The Central Sierra Historical Society and Museum, Inc. is a 501 (c)(3) public benefit corporation and oversees the Museum of the Central Sierra and programs like The Central Sierra Resiliency Fund and The Forest Without Trees.

Our Mission Statement

The Mission of the Central Sierra Historical Society & Museum, Inc. (CSHS) is to provide cultural and educational experiences to deepen the understanding of the human and natural history of the central Sierra region. The CSHS is a museum without walls inspiring future generations to nurture a healthy and resilient forest and community.


Our Story

Founded in 1991, but its roots date back to the early 1980’s, when a group of individuals in the Central Sierra recognized the need for an organized effort to preserve the fast-disappearing history of the area.
In addition to the museum building, CSHS is actively preserving local historical treasures, such as a 1902 Dolbeer Steam Donkey, a 1912 caboose from the SJ&E Railroad, and a 1920 Mack Truck, as well as collecting the oral histories of area pioneers. The Sierra Voices series of lectures, field trips, and social events have helped to build educational programs. There is a demonstration-only powerhouse on the grounds that was dedicated in 2013. This is the only running powerhouse in a museum setting anywhere in the world. The gift shop at the museum provides adults’ and children’s’ books on California history, Native American culture, pioneer lives, natural history, wildlife, environmental issues facing the West, and recreational activities in the Sierra.

Chair:  John R Mount

Augusto Altamura                          Steve McDonald

Robert Berry, Jr                                 Steve Magarian

Dr John Boogaert                            James Palmer

Dr Joseph I Castro                           Peter Van Vleet

William Chandler                            A Emory Wishon III

Hon Debra Kazanjian                     O James Woodward III

James M Krueger


The Museum

The Internal Revenue Service has issued the Society a final determination letter of our foundation status under section 509(a) of the Code. The IRS has determined that we are a publicly supported organization described in section 509(a) (1) and 170 (b)(1)(a)(vi). Accordingly, we are treated as a publicly supported organization and not as a private foundation. Donors and contributors may rely on this determination unless the IRS publishes notice to the contrary. Donors may deduct contributions to the Society as provided in section 170 of the code. The Society is not engaged in rendering legal or tax advisory service, For specific advice concerning your tax deductions should consult your attorney or tax professional.