The McHenry Museum, located less than a mile off SR 99 at 1402 I Street, was originally the city library and was given to the City of Modesto in 1912. It is a local landmark and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Once there, you will be warmly greeted by the volunteer docents such as Sharon Simmons, an enthusiastic and valuable resource. There is also Ellen La Coste who will meet with you and offer a tour or answer any questions you may have.
Aside from the great service, there is also a lot of Modesto history to be found. There are displays about the Yokuts Indian Tribe, gold mining that lead to the gold rush, farriers and blacksmiths, and the introduction of the windmill which established agriculture as a way of life. If you prefer reading history, the Museum Store carries the most complete selection of books on Modesto and Stanislaus County History in the area.
Other permanent exhibits are a complete dentist’s office, a general store and a recreated blacksmith shop. They also have a seasonal space that is currently a Christmas theme, showcasing unique gnomes, Heubach Snow Babies and much more.
We need to take advantage of our local museums and support them by being patrons. The McHenry Museum is truly a SR 99 local gem that is full of history. With friendly and knowledgeable staff, it is a great destination to explore. But most of all it is a place that you can take your family and friends that will not break the bank because admission is free.