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 our logging and mining exhibits as well as 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
A wheelwright and blacksmith shop have been added to the Pickett Building equipped with all of the tools needed to build wagon wheels and to forge the various tools needed by the pioneers. A large collection of miniature wagons are displayed in each shop.

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.

In 2015, 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

We were approached in 2019 by our South Umpqua/Canyonville Fire Department. They wished to know if we could accept their old 1957 pumper fire truck. We all agreed that it should be under cover but, we had no room for it. A decision was made to add a shed to the east side of the Pickett Building. With the help of Jim Fosback, who explained our need for exhibit space to a number of local businesses, work began with site preparation, permits, a contractor and materials to construct a 20 by 66 foot structure.

The result is an attractive, solidly built shed that enables us to have future expansion space as well as fulfilling our immediate need. It was decided that the fire truck would be more easily seen and appreciated in the shed previously constructed on the north end of the building. The wagons have been moved to the new area, with arranging to be done in the spring.

In spite of Covid 19 our local businesses provided us with the necessary rock, lumber, plywood and materials to create this much needed exhibit space. We are grateful to the following for the part they played in this successful project.

Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation
Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians
South Umpqua/Canyonville Fire Department
Ralph Huffman
Herbert Lumber Company
Roseburg Forest Products-Plant 4
Kennerly 4-K Ranches
Gary Coelyn
Jim Fosback
Rogers Engineering
Erwin Hackett-Roseburg Forest Products
Don Whitaker Logging
Bunnell's Overhead Door
Steve Morgan
Cale Morgan
Charles Pickett
Cheryl Laffranchi
MSK Building Supply
I.O.O.F. Douglas Lodge #144 and Rebekah Lodge #188