Imperial, CA 92251
The Imperial County Historical Society was organized as the Imperial Valley Pioneers Society in 1928 to preserve the life histories of early settlers. While its name has since changed, its ongoing mission is still to preserve the unique development of the irrigated desert and the people who developed the area's modern history.
Before building the present museum at Pioneers Park, adjacent to the Imperial Valley College campus, the Society maintained its collections in a 3,000 square foot museum at the county fairgrounds. The facility was, from the beginning, inadequate to house its collections, making it necessary to store a majority of its records and artifacts in two railroad cars and private homes. Today, the Society's entire collection of archives, documents, newspapers, personal letters, period furniture, photographs, clothing and sundry equipment used by early settlers, are all housed at the Pioneers Museum at Pioneers Park.
This new facility entirely paid for by Valley citizens who have dug deep into their pockets to keep history alive for future generations is one of its kind in the country. The museum houses galleries honoring the different ethnic communities and their history of settlement in the Imperial Valley. It also has a place of honor for all the local young men and women who have served in this country's armed forces from the Civil War to Desert Storm. The Veterans Gallery includes artifacts and uniforms from the different wars and a memorial outside to honor those who paid with their lives.
Among the ethnic galleries at the Museum you will find the Korean Gallery with its "Turtle Ship" made by Admiral Lee Soon Shim in 1592 and the Swiss Gallery with its musical instruments played by Swiss immigrants at their local gatherings and parties. Other galleries in the Museum depict the everyday life of early immigrants from around the world and their unique contributions to this harsh and beautiful land.
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