My daughter and I spent part of a chilly afternoon exploring this wonderful little gem of a museum in the middle of downtown Ramona. We were greeted by the 'watch cat', who then accompanied us around the outdoor part of the museum. We checked out the old apiary house, the telegraph room, a wonderful old 'mobile home' (one of the first invented), all kinds of local equipment hanging on the walls and littering the floor in the back of the star attraction- the Woodward House. The equipment runs the gamut of the historical times- from mining materials to old telegraph interchanges, fire fighting equipment, plumbing tools, wrenches, and old lanterns hang from the rafters. The only wish we both had was that the material was better marked- very little had explanation or information on it. There was a docent on the property, and we then were given a whirl-wind tour of the wonderful buildings on site. There are a bunkhouse, a tack house, a jail- just a one cell-, a millinery shop, a one room school house, and the big house. All of the places are actual buildings reconstructed back on these premises as they were when they were brought in- it's like going into a time warp! The docent also took us down into the basement of the main house. It is crammed with all kinds of film equipment, sports memorabilia, and some of the children's games and playthings from turn of the century. The main house is one of a very few French Colonial houses still left standing in the west- and furnished with all the items you would find in the time frame of the house. It has been carefully kept up and in places restored to the period.
We did not have nearly enough time to see and explore everything that this little jewel of a museum had to offer. We will definitely be going back to enjoy more of the local history, plus the wonderful stories that the docent could tell us!
Note that the museum is only open certain times and days, so do check first before making the trip- it is definitely worth the effort if you enjoy history, and have an interest in the gold rush times!