Last updated: 4/2/2010
Oroville, California
Street Address
1749 Spencer St.
Oroville, CA 95966
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 2195
Oroville, CA 95965
Friday9 AM - 12 PM
Saturday11 AM - 3 PM
Thursday - Friday9 AM - 12 PM
Gift Shop
Special Event Rental
Lucy Sperlin, Director/Curator

The county is rich in history, from pre-gold rush ranchos (Mexican Land Grants), gold mining (panning, hydraulic and dredging), forest industries (lumber and resins), Sacramento Valley wheat, rice, nut, citrus and olive agriculture, cattle raising, plant experiment stations and a cold war missile silo to modern organic farming. Banking, commerce and transportation played large roles as well. Migratory birds of the Pacific Flyway, which diminished during the days of market hunting and drainage of wetlands, have now returned to a new habitat created by the thousands of acres of rice fields.

BCHS is primarily supported by memberships and donations from people and the friends of Butte County, and receives no government funding. Membership in BCHS is open to all.

Our forte is research materials on all aspects of the rich history of our County. The museum reflects interesting aspects of County history from gold mining, construction of Oroville Dam, filming of the movie Robin Hood and the life of Erle Stanley Gardner.


Founded in 1956 collections accumulated until acquisition of Ehmann Home in 1980s and the museum & archives building in the late 1990s. Also acquired were the old Bangor Church and the Oregon City School, both 19th century buildings.

Artifact Collections

Butte County history: mining, agriculture, household, business.

Research Collections

Photos, documentary artifacts, business & organizational records, library.

Educational Programs

Docent tours, monthly talks; Ishi Gathering & Seminar in May; field trips several times a year.


Access: General Public, Scholars, Members

Appointment required: No


Occasional publications; Index for 50 years of Diggin's.

  • 1=Diggin's (quarterly)
  • 2=Slicken's (monthly newsletter)
  • Services

    Gift Shop

    Special Event Rental

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    Tuesday, September 6 - Friday, September 9, 2022 — Portland, Oregon
    WMA 2022 Annual Meeting in partnership with the Oregon Museums Association
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    Wednesday, September 14 - Friday, September 16, 2022 — Enid, Oklahoma
    2022 Oklahoma Museum Conference
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    Wednesday, September 14 - Saturday, September 17, 2022 — Buffalo, New York
    American Association for State and Local History 2022 On-site and Virual Conferences
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    Thursday, October 6 - Sunday, October 9, 2022 — Portland, Oregon
    2022 Oregon Annual Conference, co-hosted with Western Museums Association
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    Monday, October 24 - Wednesday, October 26, 2022 — Rogers, Arkansas
    SouthEastern Museum Conference 2022 ANNUAL MEETING
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    Tuesday, October 25 - Thursday, October 27, 2022 — Temecula, California
    2022 International Conference of Indigenous Archives, Libraries, and Museums
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    Friday, June 23 - Thursday, June 29, 2023 — ,
    2023 American Library Association Annual Conference & Exhibition in Chicago