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Frock Coats and Fire Buckets

A violin case, a cabinet full of false teeth, and a heavy leather bucket—there must be a story there! Michele Nielsen, San Bernardino County Museum curator of history, will tell the tales at a gallery talk on Saturday, April 22 at 2:00 p.m. in the museum’s Fisk Gallery. The talk, based on the new museum exhibit, “If These Buckets Could Talk,” is free with museum admission.

“Objects have great stories to tell,” said Nielsen. “Our history division collections contain thousands of three-dimensional artifacts from the past, each with a unique and important tale to tell. The value of these objects goes well beyond any monetary figure that could be attached to them and lies in their ability to act as touchstones to talk about life in an earlier era.”

“If These Buckets Could Talk: Tales from the Museum Collections” opens at the museum on April 22 and runs through September 6. The exhibit is free with museum general admission. It contains an eclectic – even eccentric – mixture of historical items that both separately and together provide a tangible link to the region’s past.

“One of the strengths of our history collection is that the artifacts were, for the most part, donated to the museum by community members,” continued Nielsen. “This is important on several counts. For one, it means that the objects are linked directly to the region’s history. Even better, our donors can provide family histories and stories that relate to the objects they donate. We preserve these oral histories right along with the artifacts themselves, giving them tremendous resonance in our social history.”

The San Bernardino County Museum is at the California Street exit from Interstate 10 in Redlands. The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays and holiday Mondays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $6 (adult), $5 (student or senior), and $4 (child aged 5 to 12). Children under five and Museum Association members are admitted free. Parking is free. For more information, visit

The San Bernardino County Museum is accessible to persons with disabilities. If assistive listening devices or other auxiliary aids are needed in order to participate in museum exhibits or programs, requests should be made through Museum Visitor Services at least three business days prior to your visit. Visitor Services’ telephone number is 909-307-2669 ext. 229 or (TDD) 909-792-1462.





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