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Permanent Exhibits

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Paderewski

Ignacy Jan Paderewski is Paso Robles’ most famous resident. The world famous pianist & composer came to PR in 1914 for the healing waters of the hot mineral springs and later purchased two large ranches west of town where he planted wine grapes, almonds, and a variety of fruit trees. On display is a selection of photographs, performance programs, and memorabilia of Paderewski’s life and time in Paso Robles.

Carnegie Laying of corner stone. Karl Vo

Carnegie Library

The Woman’s Auxiliary Club, which ran a reading room & lending library in the ‘Acorn’ building, petitioned the City Trustees to establish a free library. The Trustees applied for a Carnegie grant in 1907. They were granted $10,000 and the site chosen was the center of the city park. The cornerstone was laid on January 29, 1908.  This display showcases the history of the Paso Robles Library with photos & artifacts.

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Medical Memorabilia

An extensive collection of local medical artifacts is featured in this popular display.

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Hot Springs & Bathhouses of Paso Robles

The hot mineral waters & their healing properties are what attracted the first people to this area.  By 1795, the mineral springs were referred to as “California’s oldest watering place.” On display is a history of the natural mineral springs, wells, and bathhouses that exist in our area.

El Paso de Robles Springs Hotel

Hotel El Paso de Robles

Construction began on a magnificent resort hotel on April 22, 1889.  This hotel would feature a seven-acre garden, nine hole golf course, library, and an improved hot spring plunge bath and spa.  It would be three stories tall and built of solid masonry, never to burn. Photos & artifacts from the historic hotel that burned down in December of 1940 are featured in this display.

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Bottling Works

Featuring the history of the Bottling Works in Paso Robles and a collection of early bottles, courtesy Dale Hiner.

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Bearcat Alley

The area known as Bearcat Alley is named after the official mascot of Paso Robles High School.  Yearbooks, photos & history of the first schools & high school, ‘Living Legends,’ & memorabilia are displayed. 

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The Hiner Group “Uncovering Buried Treasures”

The Hiner Group (Dale Hiner, Bob Ellis & Jimmy Wilkins) have created a unique display case featuring items they have discovered during their metal detecting adventures in and around Paso Robles.

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Stacks

Some of the original ‘stacks’ that held the many books from the old Carnegie Library have remained.  Today they feature several displays: Black History (courtesy Patty Breckow), Outlaws, Then & Now (courtesy Joseph O’Keefe), Paso Robles History, Early Businesses, Paso Robles Long Ago, & Pioneer Families (JoAnn Ernst’s & Lorraine Cagliero’s families are featured).