Stockton museums cover a broad range of topics from early inhabitants of the area through the Gold Rush era and the city's growth into a vibrant community. The Haggin Museum is well known for its exhibits of art and local history. Little displays such a the Sing Lee Chinese Laundry artifacts can be found around the city in public and private buildings.
The San Joaquin Historical Society Museum displays exhibits and information about the history of the region from the days of the Yokuts and Miwoks, through the founding of Stockton and the Gold Rush, and the rise of agriculture. The museum is composed of 8 exhibition buildings and 4 historical buildings. Many farming tractors and other similar machines are on display. Adult admission is $5, plus Micke Grove parking fee.
Hours: Wednesday - Sunday 10 AM to 4 PM, 11 AM to 4 PM in the winter
San Joaquin Historical Society Museum
The Sing Lee Laundry was operated by Chinese immigrants from about 1894 to 1937. Excavation of the site produced an amazing array of artifacts which are now on display in the lobby of the Hotel Stockton, not far from laundry's location. Among the artifacts are bowls and cups, tea pots, medicine bottles, pieces of toys, wiring implements, candlesticks, bottles, and animal bones.
Hours: 11 AM to 8 PM
Sing Lee Chinese Laundry Exhibit
The KIDSWORLD exhibit at the museum spreads over ¾ of the 22,000 square feet of the building. KIDSWORLD is a miniature city for children with over 30 exhibits including a fire station, hospital, art center, post office, grocery store, and a recycling center. Other features at the museum feature an ambulance, the delta, a pet clinic, reptiles, party rooms, and a playground. Admission is $6 for those 1 year or older.
Hours: Wednesday - Friday 9 AM to 4 PM, Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM, Sunday 12 PM to 5 PM (hours subject to change)
Children's Museum of Stockton
The Stockton Field Aviation Museum is dedicated to the preservation of aviation history, with a special emphasis on World War II aviation. Aircraft and support items are on display. (stock photo shows DC-2, a 1930s passenger aircraft)
Hours: By appointment only
Stockton Field Aviation Museum
The Stockton Historical Maritime Museum strives to preserve the history of the maritime industry in Stockton. Ships began pushing up the San Joaquin River to Stockton during the Gold Rush period, delivering miners and supplies from San Francisco. In recent years the museum has worked to preserve the cultural heritage of the downtown waterfront. They have acquired the former USS Lucid MSO-458 (shown peeking out from behind the trees), with the goal of restoring the ship and turning it into a floating museum. Restoration is expected to be completed in 2017. At present, tours are by appointment only.
Stockton Historical Maritime Museum
Collections in the museum include fine art and local and regional history. Many exhibits are displayed for only several months at a time. Check the museum website for current and upcoming exhibitors. The museum maintains an extensive archive of local history items. They also offer tours and workshops. Adult admission $8. Free admission on the first Saturday of each month.
Hours: Wednesday - Friday 1:30 PM to 5 PM, Saturday and Sunday 12 PM to 5 PM, 1st and 3rd Thursdays 1:30 PM to 9 PM
The Tidewater Southern Railway Historical Society maintains a railroad museum at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Building #1 behind the Administrative Office. The Historical Society is dedicated to preserving and disseminating the historical record of the Tidewater Southern Railway. Their museum displays artifacts and information of the Tidewater Southern along with a railroad display that depicts many of the sites along the Tidewater Southern.
Hours: Open during County Fair times
Society Meetings (visitors welcome): Thursdays 6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
Tidewater Southern Railway Society Museum
During the construction of the San Joaquin County Administration Building at 44 N. San Joaquin Street, workers uncovered the tail and femur bones of a wooly mammoth. The more than 10,000-year-old bones and other items uncovered during construction are on display in the building's lobby.