Hamilton Museum and Ranch Foundation

Hamilton Museum and Ranch Foundation Local history museum dedicated to Conservation, Education and Preservation
of history and artifacts of Anza Valley and surrounding areas. A 501 c3 Non-Profit
educatioal institution and your donations may be tax deductable.
Conservation, Education and Preservation
(15)

Museum located on the original property homesteaded in 1910 by Fanny and John Contreras.

Mission: The purpose of the Hamilton Museum and Ranch Foundation is to educate the general public about the history and development of the Anza Valley and surrounding areas, maintaining workshops, classes, lectures and projects.

Who can identify this picture? Yes, these were some of the gladiolas planted in the mid 1950s by Lincoln and Louise Hami...
01/17/2016

Who can identify this picture? Yes, these were some of the gladiolas planted in the mid 1950s by Lincoln and Louise Hamilton. Soon after Lincoln dug the first deep well in the late forties he was growing a variety of irrigated crops. From the beginning in Anza enough water for irrigated crops was a problem for most farmers. Those wanting to raise any crop usually depended on dry farming and the desired rain did not always come when needed. John Bohlen on the east side of the valley was one of the few lucky farmers having sufficient water from his well to raise some irrigated crops as well as having a large garden and many fruit trees.

01/16/2016

HAMILTON MUSEUM AND THE LOST GOLD (The entire story)
In the mid 1800s, there were many eager prospectors looking for gold in the hills surrounding Garner Valley. Some miners were lucky and some not. For a short time in the late 1800s there was even a flourishing gold mining town called Kenworthy, with homes, a hotel grocery store, a post office, a school, a stamp mill, an assay office, and all the other buildings needed for a gold producing mining town.
One young miner who was very successful may have even been a determining factor in where Hamilton Museum is located today. Jesus Contreras, an enthusiastic and lucky miner found a large amount of gold, buried half of it and took the rest back to Agua Mansa (Colton) to live on his gold for many years.

YEARS LATER JESUS CONTRERAS RETURNED to the mountains to retrieve his buried treasure, bringing with him his two grandsons, John and Antonio Contreras. The trio had no luck finding the buried treasure, but the two grandsons did find wives. John Contreras soon married Fannie Arnaiz and his brother, Antonio married Daisy, the daughters of Manuel Arnaiz and Dolores Arnaiz, settlers in Garner Valley in the 1800s.

THE PROPERTY WHERE HAMILTON MUSEUM is situated was homesteaded by newlyweds, Fanny and John Contreras, who probably met only because of the search for John’s grandfather’s buried and then lost gold. These two couples were among the first to homestead in Bautista (Anza) when it was reopened for homesteading in 1909.
FANNY AND JOHN'S HOMESTEAD SITE is now the home of Hamilton Museum. So we might say that only because of that long lost stash of gold can Hamilton Museum be found at the south end Contreras Road in Anza.
Hamilton Museum is the place to learn more of mountain’s interesting past.
The museum is open for visitors on Wednesday and Saturday from ten until two and there is no charge.

Thanks to Boy Scout James Gillam for recently constructing this beautiful information sign for Hamilton Museum.
07/19/2015

Thanks to Boy Scout James Gillam for recently constructing this beautiful information sign for Hamilton Museum.

The three sons of Clara Arnaiz. Jim Wellman,left, Lincoln Hamilton, upper right, Frank Montgomery (Gummy), lower right.
03/28/2015

The three sons of Clara Arnaiz. Jim Wellman,left, Lincoln Hamilton, upper right, Frank Montgomery (Gummy), lower right.

Adequate water for cattle was a problem in Anza in  the 1930s. Springs were  scarce and windmills on shallow hand dug we...
03/02/2015

Adequate water for cattle was a problem in Anza in the 1930s. Springs were scarce and windmills on shallow hand dug wells did not always provide enough for cattle and household use. Jim Wellman, driving and brother Lincoln Hamilton, standing hoped to solve that problem when they moved this water tank from Los Angeles to Anza and installed it at one of their wells. Jim and Lincoln were the sons of Clara Arnaiz whose parents and grandmother settled in what is now called Garner Valley in the 1800s.

When Hamilton School was built in 1910 it was named for early settler James Hamilton.  This is the marker on his grave a...
03/01/2015

When Hamilton School was built in 1910 it was named for early settler James Hamilton. This is the marker on his grave at the Hemet -San Jacinto Cemetery.

Early settlers Manuel and Dolores Arnaiz, grandparents of Lincoln Hamilton and Jim Wellman.
02/17/2015

Early settlers Manuel and Dolores Arnaiz, grandparents of Lincoln Hamilton and Jim Wellman.

