JA Cooley Museum

JA Cooley Museum San Diego's Most Unique Collection of Antiques and Automobiles 10,000 sft feet of the private collection of Jim and Carmen Cooley. Located in University Heights community of San Diego it ihas the largest private collection of the Industrial Revolution and history of San Diego. 4233 Park Blvd San Diego, ca 92103 619-296-3112 Admission is $5 Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-4:00pm, and Sundays noon-4:00pm
(15)

Operating as usual

The stay at home orders by Gov. Newsome have been lifted we are open daily 11am-4pm. No appointment necessary and all we...
01/25/2021

The stay at home orders by Gov. Newsome have been lifted we are open daily 11am-4pm. No appointment necessary and all welcome. Please practice all safe Covid protocols.
#mustseesandiego#sandiegohomeschool #Sandiegohiddengem #universityheights #sandiegohistory #sandiegomuseums #sandiegolife #sandiegoauto #AutomotiveMuseum

As one of San Diego's hidden gem of a museum, 10,000 sft consisting of over 30 various collections including one of the ...
01/13/2021

As one of San Diego's hidden gem of a museum, 10,000 sft consisting of over 30 various collections including one of the largest private collections of 100 year old cars, phonographs, cameras, trains and an emphasis on San Diego history. WE ARE STILL OPEN when most museums are closed by a limited appointment only 7 days a week. Visiting San Diego, need a home school field trip or want to be entertained by one of our music players join us. Offering something for everybody. All Covid protocols are in place. Message or
call 619-296-3112 for appointment. 11am-4pm daily. Admission is $5 adults $2 for children under 12
jacooleymuseum.com

#visitsandiego
#sandiegolife
#sandiegohiddengem
#sandiegomuseums
#automotivemuseum
#modelrailroad
#ThomasEdison
#mustseesandiego
#mustseesandiego
#americanpickers
#sandiegovintage
#sandiegohomeschool
#unique
#museums
#sandiegohistory
#universityheights
#sandiego

Happy New Years and we are open by limited appointment only  following all Covid safety guidelines. Call or message for ...
01/04/2021

Happy New Years and we are open by limited appointment only following all Covid safety guidelines. Call or message for appointment 619 2963112

It’s been awhile since we had trivia but here we go Can someone identify where this license plate is from?Open 11-4pm by...
12/22/2020

It’s been awhile since we had trivia but here we go
Can someone identify where this license plate is from?
Open 11-4pm by appt
6192963112
Jacooleymuseum.com

#mustseesandiego
#licenseplate
#licenseplatecollect
#licenseplatecollector
#sandiegoshiddengem
#sandiegovintage
#sandiegovintage
#sandiegohistory
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#smithsonianmuseum
#UniversityHeights
#visitsandiego
#antiquesroadshow
#americanpickers

Tonight on #knsd7 our interview with  Joe Little 4:30 & 6 pm  about Covid and support small business #mustseesandiego#sa...
12/02/2020

Tonight on #knsd7 our interview with Joe Little 4:30 & 6 pm about Covid and support small business
#mustseesandiego
#sandiegoshiddengem
#sandiegomustsee
#sandiegovintage
#sandiegohistory
#sandiegomuseums
#UniversityHeights
#sandiegomodelrailroad
#sandiegocalifornia
#visitsandiego

We are safely open daily 11Am-4pm with limited capacity- reservations not required but recommended Call to schedule 6192...
11/29/2020

We are safely open daily 11Am-4pm with limited capacity- reservations not required but recommended
Call to schedule 6192951611

#mustseesandiego #sandiegoshiddengem #sandiegomustsee
#sandiegovintage
#sandiegohistory
#sandiegomuseums
#UniversityHeights
#visitsandiego
#sandiegocalifornia

We are safely open and what a great way to spend a rainy San Diego day than visiting #sandiegoshiddengem of a museum#mus...
11/08/2020

We are safely open and what a great way to spend a rainy San Diego day than visiting #sandiegoshiddengem of a museum

#mustseesandiego #sandiegovintage #sandiegohistory #sandiegocalifornia #sandiegomustsee #visitsandiego #sandiegomodelrailroad #sandiegomuseums #universityheights

It is with a heavy heart we say good bye to a friend for decades and model railroad enthusiast . Jack and our founder Ji...
11/06/2020
Obituary: 1939-2020: Beloved TV anchorman Jack White recalled as the face of San Diego news

It is with a heavy heart we say good bye to a friend for decades and model railroad enthusiast . Jack and our founder Jim Cooley were friends for decades and they'd often call just to swap stories and trains. He will be greatly missed Rest in Peace Jack and prayers to your wife and family

