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The Antelope Valley Indian Museum stands against towering rock formations in the Mojave Desert. The large boulders become a portion of its interior while timbers from Joshua trees cover supports for its roof. This folk art structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors will find the history of the Museum and the collections it houses both colorful and varied. Five rooms of exhibits are now open for viewing. A number of artifacts on display are rare and one-of-a-kind items.
History - Edwards Howard Arden Edwards, a self-taught artist, fell in love with the scenery around the buttes while visiting the Antelope Valley. He envisioned a home nestled among the rock formations of the desert.
He homesteaded 160 acres on Piute Butte and in 1928, Edwards, his wife and teenage son began
building their dream home. A unique structure evolved: a Swiss Chalet style building which
incorporates large granite boulders as an integral part of the building both inside and out. You
actually climb upon these rocks as you go from picturesque Kachina Hall upstairs to California Hall.
This unusual upper level was designed by Mr. Edwards solely as a display area for his collection of prehistoric and historic American Indian artifacts.
History - Oliver Grace Wilcox Oliver, a student of anthropology, discovered Edward's home while hiking in the desert, and felt it would be a perfect setting for her own native American Indian collection. Oliver promptly sought out the owner with an offer to buy the property. Successful in these negotiations, she remodeled the main building, expanded tht physical facilities and added her own artifacts. She opened the Edwards' house as the Antelope Valley Indian Museum in the early 1940's and operated it for the next three decades, continuously adding to the collections.
Local support for the acquisition of the property resulted in the State of California purchasing the museum in 1979, with Grace Oliver donating all of the artifacts. The majority of the museum's collections emphasizes the Southwestern, California and Great Basin Indians, although it contains artifacts from a number of other geographic regions.
FAVIM was instrumental in pursuing activities begun by the local chapter of the American Association of University Women, which culminated in the purchase of the museum by the State. Through the cooperative effort of the Friends and the State Park System, the Indian Museum has been opened to the public and scheduled tour groups since 1982. Your support will permit the Friends to expand and improve its present interpretive program and to develop new educational programs to benefit everyone.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, write P.O. Box 1171, Lancaster, California 93584.
The museum charges a nominal admission fee and children under 6 are free.
The Antelope Valley Indian Museum is located in northeastern Los Angeles
County. It is 17 miles east of the Antelope Valley Freeway (State Highway 14),
on Avenue M, between 150th and 170th Streets East. Go East on Avenue K or
Palmdale Boulevard and follow the signs to the museum. Or exit Pearlblossom
Highway (138) at 165th Street East and travel North.
Check with us at a later date.