Discover the History of Pahrump Valley
Pahrump Valley Museum
401 E Basin Ave
Pahrump, NV 89060
If you’ve ever wanted to learn more about the history of the town we live in and the area surrounding it, then I’ve got the perfect place for you to visit. The Pahrump Valley Museum prides itself on telling the story of this area.
Study the artifacts of the Native Americans who were first to inhabit the area around Pahrump Valley. Next, learn about the Anglo settlers and their early adventures into prospecting, ranching, and farming. Where did they come from? Why did they settle here? What were times like back then?
You’ll have an opportunity to view wartime equipment and tools and other remnants of times gone by. Pay homage to our veterans at the Blue Star Memorial Plaque, which is located just outside the museum building. Examine some of the rare native animal species and view samples of gems, minerals, and rocks found in this area.
In their Statement of Purpose, the museum defines its goal:
“The purpose of the PAHRUMP VALLEY MUSEUM AND HISTORICAL SOCIETY is to collect, preserve and study those objects, photographs, local crafts and documents that will serve to illustrate the story of man and nature in the area which includes Nye county and related surrounding areas. Selected items will be placed on exhibition in a museum to be located in Pahrump, Nevada. The understanding of our heritage is basic to an understanding of the world we live in and gives us a better appreciation of our state and county.
The Society will collect artifacts, documents, photographs, local crafts and specimens that depict the area's past in terms of natural history and resources, native peoples, exploration, settlement, education, cultural achievement, agriculture, mining, trade, and transportation all of which make the area what it is today. The Society will also collect items pertinent to the political, civil, and literary history of the state which effected our area. All archives and collections will be placed in the Museum on a loan basis to facilitate possible access. The Museum will provide for the preservation of such material and for its availability to all who wish to see and study it.”
Hours of Operation and Donations
The museum is closed on Mondays, but is open the other six days of the week from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission is free for everyone, the young and more mature alike. Monetary donations are always welcome.
If you have historical items you wish to donate to the museum, please contact them and they will review with you the types of items they seek and the requirements for donating.
In addition to the displays inside the museum building, they offer a self-guided walking tour of the outside exhibits which include: an example of a mining operation, a town store and other outbuildings, a cactus garden, a variety of classic farm equipment as well as some antique household appliances, utensils, and tools of the past. Enjoy a walk with nature and admire the many bronze sculptures peppered throughout the grounds.
In addition to the tours, the Pahrump Valley Museum offers lectures discussing the history of the times depicted at the museum. Some of the past topics include: The History of Amateur Radio; a review of the book Waste of a Mountain by Michael D Voegele and Donald L. Vieth concerning the story of Yucca Mountain, NV; a discussion of the findings of Mr. France, a historical explorer who researches both documented and undocumented historical sites; the story of Dolly Franquelin, a madam in the area, and her fight with Nye County to keep her brothel open; a discussion of the Nevada Ginning Company, the only cotton gin in Nevada. You can go to the museum website for the schedule of upcoming presentations.
History of the museum
Based on the belief that “if you don’t know where you come from – you aren’t going anyplace,” a small group of locals decided to create an opportunity for the people of the area to learn about the history of the Pahrump Valley. They created the Historical Society and began collecting artifacts, documents, photographs, physical items of life in the desert, and specimens from the area that tell about the history. They sought donations from longtime residents and others who owned valuable local memorabilia.
Families who have lived here for decades helped the Society get started. Familiar names of the area such as Ford, Bells, Blosser, Bolling, and Raycraft, all played a role in getting the Museum off the ground. On August 6, 1994, the groundbreaking ceremony for the restoration of the Raycraft house was held. In 2003 a larger building was constructed to house the many artifacts on display.
The museum can be found at 401 E. Basin, just west of downtown Pahrump. Take some time to walk through time and learn about the heritage of our area of the world.