lowry, Simyma Smith, Gladys Smith and Lilly Baker.

The Indian Valley Museum, which includes the gem and mineral room, is located at 4288 Cemetery St. in Taylorsville, and will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, from 1 to 4 p.m. on Mother’s Day, and every weekend through October. Admission is free.

For more information, call the museum at 284-1046 or email Diane at [email protected].

Indian Valley Museum 2017 visitors at a glance

Guest book signatures: 1,108 visitors signed in for 2017.

No. of museum days open to the public: 52 days

No. of museum hours open to the public: 180 hours.

Other countries: Australia, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Spain, The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

Other states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, New Mexico, New York State, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Washington State.

Local Towns and Named Areas: Belden, Chester, Clio, Clear Creek, Crescent Mills, Cromberg, Genesee,  Graeagle, Greenhorn Ranch, Greenville, Hamilton Branch, Indian Valley, Janesville, Lake Almanor, Loyalton, Meadow Valley, Milford, Portola, Prattville, Quincy, Susanville, Taylorsville, Twain and Westwood.

Other California cities and towns: 108 in northern and southern California, from Yreka to San Diego.

Four community and museum special events:  251 visitors. June 17, Pioneer Day (49); July 4, Cowboy Breakfast (98); Oct. 7, Fall Festival (45); and Nov. 25, Taylorsville Lights Parade (59).

Nine group and school tours:  164 students and adults. March 22, Chester Special Needs Class (5); April 7, Plumas Charter School (10); June 6, Plumas Charter School (13); July 28, Lassen Land & Trails Nature Camp (18); Aug. 4, Lassen Land & Trails Trust Nature Camp (13); Sept. 22, Indian Valley Elementary (18); Sept. 26, Mountain Quail Model A Club (14); Nov. 2, Plumas Charter School (47); and Nov. 6, Plumas Charter School (26).