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"California and the Civil War" Exhibit

An exhibit based on Queen of the Northern Mines and the authors' California and the Civil War multimedia presentation opened on March 31st, 2012 at the Folsom History Museum and ran through May 13th.

The exhibit featured graphic panels and text showing California's perilous condition at the beginning of the war, as Unionists and Secesh attempted to pull the Golden State over to their side of the dispute. Dazzling artifacts from private collections brought California's moment of decision to life.

Living Historians

– the authors engulfed by Living Historians and museum curators. TJ is in red, Richard stands behind her in civilian blue.

Museum Director Mary Mast asked QONM authors Richard Hurley and TJ Meekins to guest-curate the exhibit, and her gifted staff stepped in nobly to help make the show a reality. We were also blessed by the support of outside volunteer organizations. We'd like to tip our kepis in particular to the local Sons of Union Veterans, who generously provided outstanding artifacts for the show. Their replica "living history" display offers an authentic look into the lives of men on campaign.

SOUV display – camp accoutrements of a Union officer

The Folsom History Museum gallery is a former Wells Fargo office. It offers the perfect setting for the exhibit.

gallery looking south – Folsom gallery looking south

The show was blessed by the loan of an extraordinary assortment of period weapons and Gold Rush artifacts.


During the Gold Rush, pepperbox (multi-barreled) pistols were an economical alternative to costly and unreliable revolvers, which were manufactured under patent. Unfortunately, the pepperboxes, too, had their quirks. Occasionally, all the barrels would discharge at once.


"California and the Civil War" Exhibit on the Road

The California and the Civil War panels were on display at the Rood Center (Nevada County Government Center) from June 1 through November 14, 2014. The exhibit is currently on display at the Placer County Museum in Auburn, CA.

– Civil War-era fashions by Liz Lowrie at Auburn Courthouse

– Visitors at the Rood Center read about California's Volunteers