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/obituaries/story/2020-11-06/obituary-1939-2020-beloved-tv-anchorman-jack-white-recalled-as-the-face-of-san-diego-news?fbclid=IwAR1Vy5Qd91hAm4cSUJ1xN5XEo5xxHqELuiUOxPm9g8RN949NLufRMyG-2oY

#sandiegomodelrailroad #sandiegocalifornia #universityheights #stillplayswithtrains #visitsandiego #sandiegoshiddengem #sandiegohistory #sandiegovintage #growingupinsandiego

Mission Hills resident, who spent 34 years at KGTV Channel 10, passed away on Oct. 30 at age 81

Frank the Trainman
10/30/2020

Frank the Trainman

Congratulations to our owner Carmen Cooley for being a Finalist for San Diego Business Journal

Congratulations FINALIST!
You have been selected as one of the

San Diego Business Journal’s 2020

Business Women of the Year FINALISTS!

#visitsandiego #sandiegomodelrailroad #lioneltrains #universityheights #supportsmallbusiness #lioneltrains #nscaletrains #oguageclub #stillplayswithtrains #sandiegocalifornia

What an honor to be nominated and recognized for her contribution to the community #sandiegoautomuseum #mustseesandiego ...
10/30/2020

What an honor to be nominated and recognized for her contribution to the community

#sandiegoautomuseum #mustseesandiego #sandiegoshiddengem #antiquecars #whattodoinsandiego #visitsandiego #sandiegomuseum

Congratulations to our owner Carmen Cooley for being a Finalist for San Diego Business Journal

Congratulations FINALIST!
You have been selected as one of the

San Diego Business Journal’s 2020

Business Women of the Year FINALISTS!

#visitsandiego #sandiegomodelrailroad #lioneltrains #universityheights #supportsmallbusiness #lioneltrains #nscaletrains #oguageclub #stillplayswithtrains #sandiegocalifornia

10/25/2020
The music is playing stop in and see a hidden gem

We are SAFELY open and the music plays on for you tours and visits to San Diego’s best hidden gem!
No reservations needed but groups larger than 10 please call

#mustseesandiego #antiquecars #whattodoinsandiego #sandiegohistory #sandiegomuseum #chevy #vintagesandiego #sandiegocalifornia #visitsandiego #sandiegoshiddengem
#sandiegosutomuseum
#modeltrains
#lionel

10/11/2020

Friends of JA Cooley we are having a phone issue- we are open till 4
Friday - Monday - please call 619 2951611 for information

09/26/2020
San Diego’s Hidden Gem

Welcome back to the JA Cooley Museum
We are here to entertain you Friday- Monday-4233 Park Blvd San Diego ca 92103
6192963112

#visitsandiego #mustseesandiego #mustseesandiego #vintagesandiego
#modelrailroad #antiquecars #sandiegohistory #wurlitzer #generalmotors #chevy #whattodoinsandiego
#sandiegocalifornia #thingstodoinsandiego
#sandiegomuseum

09/05/2020

We are open and the music is playing for you

09/04/2020

Welcome back! We are open and here to entertain you. The music is playing and we’ve added a few new items.
Friday- Monday
4233 Park Blvd San Diego Ca 92103

San Diego’s hidden gem

#sandiegohiddengem
#mustseesandiego
#visitsandiego

06/13/2020

A little weekend music to get your party started

#wurlitzer
#sdhiddengem
#visitsandiego
#sdautomuaeum
#hillcrest
#sdmuseum
#sdhistory
#universityheights

06/12/2020

As mentioned recently on Ken Kramer About San Diego- the treasures of leather postcards. 1903-1907 was the popular way to communicate with style. Here’s a small sample of our postcard collection. They became famous when women started to collect them and sewed them together to make pillows .
We are now open
Friday 12-4 pm, Saturday & Sunday 11am-5pm and Monday 12-4 pm
$5 admission

#stayhomestaysafe
#sandiego
#modelrailroad
#covid19
#Hillcrest
#UniversityHeights
#VisitSanDiego
#SDAutoMuseum
#MustseeSanDIego
#AmericasFinestCity
#STAYcationSanDiego
#Museumlife
#SDCulturalArts
#SDHistory
#markmaynard
#jayleno
#aboutsandiego
#humbleandkind

06/09/2020

We are closed Tuesday-Thursday temporarily but we let the music still play
#hillcreat
#sdhisdengem

06/06/2020

A little music to soothe your soul-our apologies it hasn’t ran in a year and needs a tune up

