Downtown Fullerton - Fullerton Museum Center

Fullerton Museum Center

Dating back over a hundred years, the citizens of Fullerton wanted to provide a learning center to its community. Off the corner of Pomona and Whilshire at the Gem Pharmacy, the Starbuck family lead local residents to raise money for a city library, known as the first Traveling Circulating Library. Surprisingly, it was located in the backroom of the Gem pharmacy.

By 1904, the city of Fullerton’s population was growing and so did the need for an improved educational facility. Charles C. Chapman, Mayor of Fullerton, proposed to build a city library because he knew it would be a foundational community resource. Land was purchased from the Starbuck Family and with the assistance of a grant from the Carnegie Foundation, the Carnegie Library was completed on December 16, 1907.

As the 40’s arrived, the Carnegie Library couldn’t complement the needs and wants of the community. Harry Vaugh, a Fullerton local, envisioned an advanced building that could once again be a focal point for higher learning. His Spanish Colonial-Style inspired library opened to the public on Christmas Eve in 1941. It was known as the WPA Library, giving recognition to the funding provided by the Federal Works Agency Projects Administration.

In the 1970’s encouraging culture was an ideal for the City of Fullerton and thus the Fullerton Museum Association was created on behalf of the members of the Youth Center Board of Trustees and other leaders in the community. Their goal was to develop a local museum in the present location of the WPA Library. From leasing the library building, they opened Muse 9. Muse 9 was a challenging project and featured an assemblage of bones acquired from the La Brea Tar Pits. It was the Fullerton’s first permanent museum collection and paved a road for future exhibits. By 1985, its named was changed to the Fullerton Museum and was renovated to way we experience it today.