See our permanent exhibits of Victorian interiors, a barber shop, a telephone switchboard, and an operating Bosch-Omori seismograph. In the annex, a blacksmith shop often hosts smithies on the forge. We have unique collections of farm, logging, and ranching equipment and tools.

Our research room contains over 8,000 photographs, maps, yearbooks, club scrapbooks and family albums, as well as letters and diaries, many dating from the early years of the region’s European settlement in 1852.

Permanent Exhibits

In the central rooms of the museum, we have permanent displays of a turn-of-the-century barber shop, and a bank of the last cord board from Pacific Telephone’s toll board, a three-position section from the original thirty-three-position sections that operated in Ferndale from 1952-1983. The Magneto switchboard that preceded the toll board is also on permanent display—as are “crank phones” in two locations—one of the most popular relics with children of all ages.

Bosch-Omori Seismograph

Ferndale resident Joe Bognuda (1889—1979) was an enthusiastic student at UC Berkeley lectures on seismology, which resulted in the UC-U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey establishment of a seismographic station in Ferndale. The Bosch-Omori seismograph was donated to Ferndale by the university in 1933; it was later moved to the museum where it continues to operate and record daily.

Joe McIntosh Annex

The Joe McIntosh Annex includes tools and machinery from the many outstanding collections that have been donated to us, including equipment for a complete, operational blacksmith shop. Occasionally, local or visiting smithies open up the shop and spend an afternoon working—and giving live demonstrations of their art. The annex also displays farm, logging, and dairy equipment, as well as machine tools and belt-driven machines.