San Jacinto Museum & Association

Wooden Bench
The San Jacinto Museum is located on the grounds of the Francisco Estudillo Heritage Park and was established in 1940 after the San Jacinto Women's Club and the Chamber of Commerce displayed early California & Indian artifacts for the enjoyment of visitors to the Valley during the Ramona Pageant.  The response was so enthusiastic, the citizens petitioned the City to open a permanent museum.  In 1978, when budget shortfalls threatened to close the Museum, local residents formed the non-profit San Jacinto Valley Museum Association to support the Museum.  The Museum is a tribute to the history of the area. 

Museum Sign
San Jacinto is one of Riverside County's oldest cities.  The area history is founded in the NativeMuseum Grounds American culture.  Maze stones have been found in the San Jacinto Valley however a precise date has not been established determining their age.  At one time, seven villages of Luiseno Indians existed here, now only the Soboba Band remains.

The Anza Trail, one of the first overland routes to California, crossed the San Jacinto Valley in the 1770's.  The mission padres named the valley San Jacinto (Saint Hyacinth) and established an outpost here around 1820.

Stone StructureIn 1842, after California had passed from Spanish to Mexican rule, Jose' Antonio Estudillo received a 35,500 acre land grant which took in most of the Valley from the Mexican government.  Members of his family received two other nearby grants, giving the Estudillo family control over some 110,000 acres in the area.  The Estudillos ran cattle on the land.  Jose' Estudillo died in 1852, but his family continued to own most of the Valley until the early 1880's.

Museum Grounds

In the 1860's, the Estudillo family began selling off portions of the rancho, and a small American community began to form.  In 1868, local residents petitioned to form a school district, and by 1879 a store and post office had been established.

Garden Bench
In 1883, the San Jacinto Land Association laid out the modern City of San Jacinto at Five Points.  The railroad arrived in 1888, and the City was incorporated that same year.  The local economy was built on agriculture for many years, and the City also received a boost from the many tourists who visited the nearby hot springs (Gilman, Eden & Soboba) .  The City and its residents helped to start the historic Ramona Pageant in 1923, and have supported the production ever since.

The San Jacinto Museum features exhibits on the natural and human history of San Jacinto and surrounding areas.  Local Indian relics, artifacts from pioneer families, and material on the community, its businesses and institutions are featured. 

Special exhibits highlight the record-breaking 1937 Soviet transpolar light which landed in a dairy field in San Jacinto, and the development downtown.

The Museum also maintains a large collection of historic photographs and memorabilia, which is available to researchers. 


Museum Address:
695 Ash Street
San jacinto, CA 92583

Hours of Operation:
Open Friday - Sunday 
11am - 4pm

Group Tours Available by Appointment

Telephone Numbers:
P: (951) 255-5598 for Lynn Peterson
P: (951) 654-4952 for Betty Jo Dunham


eMail Address:
[email protected]


Also of Interest:

Francisco Estudillo Heritage Park
Estudillo Mansion
Barn Restoration Project
Water Conservation Education Garden