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Programs and Events

Regularly Scheduled Programs

Free Town Tours:
June 15th - Labor Day: Daily @ 11:00 AM Monday-Friday based on staff and docent availability. Please check with museum upon arrival.
Year-round: Saturday & Sunday @ 11:00 AM
Led by staff and docents. Meet at the museum.
Approximately 1 hour.

For groups over ten people, special tours must be arranged in advance by calling 209-588-9128.

Digging Deeper Into Columbia
June 15th-Labor Day: Daily @ 1:00 PM. Learn more about Columbia by listening to a short presentation by park staff or volunteers. Hands-on demonstrations and interpretation. Please check with museum upon arrival to see location and topic of the day.

Our Museum is currently open from 10:00am-4:30pm through Labor Day. Fall/Winter hours 10-4pm. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

Gold Rush Days  
Occur the second Saturday of each month from 1 to 4pm. Many special exhibits are open and hands-on activities are led by volunteers in period attire throughout the afternoon. Call 209-588-9128 for details.

Costumed volunteer at Gold Rush Days

Photography Tours
1st and 3rd Saturdays beginning in April
Novice and Intermediate classes in travel photography with a focus on Columbia.
Check back soon for more information including time and cost.

Special Events & Programs

Ghost Tours
September 13, October 25 ; 3:00 pm
Have you heard that there are ghosts in Columbia? Join us on the tour to find out where they lurk and the stories behind those who lived in Columbia during the Gold Rush. $10/person. Reservations recommended.

History’s Mysteries
August 30
We invite families or groups to solve an actual crime that occurred in Columbia in the 1800s. You will witness the event, interview key members to the crime and get a chance to subpoena them in court. Then you will select one person from your group to question people on the stand. At the end, you will determine the outcome of the crime. $5/person. Reservations recommended.

California Admission Day Celebration
September 6; all day
The Native Sons of the Golden West, Columbia Parlor #258, sponsors a California Admissions Day Parade in Historic Columbia. The Native Sons have a tradition of preserving California History--the parade is one of those that started in 1876, and revived in 2008. There are many other events held on Admissions Day in Historic Columbia, the parade is just one of them. 
Back to School Night 1861
September 20; 4-7pm
Join us for a beautiful evening at the historic schoolhouse. During this reminiscent event, take a tour of the upstairs, sit in on a lesson taught by a docent dressed as an 1860s school teacher, play games of long ago, listen to music, and help make hand-cranked ice cream. Contact Columbia State Historic Park at 209-588-9128.

Stories in Stone Cemetery Tour
September 26 and 27, October 3 and 4; 7:00 pm
Lamplight-led evening tour of the Columbia Cemetery by our costumed docents. Guests will stop at specific gravesites where stories of those who have lived and died in Columbia will be told by some very convincing characters! Reservations required. Tickets $25 per person.

31st Annual Lamplight Tours

December 5 & 6, beginning around 6:00 pm and running every 15 minutes
Take a walk through Columbia on a lamplight-led tour by our costumed volunteers! Follow your guide from venue to venue and watch the play all come together in the end. It's sure to be a night to remember! Reservations are recommended and can be made after September 1st. Please call (209) 588-9128 for more information.

Lamplight tickets available for purchase at

A Miner's Christmas
December 13, 14, 20, 21, 2014 - 12-3pm
Sit around a campfire drinking hot cider or coffee and join in conversations with miners as they roast chestnuts.  Children can make some favorite crafts of the 1850s and keep an eye out for Father Christmas as he wanders the streets looking for good boys and girls!  Contact Columbia State Historic Park at 209-588-9128.

Columbia's Birthday Celebration
March 27 at noon
Celebrate the discovery of gold in Columbia! Speech by costmed docent, tours, free refreshments.

Diggins Tent Town 1852
May 28-31, 2015
Living history event with more than 150 volunteers in period costume. Learn how to bake bread in an outdoor oven, take in a theater performance, watch the blacksmith, wash laundry the old-fashioned way and more! $5/adult, $1/child.
For special event information please call Columbia State Historic Park at 209-588-9128.

Big Band Street Dance
July 18, 2015; 6-10pm
Step back into the 1940s and put on your dancing shoes to boogie down to the music of Rod Harris and his orchestra. Fundraiser sponsored by Friends of Columbia State Historic Park.

Additional event information may be available at