Scavenger hunt tests knowledge of local history

Visitors to the Sacramento Valley Museum last Saturday spent more than an expected amount of time looking at its many exhibits.

Specifically, they were looking for more than 40 items during the museum’s first Scavenger Hunt and Ice Cream Social.

“We thought it would be a fun family activity to do,” said Tammi Smith, who along with husband Patrick and son Kenny, looked for items like a 19th century butter churn, a poster from a 1947 play, lace up shoes, and a World War I helmet. “It was a lot harder than I thought it would be.”

The Scavenger Hunt and Ice Cream Social was the first of three events scheduled this fall to raise money to keep the museum going and inspire a new generation of patrons and donors.

“I’m ashamed to say I’ve never been to the museum before, except for a play, and I’ve lived here since 1991,” Smith said. “I’m really glad we came to this. It was a lot of fun, and there is so much more here than I realized.”

The Manor family, of Colusa, also hadn’t been in the museum in many years, and saw the event as a way to reintroduce themselves to its many treasures.

“I really like history, so I was the one that said we really needed to do this,” said Shannen Manor, 14, an eighth grader at Egling Middle School.

Participants – some who came from as far away as San Francisco – searched the auditorium for a portrait of the town’s founder, W.H. Williams; they hunted for animal pelts, a chewing tobacco tin, and a potato masher in the General Store, as well as an antique stereoscope in the parlor. They looked for hatpins, horseshoes and hand pumps.

“My favorite thing was the old abandoned safe,” said Kenny Smith, 7, referring to the original safe from the Maxwell Drug Store, which J.F. Fouch purchased around 1903.

Sacramento Valley Museum curator James Pearson said the activities at the museum helps to preserve local history and raise awareness about the museum, housed in the old Williams High School, which graduated the classes of 1911 through 1956.

The next event is the Bottle Show, which will be held Oct. 5-6, inside the Old Gym. The event currently has about 24 vendors and more are welcome, Pearson said.
The annual Murder Mystery Dinner will be held on Oct. 27.

For more information about these events, contact the museum at 473-2978. To be a vendor at the Bottle Show, contact Slim or Christy Edwards at 473-2502 or closethegatefenceco@yahoo.com. ■