into a single room at the end of a strip mall, The Ridge Route
Communities Museum & Historical Society might just get overlooked
by most people.
number of artifacts, photos and information per square foot, this
little spot in Frazier Park, at the corner of Lockwood Valley
and Cuddy Valley roads behind the Mini Mart, gives visitors a
full-museum experience in a pint-sized place.
Run by the
Ridge Route Communities Museum & Historical Society members, the
museum contains a variety of objects belonging to early pioneers,
as well as a wealth of historic photographs of the area, including
the Ridge Route, at no cost to visitors.
As the eye
wanders from floor to ceiling you're likely to see bear traps,
varieties of barbed wire, antiquated pot scrubbers, Indian artifacts,
brightly colored rugs designed and hand-hooked by Florence Cuddy,
a member of one the first families to settle in the area, and
a corn cob dryer that looks like anything but.
crowded," says Elaine Richer, a RRCMH volunteer at the museum.
"In the future, we'd like to expand, but we don't have any plans
" The RRCMH
was established in 1995, during the centennial celebration of
Lebec. The membership roster has grown from 68 to 320. The RRCMH's
mission is to collect and preserve the history of the mountain
area north of Castaic and south of Bakersfield along the historic
the old hotels and gas stations along the route cover the walls
of the museum. Black-and-white and colorized images show not only
the way it was, but the way engineers and architects imagined
it would look when completed.
done by society members covers a variety of locations, including
Frazier Park, Lake of the Woods, Lockwood Valley, Neenach, Gorman,
Quail Lake, Fort Tejon, Lebec, Ozena and Camp Schiedeck.
also sells a number of different publications. One in particular,
"Chronology for the Greater Frazier Mountain Area," by Bonnie
Ketterl Kane, covers the territory from 1,000 B.C. to the present.
contains fascinating little tidbits of information. The town of
Neenach was named after the Danish community of Neena, Wis., where
some of the settlers lived before coming to California.
the lost Los Padres gold mine. At least two different prospectors
stumbled into civilization claiming to have found the mine Ñ then
promptly died before revealing its location.
started studying the region years ago, said Richer. Ketterl Kane
collected artifacts and photographs, along with the stories from
surviving members of the pioneering families.
It may be
small, but for anyone interested in history, or for students writing
about the area, this Mighty Mouse of a museum is a must.
hours are noon to 4 p.m., Thursday through Sunday.
The museum has a new address which is 3515 Park Dr. Frazier Park. From I-5, take the Frazier Park exit and head west on Frazier Mountain Park Rd. until you reach a 4-way stop with a flashing red signal (approximately 4 miles). Turn left and proceed to the end of the street. Turn left. The museum is directly behind the Post Office.
information on the museum, call 245-7747.