Spotlight Columns

‘Extraordinary Collections’ on display at Folsom History Museum

By From page B2 | October 16, 2013

Vintage cash registers vie with railroad brake wheels in the wild and wonderful collections exhibit on display at the Folsom History Museum this fall. Photo by Susan Laird

And now, for something completely different.

A fun and extremely eclectic set of private collections is currently on display at the Folsom History Museum.

“Extraordinary Collections” showcases the stuff we humans collect. And what an interesting bunch we are. This year, more than 20 individuals generously share their passions with the community at large … to visitors’ delight. 

Got skunks? Want some?

One of the hazards of collecting is: Once your friends and family learn of your leaning, be prepared to accept gifts. Many collections got their start quite modestly then mushroomed as well-wishers added to the set.

Each collection has a brief description of what is on display and a bit about the owner. The history of the owner is often as fascinating as the history of the objects themselves.

Items on display include a collection of ceramic and soft sculpture skunks (really), vintage cash registers, pelton wheels, numerous railroad items (including lamps, pins and brake wheels), gold pans, pie birds, sewing notions, Michael Jackson memorabilia and more.

There’s even a collection of Lucky Strike cigarette ads (LSMFT! LSMFT!) and a collection of Old Spice bottles.

Those who grew up in the 1950s will enjoy the collection of Barbie dolls dating from the beginning of the line’s production, as well as the “I Love Lucy” memorabilia. Two collections of vintage tube radios will bring back memories of the Golden Age of Radio and listening to KSFO and KFBK.

It’s a trip down memory lane with a bit of “Alice in Wonderland” thrown in. Did Santa really smoke cigarettes? Lucky Strike seems to think so. 

Pure entertainment

This exhibit is well worth taking in. Give yourself at least a good half-hour to go through. I think you will find yourself spending a bit more time than that, because this exhibit is designed to inform and amuse. I found myself smiling and chuckling through the entire thing about the silly things people collect.

And wondering, should I ever put my Breyer model horse collection on display one of these years? Nah. Well, never say never. The Folsom History Museum is nothing if not interesting and creative!

“Extraordinary Collections” runs through Jan. 5.

The Folsom History Museum is located at 823 Sutter St. in Folsom. Parking is free on the street and at the nearby city garage. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for youth and free for kids 12 and younger. For more information visit 

Send your event for consideration in Susan’s column to [email protected]

Susan Laird


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