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Oroville, California
"City of Gold"



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PARKS AND TREES DEPARTMENT
1735 Montgomery Street, Oroville, CA. 95965
Phone (530) 538-2415
Fax (530) 538-2426
Charles Miller, Director of Parks and Trees


Butte County Pioneer
Memorial Museum

 

 Downtown Oroville, looking east on Montgomery Street, after the flood of 1907.



Inspired by her father's passion for history, Florence Danforth Boyle had a lifelong dream to create a museum dedicated to preserving the memories of the Pioneers who first settled in California and in particular, the Butte County area. Florence Boyle made her dream a reality with the aid of the local members of the Native Sons and Native Daughters of the Golden West in 1932.


 

 On the Feather River July 4th 1909



The original six hundred square foot building was erected on the sight of Oroville's first sawmill. Designed to represent a pioneer's cabin, the small building was constructed from hand made brick and rough sewn timbers. The structure was embellished with historical elements. The face of the building was covered with rock quarried from the winter quarters of the Toto tribe. The entry was paved with stones from the early downtown
sidewalks. The flag pole was salvaged from Oroville's first Department of Motor Vehicles office.


 

 Construction of the bridge over the Feather River, between Oroville and Thermalito headed west, after the flood of 1907.



The Butte County Pioneer Memorial Museum was dedicated on May 12, 1932. Mayor Rolph of San Francisco, who later became Governor of California, was among the officials attending the ceremony.


 

 Northern Electric Railway



The museum grew from its humble beginnings to an impressive collection of artifacts and memorabilia dating from the Gold Rush era to the early part of the Twentieth Century. It wasn't long before the original building could no longer contain the constantly expanding collection. After many years of fund raising and generous donations by Jess and Cornelia Lott Sank, Minnie Braseltion Fahey, and Fred T. Huntington, a new wing was added in 1961. The collection continued to grow to include, home furnishings, apparel, children's toys, firearms, needle work, quilts, photographs, mining implements, musical instruments, sewing machines, tools, as well as
Native American and Chinese artifacts.


 

 Care free, playful youth



The museum leadership passed from Florence Boyle to her daughter Betty Boyle Davis. Betty Davis and the Native Sons and Daughters of the Golden West continued to diligently run the museum. The Pioneer Museum was rededicated in celebration of its 50th anniversary in May, 1982.

In March, 1999, the museum was deeded over to the City of Oroville and is now operated by the Department of Parks and Trees.

 

 Las Plumas Power House, on the Feather River, now under lake Oroville.




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