Mammoth Skeleton

The premier permanent exhibit in the Shoshone Museum is the fossilized bones of pachyderms that were found by two professors from Sonoma State University. At first, they thought it was just a single mammoth, but after raising the money to continue the dig, they uncovered bones from five separate pachyderms.

Jawbone belongs to a probicidian (elephant family) called an Archidiskodon Tamenensis, a more primitive relative of the ice age mammoths.

Tusk from two different animals. These are the actual fossilized bones.

The discovery of the jawbone changed the history of the mammoth. Until it was found, it was believe that the Archidiskadon Tamenensis had been extinct for over 1,000,000 years. These bones have been dated back to 600,000 years ago, thus extending the time range of this species of mammoth by 500,000 years. From that same timeframe, the museum also displays casts of footprints from ancient camels, horses, and wolves also found in the area from the same era.


Another interesting museum exhibit is the history of bootlegging in the region. Documents recovered from a suitcase belonging to Jack Madison, a miner and bootlegger, depict the adventurous times of the Shoshone Tecopa mining communities. These primary documents also establish an accurate timeline of events that took place in these communities.

Bootlegging in Shoshone.

Shoshone prospered as a water stop for the Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad.

The Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad

The Tonopah and Tidewater Railroad traveled through the Shoshone Tecopa communities from the early 1900’s to 1942. The town of Shoshone was a water and food stop for the railroad and became a hub of activities for the area. Just before World War II, the tracks were removed and the rails were employed in the World War II effort. Photos and other documents on display at the museum tell the story of the Tonopah Tidewater Railroad.

Baseball in Early Shoshone

Baseball was a form of entertainment in the region during the mining era, and memories of these times are available for viewing. When cleaning out the rafters of one of the local buildings, an original jersey from the Shoshone baseball team was found and now is on display.

Original Shoshone Indian baseball jersey of the times.

Women played a strong role in the history of the area.

Death Valley Women

Learn about the pioneer women who left their mark on the history of the area.

Desert Wildlife

In addition to the historical exhibits there are displays of desert animals, some near extinction like the Amargosa Vole.

One of the rotating exhibits is a photography display of animals found in the area by Sharon K. Schafer.

Colemanite from the Billy Mine in Death Valley.

Desert Minerals

In addition to the displays of the indigenous animals there are also displays of the local minerals including a large specimen of colemanite, a form of borax, found in the Billy Mine, a mine on the way to Death Valley.

Mining Equipment

Mining was a key part of the history of the valley and artifacts of these days can be found in the mining exhibit.

One of the rotating exhibits is a photography display of animals found in the area by Sharon K. Schafer.

Gerstley Mine Head Frame.

Gerstley Mine

Just outside the museum is located the head frame for the Gerstley Mine, a borax mine located about a mile north of Shoshone whose ore was used as pottery glaze.



P.O. Box 38

Shoshone, CA 92384

Phone: (760) 852-4524

Open 7 Days: 9am to 3pm


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