#stayhomestaysafe
#sandiego
#modelrailroad
#covid19
#Hillcrest
#UniversityHeights
#VisitSanDiego
#SDAutoMuseum
#MustseeSanDIego
#AmericasFinestCity
#STAYcationSanDiego
#Museumlife
#SDCulturalArts
#SDHistory
#Lioneltrains
#Wurlitzer
#Sandiegohiddengem
#virtualmuseumsandiego
#stillplayingwithtoys
#antiquetoys
#toysofyesteryear
#vintageSanDiego
#8news
#KPBS
#NBCSanDiego
#kusi
#10newssandiego
#markmaynard
#jayleno
#aboutsandiego
#humbleandkind

06/06/2020

thanks to Pr Conway Stone for sharing:

Ten Commandments for the Car Collector

RULE 1. Thou shalt not store thy cars out-of-doors, except for thy wife's modern iron.

RULE 2. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's car, nor his garage, nor his battery charger.

RULE 3. Thou shalt not love thy cars more than thy wife and children; as much, but not more.

RULE 4. Thou shalt not read thy Hemmings on company time, lest thy employer make it impossible to continue thy car payments.

RULE 5. Thou shalt not despise thy neighbor's Edsel, nor his DeSoto, nor even his 1947 Plymouth.

RULE 6. Thou shalt not allow thy daughters nor thy sons to get married during the holy days of Hershey.

RULE 7. Thou shalt not deceive thy wife into thinking that thee is taking her for a romantic Sunday drive when, indeed, thou art going out to look at another car.

RULE 8. Thou shalt not tell thy spouse the entire cost of thy latest restoration, at least not all at the same time.

RULE 9. Thou shalt not promise thy wife a new addition to the house and then use it to store cars; thou shalt not store cars in the attic.

RULE 10. Thou shalt not buy thy wife a floor jack for Christmas!

- Donald R. Peterson

Open Friday 12pm-4pm
Saturday & Sunday 11am-5pm
Monday 12pm-4pm

#covid19
#Hillcrest
#UniversityHeights
#VisitSanDiego
#SDAutoMuseum
#MustseeSanDIego
#AmericasFinestCity
#STAYcationSanDiego
#Museumlife
#SDCulturalArts
#SDHistory
#Lioneltrains
#Wurlitzer
#Sandiegohiddengem
#virtualmuseumsandiego
#stillplayingwithtoys
#antiquetoys
#Frankthetrainman
#toysofyesteryear
#vintageSanDiego
#8news
#KPBS
#NBCSanDiego
#kusi
#10newssandiego
#markmaynard
#jayleno
#aboutsandiego
#humbleandkind
#familylegacyforever

Appreciate when you have a dream and a vision - only thing we need is a little help from our friend- Our story:Frank the...
06/04/2020
Frank the Trainman mural Train of Wisdom.

Appreciate when you have a dream and a vision - only thing we need is a little help from our friend-

Our story:

Frank the Trainman and J. A. Cooley Museum: Hidden Gem

Frank Cox, original founder of “Frank the Trainman” developed a love for trains after receiving an electric train as a Christmas present when he was a child. His love became his livelihood. He became the San Diego dean of toy railways and founder of the “Frank the Trainman” store where young and old railroad enthusiasts sought conversation, repairs or new models. He began his business in his University Heights residence on Cleveland Avenue in 1941.

Later he moved to a building at Park and El Cajon Boulevards next to the Board of Education property and San Diego College in 1943 . In the 1987 Mission Federal Credit Union bought the property and in homage
to Frank the new building was designed to resemble a locomotive, including the national historical animated neon train sign that lit up Mr. Cox’s store for many years plus the mural behind of an engine.https://coolsandiegosights.com/2018/10/29/frank-the-trainman-mural-train-of-wisdom/

The neon sign was featured in countless World Fairs for it's automation and has been featured in the Smithsonian as one of the most famous neon signs in the country. Neon enthusiast still come today to visit the iconic sign and mural on the back.

University Heights is home to San Diego’s most original collection of antiques and automobiles,the J.A. Cooley museum.

Frank the Trainman, and J. A. (Jim) Cooley were best friends from their early 20’s till the end. An original Stand by Me friendship . They would meet at Topsy’s weekly for lunch (where Great Maple is located) where they talked about business, their love of San Diego, trains, music and many prominent San Diegan would join- John Alessio, Mickey Finn, Tom Sefton and countless others would join. If only the walls could talk.They loved music, dancing and lunching together. Their friendship lasted a lifetime.

