Discover the Roots of California’s Heartland

The San Joaquin County Historical Museum reveals the rich heritage of the region, from the Miwok and Yokuts Indians through Charles Weber (founder of Stockton and first farmer in the area) and the development of modern agriculture. The Museum has eight exhibit buildings and four historic buildings, including the 1848 Weber house and the 1866 Calaveras School. Exhibits include room dioramas of Weber family furnishings, a children’s activity area, and large displays of hand tools and historic agricultural equipment. The 18-acre grounds include the Sunshine Trail living exhibition of native habitats and the Delta Water Path. A Critter Corral of farm animals can be enjoyed weekends from May through August.

Special Exhibitions

Washington Street: The Heart and Soul of Stockton Chinatown
Beginning on Sunday, January 29, 2017, from 12-4 pm, visitors to the museum will be able to relive Stockton Chinatown when it was a colorful, bustling business district in the area now traversed by the Crosstown Freeway that links Highway 99 and Interstate 5. "Washington Street: The Heart and Soul of Stockton Chinatown" is a special exhibition that will continue through May 28, 2017. The exhibition is a collaborative effort between the museum and the Chinese Benevolent Association of Stockton. Research has included a series of “Show ‘n’ Tell” sessions with members of the Greatest Generation and their descendants. They delved into their memories and dusted off storage boxes, painting a remarkable picture of a time and a culture in Stockton that is in danger of being forgotten. "Washington Street" will chronicle Sam Fow (Cantonese for “third city”) from the early 1900s through redevelopment in the 1970s.

The exhibition Opening Day on January 29 will begin at 12 noon. The museum will come alive with Chinese cultural activity stations, including a costume photo booth for cell phone pictures; local Chinese authors and cooks ready to answer your questions and sign their books; a market display of Chinese cooking ingredients; and chopstick training. Learn about Mah Jongg, Tai Chi, and the Chinese zodiac. The first 200 guests will have the opportunity to purchase a $5 Chinese plate luncheon in the Ledbetter Family Barn. At 2:00 pm, the thunderous beat of the lion dance drums will beckon all visitors to the Erickson Building for the exhibit ribbon-cutting ceremony. After the opening ceremony, until museum closing at 4:00 pm, you may view the exhibits and enjoy tea and home-baked cookies in the Tea Room.

The exhibit is auspicious for three reasons: (1) Chinese New Year (Year of the Rooster) begins the day prior to Opening Day; (2) The last Chinese exhibit at the museum, "Golden Mountain," took place in 1981, also the Year of the Rooster; and (3) The exhibit coincides with the museum’s 50th anniversary year and the beginning of the Chinese Benevolent Association’s Centennial Celebration.

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