Shasta Historical society

Current Exhibits

Her Side of the Story: Tales of CA Pioneer Women and Shasta County Women of Influence

February 3, 2023 – May 28, 2023

Thank you to our generous sponsors for making this exhibit possible.

Chico Feminish Women's Health Center

                                                                   Member’s Only Opening – 4:00-6:00pm Thursday, February 2, 2023                                                                       Grand Opening – 5:00-7:00pm Friday, February 3, 2023

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Illuminating the hardships, joys, and lives of female pioneers in California, Her Side of the Story: Tales of California Pioneer Women and Shasta County Women of Influence will appear at the Shasta Historical Society from February 3, 2023 to May 28, 2023. The traveling exhibit features over 30 first-person accounts collected from women who traveled by land or sea to settle throughout California prior to January 1, 1854 and profiles of local Shasta County women from the 1850s to the present day.

As preparations were being made for the commemoration of California’s Golden Jubilee in 1900, a letter printed in a San Francisco newspaper asked why “no provisions had been made for the pioneer mothers.” In turn, The Association of Pioneer Women of California was formed. The group collected and preserved the reminiscences of women who arrived in California before 1854 in a single ledger. This incredible document, filled with over 800 handwritten stories of California pioneer women, is the basis for the exhibition at the Shasta Historical Society. The ledger and exhibition create a more complete and balanced understanding of our shared history by highlighting women’s voices and experiences as they traveled to California.

This exhibit, augmented with local stories, represents some women who were pioneers in the usual sense as they journeyed overland in the 19th century and established new lives in California. Others were pioneers in their professions and areas of expertise. They came from varied backgrounds and used both traditional and non-traditional roles to make significant impacts on society and influence those who followed. These women represent their many peers, those well known to obscure, for whom we did not have enough space to include. Intermingled together, the displays from Exhibit Envoy and our local information, photographs, and artifacts capture a diverse collection of amazing women who blazed trails across the physical and societal landscapes and helped to shape Shasta County, California, the world, and who we are today. 

The exhibit, however, does not represent all voices. As such, an important section of the exhibition is comprised of forty diverse portraits of unidentified women. These women represent the thousands of pioneers whose stories were never recorded; each one had a story to tell which is lost to time. In addition to viewing the exhibition, teachers, historians, and researchers may now use this online resource to access the contents of this book, and to search through the digital transcriptions of each story to learn more about the experiences of these women and their journeys to California.

An opening reception will take place on February 3, 2023 at 6:00pm. 

Exhibition Support

Her Side of the Story: Tales of California Pioneer Women was developed by the Society of California Pioneers and travels through Exhibit Envoy. Shasta County stories included in the exhibit were developed by the Shasta Historical Society.

About Exhibit Envoy

Exhibit Envoy provides traveling exhibitions and professional services to museums throughout California. For more information, visit