January 17, 2019 - The Northern Mariposa County History Center, located in the heart of Coulterville at the intersection of Highway 49 and 132, is about to fling open its doors once again. The Gala Reopening celebration and fundraiser takes place on Saturday, February 2nd, with the museum reopening to the public the following Thursday, February 7th.
Travel Through Time on Highway 49!
Just one hundred years ago Highway 49 did not exist other than as a kernel of an idea in the minds of a few farsighted business people. These folks, headed up by Archie Stevenot, who in 1961 was designated “Mr. Mother Lode” by resolution of the State Legislature, gathered together and officially created the Mother Lode Highway Association in 1919. Two years of lobbying later, the first segment of Highway 49 was added to the master plan for the California Highway System, linking Auburn to Sonora and completed in stages over the next several years. Ten years later, at a meeting held here in Coulterville, efforts to build a link south down to Mariposa began, with that segment completed in 1933. The extension of the southern terminus to Oakhurst took another 20 years; and another five to extend the northern terminus to Vinton, bringing the highway’s total length to 310 miles.
Scheduled for Saturday, February 2nd, from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., this fundraising event will boast a silent auction, a live auction of a few select items, music and some great historic photos for sale. As in past years, there will be a high tea and a terrific assortment of wine, as well as both sweet and savory hors d’oeuvres. The monies raised will kick-off this year’s efforts to raise the remaining $32,000 of the $50,000 Phase 1 goal of the long-term project aimed at restoring and enhancing the Frank Harry Bruschi Barrett and Ila Goss Barrett building and property donated to the NMCHC in 2016. This first phase covers the major renovations needed to open the existing building to the public.
New and redesigned displays will be unveiled at the gala including a refurbished parlor, a redesigned Asian exhibit, a new wildlife exhibit and changes to the Native American exhibit. The Pioneer Family exhibit will feature the Barrett family wing renovation project. And, in keeping with the theme of the Gala, there will be a special exhibit featuring the history of the development of Highway 49.
Tickets are $20 each; you can pick some up at the Coulterville Visitor Center, which is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. or call and leave your name and address on the NMCHC phone, (209) 878-3015.
The museum reopens to the public on Thursday, February 7th, with the same schedule as in 2018: Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., plus additional special holidays.Be sure and check out what’s happening at the museum on the “Northern Mariposa County History Center” Facebook page.