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Old West Days: Broadening Myths and Legends to Reflect Authentic Histories

San Bernardino County, CA
Program Year: 2020

The focus of the San Bernardino County Museum’s Old West Days is for visitors to experience a heretofore traditional era in ways that better reflect the contributions of diverse cultures in the myths and legends. The event features demonstrations, re-enactors, engaging activities, and entertainment for all ages and backgrounds. In two years the event has grown from twelve to over twenty participating nonprofit partners all contributing to a rich visitor experience, and presenting multiple historical perspectives. The event aspires to build a strong sense of community through inclusiveness and accessibility, making history more meaningful, culturally relevant, and fun for attendees. By participating in the program, museum visitors are inspired to learn more about San Bernardino County’s diverse and extensive history, and gain a sense of what life was like in the 1800s here in the Inland Empire. Visitors are able to see how food was made and preserved, understand what tools were used in different industries, and enjoy entertainment and games. Additionally, with the participation of partners in programming, visitors can grasp how truly diverse this region was (and still is). Visitors learn how the various communities within this region laid the foundation for what would eventually become known as the Inland Empire and evoke a sense of pride in our community’s shared heritage.

Ms. Melissa Russo
Museum Director