No. SLO County History Museums

The Incomparable History of Northern San Luis Obispo County

This area has always been a bit on the edge.

The San Andreas Fault that slices through California runs along the eastern side of San Luis Obispo County. The mountains that divide the county's north from south also separated the large territories of the Chumash and Salinan people in the time before Europeans arrived. The mission in San Miguel was part of a thin line of Spanish and then Mexican civilization on the far northern edge of the vast Hispanic lands in Central and South America. It was at the end of the railfoad line as California rapidly became an island of sophisticated civilization on the edge of the continent, and then the farthest western edge of the United States. Now San Luis Obispo County forms a subtle boundary between the area influenced by Los Angeles and that influenced by San Francisco.

The people who have colonized this edge over the centuries have left a rich history of strength and creativity.

The uniquely blended culture of the area has been held together by rugged pioneers
and ranchers, yet attracted, and still attracts, accomplished people who have become
world famous and could live anywhere they chose.



These museums preserve the history of a unique place and the events, the thoughts, and the treasures of those who lived here.

Special tours may be arranged by contacting the museums directly.

These museums are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and are supported by their members and donations.








1. Camp Roberts Military Museum

Location of Historical Societies and Museums

2. Mission San Miguel

3. Rios-Caledonia Adobe

4. Estrella Warbird Museum

5. Paso Robles Pioneer Museum

6. Carnegie Library (El Paso de Robles Historical Society)

7. Cambria Historical Society

8. Templeton Historical Museum

9. The Colony Museum (Atascadero Historical Society)

10. Santa Margarita Historical Society

11. Cayucos History Museum







Camp Roberts Historical Museum


Camp Roberts Historical Museum

In the Main Museum are exhibits on training at Camp Roberts during WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, and the Gulf Wars. There are exhibits on Corporal Roberts (the Camp's namesake), the early ranches and Salinans, the National Guard, the WAC, the WWII train station and hospital, Camp celebrity trainees, the mess halls and PX, the Soldier Bowl, and more. There is also a reference library, a picnic area with barbeque, and two video viewing areas.

The Main Museum has a large gift shop with books, WWII postcards, posters, DVDs, clothing and many other interesting military-themed items.

The Museum Annex houses a large military vehicle collection as well as many other exhibits, including the Camp stage shows and radio broadcasts, the Camp chapels, a large D-Day exhibit, an Iraqi Republican Guard exhibit, and Red Skelton's barracks area.

Building 114, Camp Roberts, CA 93451
(805) 238-8288
Open Thurs. and Sat. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free

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Mission San Miguel


Mission San Miguel

Mission San Miguel is one of California's historical and cultural treasures. The church's appearance today is much the same as when it was founded in 1797 by Father Fermin Francisco de Lasuen as a spiritual home to the local Salinan people. At one time there were more than 1,000 neophytes living and working at Mission San Miguel.

The Mission suffered extensive earthquake damage in December, 2003, but because of an ongoing fund-raising campaign, several areas of the Mission complex have been restored and reopened, including the church in September of 2009. The pictures and colors you see in the church are the originals that were painted by Indian artisans under the direction of Esteban Munras and are currently being conserved.

The Museum shows artifacts that represent the lives of those who lived in the isolated but lively mission prior to its secularization in 1834.

775 Mission Street, P.O. Box 69, San Miguel, CA 93451
(805) 467-3256
Open daily 10:00a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Rios-Caledonia Adobe


Rios-Caledonia Adobe

This beautiful adobe was once part of Mission San Miguel. Over its 170-year history, it has also been an inn, stage stop, dairy, doctor's office, school, family home and even a mattress factory. It is now a county park where one can picnic under its huge old trees. Even though it sits just off of Hwy. 101, it retains the graceful stateliness of the Mexican Rancho days.

At the south end of Mission Street in San Miguel
P.O. Box 326, San Miguel, CA 93451
(805) 467-3357
Open Fri. - Sun. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free

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Estrella Warbird Museum


Estrella Warbird Museum

The Estrella Warbird Museum memorializes the WWII Estrella Army airfield that is now the Paso Robles Municipal Airport. See vintage aircraft, jeeps, sidearms, fighter jets recently retired from active duty, antique ambulances, bombardier sights to modern missiles, unique personal items carried into combat during the previous century, artifacts of airplanes which made aviation history - even piles of parts destined to end up as pieces of a fully restored vintage aircraft.

Preserving the equipment and the memories of those who came before us while preserving a bit of history - from WWII through Desert Storm and Iraq - the museum is dedicated to the men and women who are serving, who have served, or sacrificed their lives while in the military.

