Pioneer-Indian Museum

Located in Canyonville, Oregon, the Pioneer-Indian Museum (operated by the South Umpqua Historical Society) showcases the rich history of Southern Oregon’s Native American tribes and exciting pioneering heritage. The museum offers several buildings with exhibits and displays that highlight the history of the South Douglas County area from the days of the Indians through the coming of the pioneers to a land of forests, rivers and streams.

Our main museum building has displays of furniture, crockery, cooking utensils and needlework donated by the ancestors of the pioneers who traveled with the wagon trains on their difficult journey west. Discover native artifacts, including baskets, beadwork, pestles and a display of tools and beading provided by the Cow Creek Tribe. A large mural by a local artist replicates pictographs drawn hundreds of years ago by the North Umpqua Tribe.

Our Pickens-Matthews building contains agricultural equipment and tools. We proudly exhibit a hack from the Clough family, which may have been built for Joseph Clough, stage driver and rancher, by Charles Bealman, who was the local blacksmith and builder of wagons.

The Bureau of Land Management donated the old Huckleberry Mine gold stamp mill and renovated it. Clint Atherton, a museum member, built a replica of the mine building. Ray Boyd, also a member, helped disassemble and reset the equipment up in the building.

The Pickett Building, donated by Charles and Delores Pickett, contains old tractors and cars and will house various other items from the Picketts. The new expansion of the building, it is now 20x60 feet, was added this past fall by the Picketts and many other community members and businesses.The Pickett family was responsible for numerous buildings and bridges in the area by providing lumber from their mills beginning with their arrival in Oregon in 1876.

New enlarged Pickett exhibit building
We have begun a logging display in a small building next to the stamp mill. We have been asking for donations of logging items such as old power saws and crosscut saws. We are hoping to get an old turpentine bottle (used to cut pitch), tree jack, old gas or oil can, old pair of cork boots, old fallers log book and various other memorabilia. Photos provide a huge history lesson and are greatly appreciated.

A small blacksmith shop has been added with forges, anvils and vises. We hope to receive tools that were used by the blacksmith.

Justice Court
The building in which the former Justice of the Peace conducted court was donated to the museum by Chuck and Chun Cha Mauldin when they purchased the property on which it sat. The building is replete with desk and chair, warming stove and albums of marriages performed by the most recently retired Justice, Gloria McGinnis. Justice from 1962-1994 was Nina Pietzold, whose husband built the building for her near Gross Loop in the southern end of Canyonville.

Plank House
The Cow Creek Tribe of the Umpqua Band of Indians has constructed, with assistance from Don Day, of Salem, a winter structure of cedar planks. Native plants used as medicine and food are growing near the structure with more to be planted in the spring. An interpretive sign constructed by Ron Ehly of Azalea will provide information about the creation of the plank house and the native plants.

This fall the Ford Foundation Leadership Training Cohort Group 2 completed construction of the wagon shed, located at the north end of the Pickett Building. Shown is the new wagon shed proudly displaying our wagons.
 They fund-raised and got in-kind donations from many businesses and not only constructed a wagon shed, but gave us mannequins for clothing displays, glass for a display cabinet top, and signs to tell about our museum and where we are located. A plaque was made and placed on the shed to acknowledge the contributions from all of the local businesses. Our deep appreciation to those who gave materials to help preserve these wagons and for all the extra things that were accomplished!

Cohort 2 Wagon Shed