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Hitch wagon

The museum’s new hitch wagon

1944 Riffians Football Team

1944 Riffians Football Team

Old adding machine

Old adding machine

Antique wrenches

Lots of wrenching going on

Mojave Green rattlesnake

The only way to get a picture of a Mojave Green


In the early 1960s archaeologists, anthropologists and historians (both amateur and professional) were studying, locating and collecting many types and ages of artifacts, and several people were researching and writing about the history of the Mojave Desert. Many of these people were friends of each other and members of the San Bernardino County Museum.

The Barstow Women’s Club started this Museum Association by building an Historic Monument and installing it at the corner of Virginia Way and Barstow Road, the future location of our current Museum. They also installed the native rock walls and walks that are still a main part of our front yard.

In 1966 several interested local people contacted the San Bernardino County Museum in Redlands and with their approval we built a 20 foot by 30 foot building and became the Mojave River Valley Museum Chapter of the San Bernardino County Museum Association.

The Barstow Kiwanis Club, with the help of the Optimist and the Rotary Clubs, organized our first Annual Barbeque to raise money for the building. The Rainbow Girls and other local youth groups sold small paper bricks for $1.00 each to pay for a real brick and a bit of cement for construction.

Since then we have separated from the San Bernardino County Museum Association and are independent and self-supporting, staffed entirely by volunteers. We have expanded our building to more than 4,000 square feet of museum, including a Gift Shop and a Book Store that carries nearly 500 titles.

We are open from 11 am to 4 pm seven days a week; closing only for major Holidays, and admission is always free.


Our general meetings are at 7:00 pm on the last Wednesday of each month and are located at the museum. Please note that there are no meetings in July, August, November, and December. The Meetings feature guest speakers who cover a broad range of subjects related to our desert heritage. We invite you to join us!