The newly opened WOODLAND FAMILY AUTOMOBILE DISPLAY houses approximately 8,500 square feet of display area featuring a rotating series of automobiles. The display includes NASCAR Sprint, Modified, Super Modified and Midget racecars as well as some unique vintage and antique automobiles.

4251 Dry Creek Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 227-0440
Open Thu. - Sun. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Monday holidays Admission charged

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Paso Robles Pioneer Museum


Paso Robles Pioneer Museum



The Paso Robles Pioneer Museum has large, impressive indoor and outdoor exhibits of wagons, carriages, cars, farm equipment, print shop, sporting-goods store, barbed-wire collection, clothes, furniture, household implements, Paderewski memorabilia, and much more. The grounds house a local one-room schoolhouse, an original El Camino Real bell, and a replica of Paso Robles' first jail.

2010 Riverside Avenue, Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 239-4556
Open Thurs. - Sun. 1 to 4 p.m. Free

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Carnegie Library

El Paso de Robles Area Historical Society

Carnegie Library

Situated in the historic and vibrant downtown city park, this museum is home to the Paso Robles Historical Society and houses an extensive archival collection relating to the area's history. The Paso Robles Historical Society ensures that these historically significant documents are available to the public for research purposes. Unique exhibits celebrating the achievements of individuals, and the events that have shaped not only Paso Robles, but much of California's past are also on display in the museum. The exhibits change periodically. Free programs are offered throughout the year featuring topics of local interest. A gift shop on site offers an excellent selection of books on local and California history as well as cards and gifts; all proceeds benefit the Historical Society. The Carnegies's collections provide a great introduction to the history of the area.

Downtown City Park, P.O. Box 2875, Paso Robles, CA 93447
(805) 238-4996
Open daily except Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Free

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Cambria Historical Society


Cambria Historical Museum

The Cambria Historical Museum is housed in the Guthrie-Bianchini home, one of the oldest houses in Cambria. After being empty for 30 years, the house was purchased by the Cambria Historical Society in 2001 and restored to its former glory. With its heritage gardens and turn-of-the-century decor, the house serves as the centerpiece of the planned East Village Heritage Park. Exhibits of pioneer families and historic events are regularly rotated to provide new insights into the local history.

Burton Drive and Center Street in Cambria's East Village, P.O. Box 906, Cambria, CA 93428
Phone: (805) 927-2891
Open Fri. - Sun. 1 to 4 p.m., Mon. 10 to 1 p.m. Free

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Templeton Historical Museum Society


Templeton Historical Museum Society

The Horstman House has been restored to its 1920s appearance, with each room, including its well-furnished kitchen, looking as though its original occupants had just left for a moment. All of the memorabilia have been donated by local residents whose families used the items, including the 1925 Model T with only 350 original miles, kept in the warehouse out back. Be sure to see the local books for sale.

309 Main Street, P.O. Box 788, Templeton, CA 93465
Phone: (805) 434-0807
Open Fri. - Sun. 1 to 4 p.m. Free

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The Colony Museum

Atascadero Historical Society


The Colony Museum


This authentic 1919 Colony home depicts homes built during the colony period of 1916 to 1924. It now houses a portion of the Society's collection that chronicles Atascadero's growth from Edward Gardner Lewis' original concept, through its days as a Tent City, for those who were moving here from all over the country, to the dissolution of the Colony Corporation in 1924. The Colony House Museum, ideally located adjacent to the historic Administration Building & Sunken Gardens, is nestled against Atascadero Creek and bordered by a demonstration garden and the Hattie Prather Rose Garden. The grounds are popular with day trippers, walking tours, and can be rented for events.

6600 Lewis Avenue, P.O. Box 1047, Atascadero, CA 93423
Phone: (805) 466-8341
Open Wed. and Sat. 1 to 4 p.m. Free

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Santa Margarita Historical Society


Santa Margarita Historical Society

The Santa Margarita Historical Society promotes understanding and appreciation of Santa Margarita's historical and cultural heritage. As a nonprofit organiazation the Society collects, preserves and displays historical artifacts from the Santa Margarita area. A turn-of-the-century constable's office and jail serves as a static museum and is located at I and Murphy Streets.

I and Murphy Streets, P.O. Box 894, Santa Margarita, CA 93453
open Thu. through Sun. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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Cayucos History Museum


Cayucos History Museum

Cayucos History Museum was established to promote and preserve an understanding and appreciation of the historical and cultural heritage of Cayucos and the surrounding area

41 S. Ocean Avenue, Cayucos, CA 93430
open Fri. through Sun. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.