When Frank’s health was failing Frank asked his best friend to take over the business and Jim Cooley became Frank the Traiman with his wife Carmen by his side always.

Jim overnight became Frank the Trainman for 40 years after Frank’s passing. Last year Jim joined Frank in that great switching yard in the sky but you can still enjoy their love of antiques at the J. A. Cooley Museum right
here in #Universityheights #hillcrest #theblvd

Opened in 1997 across the street from the original location the JA Cooley museum emorphsis. The property came available and over dinner Jim and his wife Carmen decided to open their museum @ 4233 Park Blvd location. Jim and Carmen's museum consist of toys dating from 1870, antique baby carriages, a collection of antique bells, classy automobiles, and a Cremona G nickelodeon with an elaborate art deco design the visitors favorite and national known Wurlitzer..There are over 30 collections ,something for everybody. The largest rarest camera collection west of the Mississippi to the 1910 Hunt the only car handmade in San Diego. Most of the private collection has roots to San Diego history. 32 transportation vehicles from the first Benz 1885 to the Buick XP2000
a concept car. Most are the last or few left in existence. This is a San Diego hidden gem that reflects not only history but also when you have a dream and your hard-dedication makes it a reality.

Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for kids. Memberships are available starting at $20 a year.

Temporary hours are Monday and Friday, noon to 4 pm; and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 5pm.

First responders, nurses and essential workers are free on Mondays with an ID badge.

Because of COVID-19, reservations are suggested but not required.—

Frank the Trainman, 'Dean of Collectors,' Dies of Heart Attack

📷

Frank the Trainman, 'Dean of Collectors,' Dies of Heart Attack

Frank Cox, known to generations of San Diegans as "Frank the Trainman" because of a four-decade affiliation with...

Thank you so very muchMural to Trainman Is a Little Off the Beaten Track📷Mural to Trainman Is a Little Off the Beaten Track
When one of the largest, most colorful pieces of public art ever commissioned in the city makes its official deb...Frank the Trainman mural Train of Wisdom.Frank the Trainman mural Train of Wisdom.
A mural titled Cosmic Train of Wisdom, painted in 1989 by local Chicano artist Mario Torero and students from O’...

#stayhomestaysafe
#sandiego
#modelrailroad
#covid19
#Hillcrest
#UniversityHeights
#VisitSanDiego
#SDAutoMuseum
#MustseeSanDIego
#AmericasFinestCity
#STAYcationSanDiego
#Museumlife
#SDCulturalArts
#SDHistory
#Lioneltrains
#Wurlitzer
#Sandiegohiddengem
#virtualmuseumsandiego
#stillplayingwithtoys
#antiquetoys
#toysofyesteryear
#vintageSanDiego
#8news
#KPBS
#NBCSanDiego
#kusi
#10newssandiego
#markmaynard
#jayleno
#aboutsandiego
#humbleandkind
#familylegacyforever

A mural titled Cosmic Train of Wisdom, painted in 1989 by local Chicano artist Mario Torero and students from O’Farrell High School of Performing Arts and Roosevelt Junior High School, decora…

When we re-opened today immediately we had visitors and most mentioning the latest Ken Kramer episode. My father loved s...
05/30/2020
Ken Kramer's About San Diego | Season 1 | Episode 84 - Thursday, May 14

When we re-opened today immediately we had visitors and most mentioning the latest Ken Kramer episode.

My father loved spending time with Ken. Ken loves San Diego and all it's great history and my father loved sharing his stories and collection. Here is the segment Ken Kramer did for my dad on his May 14th episode. Here's the link and words can not express enough our gratitude to Ken-

https://www.pbs.org/video/episode-84-thursday-may-14-uumczh/

Starts about 21 mins in- or also in comments below but it's a great episode!!

#stayhomestaysafe
#sandiego
#modelrailroad
#covid19
#Hillcrest
#UniversityHeights
#VisitSanDiego
#SDAutoMuseum
#MustseeSanDIego
#AmericasFinestCity
#STAYcationSanDiego
#Museumlife
#SDCulturalArts
#SDHistory
#Lioneltrains
#Wurlitzer
#Sandiegohiddengem
#virtualmuseumsandiego
#stillplayingwithtoys
#antiquetoys
#toysofyesteryear
#vintageSanDiego
#8news
#KPBS
#NBCSanDiego
#kusi
#10newssandiego
#markmaynard
#jayleno
#aboutsandiego
#humbleandkind
#familylegacyforever

We recall the Pacific Square Ballroom and the emotional lift provided during war and more!

