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Bishop Visitor's Center

Museums

Museums

Bishop Visitors Center

Museums

Laws Railroad Museum

In the 1880’s the Carson and Colorado Railroad Company built a railroad from Mound House, Nevada to Keeler, California. One of its stops was Laws. In 1961 the railroad ceased operation. Of the many buildings that had sprung up around the railroad, only the depot, agent’s house, oil and water tanks, and the turntable survived. Today those artifacts stand with other buildings and exhibits on the grounds of this 11-acre museum. Open 10 am to 4 p.m. No admission fee. From Bishop, take Highway 6 north for 4.5 miles. Turn Right onto Silver Canyon Road and Laws Railroad Museum is on the right.

Manzanar National Historic Site

Manzanar National Historic Site was in the Owens Valley about 45 miles south of Bishop. Located for the most part on the west side of U.S. Highway 395, between the towns of Lone Pine and Independence. The central portion of the relocation center site is now a National Historic Site administered by the National Park Service. Outlying portions of the relocation center are on city of Los Angeles land administered by the Department of Water and Power and public land administered by the Bureau of Land Management.

10,000 Japanese Immigrants

More than 10,000 Japanese immigrants were interned at Manzanar during the 1940s after Japan bombed Pearl Harbor bringing America into World War II. Manzanar is now preserved as a National Historic Site.

Learn More

Learn more about it at their official site: www.nps.gov/manz.

The Manzanar Relocation Center, established as the Owens Valley Reception Center, was first run by the U.S. Army’s Wartime Civilian Control Administration (WCCA). It later became the first relocation center to be operated by the War Relocation Authority (WRA). The center was located at the former farm and orchard community of Manzanar. Founded in 1910, the town was abandoned when the city of Los Angeles purchased the land in the late 1920s for its water rights. The Los Angeles aqueduct, which carries Owens Valley water to Los Angeles, is a mile east of Manzanar.

> This blog post gives more history of Manzanar, as well as some other points of interest in the area.

The Paiute-Shoshone Cultural Center Museum

Paiute-Shoshone Cultural Center Museum provides a variety of artifact exhibits that describe how the area’s first peoples survived and thrived locally. Their exhibits provide physical representations of dwellings, tools including manos and metates as well as clothing including a rabbit skin coat. Pinyon nuts are available at one exhibit for guests to grind on granite rock as Native Americans once did. The Center also hosts an annual Pow Wow and Tatswano Gathering of native crafts, food booths, live music, cultural performances, hand games and more. This family friendly event is enjoyed by all.

Operated by the Bishop Paiute Tribe, this Cultural Center Museum is designed to capture the spirit and culture of the people. The focus of this museum is to teach visitors the culture and history of the Paiute and Shoshone Indians who lived and still reside in the Owens Valley. Be sure to stop by the gift shop where local artisans display and sell artwork and jewelry.


Coyote Teeth Dentures at the Eastern California Museum

Eastern California Museum

The Eastern California Museum has a collection of history, geology, botany, mineralogy and Indian anthropology which includes one of the largest collections of Owens Valley Paiute-Shoshone basketry in the nation. Special exhibits are also featured such as an exhibit about Norman Clyde.

Museum Of Western Film History

Showcasing memorabilia from over 650 movies filmed in the area, the Museum of Western Film History offers a visual treat down memory lane. Classic Western Film icons from John Wayne to the Lone Ranger came to Lone Pine’s Alabama Hills to film their movies, and the Alabama Hills and the Sierra Nevada were ubiquitous western film backdrops.

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