Beyond the river stretches the interminable prairie, where the fields of harvested wheat lie wrapped in slumber; . . . . The light stealing upon the broad shadows, first touches the tops of the prairie wagons. . . . Then, making more and more progress, it shines. . . and at last, in full glory of splendor, brings out the yellow of the cultivated fields and the course brown of the sandy soil.

~ Picturesque America, 1872

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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 Thursday, July 19, 2018 - 08:12 AM.