05/29/2020

We are open and welcoming visitors with CDC guidelines in place-
New hours Friday 12-4pm
Saturday & Sunday 11am-5pm
Monday 12-4pm

Large groups by appointment only or private tours call 6192187390
Www.jacooleymuseum.com

Thanks for the support through the last 2 months and 77 years as Frank the Trainman

Carmen Cooley-Graham

#stayhomestaysafe
#sandiego
#modelrailroad
#covid19
#Hillcrest
#UniversityHeights
#VisitSanDiego
#SDAutoMuseum
#MustseeSanDIego
#AmericasFinestCity
#STAYcationSanDiego
#Museumlife
#SDCulturalArts
#SDHistory
#Lioneltrains
#Wurlitzer
#Sandiegohiddengem
#virtualmuseumsandiego
#stillplayingwithtoys
#antiquetoys
#toysofyesteryear
#vintageSanDiego
#8news
#KPBSKenKramer
#NBCSanDiego
#kusi
#10newssandiego
#markmaynard

Honoring Their Legacy These times remind us of the many men and women who have given their lives to keep Americans safe....
05/25/2020

Honoring Their Legacy

These times remind us of the many men and women who have given their lives to keep Americans safe. On this Memorial Day, we honor the memory of soldiers we have lost and invite you to join us in reflection and remembrance for them and their families, and all who serve.

05/18/2020

Friends of the JA Cooley Museum

We will be re-opening Friday May 29th at 12pm.

Our new Covid hours will be

Friday 12-4pm

Saturday & Sunday 11am-5pm

Monday 12-4pm

Tues-Thursday we will be temporarily closed for cleaning.

We will have to limit how many can be inside at a time so we will be taking reservations and offering private tours please call 619-218-7390 for arrangements.

Also in CDC guidelines- temperatures will be taken at the door (forehead), mask at all times, limit contact with the staff and collection and plenty of hand sanitizer available. Social distancing is strictly enforced.

Your safety and enjoyment is our greatest concern.

Admission is $5 for adults $2 kids 10 and under

Monday through the month of June First responders, healthcare workers and grocery workers are FREE!!

Address

4233 Park Blvd
San Diego, CA
92103

Opening Hours

Monday 10:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 10:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 10:00 - 16:00
Thursday 10:00 - 16:00
Friday 10:00 - 16:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00
Sunday 12:00 - 16:00

Telephone

+16192963112

Alerts

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Videos

Our Story

Jim Cooley started collecting at a very early age. When asked what his first item was, it is likely that you will get a different response each time. One day it may be his 1938 American Flyer toy train, or his Marx tank. Another day he may surprise you with a iron his grandmother used. One thing is certain though, Cooley has spent his lifetime collecting. As co-owner of Frank the Trainman, with his wife Carmen, over the years he would take good customers over to his house remarking I've got "something different" for you to see. Most frequently, the response was "you should open a museum." In 1996, after years of encouragement from their friends, Jim and Carmen Cooley founded the J.A. Cooley Museum. On display is San Diego's Best Collection of 100 Year Old Vehicles with over two dozen, dating from 1885 to 1933. Feature exhibit include the first car from (Mercedes) Benz and the Buick XP2000 Concept Car. In addition to their automobile collection, the museum boasts over 30 categories of antiques. Check out our Photo Gallery page to see a sneak preview of other collections on display.


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Comments

Hello Carmen & Ladd, I tried to phone you, and it would NOT go through. Do you have a new phone number? We still have the "Link" Flower Arranger dies and we would like to set up a date for you to receive them. Please phone us at 1-858-613-1633. [email protected]. Awaiting your reply. Cheers, Bill and Della Link
Hello Carmen, Your husband Ladd sounds very,very nice. Do you have any idea when you would like to pick up the dies? As I told you they are very heavy. We are so happy that you are taking them. There is no rush. Just give us a phone call to let us know. I do not always check my emails. 1-858-613-1633. Respectfully yours, Bill and Della Link
Hello Carmen, We have had some health issues ; however we would like to talk to you when you have time as to how to proceed on our donation. 1-858-613-1633. Bill and Della Link
Hello Carmen, I sent you photos of the heavy steel dies of "The Link Flower Arranger" on July 18th, 2020. We have not heard from you. We want to donate them to a museum. Mr. Link, Sr. lived at 4060 Florida St. near you. If you are not interested, you offered to help us find someone who would be interested in our donation. Awaiting your reply. Regards, Bill and Della Link--1-858-613-1633
JA Cooley Museum you're on the map of automotive museums to visit in the US!