The Eastern California Museum was founded in 1928, and has been operated
by the County of Inyo since 1968. The mission of the Museum is to
collect, preserve, and interpret objects and information related to the
cultural and natural history of Inyo County and the Eastern Sierra, from
Death Valley to Mono Lake. The Museum collection is held in public
trust, and a computerized database with over 15,550 records is used to
manage the Museum's extensive collections. In addition to those
artifacts, the Museum also houses about 27,000 historic photographs of
the Eastern Sierra region, the majority of which date from the late
1800s through the 1950s. The Museum is also an outstanding resource for
researchers, and typically handles about 200 requests for information or
photo reprints per year.
Artifacts and information are interpreted for the public through the Museum's permanent exhibits and an annual rotating, special exhibit from the collection. The Museum also maintains archives that make up the History Files, and the Family Files, both of which contain newspaper clippings, original documents, and other information about the towns, people, and subjects that have played a role in the history of Inyo County and the Eastern Sierra. The Frank M. Parcher Research Library is another excellent source of information for researchers and the general public. The Museum also presents educational programs, special events, and lectures and talks that are free and open to the public. In addition to the main Museum buildings at the Museum's Independence campus, the Eastern California Museum also maintains the historic Commander's House and Edwards House in Independence, and the Mary DeDecker Native Plant Garden on the Museum grounds. The Eastern Californian Museum, located at 155 N. Grant St. in Independence, is open daily and weekends (except major holidays) and admission is free, although donations are appreciated.