Early homesteader Dan Hall (L) and brother Harry Hall. Dan Hall's homestead was near where the Baptist now stands.
02/17/2015

Early homesteader Dan Hall (L) and brother Harry Hall. Dan Hall's homestead was near where the Baptist now stands.

Calistro Tortes, Jim Wellman and Frank Aleveras at Santa Rosa
02/17/2015

Calistro Tortes, Jim Wellman and Frank Aleveras at Santa Rosa

Students, teacher and parents at the Kenworthy School about 1910. Children from Scherman, Hamilton, Arnaiz and Wellman f...
02/07/2015

Students, teacher and parents at the Kenworthy School about 1910. Children from Scherman, Hamilton, Arnaiz and Wellman families.

Sheriff Joe Rice (L)  appoints Lincoln Hamilton and his brother Jim Wellman as official trackers for the Sheriff's Reser...
02/07/2015

Sheriff Joe Rice (L) appoints Lincoln Hamilton and his brother Jim Wellman as official trackers for the Sheriff's Reserves

Litchwald store and post office (the first to be called Anza) in 1920s and 30s.This was just across the road from the sc...
06/09/2013

Litchwald store and post office (the first to be called Anza) in 1920s and 30s.This was just across the road from the school where the produce place is now. Mrs.Bertha Litchwald had what was the first library in Anza, a short shelf with a few books that a kid could check out and read at home.

Branding Arnaiz, Hamilton and Wellman cattle at Kenworthy (Garner Valley).
04/19/2013

Branding Arnaiz, Hamilton and Wellman cattle at Kenworthy (Garner Valley).

This is Anna Hall  Bartlet homestead family moving  (early 1900s) to Burnt Valley with help of Ben Johnson driving and h...
04/18/2013

This is Anna Hall Bartlet homestead family moving (early 1900s) to Burnt Valley with help of Ben Johnson driving and her brother Harry Hall, walking in back.(attended Hamilton School)' Dan Hall, brother of Anna also homesteaded in Anza near where the Baptist church is now. Another Hall sibling, Elma Hall, (also attended Hamilton School) and later married Jim Wellman.

Some of the objects found on the museum grounds when the high school students did the tank house dig.
04/18/2013

Some of the objects found on the museum grounds when the high school students did the tank house dig.

Some of the cattle brands used by the Parks family in the 1800s and early 1900s on their ranch located at what is now La...
04/16/2013

Some of the cattle brands used by the Parks family in the 1800s and early 1900s on their ranch located at what is now Lake Riverside Estates. Hamilton Museum Photo

Hamilton School soon after it was built in the early 1900s. Hamilton Museum photo.
04/16/2013

Hamilton School soon after it was built in the early 1900s. Hamilton Museum photo.

This early 1900s photo is of one of Jim Wellman's Brahma bulls , branded with the 70L brand, the brand that is still use...
04/09/2013

This early 1900s photo is of one of Jim Wellman's Brahma bulls , branded with the 70L brand, the brand that is still used by one of Jim's grandsons. Hamilton Museum Photo.

Working with cattle in 1940s at the Parks Ranch, now Lake Riverside Estates. Lester Reed, on left was the author of seve...
04/09/2013

Working with cattle in 1940s at the Parks Ranch, now Lake Riverside Estates. Lester Reed, on left was the author of several books on early life in the hill cattle country. Hamilton Museum photo.

This photo taken in the early 1900s shows members of the Arnaiz, Contreras and Coats families enjoying the hot spring po...
04/08/2013

This photo taken in the early 1900s shows members of the Arnaiz, Contreras and Coats families enjoying the hot spring pool at Cahuilla. Note the Catholic church, first church to be built in the valley, in the background. Hamilton Museum photo collection.

Did you know that most of the early mountain settlers were cattle ranchers? This photo was taken in Kenworthy, now calle...
02/25/2013

Did you know that most of the early mountain settlers were cattle ranchers? This photo was taken in Kenworthy, now called Garner Valley, at the Hamilton ranch.

Timeline Photos
02/21/2013

Timeline Photos

Timeline Photos
02/05/2013

Timeline Photos

02/05/2013

Be sure to "like" our Hamilton Museum and Ranch Foundation page. Visit us at the Museum on Wednesday and Saturday between ten and two. Learn about a unique and interesting past.

's cover photo
02/05/2013

's cover photo

Address

39991 Contreras Rd
Anza, CA
92539-3911

General information

Located between Temecula and Palm Desert 3/4 mile from center of town on Contreras RD off State Highway 371.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00
Sunday 09:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(951) 763-1350

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Hamilton Museum and Ranch Foundation posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Hamilton Museum and Ranch Foundation:

Category

Nearby museums