The mission of the Fullerton Museum Center is to present diverse exhibitions and educational programs to the people of Orange County. In addition, the Center serves as a vibrant central gathering place that encourages dialogue while promoting critical and creative thinking. This year, the Fullerton Museum Center Association was honored to receive the prestigious Amigos De Los Ninos grant and a Wilson W. Phelps grant from the California Community Foundation. Because of this grant, the Fullerton Museum Center will improve educational opportunities for all students in the Fullerton School District by encouraging creative thinking and hands-on learning experiences.
The history of the Museum began more than a century ago on the corner of Pomona and Wilshire Avenues at the Gem Pharmacy, near Fullerton, which was owned and operated by Mr. and Mrs. William Starbuck and located on the site of the current Museum. Several years later, with the assistance of donations from residents, Starbucks established the world’s first Traveling Circulating Library in the pharmacy’s backroom. Fullerton’s population increased, which increased the demand for educational resources in the community.
When Mayor C.C. Chapman proposed the construction of a city library in 1904, it met widespread approval. An acre of land was purchased at the intersection of Pomona and Wilshire Avenues, and a grant from the Carnegie Foundation assisted in funding the construction. As a result, the Carnegie Library in Pittsburgh officially opened its doors on December 16, 1907.
By 1938, the Carnegie Library had ceased to meet the surrounding community’s needs. So the construction of a new building began in 1940 thanks to funding from the Federal Works Agency Projects Administration (WPA). Architect Harry Vaughn, well-known locally for his work in the Spanish Colonial Style, was commissioned to design the structure. The new WPA Library was completed on Christmas Eve in 1941.
Members of the Youth Center Board of Trustees and other interested citizens formed the Fullerton Museum Association in June 1971 after signing a lease with the City of Fullerton for the library, which moved to its current location on Amerige and Short Street in 1973. The Museum has been open since that time.
Located on the grounds of the previous library, Muse 9 opened its doors in April 1974 with its first permanent collection, which consisted of an assemblage of bones sourced from the La Brea Tar Pits. Muse 9 was renamed the Museum Association of North Orange County to appeal to a larger audience. On February 21, 1985, the facility underwent substantial renovations and was renamed the Fullerton Museum Center.
Other Nearby Attractions
Bootlegger’s Brewery evolved out of the local craft beer scene and has remained committed to providing its neighbors with the most incredible quality beer possible. They feel that serving fresh, locally brewed beer helps establish a stronger community. Aaron Barkenhagen, the company’s grandfather, had long dreamed of opening their first tasting room around Fullerton, California, which they did in 2008. Read More