Our Museum History

It was in 1975 that the following citizens met to discuss the idea of a museum in Rio Vista: Shirley Shearer, Pearl Hamilton, Genevieve James, Mildred Hansen, Esther Pierce, Marianna Harden, Madelyn Church, Barbara Tracy, Jim Tracy, Elliott Stevenson, Pat Gates, Albert Jongeneel, Buck Farnsworth, Wayne Gohl, Joe Betts, Iris Jacobs and Crystal Harris.

In September 1975 officers of the Rio Vista Museum Association were elected with Genevieve (McCormack) James having the honor as first president.

The museum opened its doors for the first time during the Bass Derby in October 1975. The Rio Vista Museum came about as a result of the country’s 1976 Bicentennial. People of the surrounding area contributed historical artifacts and the community has incorporated its own unique history into the museum. Volunteers make it possible to view the museum.

The museum itself is converted from an old blacksmith’s shop. Inside there are several rooms covered from floor to ceiling with varies articles, pictures, newspaper headlines, dolls, clothing and farm equipment. The museum successfully relays to its visitors the life of the past.

The Rio Vista Museum Association is a private tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation led by a board of directors elected annually by the membership. The museum receives its financial support entirely from memberships, memorials, donations and fund-raisers such as the annual Hamburger Feed and various open houses. Your membership will help in the continued preservation and exhibition of the distinctive history of this lively community.