While waiting for some shops to open in Sonora, California, we happened across the Tuolumne County Museum. It is located in the old jail and there were many exhibits of the history of law and order in Sonorma, during the Gold Rush. It is a beautiful brick building. It is just off the main street of Sonora, at 158 West Bradford Avenue.
We were greeted by a wonderful lady who told us the high points of the museum, and some interesting stories of the folks that were housed in the jail. There was no cost, but one could make a donation. Group Tours are by Arrangement
The Tuolumne County Museum was built in 1857 as the county jail, replacing an old oak tree with a chain and a log cabin during the wild days of the Gold Rush.
Rebuilt in 1866 after a fatal fire it was in use until 1960. The fire was set in his cell by Tom Horn an local misfit who thought if he set the fire they would take all the prisoners out of their cells, but the heat was so intense it fused the metal door shut. He was the only fatality. You can tour the two cell blocks, women and juveniles were incarcerated separately from the men.
The Pioneer Gun Collection is extensive and displayed well. I enjoyed the display of gold nuggets also. A wonderful slice of history.
There is a gift shop and very clean restrooms. There is a beautiful courtyard that is used for parties and events. Lots and lots of photo opportunities.