Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum: a Short History
Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum is a donation-based, self-supported, mostly volunteer-operated museum with a 501(c)(3) status.
The Mt. Shasta Museum Association, Inc. formed when a surplus State Fish Hatchery building became available as a possible community museum in 1979. An outpouring of community support enabled the Sisson Museum to become a reality, and it opened to the public on July 4, 1983 in the newly renovated building. The building shares property with the oldest fish hatchery in operation west of the Mississippi River.
Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum has hosted more than 500,000 guests since its opening in 1983.
Supported by a dedicated volunteer contingent averaging 30 members who give more than 14,000 hours of their time annually, our museum shares the social, cultural, and natural history of the area with the local population, student groups, and travelers.
Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum consists of three large exhibit halls and an events room for special activities and displays. The museum sparks the vitality of the community by hosting special activities and displays, including art shows, quilt exhibits, music, drama, meetings, and presentations.
The Events Room is not available for use by organizations at this time. Please contact us for more details.
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 story of the Museum’s 1949 Dodge Pickup
Written by Jim McChesney (President)
John and Alice Codamo moved to Mt. Shasta in 1923 from Mistletoe Oregon a small community near Ashland Oregon. John worked for the S.P. railroad and was offered the Section Forman position in Mt. Shasta. In 1949 they had saved enough money for a new vehicle which at the time was not an easy thing to do. They thought it would be a good idea to buy a pick-up and chose the Dodge dealer in Mt. Shasta. The dealership was owned by Bruno Riccomini and was named Bruno’s Garage. My Grandmother named HER new pick-up Susie and that name sticks to this day.
Shortly after they bought their new pick-up I was born in April 1949. Needless to say, I sorta claimed her. As a little boy my Grandparents took me to places like Medicine Lake, Crater Lake, Lava Beds, Ashland and Lake Almanor to name a few. So many memories going places in Susie. When I was 16 and had my license, they let me drive Susie to go fishing when I came to visit for the summer.
My Grandmother drove HER truck to town most every day to shop at Marconi’s, Cervelli’s market, the post office and always parked on the side street by Schuller’s store. When she came to town everyone knew “Damo” and her yellow pick-up. She drove that truck into her 90’s.
Prior to my Grandparents passing, Susie was given to me. Soon after, I brought her back to near new condition with a new paint job, upholstery and some mechanical upgrades. What I realized after doing this was, I really couldn’t drive her on today’s freeways, her top speed was 45 mph. It was a difficult decision to give her a new engine etc. so we could drive her on today’s roadways. It took me 30 years to finally decide to do this. One day, I was helping a friend who had a 1988 Dodge pick-up that had been sitting in a field for the past ten years and I asked him what he was going to do with it? Finally, he said take it. So, my son and I towed it home. A year later Susie had a new engine, Transmission and front and rear axle.
After I finished her restoration, I had the idea to put the museum logo on her doors. I thought this would be a good way to advertise the museum. Turns out it really was! I can’t go to town without someone asking me about her. So, I declared her the mascot of Mt. Shasta Sisson Museum.