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About Mt. Shasta Museum
About Mt. Shasta Museum

About Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum

Our Mission:
Illuminating the past, present, and future of the Mt. Shasta region

Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum honors our location and our history. Our museum is located on ancestral lands of the Shasta and Wintu Tribes. Originally known as Strawberry Valley, this land was and continues to be of great importance to these tribes and their descendants as they continue to act as stewards of this land. Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum has benefited from the use and occupation of this land since the early White settlers came to the Mt. Shasta area in the 1850’s. At this time, Justin Sisson established the Mt. Shasta Fish Hatchery, that now houses our museum. Sisson became one of the founding fathers of Mt. Shasta City, at that time called Berryvale. Mount Shasta is our geographic location, the geographic area also holds significance to Pit River, Modoc, Karuk, Hoopa and Yana tribes.

Visit our museum to learn more about our local history. To learn more about the diverse indigenous peoples of the Mount Shasta area we have compiled their websites here. Check out this short video to see some of the features in the front room of the museum.

Sisson Tavern, Sisson, CA
Owned by Justin Sisson, the Sisson Tavern was located near the current Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum and the Fish Hatchery. It hosted many travelers to the area, including John Muir and landscape artists Alfred Bierstadt and Thomas Hill. The tavern burned to the ground in 1917.

Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum: a Short History

Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum is a self-supported, mostly volunteer-operated museum with a 501(c)(3) status.

Our mission is to assist in illuminating the past, present, and future of the Mount Shasta region. To fulfill this mission, the museum produces exhibits on the history and science related to Mt. Shasta and the surrounding areas.

The Mt. Shasta Museum Association, Inc. formed when a surplus State Fish Hatchery building became available as a possible community museum in 1979. Community members showed an outpouring of support. With the assistance from the State Legislature, Sisson Museum became a reality, and opened to the public on July 4, 1983 in the newly renovated building. Our museum shares property with the oldest still operating fish hatchery west of the Mississippi River.

Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum has hosted more than 500,000 guests since its opening. Our staff consists mostly of volunteers, averaging 30 people, who give many hours of their time in support of our museum. This contribution keeps our museum going, and lets us share the social, cultural, and natural history of our unique area with everyone from residents and student groups to travelers and researchers.

Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum consists of three large exhibit halls and an events room for special activities and displays. Our museum sparks the vitality of the community by hosting art shows, quilt exhibits, music, drama, and dance performances, lectures, meetings, and annual History Nights. The Events Room was renovated in 2012-2013 and prior to the pandemic, has been available for use by organizations.

The museum is generally open from the beginning of April through the first two weeks of December. During the three-and-a-half winter months that we are closed, we work hard to create and install new exhibits and take care of basic maintenance.

The City of Mt. Shasta

  • Offers many recreational activities all year round – fishing, boating, hiking, mountain climbing, skiing, snowboarding, golfing, and more.
  • Nestled at the base of a 14,179′ dormant volcano.
  • Visit the Mt. Shasta Chamber of Commerce to learn more!

We would not be able to do what we do without our dedicated volunteers!

If you’d like to become a museum volunteer, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you!