The ground surface is so nearly level that you have no sense of contour. . . . It is not a former lake, although in large part it is a former swamp. Geology characteristically repeats itself around the world and down through time, but---with the possible exceptions of the Chilean Longitudinal Valley and the Dalbandin Trough in Pakistan---the Great Central Valley of California has no counterpart on this planet.

~ John McPhee, Assembling California

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The Collections

Mono Indian, photograph taken in 1896

From the imposing stature of a twelve-foot redwood statue to a sturdy wooden butter bowl and paddle.  From a delicate baby’s christening gown to the symmetrical beauty of a Mono Indian basket.  Objects help us tell people’s stories.

That’s why the Historical Society has been collecting and preserving history for over nine decades – and sharing these objects through exhibits that explore our region’s social, cultural, civic and economic history.

The Society’s diverse collections include:

  • American Indian Basketry
  • Quilts and Textiles
  • Costumes
  • Furniture
  • Dolls and Toys
  • Musical Instruments
  • Decorative Arts and Paintings
  • Household Tools and Equipment
  • Agricultural Implements
  • Subject Collections
  • The Historic Fresno County Court House Collection , including the Cupola
  • The Joss House Altar from the Sam Yup Association in Fresno’s Chinatown


We invite you to get in touch with us to talk about making a donation to either the artifact or archival collections.  Contact the Society Office (559.441.0862) or email

Last Updated Saturday, August 18, 2018 - 03:48 PM.