Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Perris Museum Reopens

The Perris Museum is now open. Feel free to call (951) 657-0274, for hours.
Two days before the grand opening to the general public, on Saturday (1/31/09), the Press Enterprise ran the fallowing article.

Perris Museum Reopening to Honor City's Past

The opening of the Perris Valley Museum in the renovated Perris train depot will be celebrated Saturday. Members of the Perris Valley Historical & Museum Association have been working for four years to get museum collections ready for the opening. "Ninety percent of the work was done by our volunteers who love our history," said Katie Keyes, vice president of the historical society. "The most satisfying aspect is that we are preserving our history for future generations."

Katie Keyes, vice president of the Perris Valley Historical & Museum Association, holds a photo of Fred T. Perris, the man for whom Perris is named.

The museum is in the newly renovated Perris train depot at the corner of Fourth and D streets. The museum will open at 10 a.m. Saturday and the program will start at 11 a.m. Quinn Hawley, president of the group, will give a history of the museum. Christina Perris, the granddaughter of Fred T. Perris, the city's namesake, will present a program. Also on the program will be Mel Levet who will speak about his grandfather Benjamin Levet, architect of the Perris Depot. The museum includes exhibits on Native Americans, the gold mines, the mining district, farming and schools. The museum also displays the restored survey wagon used by Fred T. Perris. Free double-decker bus tours will take visitors to the historic downtown area of Perris. The bus will run every half hour until from noon to 3 p.m.

The historical group the Harvey Girls will help with the event. Harvey Girls took their name from Fred Harvey's Harvey House restaurants that were located along the Santa Fe Railroad in the late 1800s. The Model T Club from Riverside will exhibit automobiles. The Orange Empire Railway Museum will sell tickets for steam train rides during the event. The historical society, founded in 1963 to maintain the history of Perris, is looking for donations, including vintage clothing and artifacts from the Perris Valley area.

"We are the keepers of the history and donations must pertain to the history of the Perris Valley," Keyes said. Keyes, 66, who has lived in Perris all her life, joined the society 10 years ago. She said she "has always been interested in helping the people of Perris. My family was honored as one of the pioneering families of the valley."

Information: 951-657-0274.