The Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum: Illuminating The Past, Present And Future Of The Mount Shasta Area

Looking for a refreshing getaway during the hot days of summer? Check out the Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum, where you can bring the entire family to explore, learn and play – all for a suggested donation of just $1 each.

This charming museum offers 4,000 square feet of indoor space filled with child-friendly exhibits, plus plenty of outdoor space with picnic area, nature trail and neighboring fish hatchery. Jean Nels, executive director of the museum, explains, “Every room has something for both children and adults, so children can entertain themselves while parents also find things of interest.” Visitors are encouraged to interact with the exhibits; using eyes, ears and hands to explore and enrich their museum experience.

Since 1983, the museum has celebrated the social, cultural and natural history of the area. It is entirely volunteer-operated, with a dedicated team of 30 volunteers who collectively give more than 10,000 hours a year to ensure this local treasure can be enjoyed by all.

Visitors will discover a range of exhibits:

  • Native American Basketry
  • The Mountaineering Wall
  • History of the Community
  • Lulu Belle – the Model T Fire Engine
  • The Model Train Layout
  • Railroading ‘Round the Mountain
  • Lenticulars – The Spectacular Clouds of Mount Shasta
  • Volcano: Mount Shasta – Inside and Out.

Topping the list of favorites for children are the fire engine and train exhibits. Offering a number of hands-on, interactive activities, visitors can enjoy many, such as running a model train around the track, watching the lightning storm flash, and listening to the cows moo. The can put on an engineer’s cap, flip the levers and adjust the handles on the control panel from an authentic 1960s diesel locomotive, looking out the windows and see video of the train’s journey from Dunsmuir Depot to Black Butte Station. Moving to the fire engine, visitors can dress up in firefighter clothing, including pieces from an authentic 1950s uniform, then climb aboard a vintage fire truck named Lulu Belle (now more than 100 years old). Ring the bell, move the steering wheel and turning the engine crank – since interaction is encouraged at this museum.

The most recent addition, “Volcano: Mount Shasta – Inside and Out,” was just introduced in March. According to Nels, this is the museum’s most ambitious exhibit to date and will be installed in stages over the next three years. The exhibit showcases Mount Shasta’s geologic history. Features include a vibrant wall mural, a touch-screen where visitors can choose what to learn, lava rock specimens, and eye-popping video filmed from a helicopter’s flight around the mountain.

The Event Room showcases special displays which rotate every four to eight weeks. Opening May 31 and running through July 30, the Shasta Lilies Quilting Guild will display quilts featuring the beauty of Mount Shasta. From August 4-13, the room will host the Museum’s Annual Yard Sale. Visitors are encouraged to attend this major fundraising event, “to support our museum and get some good deals, too!”

After exploring the indoor exhibits, visitors can step outside to feed the hungry fish at the fish hatchery (a handful of fish food is available for just 25 cents). Watch the trout as they come up to the water’s surface to eat. Cap off your adventure with an outdoor picnic on the grassy lawn, or walk the nature trail that meanders through the museum grounds.

Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum
1 N. Old Stage Rd., Mt. Shasta
(530) 926-5508
http://www.mtshastamuseum.com

Admission: $1 donation is suggested

Summer Hours:
Memorial Day to Labor Day: Daily, 10am – 4pm

Labor Day to September 30: Daily, 1-4pm

Fish Hatchery: Daily, 8am – Sundown

Victoria Tyra
About Victoria Tyra

Author Victoria Tyra is a Certified Barton Reading Tutor with an office in Redding, CA. She specializes in teaching reading and spelling to school-aged children with her golden retriever, Ella.

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