The Incomparable History of
Northern San Luis Obispo County
This area has always been a bit on the edge.
The San Andreas Fault that slices through California runs along the eastern side of San Luis Obispo County. The mountains that divide the county’s north from south also separated the large territories of the Chumash and Salinan people in the time before Europeans arrived. The mission in San Miguel was part of a thin line of Spanish and then Mexican civilization on the far northern edge of the vast Hispanic lands in Central and South America. It was at the end of the railroad line as California rapidly became an island of sophisticated civilization on the edge of the continent, and then the farthest western edge of the United States. Now San Luis Obispo County forms a subtle boundary between the area influenced by Los Angeles and that influenced by San Francisco.
The people who have colonized this edge over the centuries have left a rich history of strength and creativity.
The uniquely blended culture of the area has been held together by rugged pioneers and ranchers, yet attracted, and still attracts, accomplished people who have become world famous and could live anywhere they chose.
These museums preserve the history of a unique place and the events, the thoughts, and the treasures of those who lived here.
Special tours may be arranged by contacting the museums directly.
These museums are 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations and are supported by their members and donations.