The Shoshone Museum Association

The Shoshone Museum Association, founded in 1989, is a 501(c3) non-profit organization. The museum is financially self-supporting and, although donations are appreciated, there is no charge. The gift shop at the museum has an extensive selection of books on the region. It is also the only location where signed prints by Mark Hamlin are available for purchase, and is one of the few places that sells 20 Mule Team models and Tonopah Tidewater Railroad tee shirts and hats. These proceeds fund the museum.

Association Structure and Membership

The initial board members shared the same vision for the Shoshone Museum and are responsible for setting its direction. They were:

  • Susan Sorrells, a descendant of the founder of Shoshone, CA, Ralph Jacobus “Dad” Fairbanks, and owner of Shoshone.
  • Brian Brown, also a descendant of Fairbanks and the owner of China Ranch in nearby Tecopa.
  • Jan Tarble, a well-known birder and desert scholar.
  • Bob Reynolds, a paleontologist, and curator at San Bernardino Museum.
  • Ben Troxel, a renowned Death Valley geologist
  • Richard Crowe, President of the Death Valley ‘49ers.
  • Phil Pister, a biologist with the California Fish and Wildlife.
“Dad” Fairbanks Founder of Shoshone, CA.
The Current Board Members Include:

    • President – Tom VerHoef
    • Vice President – Darrel S. Cowan
    • Treasurer – Jim Gilliam
    • Susan Sorrells
    • Amy Noel
    • George Ross
    • Len Warren

    The Shoshone Museum has over 200 members who support its endeavors financially and conceptually. Anyone who is interested in preserving the history and culture of the Amargosa and Death Valley region is welcome to join. Annual membership dues range from $15 to $100.

Meet Our Staff

The museum has four part-time employees. These employees are enamored with the region and are happy to answer questions, offer tour guide suggestions, explain the exhibits, or assist with research. The staff includes:

Carla Perkins (L) and Mary Burke-King (R), two of the staff members who are excited about sharing their knowledge with visitors
John Muccio (L) and Ethel Messer (R) enjoy talking about the history of the region as well as helping visitors plan their tour through Death Valley.
  • Ethel Messer is the museum’s bookkeeper and has lived in Shoshone most of her life. She is a wealth of information.
  • Mary Burke-King is the museum’s curator and catalogs all donated items. She also assists authors or others wishing to employ the museum’s resources in their research.
  • Carla Perkins organizes craft shows and maintains the front desk. She is an interpreter, a cashier, and a knowledgeable guide to the Amargosa and Death Valley area.
  • John Muccio is also a cashier and interpreter who is eager to answer questions and help guests through the exhibits or give advice on exploring the area.



P.O. Box 38

Shoshone, CA 92384

Phone: (760) 852-4524

Open 7 Days: 9am to 3pm


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