Help others:

Donate to the Red Cross

Donate to the Salvation Army

Listing sponsored by
Scientific Breakthrough. No Shots
Science response to skin aging.

Antelope Valley Indian Museum

Lancaster, California

Phone: (661) 942-0662 - TTY:

Statement of Purpose:

Located in the Heart of California's Historic Mojave Desert on Piute Butte

The Antelope Valley Indian Museum stands against towering rock formations in the Mojave Desert. The large boulders become a portion of its interior while timbers from Joshua trees cover supports for its roof. This folk art structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visitors will find the history of the Museum and the collections it houses both colorful and varied. Five rooms of exhibits are now open for viewing. A number of artifacts on display are rare and one-of-a-kind items.

History - Edwards Howard Arden Edwards, a self-taught artist, fell in love with the scenery around the buttes while visiting the Antelope Valley. He envisioned a home nestled among the rock formations of the desert.

He homesteaded 160 acres on Piute Butte and in 1928, Edwards, his wife and teenage son began building their dream home. A unique structure evolved: a Swiss Chalet style building which incorporates large granite boulders as an integral part of the building both inside and out. You actually climb upon these rocks as you go from picturesque Kachina Hall upstairs to California Hall.
This unusual upper level was designed by Mr. Edwards solely as a display area for his collection of prehistoric and historic American Indian artifacts.

History - Oliver Grace Wilcox Oliver, a student of anthropology, discovered Edward's home while hiking in the desert, and felt it would be a perfect setting for her own native American Indian collection. Oliver promptly sought out the owner with an offer to buy the property. Successful in these negotiations, she remodeled the main building, expanded tht physical facilities and added her own artifacts. She opened the Edwards' house as the Antelope Valley Indian Museum in the early 1940's and operated it for the next three decades, continuously adding to the collections.

Local support for the acquisition of the property resulted in the State of California purchasing the museum in 1979, with Grace Oliver donating all of the artifacts. The majority of the museum's collections emphasizes the Southwestern, California and Great Basin Indians, although it contains artifacts from a number of other geographic regions.


Special Programs

Joshua Cottage features a Touch Table room where everyone, regardless of age, can experience food grinding techniques or learn how the Indians started a fire with a stick or bow drill. It also has a gallery/theater where on some weekends during October through June the museum offers a variety of educational programs: Docent guided tours, nature walks, films, video tapes, lectures, craft demonstrations by Native Americans, and an annual celebration featuring Indian artisans and dancing. Also offered is a training course for all who would like to volunteer their services to the California Department of Parks Recreation - either on a weekend or during the week.


Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum is a non-profit volunteer organization that assits the educatioonal and interpretive program at the Antelope Valley Indian Museum. The museum is operated by the California Department of Parks & Recreation.

FAVIM was instrumental in pursuing activities begun by the local chapter of the American Association of University Women, which culminated in the purchase of the museum by the State. Through the cooperative effort of the Friends and the State Park System, the Indian Museum has been opened to the public and scheduled tour groups since 1982. Your support will permit the Friends to expand and improve its present interpretive program and to develop new educational programs to benefit everyone.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Friends of the Antelope Valley Indian Museum, write P.O. Box 1171, Lancaster, California 93584.

Museum Improvements

FAVIM is working hard to protect the museum and its artifacts. The museum is in need of major structural repairs and environmental controls necessary to protect its unique artifacts. Tax-deductible grants are being sought. You can help in our efforts by making your tax-deductible donations to FAVIM.


Benefits include: Free admission to FAVIM's Annual Celebration , invitations to special events, 10% discount on purchases from the Gift Shop, subsription to the museum's quarterly Newsletter, and a chance to serve the community and the State Parks as a docent or volunteer.


In the 1980's, the State Parks designated the museum as one of its regional Indian museums, this one to represent cultures of western Great Basin (east and southeast of the Sierra Nevada Mountains).

Gift Shop

Authentic native American Indian hand-crafted jewelry, kachina dolls, pottery, rugs, and a large selection of publications for all ages on American Indian history and crafts are available.


Open to the Public on Weekends

The Antelope Valley Indian Museum is open on weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. from the middle of September through the middle of June. The museum is closed through the summer months.

Tours are Available

Special Tours are available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays by appointment only. General information and reservations for group tours may be made by calling the State Department


The museum charges a nominal admission fee and children under 6 are free.

The Antelope Valley Indian Museum is located in northeastern Los Angeles County. It is 17 miles east of the Antelope Valley Freeway (State Highway 14), on Avenue M, between 150th and 170th Streets East. Go East on Avenue K or Palmdale Boulevard and follow the signs to the museum. Or exit Pearlblossom Highway (138) at 165th Street East and travel North.


Check with us at a later date.

Key Personnel:

Tell us what you think.

Do you have any additional comments concerning this site?
Do you wish to receive some information on how to get your museum on the Museums Tour?

Thank you again for your visit.


This page and all contents are © 1995-2014 Art Emotion Corp., IL. USA.
All information is subject to change - This document is non contractual.