Perris Valley Historical Museum

Perris Valley Historical Museum sealWhen people think of museums, art museums most often come to mind—solemn places where visitors stand in silence contemplating neat rows of paintings. The exploratory, hands-on science center, the contextualized ethnographic collection (think dioramas), and the storytelling of history museums seem worlds away. But all museums have a history to tell. 

The Perris Valley Historical & Museum Association gathers, protects and preserves the history of the Perris Valley through archival documents, artifacts, cultural and historic art and natural science.

PERRIS VALLEY HISTORICAL MUSEUM

Perris Valley Historical MuseumThe Perris Valley Historical Society is located in the old Santa Fe depot in downtown Perris. Located in downtown Perris at the historic Santa Fe Depot, built-in 1892 the Perris Valley Historical Museum is housed in one of the nation’s few remaining railway depots with architectural and historical importance. To honor this, the National Register of Historic Places listed the building in 1994.

The exhibits focus on the history of early Perris. This includes the Luiseño Indians and artifacts demonstrating their culture and how they lived. Other artifacts delve into the early mining history of the Perris Valley, which most prominently features the Good Hope mine. A gold producing mine, Good Hope was responsible for making and breaking the fortunes of many early Perris settlers.

Perris Valley Museum in the early 1900s.Another aspect of Perris’ history is farming. Many of Perris’ settlers came to the community on the advice of their physicians for the purposes of improving their health with the dry air. Farming became a means of survival for many of these settlers, starting with grain crops in the 1880s. Ultimately, Perris’ bread and butter crop become potatoes in the 1940s. White rose potatoes, which were in high demand, shipped from the rail depot the museum now calls home.

“The city of Perris is one of the most historic cities in Riverside County in my opinion,” said Katie Keyes, 2nd Vice-President of the museum and life-long resident of the city. “Perris has a lot more history than people realize. We want the community to discover it, as well as the meet strong people who built the city.”

The museum employs no staff, instead of depending on volunteers to run all aspects of the programming and maintain the collection. 

“Our group of volunteers are the most dedicated and hardworking people I have ever worked with,” said Keyes. “We all have the passion to make the museum as successful as it can be and to serve and educate our community about the rich history of Perris Valley.”

The Community Foundation was first introduced to the organization when the museum applied for and received, a grant to purchase basic necessities for running the museum. Since then, the museum has built an agency endowment fund that is managed by The Community Foundation to support the organization in perpetuity. The fund is meant to ensure that the surprisingly vibrant history of the Perris Valley continues to be documented and shared. Read more here

There is no doubt that the primary role of museums is to engage and educate the community.  Museum exhibits inspire interest in an area of study, item, time period, or an idea– but there’s more going on in museums in regard to education than one might think. Schools rely heavily on museums to enhance their curriculum.

Downtown Perris’ historic Santa Fe Depot, built-in 1892 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, is home to the Perris Valley Historical Museum.

The museum’s exhibits focus on the history of early Perris. This includes the Luiseño Indians and artifacts demonstrating their culture and how they lived. Other displays delve into the early mining history of the Perris Valley and the Good Hope mine. A gold-producing mine, Good Hope was responsible for making and breaking the fortunes of many early settlers.

Another aspect of Perris history in farming. Many settlers arrived after doctors told them the dry air would improve their health. Farming became a means of survival for many of those settlers, starting with grain crops in the 1880s. Ultimately, Perris’ main crop became potatoes in the 1940s. White rose potatoes, which were in high demand, shipped from the rail depot that houses the museum.

“The city of Perris is one of the most historic cities in Riverside County, in my opinion,” said Katie Keyes, second vice president of the museum and a lifelong resident of the city. “Perris has a lot more history than people realize.”

The museum has no staff, so it depends on volunteers to run all aspects of the programming and maintain the collection.

“Our group of volunteers are the most dedicated and hardworking people I have ever worked with,” Keyes said. “We all have the passion to make the museum as successful as it can be and to serve and educate our community about the rich history of Perris Valley.”

The museum has an endowment fund managed by The Community Foundation. The fund is meant to ensure that the history of the Perris Valley continues to be documented and shared.

All proceeds from an Oct.15 event, Depot After Dark, will go to the museum.

Attendees can meet local artists, view and buy their work and enjoy live music. Admission is $10. Read more

Museums are a safe place to explore other points of view, cultures, and histories. Museums are safe and informal learning platforms, uniquely equipped to encourage visitors to imagine, explore, and experience our rich human heritage and our natural world firsthand. Museums can be a fun and creative way to engage our empathy muscles and to inspire more empathy in our children, increasing our circle of caring beyond ourselves

Visit these lesser-known cultural and historical gems in Perris

Paris, France is known for food, fashion, culture, and the arts.

Perris, California is known for parachutes, drop zones and jump runs.

But make no mistake, while famous for skydiving, Perris is a community rich with history stretching back to 1889 when the Good Hope gold mine was a top producer in Southern California; and farther back still, when the valley was home to the Apapatcem Clan and their descendants, the Cahuilla people.

We’ve rounded up historical and cultural gems in and around Perris that are sure to please locals and visitors alike. (Even folks from Paris, France)

Perris Depot and Perris Valley Historical Museum

Opened in 1892 to serve the Santa Fe Railway, the Perris Depot is included in the Library of Congress’ Historic American Buildings Survey and is notable for its High Queen Anne-style architecture and critical role in the economic and social development of Perris. Though largely unchanged from its original design, the Depot was restored in 2007-08.

In 2007, the Perris Valley Historical & Museum Association (operating today as the Perris Valley Historical Museum) signed the title of the building over to the City of Perris in exchange for a 99-year lease. The museum gathers, protects and preserves the history of Perris Valley through archival documents, artifacts, cultural and historic art and natural science. Read the full article here

Many museums are nonprofit entities with missions to educate and inspire audiences – and that means that they need the support of visitors, members, and donors in order to keep on fulfilling those missions. Sadly, many people don’t even know that museums are nonprofit organizations! Often, a membership pays itself off in as few as three annual visits to a museum, and you can come back and visit the museum, again and again, all year round.  If you like a cultural organization and you want to keep it around for decades to come (so that you may bring your great-grandchildren), make a donation or fill out that membership card with pride! In many ways, supporting a museum through visitation or – even better – through membership or philanthropic support – is a way of strengthening communities and giving back so that the museum can create impactful programs that fulfill its mission.

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By |2019-08-11T09:35:13-08:00August 11th, 2019|Perris Places of Family Interest|0 Comments

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