Antelope Valley Indian Museum – Lancaster, California - Atlas Obscura

Antelope Valley Indian Museum

Built by one man in the '20s, this site is now a museum representing the Great Basin cultures. 


A California state park on Antelope Valley’s rural eastside in northern Los Angeles County, the Antelope Valley Indian Museum State Historic Park represents Great Basin Native American cultures.

The museum’s collection was built by the personal archives of H. Arden Edwards, which built the place himself in 1928, and the place’s subsequent owner. Anthropology student Grace Oliver also contributed to the museum’s collections, which represent American Indian groups, both aboriginal and contemporary. Among the exhibits is a popular “touch table” where visitors can experience what it was like to grind and process food at the time. There are also exhibits that demonstrate how Native American groups started fires using sticks.

Edwards built the chalet-style museum over a rock formation of Piute Butte in the Mojave Desert. At the time of its construction, the museum was not yet a museum, just a family home. Californis purchased the property in 1979 and today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Visitors to Edwards one-time home can experience a self-guided nature trail and an outdoor picnic area after they’ve finished with the indoor exhibits. From time to time, guest Native American groups perform traditional dances and other programs.

Know Before You Go

The museum is located 19 miles east of the Antelope Valley Freeway (State Route 14), at 15701 East Avenue M, in Northeast Los Angeles County. Reservations are required for weekdays, and it's open to the public Sunday-Saturday.

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April 11, 2011

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