Explore the Museum Complex and our Permanent Exhibits
Travel back in time to the late 1800s, when the West was still wild and the Conejo Valley’s wide-open spaces beckoned to pioneers. Step into the parlour of the Stagecoach Inn, where costumed docents will lead you on a guided tour and entertain you with tales of history and legend.
Rooms at the Inn are decorated with antique furnishings and display all the awesome knick knacks that Victorians loved. The elegant dining room is set for dinner and the Innkeepers' rooms upstairs are fitted out just as they would have been in 1876. Many items were donated by the families of original Conejo Valley pioneers.
The Timber School, a replica of the one-room schoolhouse that served the Conejo Valley from 1888, is complete with blackboards, desks, an organ and a woodstove. Come inside and get some "book larnin'." Kids may sit at an antique desk, use a slate, and ring the Timber School bell. Imagine the fun to be had attending class here back in the day (when teachers had a ruler to rap knuckles and gave lashes to rule-breakers!)
Chumash Village, Spanish Adobe, and Newbury Pioneer House
At the Tri-Village exhibit, you can have a look inside dwellings that reflect the three historic eras of occupation and settlement in the Conejo Valley: Chumash, Spanish, and Pioneer. Explore more and you'll also find the Nature Trail and our 300-year-old Sycamore Tree.
Anderson Exhibit Hall
Chumash, Fossils, and Natural History
Downstairs below the Inn is Anderson Hall, with an extensive collection of replicated and archaeological artifacts of the Chumash. Exhibits display tools, intricate baskets, games, and everyday use items, as well as fossils unearthed in the Conejo Valley.
Carriage House and Blacksmith Shop
Mosey over to the Carriage House to see the stagecoaches and learn about Charley Parkhurst, aka “One-eyed Charley,” known as one of the best stagecoach drivers in California (but whose real name was Charlotte). The Blacksmith Shop has a working forge where you may find the smithy at work, pounding hot metal into tools.
Crank Up the Music!
Upstairs in the Inn is the Kilbourne Collection of "Gramophones, Graphophones, Phonographs, Grafonolas, Victrolas, Amberolas, and various other items related to the beginnings of recorded music". Listen to My Merry Oldsmobile played on a hand-cranked Graphophone!
Forget me Knot...
Ornamental Hairwork, Past and Present
In 18th- and 19th-century Europe and America, a lock of hair was a treasured memento, signifying love, affection, and friendship. Jewelry fashioned to hold hair was worn to mourn or commemorate a deceased person, or it could be exchanged between two people as a one- of-a-kind sentimental reminder of a loving relationship. A most unique exhibit upstairs at the Inn, Forget me Knot... invites you to take an up-close and intimate look at this collection of ornamental hairwork.
A Wrinkle in Time
Washing, drying, starching, ironing, mending - caring for our clothes once took two full days of back-breaking labor every week. What motivated women to tackle “the herculean task which all women dread”, even in the most exhausting conditions?