Children's Natural History Museum

4074 Eggers Drive
Fremont, California
For hours see Admissions

What you see here today is the hard work of many individuals and their contributions can be seen in the different halls. What originally began as a rescue mission has turned into one of the fastest growing (and largest) museum in Fremont.

A collection that began in the 1940's in the little town of Irvington, in a gravel quarry long forgotten by current residents which is now covered by a freeway. This began as the personal collection of Wes Gordon, a teacher from Hayward, who led young boys to uncover one of the most important finds in the Bay Area; so important and entire era in geologic history is named after the little town that it was discovered, the Irvingtonian era. Wes Gordon and his group of “Boy Paleontologists” uncovered fossils for over 10 years in the Bell Quarry; what they found was one of the best ice age fossil finds of large mammoths, saber toothed cats, mastodons, wolves, giant sloths, short faced cave bears, camelops, western horses and many other creatures. They uncovered tens of thousands of fossils, with the majority went to UC Berkeley. A few went to Ohlone College, even fewer went to Fremont’s Museum of Local History and some went to San Lorenzo School District where Wes Gordon worked.

In August 2004 we were asked by the Gordon Family if we were interested in housing the collection from San Lorenzo School District which included the Irvington fossils but also an extensive rock collection, numerous books, a collection of stuffed animals, and display cases used to show off the collection to students. We accepted the offer and 6 truck loads later we had 30 display cases enrobed in 8 years of dust, 150 boxes with an assortment of fossils, animals, rocks, books, and posters, a 400 pound mammoth skull, and 1 mounted moose head. Our heads began to spin as to how to arrange the collection to be an interactive museum for students to learn and appreciate the natural history of their hometown.

The museum started in our present day Wes Gordon Fossil Hall and Boy Paleontologist room. This held some of the eclectic combination of materials that are seen throughout the entire museum. By 2005 we knew that an expansion was needed and we crossed into the current Nature Hall separating the fossils from modern animals. By 2006 we had the ability to expand the museum again and created the Rock and Mineral Hall and our Hall of Small Wonders . In 2007, Ken Miller, a resident of Fremont donated a planetarium dome and projector and the museum expanded yet again, and now house the Miller StarDome.

In 2010 we added a new classroom to increase the number of school field trips. We now can can provide field trips to a total of 80 students at a time. We also received a donation from the Fremont Candlelighters of a Sabertooth cat replica, which now can show students how large these cats were. We renovated the exhibits to allow self guided tours. We also added a new Shell Hall and renamed the Nature Hall into the Hall of Bones.

This is a glimpse at the wonderful hidden treasures found in Fremont. Please treat them with respect; they have been here longer than we have.

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